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Sunday Services at 8:30 and 11:15
 
Seeking the renewal of all things through Jesus Christ

Trinity Together | July 2015

News for 07.06.15
07.06.15
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It May be Summer but Student Ministry is Not Slowing Down

By Michael Hall, Pastor for Students

I am often asked if the Student Ministry takes a breather in the summer while families travel and students are busy with various camps and part-time jobs. I love that question because it gives me an opportunity to share not only about summer but also about the Student Ministry as a whole:

By God’s grace and for His glory we want to impact our community and the world by raising up countless middle and high school students who are transformed by the Gospel and eager to serve others in word and deed. We seek to accomplish this by fostering a community of growing relationships in which we experience spiritual growth opportunities in worship, discipleship, outreach, mercy/service, and fellowship. We believe that it’s through these opportunities that we will become a community that shares in God’s renewal of all things—our relationship with God, ourselves, others, and the world—through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A high point so far this summer was our recent trip with many middle schoolers and leaders to The EDGE Conference which took place late June on the campus of Covenant College near Chattanooga. In many ways, our week away together highlighted all that our StuMin is about. We were blessed by rich Bible teaching and worship, grew closer to Jesus and one another in small groups, and experienced the mighty work of the Holy Spirit seeing many students profess faith for the first time. Rev. Andy Lewis of Greenville, SC did a great job of teaching creation, fall, redemption, and restoration to 700+ middle schoolers in four talks! The Wayne Kerr Band engaged us in memorable ways through prayer and singing… not to mention lots of jumping! While at the EDGE we also spent a day whitewater rafting, we played in fountains at Coolidge Park, competed in various tournaments, and hung out atop Sunset Rock. Reflecting on the week one middle school boy enthusiastically shared, “It was so awesome to see so many kids become Christians at one time!” An EDGE parent shared after the trip, “My daughter said that The EDGE was the best worship and Bible teaching time in her life!”

Later this summer, our high school students will head to the beautiful Northbay Adventure Camp on the Chesapeake Bay for RYM’s Mid-Atlantic conference. The main teaching theme for the conference will be Abiding in Christ and we already have a great group signed up to go. Please pray God meets us by the bay and changes lives! Through many years of ministry with students, God has a unique way of “catching our attention” while away on retreats and conferences.

In addition to these incredible summer conferences for students, we are continuing to meet on Sunday mornings and are spending the summer looking at difficult questions asked of Christianity; Is it wrong to doubt God? Can I trust the Bible? Is Hell real? Students and parents are sharing that these lessons have been helpful in starting great conversations at home. Also happening through the summer is STAT! - Summer Tuesdays at Trinity - where we meet weekly for building community through activities such as hikes, backyard parties, pool parties, and days at the lake days. Students and leaders can just show up, have some fun, and stay connected over the summer amidst busy schedules. Later in July we’ll partner with area churches for a service project. The summer calendar wraps up in early August with a day floating down the James River.

Looking ahead a bit, though it’s July, we are actively making plans for another great school year together in ministry. One favorite for middle schoolers is the annual fall retreat—Modgnik. This year Modgnik will come quickly after school starts on the weekend of September 11-13. That means we’ll open registration while summer is still in full swing. Be sure to mark your calendar for Modgnik and stay tuned for registration information to arrive in coming weeks. While you are marking your calendar, be sure to set apart November 6-8 for high school’s Mountain Weekend retreat.

Healthy and sustainable student ministry is about creating space for adults and students to share life one with another, making the Gospel clear and keeping Jesus front and center. Our Father in heaven accomplishes so much each year because of the men and women of Trinity (& Hope) who volunteer their time and energy to shepherd our students- to all of you; thank you! All of our volunteers, along with the Fellows who join us each fall, are a gift from the Lord. If you, or someone you know, would be a blessing to the StuMin please email me and I’ll be in touch. For any other questions about StuMin be sure to visit our webpage.

Planning for Trinity's Next 40 Years

BY Drew Field, Executive Pastor

Trinity as a congregation is embarking on a long-term Strategic Planning process throughout this summer and fall. This effort is being directed organizationally and administratively by new Director of Operations Nicole Fleming and I, but will truly be the work of us all. The hope is to complete a broad five-year plan with a matching one-year set of goals by November to inform our ministry and budgetary plans for 2016 and beyond. The process will include input points for everyone at Trinity—from officers to leadership teams to members and even visitors. It’s an important way for us to be listening to one another. The following article is a preview of the strategic planning process we are undertaking and will provide a framework for your involvement.

Why do strategic planning?

Carefully planning ahead five or more years allows organizations to discern priorities as it helps choose between dozens of potentially good ideas; to pick the best things for that group to do, at the right time, in the right order, with the resources that they have, for the most fruitful results.

Churches are precisely the kind of communities that benefit from a careful strategic planning process. Most churches instinctively know what they ought to do in general: worship Christ, grow together, care for one another, and serve in mission to neighbors and the world.

