The Rev. Jude Harmon takes the helm at Trinity Church in Menlo Park
Last month the Rev. Jude Harmon became the 19th rector of Trinity Church in Menlo Park following 10 years on the staff of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, where he was founding pastor of The SF Vine, Grace’s response to the conservative evangelical movement.
InMenlo visited with him about his vision for this new ministry.
Jude noted that the Parish Profile written as a guide for the rector search committee — think it as a kind of job description — sought candidates who would lead a progressive Christian church.
“We want to not only be known as progressive but to be a progressive church,” he said. “Part of how we do that is to signal to the wider community what our values are.
“In Jesus day the political and religious were deeply entwined. Our faith is not neutral. In matters of public policy, our faith is public faith. What that means is sometimes faith communities need to step out to support issues that directly bear on our values.”
Putting that thinking into action, the Trinity Vestry [the church’s governing body] voted to oppose Measure V on the November ballot. Trinity joins 50 other religious communities representing a variety of faith traditions who have signed a letter in opposition to this measure.
“I really feel strongly that church should serve as convener of conversation — a kind of town square,” said Jude. “Our worship should be designed in such a way to experience in our hearts the connection to God through the priorities and concerns of social and economic justice.”
“Our identity will be be centered on our neighbors who are about in the world,” he said. “We as a community want to make a community.”
On a recent Sunday that community extended to family pets who were blessed as part of the celebration of the Feast of St. Francis.
Trinity has Sunday services at 8:00 am and 10:00 am, which can be live streamed or attended in person. The church is located 330 Ravenswood Avenue, corner of Laurel.
Top two photos by Robb Most; bottom photo by Linda Hubbard (c) 2022