Articles About Our Search

A Letter from Father Ed

June 8, 2015

Dear Friends:

Twenty years ago Holy Trinity was in the midst of a search for its fourth vicar. As we know that search culminated in my accepting the call to be your new priest and pastor. 

This is probably one of the hardest letters I will ever have to write as I have to inform you that I have accepted a call to be the next rector of St. Luke’s in Metuchen, (yes that Metuchen). Having served you as pastor for nineteen years, you must know what a difficult decision this was for Gail and me. We have grown to love all of you and have come to truly cherish our time here. Wenonah was a great town in which to raise our children. In the back of my mind I promised myself that once Michael had begun high school I would stay put until Peter graduated, an event which took place in June of 2014. Now is a good time my life to be open to new challenges. I also believe that this is a good time for Holy Trinity to begin a new chapter in its history with a new set of “eyes and ears.”

You are a truly great congregation. We have accomplished much together. You have loved and embraced me as your pastor and Holy Trinity will always be the church that nurtured my children in the Christian faith. You have responded to my ministry in every way. I could not have asked for more. Although I am accepting another challenge, you will always be a part of my life, and I will always cherish every thought of my time and ministry with you. I can’t possibly thank you enough for all that you have meant to me as a priest and to my family as well.

I know that God has already called your next Rector and in the coming months you and that priest will discern that call as well. I know this place to be the kind of church any priest would be blessed to be called to. That priest will take up the reins here and that you will love and support him/her just as you have me. A new pastor will bring you new ideas and new perspectives, and you will find blessings in what he/she brings.

My last Sunday with you will be July 26. During my final weeks here, I will want to share as much time with you as possible. The Wardens are also writing to you with plans to celebrate our time together. While bringing closure to my ministry here will be difficult, I know I am surrounded by your love and prayers in this time of transition. Please know how very fortunate I feel to have shared my life and ministry with you. May God bless you and bless this church as you move forward to the next exciting chapter in this piece of God’s kingdom.

In Christ’s service,

Fr. Ed+


A Letter from the Wardens

June 8, 2015

Dear Members of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church,

We and our church are moving into a time of change.  The Rev. Ed Zelley has accepted a call to become the rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Metuchen, NJ.  His last Sunday with us will be July 26, 2015.  We are exceedingly grateful to him for his wonderful ministry to us for all of these years.  While we are sad to see him go, we are excited for him as he begins this new chapter in his and Gail’s lives.

Holy Trinity has been extremely lucky to have Father Ed for almost twenty years.  It does mean that we are somewhat out of practice in the changes involved in finding a new minister.  We will have to determine what we want (or don’t want) in a rector.  (Don’t worry: someone who can preach a six minute sermon is something we can definitely request!)  We will also need to think about where our church is today, and where we would like to see it go in the next few years.  Everyone will have an opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas.  Then a search committee will be called, and a profile of our church created.  Once that has been accomplished, we can begin to interview candidates for the position of our new rector.

In order to accomplish this search for a new minister, we will be in an interim period.  We will have an interim minister, who is trained in this kind of ministry, to help us through this time and get us accustomed to the concept of change.  We have been doing things in the same manner for many years now, and we need to allow ourselves the freedom of trying new things in order to be truly accepting of a new minister.  Ideally we can expect this interim period to take approximately 12 months.

Please do not worry.  Everything we do will not change, and those things that do change will not do so overnight.  As your wardens and with the assistance of our wonderful treasurer, sexton, secretary and organist, we will endeavor to maintain our church as competently and consistently as it is being run now.  You have a strong vestry who will support our church through this period of change.  The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey will guide us through our interim period and help us to discern what we want and need in a new rector.  Then, with the help of God and our search committee, we will find that person.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact either one of us, or any member of the vestry.  In the meantime, let us find a way to celebrate what Father Zelley has helped us to attain by moving forward in healthy, happy progress.  Let us also put together a wonderful celebration to thank him for his service!


Melissa Semmes-Thorne & Laurie Cimino

Wardens of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

Father Ed Tenders His Resignation

At a meeting of the Vestry on Monday, June 8, 2015, our Rector, the Reverend Edmund W. Zelley, tendered his resignation effective Friday, July 31, 2015. He explained to the Vestry that now his children are grown, he was in a good place to explore a change in his career. Also contributing to his decision is the fact that Holy Trinity is on a stable financial footing and has quality lay leadership which made him feel he wouldn’t be leaving us in the lurch.  He said he was in no way dissatisfied with his experience at Holy Trinity, but that after 20 years, it was time for a change, for him and Gail as well as for the congregation.

Father Ed has been offered and accepted the position of Rector of his childhood parish, Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Metuchen NJ. After some discussion, the Vestry unanimously voted to accept his resignation as well as wishing him well in his future endeavor. Fr. Ed’s will celebrate his last service with us on Sunday, July 26, 2015.

In the interim, the Vestry will be working with the diocese to develop a transition plan to begin our search for a new Rector. More will follow on that process in the near future.