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

Trinity Together | June 2015

News for 06.01.15
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The Trinity Fellows Program: Ministry, Mentorship, and Mission

BY Sam Speers, 2014–15 Fellow

A year ago this week, I graduated from college—qualified, credentialed, and confused.
Sam Speers new I remember the flood of well-meaning encouragement from friends and family: the opportunities were endless; the world was my oyster; I could do anything I wanted. Each sentiment felt more hollow than the last, because beneath all the excitement and potential lurked an almost paralyzing uncertainty. I had learned in my campus ministry that my life was meant for more than the American dream, and I believed it deeply. I knew I was meant to serve God and others with my vocation. I knew I was meant to be deeply involved in the life of a local church. But life after college was something entirely new, and I had no idea how to actually do any of this. And for the first time in my life, there was no obvious next step.

Enter the Trinity Fellows Program. This ministry is designed to help recent college graduates transition well by immersing them in professional experience, vocational discernment, theological formation, intergenerational community, one-on-one mentoring, thoughtful self-assessment, strategic relationship-building, and community service, all in the context of deep participation in the life of a local church. The goal of the Fellows Program is to equip young men and women to better love and serve their churches, their communities, and the world by teaching them to orient their education, gifts, influence, resources, and hearts toward the church’s work of sharing in God’s renewal of all things.

For me, finding this program was like discovering buried treasure. I learned to think of my vocation as an extension of my Christian walk and of the original biblical purpose of work. I came to understand my own gifts, skills, and personality traits and how to use them for the glory of God. I worked and studied under wise and godly role models in both the church and the workplace. I was invited to witness and participate in the daily life of a loving and healthy Christian family with young kids. I had the privilege of getting to know a fifth-grader from the community through Abundant Life’s tutoring program. I have spent hours in conversation with six-year-olds and seventy-year-olds and everyone in between. And along the way, I found some of the deepest friendships I’ve ever had. This year has redirected my vocation, reestablished my community, and rekindled my love for the church—it has truly been one of the richest of my life.

The Fellows Program knows what every young adult ministry and theology-of-vocation curriculum knows—that my experience of vocational confusion is all too common among young Christians. Even those of us who had transformative experiences in campus ministries, as I did, often leave college without a clear sense of how to faithfully navigate life after college. The unique insight of this program, however, is that the kind of wisdom young adults need to transition out of college well is not simply taught—it must be modeled, embodied, and practiced in community. Graduates like me aren’t confused because our churches or small groups or campus ministries failed us—it’s just that as we enter a new phase of life, we need new mentors to walk alongside us, new examples of of mature faithfulness to study and imitate, and new communities in which to reflect, process, and serve.

And as I looked around the crowded room at the Fellows’ closing banquet last week, I was struck, as I have been so many times this year, by how generously this church has responded to that need. Host families, mentors, Bible study leaders, teachers, employers, and friends were all present—a great cloud of witnesses to the good work God began in each of this year’s fourteen Fellows. The work of the Fellows ministry is not merely the work of the program director and ministry team; it truly is the work of an entire church body, a community giving generously of their time, their resources, their homes, and their wisdom. As one who has been loved, served, challenged, encouraged, and sharpened by the Trinity Fellows community, I want to say to everyone involved, from the bottom of my heart: thank you.

This fall, Trinity will welcome its thirteenth class of Fellows. Each member of the class is at a critical juncture in life. What they will learn from our church community will stick with them for the rest of their lives. If you have a gift or a resource that God has put on your heart to share—a spare room, an internship, an hour a week in conversation—please consider becoming part of the Fellows community. This new class of Fellows will need host families, employers (part-time), and friends to welcome them to a new home in Charlottesville and invite them to a new mission: the pursuit of God’s renewal of all things.

My name is Carrie Macfarlan, long-time supporter of the Trinity Fellows Program. For many years I have helped Dennis Doran in his role as the Director of the Fellows Program find host families, jobs, and mentors, and together he and I are asking you to consider hosting a Fellow in your home and/or at your place of work for the 2015-2016 year, beginning in late August. I fell in love with this program after our family hosted a Fellow. I had no idea when I first signed on what a wonderful, POSITIVE impact these young people would have on my kids, our home, our marriage, our faith, and our lives! If you would like more information, please let contact Dennis Doran. Thank you for considering this request to host a Fellow for the 2015–16 academic year.


BY Bob Muir, Facilities Manager

Leaky gutters and carpenter bees are just two of the issues we’ve been dealing with as we take care of Trinity’s buildings. Being better stewards of our facilities means not just repair and maintenance, but planning for the future so that our buildings stay in good shape for the long term. 

