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

Trinity Together | November 2015

News for 11.02.15
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A monthly look at our life with God,
one another, and our neighbors

CALM: Living out god's love in thE world


I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 (ESV)

CALM’s History
In 1995 Lula Rogers, a resident of the Prospect Avenue neighborhood, and Trinity member Amy Sherman led a team that spent months assessing both the strengths and the needs of the Prospect neighborhood, one of five federally defined low-income neighborhoods in Charlottesville. The result was Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries (CALM). CALM has served and partnered with residents for more than 19 years, seeking to bring about spiritual, educational, and economic flourishing through healthy relationships, holistic programming, and strong partnerships.

CALM’s Impact
Since CALM began, juvenile delinquency in the neighborhood has dropped by at least 66%, graduation and college-attendance rates have increased, residents have bought homes, and CALM has partnered with many other local organizations to bring new resources, such as a renovated park and the Boys and Girls Club, to the area. Last year 12 staff members and more than 200 volunteers served about 150 families through 11 programs. CALM’s participants come from a variety of backgrounds: 10% are of Hispanic heritage, almost 15% are refugees from Africa and Asia, and the rest are of African-American heritage.

We feel strongly that long-term relationships of trust are key to personal and community transformation, so most of CALM’s staff have been involved for over five years and more than half of that staff actually live in the neighborhood or grew up here. One way we see fruit of these deeply planted seeds is that several kids who grew up being served by CALM are now serving on CALM’s staff.

CALM’s Tutoring: A look inside a normal day
I joined the CALM board years ago, but this year I have developed a new appreciation for this ministry. One of CALM’s largest programs is its after-school tutoring program at Johnson, Walker, and Buford schools. This fall I volunteered to serve as a “day-captain” for a room full of tutors and students at Johnson Elementary, and serving in this capacity has given me such a renewed gratitude for the time, energy, and care that goes into its work. Let me share with you a typical day:

Carole, Judi, and Melville are retired reading and math specialists with decades of experience, but now choose to serve CALM as volunteer curriculum coordinators. They arrive midday at the CALM office to scrutinize assessments for each child and to create personalized action plans, complete with individualized boxes containing books and learning games along with detailed instructions for the tutor. Kayla, the tutoring coordinator, comes in next, phone to ear, working out who’s coming today, problem-solving, giving feedback to parents, and communicating with the school, teachers, and tutors. A CALM staff member then arrives at 1:00 to work alongside Meagan, this year’s Trinity Fellow, to get the tutoring boxes organized and in classrooms, to set up the food bank snacks, and to gather the students in the cafeteria after the final bell of the day rings. Once everyone is gathered, backpacks hanging on shoulders, and a line is properly formed, students rush outside to the swings, the slides, the basketball hoop.

This is where personalities really emerge. One child hugs every adult in sight while another shows everyone a new loose tooth. One pair plays an endless game of tag hide-and-seek and yet another patiently braids each other’s hair. A game begins with a ball on the blacktop, the rules are loose and adjustable on the fly. There is laughter interspersed with occasional yelps or tears. The tutors start trickling in, often greeted with excited shouts and hugs. “There’s my tutor!” is heard over and over. At 3:05, Kayla rings the bell and everyone forms a circle around a tree near the door to give thanks to our Maker and Savior, sometimes voiced by an adult, sometimes a child—a pause for all of us to acknowledge so many blessings in this life.

At this point, the business of the day is at hand. Kayla calls out rooms and tutor-child matches as we move into the building. Watching kids and tutors light up in connection as they get to work is wondrous. The first half hour focuses on homework. Children dig through backpacks to find a folder with the week’s and the day’s assignments, sometimes a worksheet or two, sometimes writing or reading to complete. Some students embrace the moment, the chance for help in getting ahead or keeping up. Others drag their feet a bit before finally getting to work. Some want to show off what they know, some want to hide. All end up doing the work, whether cheerfully or grudgingly. At 3:35 everyone moves down the hall to a computer lab where they work on math games or reading exercises. Then it’s back to the classroom for enrichment at 4:00. Here the kids work on their challenges—the areas their assessments have revealed as needing attention. There are board games with math, reading matrixes, or a timed read-aloud. The day ends with tutors and students alternating pages of a book they read together.

