More than 120 women dressed in their finest attire gathered in the dining hall of Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge on Wednesday to enjoy the sixth annual Women's Tea.
Patterned on a traditional English tea, the event included musical entertainment by a harpist, gifts for the guests and plenty of tea and refreshments such as tartlets, crepes, sandwiches and scones.
The goal is to raise funds for Trinity’s Future Leaders Scholarship Fund.
Cathy Terry, the organizer, said continued support through the tea events has raised more than $120,000 for Trinity’s Future Leaders Scholarship Fund, which is the ultimate goal of the event.
Terry said Wednesday’s tea had the largest attendance, which included guests from different churches in the area. Male faculty, staff and a student also participated as servers.
“I think it was a huge success,” said Terry, whose husband is the dean and president. “To see every table seated….I’m very grateful for all of the people involved.”
Each year, Trinity raises $500,000 to provide need-based scholarships to its students, who come from around the world to attend. Scholarships enable students to gain seminary training while minimizing the amount of debt incurred during their time in school.
Gretchen Sosnowski, a speaker at the tea, said she and her husband Jamie will both graduate this summer, an accomplishment that might not have been possible if not for Trinity’s scholarships, she said.
Started in 1976, Trinity School for Ministry is an evangelical seminary in the Anglican tradition.
The Very Rev. Justyn Terry, dean and president, said 1,100 graduates have gone on from Trinity to serve in ministries in the United States and around the world. About 200 students are currently pursuing master’s and doctorate degrees or certificates, he said.
Sarah Hall, an alumni who graduated from Trinity in 2001, went to England to pursue her doctorate in Old Testament. Hall returned to Ambridge when her husband, John, became a seminary student. Thanks to the scholarship program, he is able to attend without the stressful burden of debt and worry.
"We heard about the scholarship that was available through Trinity and it was as though the heavens had parted. It was just the Lord's way forward for us. It was a life-changing gift."
Carol Nix of Sewickley, who has attended all six tea events, said she thought the presentation—everything from the program to the decorations—was beautifully executed.
“I am English, and I have made English teas, but this was just the acumen of excellence," she said. "We had a great time.”
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