Rev. Tom Tripp serves the parish on its Ministry team along with several outreach activities:
- Driver for the Threads of Hope Linen Pantry
- Coordinator of the parish’s Prison Ministry (Collins Christian Ministries)
- Co-leader with Deacon Joanne for our parish Refugee Ministry partnership with Journey’s End Refugee Services
- Coordinator and volunteer for our parish food ministry with University Presbyterian Church Food Pantry
- Member of Pastoral Visit Team for shut-ins
Deacon Tom has been a parishioner at St. Peter’s along with wife Lois since 1979, and was received into the Episcopal Church a year later. Formerly a science teacher and coach in the Amherst Central School System, Tom was called into diaconal service and ordained a deacon in 2007. He and Lois have three, adult, married, children- Bryan (Nicole), Kristen (Ray), and Jeffrey (Kelly), as well as three granddaughters (Lainey, Sienna, and Vivienne).
He carries out liturgical duties with Father Dan Pinti at St. Peter’s, and formerly served the Diocese of WNY as Archdeacon for five years. He is a member of the Diocesan Commission to Dismantle Racism.
Twice a year, St. Peter’s supports the efforts of Collins Christian Ministries in trying to bring the love of Jesus Christ to men in need. This is the 12th year we have participated.
Deacon Tom is a frequent Inside Team participant, and Missi Lopat has been a regular contributor to the Outside Team. Held once in the Fall, and once again in the Spring, the ecumenical retreat provides an effort to change the lives of prisoners for the better. This concerted Christian effort has proven to reduce the rate of recidivism for these prisoners.
There are also weekly Friday sessions, called “Groupings”, in which CCM members check in with the prisoners, and continue their support and guidance.
The Parish provides assistance and support through the following:
- Donations of cookies, muffins, and pies to feed the prisoners.
- The writing of cards and notes to provide personal encouragement, love, and hope for each prisoner attending the program.
- Children-created placemats that offer color and encouragement in an otherwise bleak environment.
- Personal prayers (assigned via a list) are welcomed for those going into prison to serve, to those outside that provide support, and for the incarcerated men themselves.
- Attend Holy Hour at Holy Spirit Church in North Collins, followed by the fence serenade, which is a vital part of the program.
- Actually, join the inside team (must be a male) to listen and share with the prisoners; or the outside team (any sex) to help cook, bake, or transport food and materials inside.
If you are interested in joining this ministry, please contact Deacon Tom or Missi Lopat: (716) 832-9764 or email@example.com.