Trinity Episcopal Church

345 Main Street

Portland, CT  06480

Holy Eucharist  9:30 am     

Church School  9:30 am 

Coffee Hour Follows the Service          

Phone: 860-342-0458

Email: trinitychurchportlandct@gmail.com

Office Hours:  Fri 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Member of the

Episcopal 

Church and the

worldwide Anglican

communion

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The Reverend Phil Bjornberg

The Reverend Philip Bjornberg is the relatively new pastor of Trinity Church, Portland; he was called in September, 2016 to serve as a missional transitional deacon-in-charge and was then ordained to the priesthood here on December 21, 2016, when he was 60. 

 

Phil is a "cradle Episcopalian" with a charismatic ministry shaped by a number of profound mystical spiritual experiences.  The first of three significant transformational events occurred on November 15th, 2003 when Phil entered the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous in the basement of an Episcopal church.  He says that is where he became part of a radically unorthodox gospel community that loved him unreservedly just when he felt most un-loveable. The second mystery was during a heart attack in 2006; while confronting his mortality in the supernatural peace of God’s assurance - "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you" - Phil heard "all life is lived in the present, I AM with you always, life is a gift to be cherished, not a problem to be solved."  But his most dramatic theophany came in 2009 at an Episcopal healing service.  Phil was about to receive communion, he remembers, "I felt absolute terror rise from the depths of my soul when the Lord invited me to truly abandon myself into a cloud of unknowing by asking me, 'Why don't you choose to believe?'  The question of why anyone would withhold anything from God finished forming in my mind and immediately, the veil between heaven and earth was lifted and I found myself caught up to the third heaven.  'Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows' (2 Cor. 12:2)."  Looking back on my experiences, I realize we humans are not so much afraid of dying as we are of never having really been.

 

That series of revelations sent him to Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. "I commuted almost three thousand miles between Connecticut and California for four years, renting an apartment on campus to attend most of my seminary classes in Pasadena and completing as many courses as possible online from home.  "I discerned a call to holy orders and was accepted as a postulant for ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut while still in seminary in California.  My graduation at Fuller in Pasadena in June 2014 - walking alongside over five hundred students from almost fifty countries - was for me an experience of the global incarnation of God's kingdom here on earth today." 

 

Father Phil's route to the priesthood was not direct; after an award winning career with a major aerospace company from 1979-2001, he created an owner-operated custom hardwood flooring installation and finishing company, Class A Floors, LLC.  Phil served as Chaplain for active duty military personnel and veterans with post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUD) at Stonington Institute from 2014-2016 and as recently as 2018, Rev. Phil bought a home on Main Street in Portland and became a founding director of Follow Me Home, Inc.  Follow Me Home is a non-profit corporation which promotes design thinking for social entrepreneurship in the development of intentional residential recovery community currently comprised of five non-blood-related men.

 

"In my Father's house there are many dwelling places...."

Jessie Karpf, Deacon

Rev. Jessie Karpf is a lifelong Connecticut resident.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Connecticut State University and graduated from the Province One School for Deacons in 2017.  She began her ordained ministry in 2018 as Trinity’s deacon.  She is married to her husband, Tom for over 25 years and mother to their adult daughter, Bernadette.  She believes we are all made in God’s image and loves finding new ways for all of God’s children to be in community.  In addition to having the privilege of serving as Trinity’s deacon, Jessie also works as a financial analyst at Nassau Re Insurance Company.  In her spare time she likes to spend time with friends and family and play board games.

Susan Beers, Organist and Choir Director

Susan Beers has been Trinity’s Music Director for over 30 years.  She is devoted to the church music tradition and works to incorporate traditional, contemporary, gospel, and historical resources into weekly services – always with sensitivity to the liturgical themes of the day and season.   On most Sundays, she is accompanied by her husband John on the trombone.

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