The Bishop Finlay Chapter Based on Its Namesake Cultivates a Spirit of Inclusiveness and Hospitality at Trinity

In keeping with Dean Tim Jones’ focus on hospitality at Trinity, I want to share with you how my involvement in the Bishop Finlay Chapter began.  Emilie Guignard invited me to a chapter meeting, but she didn’t just invite me,  she also picked me up, drove me to the meeting and she brought me home. Then at some point, the group needed a leader,  Connie Britt whispered in my ear one night during a dinner, “Why don’t you do it?” My reply was “Maybe when I retire.” I had prayed about this for over a year, and I wondered how I could possibly fill Harriet Green’s leadership shoes, when Louise Taylor approached me, and said, ”I heard you are the new leader for the Bishop Finlay Chapter, and Peg Averyt, who is Bishop Finlay’s granddaughter will speak at the September meeting.” Talk about God’s perfect  encouragement  and timing!

Peg did speak at our September meeting about her grandfather, for whom our chapter is named.  Always gracious and enthusiastic (traits inherited from her grandfather!) she ended her talk with an invitation for us to come into her home, which also had been his home  for our December meeting, which was a reception. Our December event was a festive, joyful  time for our chapter, clergy and other church members who elected to join us. Peg not only provided buttery oatmeal crisp cookies, tomato & cucumber tea sandwiches, heavenly ham biscuits, and lemonade, we had the opportunity to see the Bishop’s home, Peg’s art work, and learn more about Bishop Finlay’s life.

Tragically before Bishop Finlay was born, his parents lost five of their eight children to diphtheria.  God blessed his family by giving them an infant who would develop into a man with wonderful spiritual gifts.  Bishop Finlay was a quiet, simple man with the God-given ability to break down barriers, reach out to all and carry with him throughout his life a spirit of inclusiveness and a desire for social justice for all.

As the planning process evolved, Peg graciously told me to invite anyone from the church who might be interested in attending, including new-comers and clergy. Most days after a chat with Peg, I would think to myself, “No wonder, this Bishop was so dearly loved by the Trinity membership! I know Peg is just like him!”  I speak for the Bishop Finlay Chapter as I invite you to attend our spring picnic, our September and December meetings – any or all of them. You just have to be available to attend. All are welcome!

The Chapter historically has met on the second Monday night during the months September – May. This year we have moved to quarterly meetings. Ours is a group of warm, friendly women.  We are diverse in age, some work and some do not and we live all over the midlands. If you are available, and have the desire to attend even one of our meetings, please feel free to join us. We would love to have you with us. Please remember in the spirit of Peg’s grandfather, Bishop Finlay,  All are Welcome!

In closing, I would like to not only thank Peg publicly for her gracious, kindness to the Bishop Finlay Chapter, but I would like to share this definition of hospitality, “ Louis, chevalier de Jaucourt describes hospitality in the Encyclopédie as the virtue of a great soul that cares for the whole universe through the ties of humanity. “ 1

By Lee Hutson