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

Trinity Together | December 2016

News for 12.05.16
12.05.16
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Dec 2016 header

A MONTHLY LOOK AT our life with God,

one another, and our neighbors

giving thanks for our new faith & finances ministry

BY trey coe, chair, mercy committee

This fall, under the leadership of the Mercy Committee, Trinity began a new financial education ministry called Faith and Finances. Think Dave Ramsey or Crown Financial but for those who find themselves living week to week or month to month or who self-identify as having "trouble with money."

Over the past ten weeks, a group of 30 to 40 has met every Tuesday night. Some are students who are there to try to improve their finances. Some are "Allies," who are there to be a friend and mentor to someone else. Others are there to provide a sit-down meal for all of us or to help with childcare so that students and allies can focus on the task at hand. In all, we have had close to 100 different volunteers!

As I've interacted with our 10 students and their 25 allies, watched our class leaders, and even gotten to lead a class myself, I am convicted that Faith and Finances is a microcosm of Trinity's Five-Year Plan. I see followers of Christ from our church and other churches gathering together "to show...the existence of a Triune God in this secular age" as we invite our students, not all of whom are believers, into a community that claims as its pillars that God is renewing all things and that He wants to use our resources for His kingdom work. I listen to "the truth and beauty of biblical orthodoxy" claimed as we read out loud multiple stories from the Bible each week as examples of how we are and are not supposed to relate to money. I see the roots of "transformation of people's lives through spiritual formation practices" as we pray, convene in community, and educate ourselves. I can't help but think about "the unity of a multi-ethnic and multi-generational community" as I notice a new high school grad, current UVa students, young professionals, seasoned adults, retirees, and an array of ethnicities and cultures represented in the room. I see "local mission" happening so clearly to those who live in our community but have never been to Trinity. Finally, I consistently hear "generosity to others with all we possess" being reiterated and embodied by our volunteers who give of their time so graciously. It is amazing to observe and be a part of.

With the arrival of December, we have much to be thankful for. That said, we also covet your prayers. You can specifically pray that each Student-Ally group would finish strong, with each student mastering the course concepts, putting the finishing touches on their short- and long-term goals, and tailor-fitting their budgets to reflect these goals. You can also pray for the future of these relationships; we are convicted that this course has laid a foundation but that the real work is going to begin as students leave class. We are hopeful that students and allies will continue to connect after class is over and that students will consider becoming allies in our next class. Finally, you can pray for our upcoming graduation. Please pray that we would honor our students well.

I want to conclude by inviting you to come and see what the Lord is doing through this ministry. Please email me if you're interested in participating in this work as either a future student or a volunteer. We'd love for you to come to either of our final two Tuesday classes (12/6 and 12/13). We begin at 6:30pm with a meal in the gym and end at 8:30 sharp. We'd love to feed you (and your family where applicable), show you some of what we've been learning, and introduce you to our students and allies. We'd also like to invite you to the Faith and Finances graduation on December 18 in the sanctuary at 10am. Come and celebrate what the Lord has done.

Faith and Finances Team: Trey Coe, Site Coordinator, Mercy Chairman; Emily Massengill, Lead Instructor; DJ Carter, Student/Ally Coach; Katie-Anne Padalino, Childcare Coordinator; Jean Balderas Baca, Prayer Coordinator; Joe Magri, Pastoral Oversight

THE GIFT OF NANCY GILLIES

BY JENNIFER WALKER, NURSERY CO-COORDINATOR

As we celebrated Trinity’s 40th year anniversary this year, it is astounding to think back on the thousands of children who have been cared for in Trinity’s nursery. The nursery workers and volunteers are the ones who have enabled the nursery to be such a welcoming and caring environment for children and parents.

Nancy Gillies, fondly known as “Nursery Nancy,” has served the nursery for 30 years in a volunteer capacity and has memories from most stages of Trinity’s nurseries. While the nurseries have grown in size, the fun-filled and Christ-centered spirit has continued through the years. Nancy laughs as she recounts grown men in the late 1980s crawling around the floor with large hats on trying to make the children laugh. In more recent years, she has loved seeing the impromptu drama productions of volunteers acting out the Bible stories told in the Beginners classroom, and the incredible towers built by volunteers and children in the Big Kids room.

