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Session Announcement and Invitation to a Town Hall on May 3

News for 04.27.15
04.27.15
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Dear Trinity Congregation,

Greetings from the Elders of Trinity Church. We’re writing with some important news regarding some changes in the responsibilities of our Senior Pastor, Greg Thompson.

When our church first called Greg nearly nine years ago, we did so knowing that he understood his work in terms of being a “pastor-scholar.” And while all of us (including Greg) were unclear about what this would finally come to mean, we committed ourselves to exploring this together.

For the past eight years, this has largely meant that Greg has simultaneously served as Trinity Church’s Senior Pastor while pursuing a PhD in Theology, Ethics, and Culture at the University of Virginia. After nearly a decade of laboring toward this goal, we are happy to say that Greg completed his dissertation defense on April 15 and will graduate from UVA in a few weeks’ time. This is the end of a long chapter for Greg, and we’re celebrating with him in this.

During the past year, as we looked toward this moment, we began to have a number of earnest conversations about the future shape of Greg’s “pastor-scholar” calling among us. These conversations were largely precipitated by the fact that New City Commons, a Christian educational organization that Greg helped to develop over the past few years, asked him to serve as its Executive Director. In response to this Greg came to us and expressed his intention to do this, but also his deep desire to do so while remaining Senior Pastor of our church.

Over the past months Greg and the Session have had many conversations about the wisdom of this venture, about both the challenges and the opportunities that it entails. But after much deliberation, we have agreed to explore this partnership together. Consequently, the Session has agreed that—for the next two years—Greg will be permitted to serve both as Senior Pastor of Trinity Church and as the Executive Director of New City Commons.

Our reasons for this are these: first, the work of New City Commons is to develop educational resources of the highest possible quality for equipping pastors, churches, and networks of Christians for the task of bearing witness to Christ in the midst of our time.

This seems to reflect the work that Greg has been doing among us and for which he is uniquely gifted. In other words, we are willing to explore this arrangement because we believe it is an expression of who Greg is.

Second, we are deeply committed to the spiritual well-being of this congregation. We believe that this work can be of benefit both to our church and to the church at large. And while we do not yet fully know all that this will mean, it is the opportunity to bless the church that leads us to undertake this venture together.

Because this is a new venture and much remains to be explored, we have decided to do the following:

  1. The Session has focused Greg’s Senior Pastor job at Trinity to three critical tasks: leading our church in long-term vision, preaching and teaching God’s Word, and offering pastoral care focused on our staff and congregational leaders.

  2. The Session has set up a regular process for evaluating the ongoing benefits of this to Trinity, Greg, and his family.

  3. The Session will host a town hall–style meeting at Trinity at 5:00PM on May 3 to hear your thoughts, hopes, and concerns. Nursery will be provided. If you have any input in the meantime, please contact the Session’s communication team at session@trinitycville.org, and we will be happy to engage you as fully as we are able.

Please pray for us as we seek—with you—to nurture Trinity more fully into the image of what our Lord has called us to be: a missionary congregation in a secular age seeking the renewal of all things through Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace.
Trinity Presbyterian Church Session