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Seeking the renewal of all things through Jesus Christ

Trinity Together | June-July 2017

News for 05.08.17
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Trinity Together June-July 2017

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

Ministry Spotlight



And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?  —Micah 6:8

We are to know God intimately and love what He loves, including the widows, orphans, immigrants, and poor among us. We see this in many ways in Charlottesville and at Trinity. As just one example, a single mother with a young daughter found her way to Charlottesville from a war-stricken area. She is a Christian, but has no family or support in the US. How are we equipped to help her in order to "do justice and love mercy"? When she was in between housing, Trinity members provided shelter. Others provided transportation to her daughter’s doctor appointments. Still others provided meals. Another patiently advocated on her behalf to government and nonprofit resources in our area when language barriers became difficult. Another Trinity family and their children welcomed her and her daughter into their home for an afternoon play date. You can see the broad resources necessary for us to act on the charges of Micah 6:8.

Diverse and unpredictable needs are constantly being made known to the deacons, and these needs require broad resources of time, skill, and expertise. Further, the deacons and deacon assistants are actively figuring out how we can be more visible and available to Trinity, its parishes, and our neighbors. But addressing needs requires assistance from volunteers, well beyond the small number of elders, deacons, and deacon assistants, so we want to invite you into this work in a practical way that DOES NOT require a standing commitment.

The Diaconate and Mercy Committee want to identify mercy-minded individuals who would be willing to volunteer as needed when mercy requests are made known to the Mercy Committee or parishes. The requests may originate from within Trinity or from our neighbors in Charlottesville/Albemarle. Needs could take the form of physical needs (e.g., construction), visitations, transportation, financial counseling, shelter, or programmatic assistance (e.g., Faith & Finances, WorkLife). As needs arise, a deacon or deacon assistant would contact you for assistance based on your gifts and experience, which you can specify using this link. This is a practical way of serving others without a standing commitment or meetings. If you’re interested in making yourself available on an as-needed basis, please provide your information using this link.

This good work requires both men and women—of all ages. Importantly, this work will allow our neighbors and brothers and sisters in Christ to experience love in tangible ways. Also, we can pray that the Lord would meet us in these situations, allowing us to humbly walk with Him. Please consider signing up for this AND encourage others to do the same. Questions? Please email Ryan Feaver.

Session Summary

session summary FOR MAY & JUNE

BY elder bill cassidy, clerk of session

At our May 11 meeting we voted to fill the big shoes of outgoing Session Moderator Elder Bill Porter by choosing Elder Fitz Green to replace him. We are enormously grateful to Bill for his gracious, effective leadership since Drew Field’s departure. We are grateful as well for Fitz’s willingness to serve in this demanding capacity. Please thank them both when you see them.

We handled a routine number of administrative matters:
– Announcing the recent deacon/elder nomination process, which has been successfully concluded. Thanks for the wide participation in this important part of our life together.
– We were reminded of the Congregational Meeting many of you attended on May 14. Please welcome our newly elected deacons Michael Crawley and Guiming Xiao.
– We approved minutes from our previous meeting and attended to transfers of members. We received a report on the April 28–29 Blue Ridge Presbytery meeting, at which member Jesse Robinson came under care of the Presbytery as he prepares for ordination, and Drew Trotter was elected to join Bill Porter as commissioner to the June 12–16 General Assembly.

Diaconal Assistant Update
We are grateful for the strong interest shown in our fledgling program to develop a body of folks with gifts of service who would work with deacons, but who themselves would not be elected officers of the church. Those accepted for the program completed a period of training and discernment. Pastor Joe Magri recommended and the Session approved the appointment of Christine Guarnera, Sandra Johnson, Emily Massengill, Maggie Stein, and Ben Ward as Diaconal Assistants, who will serve under the direction of the Mercy Committee. Congrats and welcome to you all!

Reports from Committees and Ministry Teams
– Ruling Elder Oversight Committee (REOC): Elder Michael Guthrie discussed progress in the REOC’s ongoing work. Of particular note, we still need an elder to join the new Stewardship Committee.
– We elected deacon Bob Muir to serve on the Trinity Board of Trustees. Thanks, Bob, for your willingness to help in this way.
– Adult Formation: In response to a question from Women Together in the Word, the Session approved the leaders ending meetings with a “grace.”
– Spiritual Formation: Member Endrina Tay presented a report on a Strategic Plan for the Trinity Library describing its untapped potential and plans for revitalization. As a result, the Session approved creation of a Library Ministry Team, the appointment of a Library Coordinator, and a short-term project to expand the library collection and refurbish the facilities where appropriate. We are extremely grateful for the effort that went into this report and the fruit of those labors.

Five-Year Plan—Quarterly Report
Church Operations Director Jessica Wey Robinson gave us a summary of the first-quarter report on progress toward the goals in our Five-Year Plan. After a few changes to the report, Jessica will send it out to you. Thanks, Jessica!