Kelly (Dixon) Greer grew up in the Trinity nursery and has many happy memories of her days in the nursery. She now has the joy of seeing her children play in the same rooms that she did and watching them being loved by Nancy almost 30 years later. Kelly is amazed by Trinity’s members, who continue to nurture generations of children and care for those children’s parents.

Praise God for His faithfulness in growing our nurseries and providing such consistent support through the workers and volunteers!

SESSION HIGHLIGHTS

BY BILL PORTER, MODERATOR OF THE SESSION

During November, a noteworthy positive step in Trinity’s transition journey occurred: in light of Jessica Robinson’s assumption of the Church Operations Director position, her smooth transition into the job, and her excellent work, the Transition Team was dismissed with the thanks of the Session. It is reported that the Transition Team smiled.

Reports were heard from the Pastoral Search Committee (PSC) of their progress in the very important effort to identify and bring Trinity’s next pastoral candidate(s) to the church. A noteworthy change to the PSC occurred in November: the congregation, following its earlier decision to add two members to the PSC as it increases its search for two pastors, elected Heather Uthlaut and Jim Anderson to that work. They will be added to the committee during the early part of next year, pending the approval of the 2017 budget with two new pastoral positions.

The Session and Staff continued their research, discussion, and development of the collaborative model that will continue to build on the Staff’s current collaborative efforts that shape the organizational structure of Trinity. Recent staff changes in support of the model include approval of TE Joe Magri as Assistant Pastor for Mercy and finalization of the job description for Director of Missions Kevin Sawyer. These actions, coupled with the recent congregational vote to call TE Wade Bradshaw as Associate Pastor (which will be completed by Blue Ridge Presbytery at its February 2017 meeting), are positive steps that build on the current collaborative structure while looking expectantly toward the call of Trinity’s next pastor(s).

TE Todd Johnson reported on life and progress at Hope Church (Crozet). Todd, Laura, and the church plant continue the faithful ministry in that beautiful place. Trinity members are encouraged to visit Hope in support of our desire to maintain our relationships with our brothers and sisters there (or build new ones!), to pray regularly and to encourage Hope, as the congregation continues to grow and minister to that nearby area.

Also in November, the Session, at the request of long-time Deacon Gene Potter and on the Diaconate’s recommendation, approved Gene as Deacon Emeritus. Both the Diaconate and the Session extended great thanks to Gene for decades of faithful service, and we encourage the congregation to do likewise!

The Session reviewed the most recent Finance Committee Report and discussed ways of encouraging the congregation to support TPC generously in anticipation of future budget needs. In our culture, year-end giving comprises the lion’s share of the church’s annual revenues. How Trinity finishes out 2016 will significantly impact the 2017 budget plan and will be an important factor in the pastoral staffing decisions going forward.

The Session has received multiple clear requests for more education and discipleship training on the topic of biblical Christian giving and stewardship in financial planning.  In response to the desire and need, planning has begun for a Stewardship Committee to plan the effort, which likely will be named and begin work in early 2017.

Finally, the Session met recently to discuss with the staff and interested members the responses, both positive and negative, to a recent prayer of lamentation offered during worship. The discussion was helpful, a response to the congregation was agreed upon, and there is confidence that worship at Trinity will be improved by this interaction.

The Session extends its wishes to all members and attenders for a most beautiful and precious Christmas season. As we recently were reminded by a dear brother, “Jesus is King, Jesus is King, Jesus is King.” It is true, and we hope you will come and celebrate it with us!


MEET ELDER mark king

A graduate of Virginia Tech, Mark King is chief operating officer for Tri-Dim Filter Corporation in Louisa County, where he has worked for 28 years. In 1993 he moved with his wife, Christine, and their three young children to Charlottesville from Richmond, where they had been members of Stony Point PCA. As a UVA student Christine had attended Trinity and Mark had too when visiting her, so after moving here the family immediately became part of Trinity, joining in 1995. They soon became part of a small group that they continue with today. Their fourth child was born here and all were raised alongside the children of their other small group members as they were ministered to by Trinity’s programs for children and youth. The Kings eventually settled on a farm in North Garden where they continue to live and often host church gatherings.