Some kids start the day great and fade, while others struggle and then glide; it’s different every day. This kingdom work is challenging but rewarding. Each one is an image-bearer, a child of God, who needs love and care but who is also full of God’s glory, whether they know it or not. This is why Abundant Life exists—to show the triune God’s love in this world for all people, to all people.

Do you want to be a part of this transformative community development effort? Contact CALM’s executive director, Rydell Payne, at or email Or come hear from some of the participants themselves at the annual CALM Christmas Banquet fundraiser on Saturday, December 5, at 6:30pm.

– Become a tutor or day captain once or twice a week
– Sign up to mentor or bring meals to one of our girls' or boys' clubs and Bible studies

  • Intelligent Girls for grades 5–6
  • Ladies of Quality Junior and Senior for grades 7–12
  • 5-8 Club for boys in grades 5–8
  • STRIVE for young men in high school

–  Volunteer with our Family & Individual Development Account (FIDA) program
– Mentor an adult through Trinity's Jobs for Life job skills program


BY Drew Field, Executive Pastor

This month we look forward as a church to entering into an honest, transparent, and hopeful conversation about money. We pray that we will hear from God about how we can grow to become more trusting and generous with our resources for the sake of His kingdom.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

As the author of Hebrews reminds us, trusting God with our finances is part of the larger issue of trusting God with our whole lives. If we truly believe that our Heavenly Father is with us, watching over us with intense personal concern, then we can rightly relax from an over-absorption with our money.

Anything less shows that we fear the consequences of placing our money in God’s hands: “What if He fails me? What if He looks away and I’m ruined? What if I miss a great opportunity?” This kind of self-talk forgets the astonishing grace of the gospel. And once the gospel is forgotten, fear and insecurity creep in.

Our standing before God, if we are in Christ, is a gift of unbelievable proportions. We are given what we cannot, could not, ever earn—right standing before the Father—because Christ paid our penalty of sin and transfers to us His perfect righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Since we are adopted into the heavenly family by grace alone, we can trust that we are kept in God’s family by grace alone.

The same God who loves us enough to sacrifice His Son on our behalf loves us enough to shake us free from money’s grip on our life. As the writer to the Hebrews asks, why hold onto a meager imposter when the true security stands pouring Himself into your life? Why fear the temporary things of this world when the eternal, solid rock of the Lord is for you?

Therefore, our contentment with our current economic standing (good or bad) is a way we can acknowledge that God’s mark is on our life. Christians are able to treat money differently—it no longer has the power over us that it once had, it becomes merely the means to the end of glorifying God. As money stops becoming the measure of our worth, it also fades as the key factor in life decisions. This means that both rich and poor Christians hold their money loosely. Why? It’s their family resemblance to the generosity of God.

As we continue to talk this month about investing of ourselves, specifically our money, in God's kingdom work here at Trinity, won't you consider what God is calling you to trust Him with? Malachi 3:10: "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may  be food in My house. Test Me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."


The Church Governance Council (CGC) met on October 8, welcomed visitors and prayed for the congregation and ministries of the church.

The Session then processed the common administrative actions of approving minutes and receiving or transferring members. The Finance Committee presented another report to the Session about year-to-date finances and our low cash reserves, to alert the elders about the need to increase giving throughout the fall. A series of testimonies, talks and communication will go out starting in a few weeks through the end of the year to help teach about generosity.

