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Trinity Together | October 2017

News for 10.09.17
10.09.17
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October 2017 header

A MONTHLY LOOK AT our life with God,
one another, and our neighbors

Ministry Spotlight

church reformed: 500 years after the divide
a faith seeking understanding forum

Part of Trinity’s mission is to be “a community seeking to share in God’s renewal of all things.” Our Triune God is one God in three persons—unity is at the core of His being—but the global Church is many bodies in many buildings. Renewal includes the unity of God’s people into one body (1 Corinthians 10:17). Five hundred years ago Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation, his effort to reform the Roman Catholic Church. This led to the creation of Protestantism and its host of denominations, including the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), of which Trinity is a part.

While we celebrate what Protestants believe was a closer alignment to biblical orthodoxy, we can also mourn the loss of unity that came when Protestants divided from Catholics. How do we resume Luther’s original motive of reformation without division? What is the future and obligation of a church that is divided under denomination but “one body in Christ” (Romans 12:5)?

Unity is not just agreement on doctrine—it’s an attitude of humility and a practice of grace that can be present despite certain forms of division. Again, we are “one body in Christ,” one body that is saved by grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8).

For the next Faith Seeking Understanding Forum, Church Reformed: 500 Years after the Divide, Trinity will host one of our former pastors, John Cunningham, who will focus on helping Trinity and others in Charlottesville consider the following:

  • History: Clarity on what the Reformation was and wasn’t

  • Perspective: A humble balance between celebrating and mourning the Reformation

  • Action: Direction on where we are now and our responsibility to create future unity

“The righteous shall live by faith” was the cornerstone of the Reformation and the doctrine of justification by faith (Romans 1:17). Different groups within Christianity debate the interpretation of this verse and its practical implications, but we desire unity as “one body in Christ.” To paraphrase Martin Luther, here we humbly stand. We cannot do otherwise. God help us. Amen.

Click here for schedule, details, and registration.

Desk

Event-planning at trinity: a new manual to help

BY SAM HEATH

This past summer my wife, Rachel, and I discovered two things about Trinity.

First, that Trinity staff are incredible at planning events. The staff members are gracious, efficient, and creative. Their events are exciting, helpful, and engaging.

Second, that those of us who are not staff have a hard time navigating the what-only-feels-like-but-may-not-actually-be-Byzantine process of planning an event at Trinity. Rachel and I help to plan Trinity’s Faith Seeking Understanding Forums and, after our first one, we decided to try to write down some of our discoveries.

The result is a Google Doc we’ve entitled the Trinity Event Planning Manual. You can click here to view it. Our hope is that this document will be useful for a number of different kinds of events at Trinity that you might need to organize. The manual walks through the planning process from before the event to during the event to after the event. We chose to make it a Google Doc so that the Manual can be edited often and easily, as processes and staff can change.

Please make use of it and pass it around!

Session Summary

session summary: september

BY elder bill cassidy, clerk of session

Our regular meeting on September 14 was graced by a large gathering of guests, most of whom had come out of interest in one particular agenda item (more below). Did you know that you are welcome to come to any Session meeting? You are, so mark your calendars! We meet at 7pm on the 2nd Thursday of most months, and we’d love to see you.

Pastor Todd Johnson (Hope Crozet) led a discussion of the PCA Study Report on Women in Ministry, a product of the last General Assembly. He provided a helpful summary of the 60+-page report, urging us to “expand our imagining of the role of women at Trinity.” Following the discussion we agreed to hold a future discussion of whether there are areas in which Trinity and its connected churches should make any additional changes to give women more room to flourish within the bounds of what this Session sees declared in God’s Word and in the Book of Church Order. The date of this discussion is to be determined.

Jessica Robinson reported from Chapter. She spoke about feedback from the September 3 meeting for the congregation. We had hoped the meeting would bring clarity and understanding about the purpose and workings of Chapter, and it was Jessica’s sense that it had. She also spoke of how the practice of the Rule by Chapter had been fruitful in their lives. Finally, she reported that Walter Kim had begun moderating Chapter.

Elder David Turner brought us a letter from the Pastor Search Committee (which he chairs) outlining the committee’s thinking about possibly suspending temporarily the activities of the committee until Walter Kim’s status with the Presbytery is clear. We approved the wisdom of this, and the committee will next take their request to the congregation for approval. Date TBD.

Elder Tom Nolan asked us to publicly mention and pray for the upcoming Pregnancy Center Banquet in the broad context of support for the Sanctity of Human Life, which we did during the September 17 worship services. The Pregnancy Center has received support from Trinity for many years. We also decided to, as a church, help organize and support a larger community event for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, January 21, 2018.

Finally (the particular agenda item noted above) Elder Sam Heath and Pastor Joe Magri made brief statements concerning their experience of the civic protests and disturbances that occurred in Charlottesville in mid-August, and about a document called The Charlottesville Declaration, written by the Reformed African American Network. Sam then brought a motion that the Session collectively sign the declaration and inform the congregation that it had done so. Considerable discussion of the motion ensued, with many attempts to find common ground. Following the Session’s discussion, many guests contributed their thoughts. When the vote was taken on the original motion, it was defeated. There was a general sense that these matters of great concern require more attention before thoughtful action is taken.

Have a question about our Session? Email session@trinitycville.org.

Financial Update TT 2017

generous givers and a need to continue

by Stu Scott, Finance Committee Chairman

At the end of September, our year-to-date (YTD) contributions were $1,504,314, which tracks 6.9% above 2016 YTD giving ($96,799). This is great news, but it also raises a yellow flag. Relative to giving trends for the last eight years, we're about 5% down (-$71,111). We'll need to continue to increase our generous giving in order to finish strong for 2017.

new officers for trinity

Last month 12 men at Trinity began preparation for the possibility of being elected by the congregation and ordained as deacons and elders next summer. They are among a larger group nominated in May by multiple church members. After a summer of prayer and discussion with a current officer, these 12 felt they were being called to begin the formal discernment and training process this year as arranged by Trinity’s Officer Development Ministry Team. The 12 officer nominees are Frank Berry, Dan Goodall, Jon Goodall, Keegan Gumbs, Bobby Jenkins, Zach Kirschner, Ron Mills, Travis Pickell, Jay Reid, Steve Ruddell, Greg Sieminski, and Nathan Smith.

As part of Trinity's congregation, your part is to support this important activity in the life of our church and in the lives of each of these men by praying for them and their families as they seek to understand the calling God has on their lives at this time. We can also pray for our church staff, volunteer leaders, officers, and pastors as they train and assist these men through this process—and for their other work.

As members we need to always be looking for those with gifts to serve as officers and in other capacities as servant leaders for our local church. In your relationships with other members through small groups, ministry gatherings, adult education classes, and other interactions, notice those who are gifted in ways that help others flourish. Take time to tell them what you’ve seen and urge them to be open to ways the Lord may want to see them use the gifts He has given for His kingdom purposes. Perhaps you can encourage each other in this. Ask God to show you the part you will play.

Calendar new TT

Sundays, 5–6pm

Evening Prayer and Fellowship

Sunday, Oct 15, 10–11am

Block 2 Adult Classes begin

Sunday, Oct 22, 1–3pm

West Parish Fall Picnic

Saturday, Oct 27–Sun, Oct 28

Faith Seeking Understanding Forum events



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