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

Trinity Together | August 2016

News for 08.08.16
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TT header Aug 2016

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

backyard vbs 2016—voyage of the dawn treader

BY elizabeth o'donnell, children's ministry director

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials, for we know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:2-3

Can you picture a gym full of excited children reciting this powerful verse from memory? That's what happened earlier this summer at Vacation Bible School!

During the week of June 20–24, more than 150 children gathered to sing, pray, paint, play games, hear the story of the Dawn Treader, and learn about the life of Paul. Seven hospitable families opened up their homes all around the city to host VBS. We also hosted a VBS at the Abundant Life house in the Prospect neighborhood.

Each location had its own team of five people who helped to run VBS. That’s a total of more than 40 volunteers, not including host families and all the wonderful people who brought snacks for each day. From buying goldfish crackers to opening their homes and welcoming neighbors, from leading the children in song to teaching them the Bible verses, and from dressing up like Paul to running around the yard with kids, these volunteers made this week a success. It was so beautiful to see so many helping hands—ranging from high school students, college graduates, mothers, and fathers to grandparents.

One of the highlights each day was a visit from the Apostle Paul to share his story. Eight men from Trinity agreed to dress in biblical garb and attend VBS every day to present the “life of Paul.” The children at each location anxiously awaited the arrival of their “Paul” each day and cheered, booed, and actively participated in his presentation. I’ve even heard a rumor that several children have been referring to Pastor Wade as “Paul” ever since his appearance.

Another part of the day included collecting gifts to be donated for birthday parties held at the Salvation Army. Ginny Sieminski, who is a core part of the VBS planning team, has been working to host quarterly birthday parties at the local Salvation Army for children involved in its programs. At the end of the week we had collected more than 50 gifts that the children helped to wrap and decorate. Ginny and her team will be giving these gifts out throughout the year as they continue to host parties.

On Friday, everyone who participated in VBS was invited to come to Trinity for a Grand Finale. We sang some of the songs from the week including “I Saw the Light” and “Amazing Grace.” It was a joy to have so many children and parents worshiping together in the gym. Those songs have a way of sticking in your head! As one mother commented, “Almost every night since VBS ended, when we fill up the bathtub my children sing the song 'Deep and Wide' from VBS. And my daughter has replaced her lullaby song with 'Amazing Grace.’”

This year’s VBS offered our church a precious opportunity to plant seeds of Christ’s love and grace in the hearts of little ones. As one mother from the community wrote in an email, “Thank you so much for spreading the love for Christ in our community. Thank you for welcoming us to your church. Thank you for the hospitality you show inviting us into your homes. Thank you for another memorable Vacation Bible School.”

May the memory of all the fun and joy of VBS resonate in our children’s hearts and point them back to the ultimate source of joy. As C.S. Lewis writes in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, “...that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”


report from the transition team


Trinity is beginning its fifth month of a transition in leadership. So much has happened in this short timeframe. The Lord has been good to us in these uncertain times and blessed our congregation with an encouraging Spirit.

Pastoral Search Committee
In June, you voted to seat a committee of wonderful members to find the first of the new pastors for Trinity. This committee has already been meeting to this end. The Session is now deliberating on some clarifying decisions being requested by the PSC. Please pray for these wise fellow-members in their work. Thanks to each one for their service on our behalf.

Nicole Fleming
The third phase of our executive leadership transition is now upon us. Director of Operations Nicole Fleming completed her time on staff on August 5. The Transition Team has worked with Nicole to identify her areas of work and has begun the process of moving these responsibilities to others.

We want to thank Nicole for the constant and skillful effort she has expended over the last few years serving our congregation. She has also blessed us with the way she has carefully prepared for her leaving. It is a good gift when a person ends well.

Nicole will assume a new role at New City Commons in the near future. Please express your thanks to Nicole in person or with a note. We want to bless her as she makes this transition of her own.

New Church Operations Director
In June the Personnel Committee was tasked to hire a new Church Operations Director. The committee has done an excellent job in working through the interview process and will make a recommendation soon. Filling this position will help immensely to bring operational stability to Trinity as we continue to search for our new pastors.

Psalm 11
Today's psalm for morning prayer is Psalm 11. The first three verses of the psalm picture a group of advisors giving King David what they think is wise counsel in the face of extreme difficulty for which there is no obvious solution and amidst a breakdown of the normal resources for dealing with the situation. Interestingly, "the Lord" does not appear in any of the lines of advice. It's almost as though the psalmist "gets" this omission because every line in the response of the psalm's remaining verses begins with "the Lord" or its pronoun. Derek Kidner calls this focus on the Lord in the midst of critical decisions "the Forgotten Dimension." In our times of transition at Trinity, our prayer is that we live in this space as the Spirit leads, trusting the Lord's rule over our affairs.

Special Announcement


BY susan prindle

We are excited to announce WOMEN TOGETHER IN THE WORD (WTW) as the new name for Trinity’s women’s Bible studies. To accommodate more women’s schedules, the same curriculum will be offered twice each Wednesday. Morning and evening sessions will replace the old mornings-only Wednesday in the Word. Morning sessions are 9:15–11:30am with childcare available. Evening sessions will be from 7:30–9pm without childcare.

WTW begins September 14 with a study entitled “From Garden to Glory: A Bible Study of the Bible’s Story.” It’s a new and engaging study written and taught by Courtney Doctor on the journey from Genesis to Revelation, studying the rich theological concepts that weave the whole of God’s story together. Each session will view teaching on DVD followed by small group discussion, fellowship, and prayer. A wonderful workbook for reading and study in advance of each session is covered in the participation fee.