The majority of the meeting was spent discussing a church-wide draft goal and annual themes. The resulting goal and themes were:

By 2020, Trinity Presbyterian Church will be an innovative, missionary church characterized by:

  • commitment to Biblical orthodoxy
  • participation in spiritual formation practices
  • multi-generational community life
  • engagement in local, national and international missions
  • generosity with our resources

2016 | Celebrate Community (40th Anniversary, Improve community life/parishes)

2017 | Missionary People (Innovative global and local missions)

2018 | Growing Together (Spiritual Formation, Biblical understanding)

2019 | Connected to Christ (Participatory life of community, formation, outreach together)

2020 | Serving our City (Major local missions initiatives and facility changes)

Next Meeting: Thursday, November 12, 7:00PM in room 201 as a Full Session meeting

Questions? Email:

Session FAQ

How are items added to a Session meeting agenda?

This depends on the type of agenda item. Some items are a standard practice, such as prayer, minutes, membership requests, and updates. Major items are typically added at the request of a particular ministry area, Session committee (like REOC or Personnel), or based on a church-wide need. Sometimes, a request from an elder or a member is brought to the Session for a response. In the future, Leadership Teams will rotate at the Session with updates in their ministry area.



Tom and Diane Gilliam have been part of Trinity since 1977, when the church was only a year old. The Gilliams moved to Charlottesville from Washington D.C. that year with their three children. Tom was elected a Deacon in 1980 and served as Treasurer in the years before the church employed a bookkeeper. In 1983 he was ordained as a Ruling Elder, and continued to work alongside the Deacons to manage the Trinity budget and has additionally represented the Session on the Finance Committee for the past 32 years. Also significant in his time as a member of the Session, Tom has helped shepherd our church through three building fund campaigns. Diane has served Trinity in many ways, specifically as chair of teams that oversee Women’s Ministries and Adult Education.

Since coming to Charlottesville Tom has run his own small private investment banking company called Petroleum Funding Corporation. In his spare time he enjoys UVA sports, reading, gym workouts, and yard work.

During their 55 years of marriage, in addition to their work at Trinity, Tom and Diane have held roles with several community para-church organizations. They were among the early members of the local Young Life committee where Tom served as chair for 10 years. Diane’s leadership, with others, was instrumental in organizing Charlottesville Precept Upon Precept, a multi-denominational ministry that has taught the Bible for 35 years. At various times one or both of the Gilliams have served on the boards of the Center for Christian Study, the Covenant School, and the Advanced Studies in Culture Foundation.

A further place of service for Tom has been Trinity’s Global Missions Team, of which he has been a member for the past 15 years. From their earliest days at Trinity the Gilliams actively supported local and foreign missions, introducing their children to the many avenues of ministry. So it’s not surprising to find that all three are involved in ministry and mission. Son Tom and his wife Vicki have been church planters in Ireland since 2003, and daughter Connally has served with the Navigators in the D.C. area for more than 15 years. Son Robert and his wife Chantal have been raising their five children in the Middle East. Many will know of the tragic accidental deaths of two of their grandsons that Tom and Diane have experienced during the last eight years. Yet, as the Lord promised, that has opened doors of opportunity for ministry in many and varied ways.

Growing out of son Robert’s move to the Middle East in 1991, for the past 20 years Tom and Diane have hosted a monthly prayer gathering focused on those who live in or have ties to that troubled region of the world. They invite others to contact them for information or to join them. Tom has been an active elder over many years and considers his service to the Trinity family one of his most important life endeavors. He continues that role, having recently been selected to return as a member of the Session’s Church Governance Commission (CGC) and welcomes the opportunity to speak with any church member about any need or concern. He can be reached at


Jim and Maureen Garmey speak of their 32 years of marriage—and those leading up to their 1982 marriage officiated by pastor Skip Ryan—as deeply connected to Trinity. Maureen began attending Trinity in its earliest days while she was in nursing school at UVA, becoming a member in 1978. Jim started attending the next year and says he came to faith through the teaching and outreach of Daryl Richman and Skip Ryan. Jim and Maureen met in 1980 through mutual friends and the Christian Medical Fellowship. Both of their daughters were baptized at Trinity and raised through the Children’s Ministry. Like her mother, Sarah is a nurse with Martha Jefferson Hospital and a member of Trinity. Her sister Laura is married to an Anglican priest who serves with a new church plant in Littleton, CO.

