We use cookies in order to save your preferences so we can provide a feature-rich, personalized website experience. We also use functionality from third-party vendors who may add additional cookies of their own (e.g. Analytics, Maps, Chat, etc). Read more about cookies in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. If you do not accept our use of Cookies, please do not use the website.

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

Trinity Together | June / July 2016

News for 07.18.16
Get the Feed Get RSS Feed

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



Last year after a long discernment process, we, as the congregation of Trinity, committed ourselves to a five-year plan for our life together. In this plan we’ve expressed our desire, among other things, to become a multi-ethnic body, and there is much work to be done to move toward this goal. Building on the reconciliatory aspects of Jobs for Life, Faith and Finances is one way that we can pursue our desire to better reflect the diversity of both God’s kingdom and our own city here at Trinity.

Faith and Finances is a 12-week financial education course that was developed by the Chalmers Center for Economic Development. Beginning this fall the class will meet once a week for a meal together followed by a lesson. F & F teaches money management and provides a theological framework to understand how our money fits in with God’s mission to renew all things. What makes this curriculum unique from other popular Christian financial courses is that it was designed for those who may be financially vulnerable, and is written in a way that is accessible to many.

The course is a means for Trinity to walk alongside people in our community who may be struggling, and to strive with one another. The purpose of this course is not only to teach sound financial practices, but also to bring individuals from all sorts of cultural backgrounds into a loving community where we can all learn together how God would have us order our finances and relationships to increasingly reflect the values of His kingdom.

In the coming months, we will be seeking to fill multiple roles in preparation for a start date the first week of September. Informational meetings will be held several times over the summer.

Please prayerfully consider whether the Lord would have you meet one of these needs as we seek to know and care for our community:

Allies (6–12 needed): Allies attend class weekly and mentor participants while learning along with them. Allies should be committed Christians who have been financially independent for a while, but the most important qualities for an Ally to have are humility, a heart for reconciliation, and a desire to engage in meaningful relationship with participants.

Leadership Team (5–6 needed): The leadership team will guide the ministry and seek to develop systems that will allow it to be sustainable long term. They will pray faithfully for allies and participants, and will assist with tasks such as recruitment of allies and other logistics as needed.

Logistics Team: Assists with site management the night of the class, meal and childcare coordination, and transportation for participants.

To learn more about Faith and Finances please plan to attend our informational meeting on Wednesday, August 3rd at 7:00pm in room 250 at Trinity, or email Emily Massengill at




Greetings from your Transition Team. Over the past couple of months a number of significant changes have occurred at Trinity. It seems unusual that so many staff transitions would occur in such a short time span. Yet our church seems markedly alive these days. Thanks be to God who sustains us by His presence. And thanks to our staff and so many in our congregation who have stepped into voids to minister to us through transition.

Many of the Transition Team's short-term objectives have been accomplished or are well in process. We will keep the congregation posted on progress as it happens. The Transition Team will meet tomorrow night to organize the longer-term work demands of the church. We so value your continued prayers on our behalf.

The newly elected Pastoral Search Committee met for its inaugural meeting last Monday. A wonderful group of our fellow members has been appointed to serve us: Jane Bopp, Josh Chen, Bill Wilder, Lisa Wood, Hunter Chorey, Jerry Jared, Ellen Foster, Louis Nelson, and David Turner (committee chair). The PSC is already on the job and requests our prayers as they seek a pastor for our church. May the Holy Spirit guide your work together.

On another front, the Personnel Committee is in the process of interviewing applicants for the position of Church Operations Director. Thanks to Corey McLellan, Craig Wood, Carlton Dixon, and Michael Martin for their diligence in this search. We hope to have a COD on board before summer's end.

On yet another front, we are thrilled to announce that Jaclyn Stokes will be joining the staff of Trinity as Assistant for Hospitality and Worship Arts. Welcome, Jaclyn! However, on the flip side of this coin, we are sad to see Frances Shaw depart our staff. Frances has been an invaluable presence at Trinity. If you ever wonder, "Who's responsible for the hospitality and the sense of order on Sundays?" Frances is the appropriate answer. We want to bless Frances, Andrew, and Charlie as they continue to worship among us.

These days we often overhear members commenting on the beauty of our worship this summer. It's wonderful to recognize that it’s our worship together that binds us to Christ and to one another. And it is a blessing today to re-pray the entirety of Jesse Robinson's congregational prayer yesterday. He ends by praying:

Finally, our Lord who preserves all things by the word of His power, preserve us in our faith. Keep us from the evil one. Keep Your church from grumbling, dissension, pride, and apathy. Sustain us in our hour of temptation and trial. O Lord, You alone are our hope and our life. You are our treasure. You are worthy of all praise and admiration…we ask all these things in the name of the Mighty One, to whom all must someday bow the knee and confess Him as King, Jesus Christ whose welcoming embrace we long to see no longer with eyes of faith but to see face to face, in His mighty and hospitable name we pray, Amen.