Visit the WTW web page for more information and registration. Contact us anytime at WTW looks forward to learning together at the feet of Jesus!

At the Session's July 28 meeting, those attending—including a number of former elders and elders emeritus—spent the time reminiscing about Tom Gilliam and praying for his family. We'll have a Session update from August in the September issue of Trinity Together.

Questions? Email:


Raised and educated in Michigan, Dick Pearson had an aunt and uncle who were missionaries in Africa, which made him consider becoming a medical missionary. Dick and his wife, Janet, moved up their wedding date so she could accompany him on a 10-week medical rotation in Sierra Leone during his last year of med school. They returned to Africa after his residency in internal medicine and worked at the national medical center in Monrovia, Liberia—Dick in patient care and teaching and Janet in the medical library. After returning to the U.S., Dick completed a fellowship in infectious diseases in Rochester, NY, and in January 1980 he took a faculty position at UVa. It was neighbors who referred the couple to a growing new church called Trinity.

Pearsons After joining the church, they served on the Missions Committee, and Janet was soon recruited to use her library skills to build and manage the Trinity library. They had one young son when they arrived in town and two children were later added—all three grew in faith through participation in Trinity's children’s and youth programs over the years. The family feels blessed that all three now have Christian spouses. Scott, his wife, and two sons live in Charlotte and are part of a multi-ethnic PCA church. Andrew lives in Atlanta with his wife and toddler daughter, and they attend the same Anglican church as sister Karen and her husband, who expect their first child soon.

Dick was ordained as an elder in 1987, serving actively for several years then later taking an extended “sabbatical” when he was named associate dean for student affairs for the medical school. That job, as well as his clinical responsibilities and research on infectious diseases in Brazil, afforded lots of opportunity to interact with students and colleagues in their personal lives as well as in their profession. With all the hospitality attendant to that job, Janet and Dick served well in that calling until Dick’s recent retirement. They also were leaders of one of Trinity’s adult teaching fellowships in the 1990s and early 2000s and were involved in conversational dinners, which brought people together from across the church.

Running has been a lifelong avocation for Dick, and Janet joins him. They also enjoy playing table games, both competitive and collaborative, and have found this to be a good bridge to friendships. Since rejoining the active Session two years ago after a year of renewed officer training, Dick has developed a strong interest along with Janet in the Encore Ministry for those in their mid-50s and up. Their desire is to find more ways to enjoy fellowship with and serve others and to offer coaching or mentoring to younger church members.

Dick quotes the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:12-14 as expressing the call on his own life now, and perhaps on the Encore Ministry and Trinity in this season of transition:  “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."


After becoming a Christian in high school and then attending college, Russ Edwards met his wife, Katherine, through her sister at a PCA church in South Carolina. Katherine was the first to move to Charlottesville, to earn a degree in counseling from the Curry School at UVa. During her first year she began attending Trinity, so when she and Russ married, Trinity became Russ’s church as well. For two years he taught literature at The Covenant School, later moving into construction management. He now works with a solar development company. After completing her degree and required hours of supervised counseling, Katherine became a licensed counselor and worked for several years with troubled children through Family Preservation Services. More recently she has been working a day or two each week with New City Counseling at Trinity.

Edwards family Ten years ago the Edwards decided to locate in an old part of the city called the 10th and Page neighborhood. They have loved their opportunities to meet and serve neighbors of great diversity in this ever-changing center-city area not far from UVa. During this time they have added four children to their family—two boys and two girls—now ages 8, 6, 4, and 2. The family has been active with the city parish and its projects to reach out to the community. Russ enjoys trail running for himself, but also enjoys taking his kids with him as he participates in community service projects. Gardening and camping are other family pastimes.

Russ was recruited into a program of deacon apprenticeship where he served and learned for over a year and later was ordained as a deacon. He served on the Mercy Committee and was very involved in hands-on work, often in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Love INC, as well as projects to serve widows in the church. After their second child was born Russ took a sabbatical; he has recently re-engaged, as other deacons graciously helped him find the right place to serve. For the past two years this has involved representing the Diaconate on the Officer Development Ministry Team (ODMT). Russ feels a calling to help mentor others in developing good leadership habits and in finding a good fit for their own service. These opportunities have greatly expanded recently, as ODMT oversees a class of 22 nominees for diaconal roles for the coming year.

Our financial status through July (adjusting for five Sundays in July this year) indicates that our church giving numbers are significantly down when compared with last year. The gap between budgeted and actual giving for 2016 is even more significant. Because of our drop in expenses for the last three months, we are in a fairly stable financial position. However, if the trend continues into the fall months, our church will need to begin adjusting to a new normal.


Beware of making financial decisions (in most cases, purchases) based on who you want to be rather than who you are. Buying a high-end bike in the hopes that you ride more, or a high-end kitchen in the hopes that you cook at home more, or a new gym membership… Such decisions will probably in the end prove to have been a waste of money.

Sermon Podcast Small Groups
Morning Prayer Emails Spiritual Formation Retreats
Evening / Family Prayer Emails


Weekend of August 20-21: UVa Move-In Weekend, we look forward to welcoming students back!
Monday, August 22: 2016–17 Fellows Class Arrives, be sure to welcome them as well!
Sunday, September 11: Celebrating 10 Years with the Thompsons, 4–6pm, program followed by dessert reception. Childcare provided for ages infant–4. Sign up here to bring dessert or drinks.

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