Jim earned a master’s degree in cell biology and has spent his career in medical research at UVA, primarily in diabetes and cardiology. In 2008 an opportunity arose for him to move to another research institution, and they made their plans to do so by ending jobs, saying goodbyes, and putting their house on the market. They felt they were following the Lord’s leading with that decision, but He soon stepped in to change it. First Jim fell and broke his hip and then Maureen was diagnosed with breast cancer, causing them to decide that the Lord wanted them to stay here, where they had a deep ministry as well as the medical and personal supports needed to face these challenges. After completing a series of treatments over five years, Maureen is cancer-free, she and Jim have new jobs, and they are confident of the Lord’s direction in the past and for their future.

Jim was ordained as a Deacon in 1992, beginning his work with the Mercy Ministry. Earlier he had cared for his widowed mother, learning to be sensitive to her fears and needs over this life-change. Simultaneously Maureen found herself providing nursing care to the husbands of several older women in the church. As these women became widows, Maureen was drawn to serve them through a former Trinity ministry called Golden Opportunities. Jim discovered that the skills he had gained in serving his mother became the means to serving other widows, so together the couple developed a ministry to widows under the auspices of the Diaconal Mercy Ministry, and they have continued it for more than 16 years. Others have joined them but all agree that Jim and Maureen are the backbone of this ministry. They long to see younger couples join them in this work as Trinity strives to live out a multi-generational focus, and they invite anyone interested to contact them ( or

Jim has served as chair of the Mercy Team and the Diaconate and has played a role in helping his brothers work through PCA policies and other documents to determine ways to serve together. The Garmeys have hosted and mentored Trinity Fellows and have for many years made it a point to seek out and connect young couples new to Trinity with each other. They were part of efforts to discuss and work through various means of caring for church members before some of the current structures were developed.

Jim’s prayer for Trinity is that we allow God’s Word to be the foundation for all that we do as we seek to impact a culture estranged from Christ and unfamiliar with Christianity.


What's NExt for the Slates

After ten years with Reformed University Fellowship at the University of Virginia, Shawn and Jennifer Slate and family are moving to Knoxville, TN. Shawn has been called to be the new senior pastor at Redeemer Church of Knoxville and will be installed November 15. Please pray for them in this transition, especially that their house in Charlottesville would sell and that their kids would settle in well to their new schools.


Thanks so much to all who pledged to the Kickstarter campaign to record a double-disc worship CD for Trinity. While we were disappointed that this campaign was unable to reach its goal, we are happy to say that due to the generosity of folks designating gifts to Trinity for this purpose, the worship ministry is planning to move forward with a Live Worship CD recording at Trinity in the Spring of 2015. More details to come!


Trinity's giving was strong in September and October and helped close the deficit. Thank you for your generosity! As of the end of October, we are only about $20,000 behind expectations. By the end of the year, Trinity needs at least $700,000 to beat our budget and restore the church to a more firm cash situation. We are talking more about stewardship this Fall, not to meet our budget, but to help all of us live a generous life in relationship to our God.



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


Tuesday, November 10: Leadership Community Gathering, 6:00pm at Trinity
Saturday, November 21: 2nd Annual Turkey Bowl Flag Football Game, Covenant Upper School, contact Ben Melchers
Sunday, November 22:

Adoption and Foster Care Group fellowship lunch, 12:45pm, room 201. RSVP to Brooke Reid.

Sunday, November 22: International Thanksgiving Dinner, 5:30pm at Trinity, contact Kevin Sawyer
Wednesday, November 25: Thanksgiving Eve Service, 6:00pm in the alcove
Sunday, November 29: Advent Wreath Workshop, 10:00am in the Trinity gym, contact Elizabeth O'Donnell

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