Ministry Moment: Barbara Hermes

Trinity Cathedral Stewardship Logo 2019

Barbara Hermes

Photo by Ginger Bitikofer

Barbara Hermes

Over the past year, the Stewardship Committee moved to a more complete vision of stewardship, including a focus on nurturing members’ gifts of time and talent and celebrating their impact through Trinity’s ministries. Ministry Moments such as last Sunday’s talk from Barbara Hermes are a part of that effort. 

Listen and read along.


April 7, 2019

My name is Barbara Hermes, Rudi and I have been members here at Trinity since 1963, that would be 56 years. And we don’t like it here. Oops — let me revise that just a little, we like it here very much. Since 1963 Trinity has been our spiritual home.

It started when Rudi and I decided to get married. We discovered that there were some obstacles. One of us was Catholic and one of us was Lutheran. A wise Religion Professor suggested that we try Trinity Cathedral as a compromise.

And so we came to visit. At the Eucharist, Dean Loegler said: “We invite all baptized Christians to the table.” to our amazement, that included both of us. We kept coming back and then were married here, at the high altar on April 20th in 1963. Trinity was now our church home.

In time we baptized both our sons, Martin and Lukas here, and our bond with Trinity strengthened. They were active in Sunday School, as acolytes, and in Youth Group. A few years later two of our grandchildren, Abby and Sam, were baptized here also. And it pleases me that their Christian values are shaped by their participation here at Trinity.

All of that feels very important to me, and it gives me strong ties to Trinity. But as I reflect, I believe one of the most important reasons for my continued commitment to Trinity is the acceptance by the congregation of everyone that arrives at Trinity’s door. We call it radical hospitality. The other is the continuing quest for social justice. That has been a part of Trinity all along, and it allowed me to expand and grow in my faith.

In the early 70’s there was a program in the basement of Trinity that was the Comarts Center, where neighborhood children of all ages came for an afternoon of arts and crafts projects. I volunteered there, and brought my young children, to learn first hand about some of the difficulties these children from the “projects” had to face.

  • I was able to participate in workshops and conferences that allowed me to learn about Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement from a young man who had participated in one of the marches.
  •  I learned about the struggles and pains of David, a gay man, who was losing his partner to aids.
  •  I learned that racism was very much alive when Alex Hailey came to speak about his autobiography of Malcolm X, and his search for African American ancestry, which became his acclaimed TV series “Roots.” As we listened to Mr. Hayley in Cathedral Hall, a call came in with a bomb threat. We had to evacuate. It turned out to be false but gave us all a chill that racism had come to our doors.
  • I learned what a lovely woman Rosemary was, despite her outlandish dress and heavy makeup. She was a transgender woman who staffed our front desk for several years.
  •  I was very proud that Trinity hosted Desmond Tutu when controversy raged in South Africa, and Barbara Harris, and other woman priests when women priests were still quite controversial.
  •  I learned about Islam from the Imam who was invited to speak at a forum.
  •  I am so pleased that we use inclusive language in our liturgy.
  •  Trinity’s advocacy for the environment, for prisoner’s rights, for women’s rights and rights for all people, allows me to continue to grow in my faith journey.

I am pleased to be here among all of you. You are wonderful people. I am proud to be one of your fellow parishioners.