At its June 2016 meeting the Trinity Session confirmed that its Stated (regular) Meeting dates going forward will be the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7pm at TPC. Meetings may be called at other times, as deemed necessary. The meetings are open to any who wish to attend; however, if matters requiring confidentiality arise, the Session may enter Executive Session and ask visitors to leave.

The Session heard and approved a request from Teaching Elder Mick Leary (former Trinity member) to be recognized and called by Trinity as a self-supported church planter to lead All Nations Church in Charlottesville’s Korean Community Church. Joe Magri will serve on the All Nations temporary session, and Joe, along with Jim Anderson and Tom Gilliam, will offer support associated with the All Nations near-term business operations.

The Session heard a report from the Officer Development Ministry Team (ODMT) regarding upcoming vacancies on the team and questions that have arisen about the roles and duties of the newly organized Diaconal Assistants.

The Session also took action to select its two members to be recommended to the Congregation to serve on the Pastoral Search Committee, which would be elected by the Congregation at its June 26 meeting. David Turner and Louis Nelson were elected.

Finally in June, the Session discussed the Fall worship series suggested by the Worship Leadership Team (WLT) and the preaching schedule.  Suggestions were made and sent to the WLT for review, and a recasting of the plan was requested.

At its July 2016 meeting, the Session examined Jesse Robinson, who was approved to come under care of our Session as a transferring licentiate (i.e., licensed to preach in the PCA) which means he will be recommended to the Blue Ridge Presbytery for a credentials transfer from his previous presbytery.

The Session heard the WLT’s revised Fall worship and proposed preaching schedule (see June meeting note above). After discussion to deepen its understanding of the variables, the Session received and passed it, grateful for the WLT’s work and looking forward expectantly to a great Fall worship season.

The largest part of the July meeting was devoted to hearing from (i) the Personnel Committee, (ii) the Transition Team, and (iii) the Pastoral Search Committee, regarding Trinity’s current state, and both the Session’s and the Congregation’s understanding of where we are and where we’re headed. Following a lengthy discussion, the Session confirmed its position on organizational and pastoral staff structures, which previously has been presented to the Congregation, with the slight revision of renaming the former “Lead Pastor” position to “Executive Pastor”. Also, the job descriptions for both the Community Pastor and the Executive Pastor were reviewed and clarified. It is hoped this will help resolve some confusion over the assumption by some that the “lead pastor” had been intended by the Session to be Trinity’s next “senior pastor”, which was not the case.

Finally in July, given a full workload and some time-sensitive concerns, the Session voted to hold a Called Session meeting on Thursday, July 28, at 7pm.

Questions? Email:

In May and June, members nominated men and women they felt had the qualities to serve as Deacons and Deacon Assistants. There are now 22 nominees considering this potential call. Please be in prayer for these fellow church members as they wrestle with whether to enter the course of study this fall, and pray for those striving to flesh-out the role of Deacon Assistant that is new to Trinity.


Mike Richards came to faith in Christ through the ministry of the Navigators during his freshman year at the Ohio State University in 1977. The summer after his junior year, he attended a Navigators summer training program led by Tom and Cheryl Darnell. The Darnells, who were on staff with the Navigators at UVa, provided a connection to Charlottesville. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and marrying Lori, Mike and Lori considered several job opportunities and decided that Charlottesville was “a good place to start” as Mike took a software engineering position with GE. Thirty-five years later, Charlottesville has become home.

Mike and Lori started attending Trinity when the church was meeting at Jack Jouett Middle School. Over the next several years, they raised three children whom Lori homeschooled. Jason, their oldest, is married to Carrie, and lives in Northern Virginia. Their middle child, Candi, lives and works locally, while her younger sister, Krissy, lives and works in Roanoke. A former piano teacher, Lori transitioned to student to complete a degree in psychology and an MA in Counseling from Liberty University. She recently completed her LPC licensure requirements and started a new job at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Jail where she leads the Therapeutic Community for women. For many years, Lori played piano for worship at Trinity.

Mike’s side interests include cycling, cooking, and a 19-year involvement with Toastmasters. After about 20 years in software engineering, Mike moved into marketing and then training. He completed an MBA program with Colorado Christian University in 2013, which he feels has helped him learn how to better integrate his faith and work life.

