by Susan Johnson
An ongoing series spotlighting the amazing individuals who make up the “we” in We Are All Saints.
Hearing Edna Trigg’s life story is not unlike spending an afternoon in Vroman’s Bookstore: each turn of a corner reveals a new and intriguing chapter.
In History there is the story of a woman who at age 27 learned that she was adopted. There is the story of a strong and tenacious grandmother, the first female African American doctor in Pasadena, a tremendously positive and strong influence on Edna’s life, the person who taught her the value of learning, of travel, and of standing up for what you believe. There is Edna the little girl who grew up in Pasadena schools populated by students of all hues and heritages. There are her parents who stood strong for this little girl, resisting the racism that was evident on family trips.
There is a Medical section in Edna’s life: at age 23 her neck was broken in an automobile accident, resulting in paralysis and later, in mobility challenges.
From the Travel section is her year in Europe, and later travel to Australia, Japan and Mexico.
Edna’s spiritual journey has been a theological echo, emerging from a Methodist tradition fostered by her grandmother at Scott Methodist Church in Pasadena. As can happen, she drifted from church attendance and later found the need to return to a place of worship and the responses that echoed from her childhood. She began attending First AME Pasadena where both she and her sons became immersed in the life of that congregation.
As a native of the city, Edna knew about All Saints. Her first visit though wasn’t until 20 years ago for a memorial service. She soon began attending services off and on.
One summer morning her older son sat up in bed and announced that he wanted to return to church – but not the church of her history. Taking this as a sign from God, Edna suggested they attend All Saints. Her then teenaged son stopped coming … but she signed up for new member classes.
Edna credits a Lenten group around Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy” book for being instrumental in leading her to become involved with the Racial Justice Ministry (COLORS), which is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary. She also co-chairs the new member classes, is part of the Black Women’s Affinity Group and is a Lay Counselor.
As is true of any great bookstore, Edna’s life story is full of treasures that invite staying longer and spending more time discovering.
“All Saints and the All Saints community have been lifelines over the last eight years,” Edna says, “and I’ve spent a great deal of time on campus and in the company of fellow members, many of whom have become close friends. Much like All Saints, I’m on a journey to increase awareness and address issues confronting the church, and to act on both with accountability and the sense of God’s grace.”
She is grateful for the path that led her here. And so are we.