The unique character of an individual church is often accidental (“it’s just the way we do it”) instead of deliberate (“we do that because we’ve prayerfully discerned our mission”). Since every church is different—context, people, emphasis, theological core, gifts, size, resources, history, culture, passions—they express their ministry differently. The difficulty comes in choosing the particular way that a church seeks to serve in ministry together.

No one thinks a church filled with walls of planning charts and detailed checklists is necessarily more holy or faithful. God is the sole head of His church, and He grants his favor and power as He sees fit. Lots of totally chaotic churches have great power and grace—think Corinth. Lots of hyper-organized churches are coldly static—think Laodicea.

A vibrant church that thinks ahead, however, is usually more fruitful over several decades. Why? Because it stewards resources toward their best use and directs people to serve together. It says ‘yes’ to great areas of ministry and ‘no’ to many good areas of ministry, with the hope that these choices honor God’s call for their life together.

Our hopes for the strategic planning process

We enter this process seeking direction and answers to big questions in many areas of our life as a church. Some of the types of questions we hope to answer together through this process include: Why do we pick certain ministries to support? How do we know when a ministry has run its course and is better done a different way? What’s the result of investing deeply in a particular ministry? How do we let people know where their spiritual gifts can be used? Who decides if we should start a new ministry to a new group of people?

Through gaining invaluable input from the congregation, we hope for leadership teams to propose to the elders specific policies, annual goals, budgets, and ministry leadership requirements for their area of ministry so that the Session and each respective Leadership Team are in agreement with their approach.

Who is leading the strategic planning process?

We’ve all experienced this: Planning to do things is only half the struggle in actually accomplishing results. One step toward turning hopes into action here at Trinity is setting up a careful structure of leadership. Trinity enjoys a wide range of ministries and a great history of creative service. Hundreds of people share ministry together. We want to improve that history of ministry and the way that Trinity cares for those who serve, how we link together, and what lasting impact we have.

In order to support our ministries and allow them to grow, we’re clarifying the five main Leadership Teams with consistent patterns of approach. The five teams are: Worship, Spiritual Formation, Community + Care, Local Missions, and World Missions. All the ministries of Trinity fit inside these five areas (with the exception of the leadership/support areas that belong to the Session or Diaconate).

Each Leadership Team will be made up of co-chairs (usually a staff person and an elder), and a team of lay leaders who serve in three-year rotations. They will each meet about ten times per year and be responsible for the ministry teams under their oversight.

We hope that each Leadership Team will be fully formed by this fall in order to begin developing short term and long term ministry plans for their area. The Leadership Teams will not only enable those plans to happen, but evaluate how well ministries are going. They will report to the Session and the whole church on a quarterly basis starting in 2016, making widely accessible the highlights, plans, and questions within their ministry areas.

These teams are not yet fully created, with approved charters and policies, but they are headed toward activation by fall, at which time team rosters of all leadership and ministry team members will be available to all. Pray for wisdom and energy so that we may better fulfill our calling together.

How you can be involved in the strategic planning process

Next month I will write specifically about the part that everyone has in this process of moving Trinity toward its second 40 years. We are eager for you to engage with this process, providing feedback and insight, as we long for this to be truly the work of our entire church family.

June MEETING NOTES

Full Session Meeting, June 11, 2015

In June the full Session met and and after welcoming visitors and praying for the congregation and ministries of the church, time was spent on two major areas; processing officer changes and preparing for the strategic planning process.

The Session processed the common administrative actions of approving minutes, receiving and releasing members, and listening to an update from the ongoing national General Assembly of the PCA. Pastor Drew Field, elder Bill Porter, and Drew Trotter attended this year’s General Assembly in Chattanooga.

First, several elder and deacon changes were processed. The Session welcomed Bob Byrne for the first time, pending his ordination and installation. Jack Taggart’s request for resignation from the Session was approved with gratitude for his years of service at Trinity. Dave Archer’s and Nick Carter’s resignation requests were both deferred pending follow-up. John Cunningham’s call was released so that he could pursue a transfer of his ordination to a new Presbytery after his move. Two letters from deacons, Mark Zollinhofer and Bob Reynolds, were discussed and responded to. The annual change in elders on committees was deferred temporarily to give the REOC (see below) more time to assign elders.

Second, the elders (and in this case, guests as well) spent over an hour preparing for the strategic planning process by moving to a different room and participating in an evaluative discussion. All participants wrote their impression of the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing Trinity as a tool to gain clarity about what the ministry priorities of our church ought be for our next stage. The Session will gather more detailed information from the congregation later in the summer, with the hope that all who are interested can participate in the planning process. The Session deeply desires to hear from as many people as possible during this time of prayerfully coming to the Lord for guidance.

Next Meeting: Thursday, July 30, 7:00PM in room 201 as a Full Session meeting.

Questions? Email: session@trinitycville.org


Session FAQ

What is the REOC and what do they do?