King family Christine homeschooled each of their children for a portion of their education. The oldest, Ben, is a nationally competitive cyclist. His brother, Jake, lives in France and is engaged to a French woman. Their sisters, Hannah and Sarah, are both married and each added a grandchild to the family this year. Mark’s job requires a fair amount of travel, but when he is home and has free time he enjoys activities outdoors including hunting, fishing, and several sports. He describes Christine as service-minded and consistently using her gift of hospitality to the degree that they are seldom long without having someone staying at their home. Among their guests were four Trinity Fellows whom they have hosted. Christine received her nursing degree from UVA and now works at Martha Jefferson Hospital one day each week.

Mark was ordained as an elder ten years ago and has served on the Session’s Personnel Committee for a large part of that time. He also served on an earlier pastoral search committee. Mark has a particular interest in mentoring young men and for several years has led a Bible study for single men after college. Mark’s desire for Trinity is that we might boldly teach and live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ illustrated by a pure love for the Lord and a compassion for all His children. Mark prays that our church body is a place where each person experiences welcome and inclusion.



FINANCIAL UPDATE

BY BOB LUCK, CHAIR, FINANCE COMMITTEE

Current Status
Through November 30, 2016, total contributions to Trinity’s General Fund are about $1,783,000. This is $61,000 or 3.3% below our giving for the same period in 2015 ($1,844,000). With two open pastor positions, our monthly staffing costs have been temporarily reduced, and our total expenses are below budget for the year to date. The result for 2016 is that we expect to have sufficient funds to cover current expenses, but we also need to focus on our needs for December and expectations for the future.

December Giving Needs
December giving is crucial to our plans, because our financial needs are increasing. We hope to fill both open pastoral positions and to expand our ministry in 2017. However, we must increase our giving during December and throughout 2017 in order to support a full staff, maintain our existing programs, and meet the 5-year strategic plan that you as a congregation have approved.

As with most churches, Trinity counts on about 20% of our giving during the final month of the year, and over the last 3 years we have averaged approximately $500,000 each December. These funds create a reserve (savings account) that we gradually spend down during the following 11 months—when our monthly expenses typically exceed our monthly revenues. We have 3 Sundays remaining and are prayerful that we will be able to replenish our reserves to begin the new year—ready cover the costs of running our church and meeting the needs of our local community and those of our global missionaries.

Trinity's Financial Future
Total General Fund giving in 2015 was $2.35 million. Given Trinity’s plans for more staff and more ministry, the Finance Committee has set a Giving Target of $2.5 million for 2016. We believe that this will put us on a trajectory of giving for 2017 that can sustain the increased expenses planned for next year. In order to confirm that we can proceed with our plans to recruit and hire both pastors, we need to pull together to fund our church now and in the coming year.

Please consider your own tithe and how you can support Trinity with your offerings, both in these closing weeks of 2016 and into the new year.

Stewardship Snippet

‘Tis the season of Advent—the hopeful awaiting of the birth of our Lord and Savior. And what other season is it (by coincidence)? The season of year-end charitable giving. It is a glorious gift from God that He invites us to participate in His mercies and ministries by giving to those in need. We can turn His blessings unto us into further blessings unto others when we give. But how? And where—outside of tithing and giving to the church?

One great thing to watch for: matching programs. Consider giving according to when and how a matching program offers to magnify your gift, even if that means the timing or amount is slightly different than you planned. The greater impact is worth it!


Sermon Podcast Small Groups
Morning Prayer Emails Adult Classes
Evening/Family Prayer Emails Advent & Christmas Events

UPCOMING EVENTS

Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11: Lessons & Carols, 7pm
Sunday, December 11: Visual Arts Open House with cookies and carols, 10am
Saturday, December 24:
Christmas Eve services at 5pm and 8pm
Sunday, December 25: Worship Service, 11:15am (no childcare)

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