During April and May this year we have been able to repair, replace, and improve the components that capture the rainwater from the main church building roof and deliver it to the lower parking lot. Since 1983 when the first building was constructed, the rain gutter in the nursery entrance area has been too small to capture the water flow from rainstorms. We removed the rusted old gutter and replaced it with 62 feet of new 8-inch gutter, which is designed to capture the rain falling on over 7,000 square feet of roof area. The water-damaged and carpenter bee–infested wood fascia and soffit boards were replaced with new cement-fiber Hardie panels to prevent future deterioration from water and insects. The new gutter and downspouts are made of bronze-colored aluminum to match the materials on the connected building.

The much larger downspouts deliver water into new underground pipes leading to a beautiful new rip rap collection area under the big trees at the beginning of the nursery drop-off circle. For years this water moved across the driveway and parking area, allowing for mud to flow and ice to form in the winter. A new 16-inch solid pipe was placed under the driveway to allow all the collected water to flow from the new rip rap collection area to the grass area by the parking lot. Other underground drain pipes were cleaned, repaired, or replaced to allow the rain from the roof of the education building to properly flow away from the building.

The final step in this spring batch of improvements will be to pave the driveway under which the large pipe was installed. Three other areas of the parking lot that are damaged and pothole-riddled will also be paved. Certain driveway areas with the oldest asphalt will be repaved before further deterioration causes more expensive repair work in the future. This work will take place at Trinity June 8–12.


MEETING OF THE CGC, May 14, 2015

In our May meeting, the smaller group of the Session (called the CGC... see the FAQ below) attended to a number of important matters. We opened the meeting in prayer for our congregation and for the ministries of the church.

Several visitors from the congregation attended, so we welcomed those visiting. Most meetings are open to church members. The CGC handled the common administrative actions: approving minutes, receiving and releasing members, and handling correspondence. We approved a response to our Presbytery for two small items from our 2013 Minutes. The regional Presbytery reviews minutes from all the churches within the Blue Ridge and requests corrections; this is part of our denomination’s oversight of churches. Not exciting work, but important because it helps keep churches within the bounds of good practice.

The Worship Leadership Team presented a survey that will be sent to leaders about methods of distributing communion. Our Executive Pastor reported on a process for strategic planning that will span May to November and include input from leaders and the whole congregation. More on that process to be explained in June.

The largest discussion item was a review of the correspondence from the May Town Hall meeting and the response from the Session, including a recommendation regarding a specific response to a request for a policy review.

The Personnel Committee, through Michael Guthrie, gave a verbal report from its quarterly review of Greg Thompson (conducted earlier that day). The review focused on Greg’s current balance of time and his pastoral duties before looking ahead to the next three to six months. The Personnel Committee also informed the CGC of Robert Cunningham coming to work at Trinity as a Resident after completion of seminary. Robert is raising all support from the outside for this full-time role, which would start in the summer.

Next Meeting: Full Session meeting Thursday June 11, 7:00PM in room 201

Questions? Email:

Session FAQ

What’s the difference between the Session and the CGC?

The CGC (which stands for the Church Governance Commission) is a subset of the Session, made up of twelve elders. The CGC was created to handle much of the work of the Session, although key items are reserved for the full Session exclusively to approve: calling pastors, approving officer candidates, approving the budget and vision, etc. The CGC functions mainly as a commission, meaning its actions are the actions of the Session. Sometimes it functions as a committee, meaning that it makes a recommendation to the full Session. Elders on the CGC serve a three-year staggered term.


MAY 2015

Thank you for your gifts, and particularly those who set up a regular pattern of generous giving. As Trinity heads into the slower summer months for giving from June-August, please consider additional giving by mail or online. Giving through May this year is $800,000, which is about $10,000 lower than anticipated, yet $5,600 more than last year. Our ministry costs remain fairly constant throughout the year, so we need regular giving to maintain a solid financial base. Costs are on track at roughly $930,000. Most churches spend reserve funds throughout the year, and our reserves are getting lower. Pray for increased generosity this summer; we have many fruitful ministries which depend on our congregation's support.


Sermons Parish Small Groups
Morning Prayer Emails Current Adult Ed. Offerings
Evening / Family Prayer Emails Spiritual Formation Retreats


Thursday, June 11: Full Session Meeting, 7:00pm at Trinity, room 201.

Monday, June 22 - Friday, June 26 : Vacation Bible School
Mosby Mountain Neighborhood, 9:30–11:00am
Barracks/Rugby Neighborhood, 9:30–11:00am
Bentivar Neighborhood, 3:00–4:30pm
Forest Lakes Neighborhood, 3:00–4:30pm
Email Elizabeth O'Donnell for information.

Saturday, June 27: Family Fun Night @ Trinity
6:30–8:00pm. We will have an inflatable slide with a kiddie pool and face painting! And we will be serving popsicles. Anyone is welcome to come. Please invite neighbors and friends!