The REOC stands for the Ruling Elder Oversight Committee. Essentially, it’s a committee made up of elders who oversee the care and work of the entire Session. They meet with elders to see how they are doing, assign elders to various committees, handle requests for changes in status or sabbaticals, and intervene if necessary in a conflict.

 

This is a new addition to Trinity Together! Going forward, in each publication look for a short article about one or more of our officers. Click here for a complete list of Trinity officers.

Elder Michael Guthrie

Ruling Elder Michael Guthrie came to faith on a Young Life weekend when he was a sophomore in high school. He and his wife, Dottie, met as UVa students, and after graduation, Michael served as Charlottesville Young Life director. They began attending a very fledgling Trinity Church when it was first meeting at the Wesley Foundation and UVa’s Baptist Student Union.

In 1983 the Guthries moved to Reston in northern Virginia, where Michael started his career in real estate and they raised their son and two daughters. He served as an elder at McLean Presbyterian and ran the Men’s Fellowship. The Guthries returned to Charlottesville in 2005 and live in the North Parish.

Since 2011 Michael has served Trinity as a Ruling Elder, and he has been on the Session’s Personnel Committee for four years. He has found it exceptionally challenging balancing both staffing needs and Trinity’s budget. Decisions have not been easy as they impact people’s lives, but he truly believes those who serve on this committee have tried to honor the Lord in every decision. Michael and Dottie have been asked to lead a new Hospitality effort, which he hopes will help everyone who walks through our doors to feel known and cared for.

Broker and CEO of Roy Wheeler Realty Company, Michael is an avid supporter of UVA 
athletics, giving him the opportunity to mentor coaches and athletes. Dottie enjoys mentoring young women, handcrafting, and cooking. She would like us all to know how devoted her husband is to our church and how seriously he views his call as an Elder.

Dottie and Michael describe their second time around in Charlottesville and at Trinity as their “long-hoped-for” return home. Michael would love to get to know (or hear from) more of Trinity’s members and invites you to contact him at 434.227.9118 (c), or 434.245.0186 (h).

Deacon Ryan Feaver

Asheville native Ryan Feaver and his wife, Natalie, each moved to Charlottesville ten years ago to attend graduate school at UVa, he in biomedical engineering and she in architecture. They met through a mutual friend, have now been married for seven years, and are the parents of  2½-year-old daughter Eden.

Ryan first got involved at Trinity by joining the mercy team and chairing the West Parish leadership team. He has been as a deacon since 2011 and now serves as chair of the Mercy Committee. As a Deacon his most important job is mobilizing and assisting those who are willing to serve but don’t know where to plug in. He hopes Trinity will find more concrete ways for people to engage in relational ministries, especially those that serve the poor. He is particularly excited about Jobs for Life and the recently started training class for CNAs.

Ryan works as a progam leader at HemoShear Therapeutics, where they are striving to 
better understand disease mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities for fatty liver disease and rare genetic conditions. When not working or serving Trinity, you can find him enjoying time with Eden at Greenleaf Park, playing basketball at the UVa Aquatic Fitness Center, or watching college basketball.  Of his split allegiance between UVa and 
Duke—he says, “It is possible!”

Natalie divides her time between work as an architect and mom of a busy toddler. She 
also enjoys book club, park play-dates, Zumba, and making artful things.

Ryan and Natalie now live in the City Parish. In Trinity they have found a family that has 
cared for them well, a place of good friendships, and teaching that has deepened their 
appreciation for the comprehensiveness of the Gospel.

June 2015

Here is our year-to-date giving graph. Giving is only part of the story, however. Trinity's current "operating cash*" going into the summer is extremely low, only $120,000. Last year, we were close to $360,000 at this time. This is the balance needed to carry ministry through the rest of the year until the December giving boost. It has dropped due to cumulative small losses over the past few years and one-time charges to facilities and severances. Please prayerfully consider an extra gift in the next few weeks to keep Trinity financially healthy.

(*Note: Free operating cash includes funds available for ordinary uses that aren't designated by donors for a particular purpose.)

 

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Monday, July 27 - Friday, July 31 : Vacation Bible School
Locust Grove Neighborhood, 9:30–11:00am
Highland Creek Neighborhood, 9:30–11:00am
Fifeville Neighborhood, 5:00–6:30pm
Email Elizabeth O'Donnell for information.

Thursday, July 30: Full Session Meeting, 7:00pm at Trinity, room 201.
Email session@trinitycville.org

Saturday, August 1: Family Fun Night at Trinity, 6:30–8:00pm. We will have an inflatable slide with a kiddie pool, face painting, and popsicles! Anyone is welcome to come. Please invite neighbors and friends!

Sunday, August 2: John and Susan Cunningham Sendoff, service at Trinity 4:30pm, party at Kings' farm 8:00pm. Email jscthanks@trinitycville.org to submit a message, memory or story for the Cunninghams.