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Seeking the renewal of all things through Jesus Christ

Trinity Together | May 2015

News for 05.04.15
05.04.15
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LOOKING TO OUR LITTLE ONES TO LEARN HOW TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS

BY Elizabeth O'Donnell, Director of Children's Ministry

Those of you who have children or have spent much time around them can recall moments when you have been forced to pause in sheer wonder at their remarkable abilities. Like the time when you made bread with three little helpers in the kitchen and had no idea how many nooks and crevices in your kitchen could be covered in flour! Or the moment when you turned your back to your four-year-old only to discover that they possessed the power of miraculously vanishing! Of course, all joking aside, there are also moments when a child has uttered a truth so simple and sincere that you were left humbled. Just a few weeks ago, one of our precious little ones in Children’s Worship answered my question as to how our art can be worship by saying, “God loves us and loves to see the beautiful things we create.” A child’s perspective on life is unique—and it is something that Jesus Himself has told us to consider. As we prepare for this summer’s Backyard VBS program, I think it is helpful to reflect on how the very childishness of children creates remarkable opportunities for outreach.

Stop for a moment to consider some of the potential challenges that would exist for you to ask an adult non-Christian friend to join you any sort of church event—the heart barriers, the mental filters, the history of hurts and grievances, the calluses that have built up over years. Now picture a child inviting a friend to VBS. Not only do children not encounter the same barriers in asking friends to come, but the children who come do not, generally, face the same obstacles. God has miraculously gifted children with open hearts, open minds, and an incredible capacity for learning. For us this means that we have a truly remarkable opportunity this summer to sow seeds of the Gospel into little hearts and lives.

As just one example, a part of our VBS program will include learning a different Bible memory verse each day—all related to the theme of faith—and we will learn a song for each one. I don’t know about you, but I can still remember the songs I learned as a young girl. Sending a child home with a mouth full of God’s word is sending them home with a heart full of seeds. The Bible says that God’s word is “living and active” and does not go out without accomplishing His purpose. Therefore we can have full confidence in the Holy Spirit’s ability to use the words that have been sown, even in months and years to come.

Because of this, we are eager and excited to extend our opportunity for neighborhood outreach through our Backyard VBS program this summer. Our desire is that this outreach would be an extension of our church body. First, we are asking you to faithfully commit to praying for our Backyard VBS programs this summer—that God would cause these seeds to take root and bear fruit. VBS will take place in eight different locations around our city this summer with each club hopefully drawing a large number of children from the neighborhood. You can go to our website to see the map with the general location, dates, and time so you can be praying for the VBS in your area and for each VBS as it is happening.

Second, God has so graciously provided all the host homes and most of the volunteers and teachers we need, but we are still looking for some volunteers to lead the music time with hand motions (we will provide music CDs, so the leader can just sing along). We are also looking for volunteers to provide adult supervision/host support on one or more days of the week (this includes helping with games, sitting with children, helping with cleanup afterward, etc.). If your schedule or situation does not allow for you to actually be present at a VBS, you can contribute by buying a snack and dropping it off at the host’s home. If you are interested in serving in any of the ways above mentioned please email elizabeth.sumrall@trinitycville.org.

If you have worked with children before, I am sure you know it is often the case that they teach us more than we teach them. Let us then learn from our little ones this summer as we watch them live out what it means to show hospitality to their neighbors and welcome them in their homes. Let it stir hope in our hearts that in the midst of a world that is jaded and broken, where it is easy for us to be cynical, God is sowing seeds in the rich and fertile soil of precious little hearts. Please join us in watching with eager expectation to see how God works through Backyard VBS this summer!

Introducing Nicole Fleming, New Director of Operations

BY Greg Thompson, Senior Pastor

I hope that you’re well this Easter season and rejoicing in these days of warm blooming. As we move toward summer, we are beginning a series of new communication initiatives at Trinity. The hope of these initiatives is for you all to have a clearer sense of the many things happening in our church community and of how we might labor more effectively at life together.

Today I want to tell you about something that is, to my mind, one of the most promising developments among our staff. Most of you know that the past few months have been difficult as we have struggled to staff in such a way that balances financial resources with congregational needs. During this process (and thanks in large measure to your feedback), it became clear to us that we needed to continue to improve our organization and communication. Improvements were needed to serve our ministries and communicate between the leadership and the congregation.

One piece of our staff restructuring has been reorganizing administrative staff around positions of functionality. With these changes, we hope to make clear who to now go to with questions regarding scheduling, signing up for various activities, need for assistance, ways to get involved with or just generally learn more about certain ministries. 

As another part of our staff restructuring, we are grateful for the opportunity to move Nicole Fleming into the new role of Director for Operations. As some of you know, Nicole was serving ably as administrative support for our spiritual formation, congregational care, and counseling ministries. As significant as her effectiveness in that role was, her gifts for larger organizational leadership were even more significant, and we are thankful that she has agreed to serve our body in this way. Nicole Fleming

As she steps into this new role, her responsibilities will be three-fold. First, she will work directly alongside Drew Field  to coordinate our department heads, pastors, ministry directors, and leadership teams toward systems of  faithful and fruitful ministry. Second, she will lead our team of administrative staff (Joyce Field, Yolanda Monett, Frances Shaw, Hilary Swinson, and Mary Wilson) as they work to provide effective support to our congregation. Third, she will be responsible for the development and implementation of special projects in response to congregational need, such as a comprehensive communication plan that will be implemented this year.

I am deeply thankful for Nicole’s partnership with us for many reasons, but I want to draw your attention to two. First, she is a woman of enormous personal virtue and an evident ministry mindset. As I have seen her work over the past year, I have been instructed by the wisdom and attentiveness with which she carries out her work. Second, she is a woman of great skill in both strategic planning and organizational leadership. Because of this, it is my expectation that each of you—and all of us together—will benefit from the improvements to communication and ministry cohesion that she will bring.

For these reasons it is both a pleasure to work alongside her with and for you, and to introduce you to her now. Please greet her with warmth, gratitude, respect, and joy.

May 2015

This graph is a simple summary of Trinity's current giving status and is an attempt by the Finance Committee to give you several important facts on a monthly basis. The whole bar represents the giving planned for 2015 of $2,270,000, with the red section representing year-to-date giving through April. For comparison, we have the year-to-date expenses (which normally exceed giving through November) and the year-to-date anticipated giving. Ideally, actual giving is at or above either of those lines. As of the end of April, Trinity is roughly $9,000 behind where we targeted our giving. Thank you for your generous support, which exceeds $600,000 so far. Please continue your steady and generous commitment to the ministries at Trinity as we head into the summer months filled with travel (and often lower giving).

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS THIS MONTH

Tuesday, May 5: Leadership Community Gathering, 6:30-8:30pm at Trinity.
Email Nicole Fleming

Tuesday, May 12: Dessert with leaders of China Partnership, 7:30pm. Email Kevin Sawyer

Wednesday, May 13: Fellows Banquet, 5:30pm at Trinity. Email Dennis Doran

Wednesday, May 20: "His Little Feet" International Children's Choir, email Elizabeth O'Donnell

 

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