Mike served several years as a Deacon in the late 1980s. Because of his personal interest in inductive Bible study, he worked with Bill Cassidy for many years to lead an evening Precept Upon Precept Bible study to mentor others in studying the scriptures. He also leads a small group and believes this is a place where we can significantly care for each other. In 2009, Mike was ordained as a Ruling Elder. He is the co-chair of the Worship Leadership Team and has a particular interest in how we can learn to worship God together as one body. Mike also takes great joy in leading Sunday worship, and recently took on the role of North Parish point elder.


Clark first became involved with Trinity as a Fellow in 2005–06. He says that the Fellows Program was a life-changing time in his walk with God, and he is forever grateful for Dennis Doran and the Trinity community for pursuing him and helping him understand the Gospel more fully through their love and support.

Over the 10 years following the Fellows Program, Clark’s career included seven years working with the men’s basketball programs at UVA, Miller School, and Covenant, while also doing independent work in financial services, IT consulting, and business startups. Clark served Trinity’s youth and others during that time through D-groups and Abundant Life for five years.  He recently began a new chapter in his professional life as the athletic director and varsity head basketball coach for the Covenant School.

Clark has served as an ordained Deacon for two years, including serving as the chair of Diaconal Care last year. After serving his first year, he wrote an open letter to share the experience of his discernment period and first year. Here are a few excerpts:

When I was nominated to be a deacon, I thought it was a mistake. I lacked spiritual maturity, experience, and time…but agreed to enter the year of training and discernment nonetheless. It was eye opening and refreshing to learn about church history, the Diaconate, and so much that is unique to Trinity. I saw these men exhibit true brokenness as they saw themselves in light of the Gospel and their desire to serve God and the church through their unique gifts.

Since being ordained as a deacon I’ve understood something I didn’t truly believe before—it isn’t about my abilities, holiness, or understanding, but about His love, His plan, and His work in my heart and whether I will submit to that on a daily basis. We are simply a body trying its best to follow God and serve those in need—and there are so many wonderful and diverse needs in a church like Trinity.

Over the year I became more aware of the need for His wisdom because we are incapable of bringing the love, hope, and resources that so many ask of us. Being a deacon is humbling yet incredibly rewarding. As a Diaconate we are continually learning what it looks like to have Christ as our example—with open hands, serving, hoping, persevering, and striving toward His love in all things.

Clark stayed connected with subsequent Fellows classes. This gave him the wonderful opportunity to meet a woman in the 2008–09 class named Jennifer Sherwood, and by 2010 he had convinced her to marry him. They now have two young children (Caleb and Annabelle) and host two Chinese students at their house during the academic year (Leo and Kevin). After being a full-time homemaker with the kids for a year, Jennifer is currently working as a co-coordinator of Trinity’s nurseries.

Clark and Jennifer acknowledge how blessed they are by God with a healthy family, engaging work, and a loving community in Charlottesville. They hope to serve as helpful stewards through hospitality and cultivating relationships. They look forward to finding opportunities to serve others at Trinity and to get engaged in honoring and serving our neighbors.


It is our intention as a Transition Team to be speak as clearly as possible about the financial health of our church through the upcoming months. Through the month of May, giving remained fairly consistent in comparison with the same time frame last year. However, we are seeing in the months of June and July a significant drop in giving. It is not unusual to see a deficit in giving in relation to budget at this time of year. The summer months are expected to be lower. What is concerning is the lower numbers in relation to these months last year. There are often a variety of factors in play when giving decreases. It is not surprising that a transition in pastors would bring a change in attendance and giving patterns. However, we sense that it is important to communicate to the congregation that we have had giving shortfalls for enough sequential weeks to identify a concerning trend. Thank you to those who continue to pray for and give generously to Trinity.


Not all stewardship is financial. Taking care of your stuff is an important way to show the Lord you are grateful and a good steward for his blessings. Non-financial stewardship efforts include, but are certainly not limited to, preventative car and house maintenance, cleaning tools and equipment after use, and proper storage of your stuff so that moth and rust don’t destroy!

Sermon Podcast Small Groups
Morning Prayer Emails Current Adult Ed Offerings
Evening / Family Prayer Emails Spiritual Formation Retreats


Weekend of August 20-21: UVA Move-In Weekend, we look forward to welcoming students back!
Monday, August 22: 2016-2017 Fellows Class Arrives, be sure to welcome them as well

Miss an edition of Trinity Together? Get caught up!

May Trinity TogetherApril Trinity TogetherMarch Trinity Together