Julieann Davis is our newest community partner. In addition to acting as our master gardener, you will find Julieann and her cousin, Cori Sivils, baking and cooking in our kitchen throughout the week. Julieann and Cori live on the same street, and have always dreamt of having their own business. That dream became a reality when Longlois Artisans began making and selling craft items last year. This year, they have started creating vegan goods (no dairy and no meat or meat by-products) including Artisan cheeses, chips and hummus, and desserts. They also sell aprons, paintings, pet portraits and many craft items. Look for Longlois Artisans at the Moseys, Art in the Park, Lafayette Farmers Market, Fiddlers Gathering and more.
Garden season is finally here! The snow has melted, the garden is ready with aged manure, we’re ready to plant and we need you! This spring marks the beginning of the second year of our community garden, one of 12
community gardens in the Grow Local urban community garden network. Grow Local's vision is to build, nourish, and nurture community through establishing and growing urban gardens. Through Grow Local, each garden is assigned a Master Gardener and provided resources and support.
Community gardens are intended to be shared with the community, and if enough produce is available, with food pantries. Our garden engages residents of Centennial Neighborhood and contributes to St. John’s Food Pantry. The garden is an important part of our neighborhood because Trinity is in the middle of an urban food desert, where residents must travel 1 mile or more to the nearest healthy food vendor. You can learn more about urban food deserts at www.trinitylafayette.org/garden. On top of that, nearly one in six people in Tippecanoe County are food insecure, which means that while most people have a source of income, there is a gap between what they earn and what they need to provide three meals a day for their family. Food insecurity has far-reaching impacts in neighborhoods, classrooms and the workplace including health issues. Tippecanoe County has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the state of Indiana.
Mel Shoaf returns as our Garden Manager. This year Gloria Thompson will be the garden volunteer coordinator and Julieann Davis will be our Master Gardener. But, our garden and the Garden and Grill meals cannot thrive without volunteers. Did you know that last year, approximately 63 million Americans (or about 25% of all adults) volunteered 8 billion hours, valued at $193 billion? That’s a huge contribution to our communities! Your experience, skills, expertise,
enthusiasm and passion are valued here at Trinity.
Get involved with the garden!
By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Recently I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Contemplate This with Tom Bushlack. He interviewed Myra Rucker. Lots of topics were covered in the podcast, but one statement Myra made really stuck with me. Myra, who now lives in MN, was raised in rural Texas in what might be considered a stereotypical rural Texas community. Her father was a college professor and physician. They moved around and each new place added layers to her diverse life experiences. She was the only African-American in her first yoga class. She spoke at great length about how her diverse experiences have allowed her to cultivate a more balanced perspective as she observes how groups of people sometimes hold one another suspect (or at least at arm’s length) and how we can get past those suspicions and stereotypes. When Bushlack, the podcast host, asked Myra about how people can be challenged to grow and become more gracious toward those who are different, she made the statement that really stuck with me: that “sometimes the best thing we can do is not make things worse.” Sounds a little like the Hippocratic oath, doesn’t it?
As a pastor, I fear that often Christian evangelism has made things worse. People are “preached at” rather than “dialogued with.” People are judged and “corrected.” I doubt that is ever very helpful. Certainly we want to spread the message of Jesus; but that message – at its core – is about love and grace.
Trinity continues to take deliberate steps to connect with our neighbors. We want to do so from a posture of hospitality and grace. Of course we want people to hear the gospel. We’d love for people to attend – even join – Trinity. But we need to start with hospitality and graciousness. Some people have had negative church experiences in the past. If they find the courage to step through our doors, we never want to make things worse. We want to begin with simple gestures of welcome and hospitality.
Over the next year, they’ll be many opportunities for you to volunteer at Trinity as we reach out to welcome our community. I hope you will be a part of these important efforts.
The Unseen City Tour is one of those opportunities. This year Trinity will be a stop on the Friends of Downtown Unseen City Tour on Thursday, May 17, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. We hope people will appreciate touring our beautiful, historic church building. But just as importantly, we hope they will feel welcomed by us when they walk through our doors.
By Jeremy Grossman, Discipleship Chair
I always liked the Tin Man. Of all of Dorothy’s friends in Oz, I thought the Tin Woodsman as described in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and portrayed in the classic 1939 movie was the most fascinating. The Scarecrow, lacking both Brains and a Heart, valued Brains as his top priority. The Cowardly Lion, on the other hand, had both Brains and Heart but felt they were useless without the Courage to use them. But the Tin Man had it right—a Heart, the ability to Love, is what makes a Life worthwhile. The Tin Man himself says, “I shall take the Heart, for Brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” Happiness—as the result of loving and being loved—IS the best thing in the world. Love is, in fact, the reason for which we were created.
Of course the irony of the journey to Oz is that the Tin Man proves again and again that not only does he have the capacity to love, he is instinctively the most loving of all his companions. In the original book, he is at constant risk of rusting because his great compassion for all living things causes him to tear up and cry over the smallest things (like accidentally stepping on a bug). When Dorothy and company finally reach Oz, defeat the Wicked Witch, and reveal the Great and Powerful Wizard as a humbug, the Tin Man receives his Heart as a token gesture. The only benefit in the Heart granted by the Wizard was to allow him to believe in the love he was already capable of. Put another way by the band America in 1974 (in a string of double negatives), “Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man/That he didn’t, didn’t already have.”
Isn’t that so much like us? We have the capacity for greatness but we don’t see it? We are created in Love to Love, and yet we struggle to recognize our capacity to do good. I’ll admit I’m not an Oz-ian scholar, so I’m not sure what happened in the sequel books once the Tin Man had his Heart…did it change him? Did he become even more loving now truly believing he could? Most of us perform acts of Love daily without even realizing it, which is a wonderful thing about human nature—but what if we DID recognize it? What if we learned to be much more intentional in how we love, in our relationships? How much greater could we do for God, our community, our families, and ourselves if we learned more about how to love?
Christ explains the Greatest Commandments in the Gospels as 1) Love God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength; and 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. Father Richard Rohr from the Center for Action and Contemplation explains, “The only way I know how to teach anyone to love God, and how I myself can love God, is to love what God loves, which is everything and everyone, including you and including me!” This is the goal of discipleship at Trinity United Methodist Church: our studies, our small groups, our classes all eventually point to learning to love.
As Discipleship Chair at Trinity UMC, I’ve chosen “Learning to Love” (or, in shorthand, “L2L”) as the motto of Discipleship ministry as we continue to move forward in growth as a congregation. More formally, I’ve worked with Pastor Tracey and the Governing Board to lay out a set of guiding tenets for this ministry along with the following precept: “A disciple of Jesus Christ at Trinity United Methodist Church seeks to grow and guide others in the Love of God and community through meaningful, intentional relationships and personal development.” The entirety of our goals and guidelines are published in this newsletter, intended to point us in the right direction as individuals and as a church. We recognize our failings, but we also recognize our potential. We recognize our weaknesses, but we also recognize our strengths. Like the Tin Man, we are learning to love.
What's New at Trinity
Keep up to date on the happenings at Trinity