June turned out to be a little busier than usual. We met the 8th for our regularly scheduled meeting and again on the 22nd to finish up.

On the 8th we announced the commissioning of our new Deacon Assistants, which most of you witnessed during worship on June 11. Please thank Christine Guarnera, Sandra Johnson, Emily Massengill, Maggie Stein, and Ben Ward, all of whom have already been pressed into service. We are certainly grateful for them.

After approving minutes of previous meetings, we dismissed a few departing members and received new members Jae and Tiffany Kwon and Benjamin and Jessica Bowers. Please help them feel welcome.

We approved a new sabbatical policy for church officers. We heard two reports: first, on a new community care initiative from Elder Tim Jones to begin in the fall, and second, on Trinity’s Core Ministry framework from Church Operations Director Jessica Wey Robinson. More about these later in the summer.

Pastor Joe outlined a proposal for a revised approach for helping to prepare future Deacon Assistants for service in the church. This will be launched for the next group of candidates.

The rest of the evening we spent hearing a confidential update from Pastor Search Committee members on their progress. There is nothing to report at this point....sorry, the committee is working very hard but hasn’t finished yet.

At our meeting on the 22nd we happily welcomed Owen Cullaty into membership. Thanks for joining us, Owen!

We spent the remainder of this meeting continuing the confidential conversation with the Pastor Search Committee. It was time well spent. The Session shares your desire to hear from the committee when their work is complete. Please continue your prayers for these folks (Jim Anderson, Jane Bopp, Josh Chen, Hunter Chorey, Ellen Foster, Jerry Jared, Louis Nelson, David Turner, Heather Uthlaut, Bill Wilder, and Lisa Wood). Their hard work continues.

Have a question about our Session? Email

MEET elder tom nolan

Tom Nolan was raised in a large Irish-Catholic family in suburban Boston, and as an undergraduate at UVA he worshiped at a local Catholic church. During his college years he was discipled by Ken Elzinga who first introduced him to Trinity. As he finished law school in 1982, the Lord led him to Trinity, where he met and wooed Jane Churchill. Jane’s parents, Jordan and Mary Churchill, played important roles in Trinity’s early years. Jordan was a wise and respected senior teacher and leader among the elders. Mary scouted properties for the church and convinced the former owner to sell Trinity the land we now occupy.

Tom Nolan Tom and Jane were married in 1983. They left Charlottesville for a few years but returned in 1987. Tom joined a local law firm, and Jane worked as a labor and delivery nurse at Martha Jefferson Hospital. Tom became a member of Trinity that year. In December 1989 Grace was born, and three years later John followed. Both were adopted, but were in Tom's and Jane’s arms on their first day of life. As adoptive parents Tom and Jane participated in ministry to other adoptive families, and Tom has included adoption law in the work done by the law firm he established called Virginia Wills, Trusts & Estates. Grace and John were nurtured by the children’s and student ministries at Trinity and both remain local. Grace works as a pediatric nurse at UVA Medical Center, while her husband attends Liberty University School of Law. John is a 2015 UVA graduate and works at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.

In 1989 Tom was nominated to become an elder, and he was ordained in 1990. After a recent sabbatical Tom has returned to active service on the Session. Over his quarter century as an elder, Tom served long stints as Clerk of the Session and was a member of the task force that established the Officer Development Ministry Team. He participates in a weekly men’s Bible study and meets individually with several men each month for prayer and fellowship. Jane has been a small group leader with Trinity’s women’s Bible study for many years and is the unofficial behind-the-scenes organizer of many funeral receptions for Trinity families. Together they host a small group in their home.

Over his career Tom has served on the boards of the Covenant School, the Pregnancy Centers of Central Virginia, and the Salvation Army. His spare time involves several pursuits. Prime among these is his confidence that his support guided the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots to multiple world championships

Tom senses the Lord may be leading him to other arenas of service within the community. As an attorney, he has perhaps 600 meetings a year with a cross-section of community members. Not every meeting is a gospel opportunity, but quite a few are and Tom believes that the Lord has deployed him in this way for a reason in consideration of our belief in the “priesthood of all believers.” Tom views having had Trinity as his church home to be among the greatest blessings in his life. He recalls the emphasis our first pastor, Skip Ryan, placed on equipping Trinity members to participate winsomely in the intellectual life of this amazing community, causing him to think often of 1 Peter 3:15: always be prepared to give a defense of the hope that is in you; yet do so with gentleness and reverence.

Sermon Podcast Small Groups
Morning Prayer Emails Adult Classes
Evening/Family Prayer Emails Retreats
Calendar new TT
Sunday, July 23: Meet Pastoral Candidate Walter Kim, 4:30–5:30pm, courtyard room

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