Lay Leader Message for August
By Kay Franscoviak
What is your prayer style? Are you Tevye of Fiddler on the Roof who sings his prayers to God as he works? Do you have a special place that especially provides you with solace away from the daily routine? Are you an early riser who prays or maybe a “pillow talk” person who prays when the head hits the pillow? What are your prayer tools? The Bible? A devotional book? A personal journal? Are you not sure how to format a prayer?
The recent Trinity discussion group “Your Personality and the Spiritual Life” reflected on people’s personalities as indicated by the Meyers-Briggs personality test. One of the areas examined was methods of prayer that fit the variety of personalities. No one technique is the right one. Some people need to quiet their active service momentarily to cultivate quietly a sense of Christ’s companionship; others will find daily structured prayer such as the Lord’s Prayer to be the most effective style. Others find telling Jesus their needs and then waiting silently for Him. Opening up yourself to God by recording your spiritual insights in a journal is another prayerful technique or write your own prayer or read prayers written by others. Devotion books such as The Upper Room are another way of prayerful living. Breath prayer is another alternative, i.e. “Lord, Help me live a life that is serving others and pleasing to you.” Finally, just opening your heart of feelings and concerns to God as your best friend can be done in a quiet moment. Find your prayer style and practice it daily.
“Prayer is more than a declaration of our needs and our praise. It is a return to God of the divine breath (or Spirit) that animates our life toward God.” The Wesley Study Bible NRSV
Please remember to address your Trinity concerns with the governing board—Bronwen Everton, Kenny Jones, Susan Eicher, Norma Singley, Kay Franscoviak, Jeremy Grossman, Kristi Evans, Claudia Alenduff, Dinah Dalder, Ryan Wynkoop and Pastor Tracey and in prayer with God.
During the month of August, Pastor Tracey will be preaching a series on David, Israel’s most-beloved king. Each message will focus on David’s heart and will help us look deeper within our own hearts.
As you heard during worship on July 29, this September, Trinity will be launching a once a month Monday gathering called “Fusion.” Fusion is the result of our one-year conference grant process (Ready, Set, Grow) helping us to identify how to expand our outreach and grow our faith community. Monday Fusion will reach out to those who are not attracted to a traditional worship format. Did you know that I receive, on average, one email per week about the dramatic and critical decline in Sunday morning worship attendance? Data and demographic research reveals that churches that cling solely (or even primarily) to Sunday morning worship as the connecting point for new people are unlikely to survive. (I hope you will check out Ryan Wynkoop’s financial update beginning on page 2 which notes that, over the past year, 78 people on average per month engage with Trinity beyond the Sunday morning worship hour.)
Fusion will offer opportunities to connect to God, one another and our community… fulfilling Trinity’s vision of growing in love and service through relationships with God and community. Fusion will be “a space to Connect, Discover, and Grow.”
According to our Indiana Conference United Methodist Church Development, experiences of “Church” that are flourishing are built around cultivating community through listening, table conversation, sharing food, and serving others. Listening is listed as #1… which is why Morris DuBose has been leading our Unfinished story events over the summer. Telling and hearing our stories develops connections; it builds trust and relationship.
Fusion will be an interactive experience so, during the month of August, our Sunday morning worship will offer a brief interactive opportunity at the end of the morning message. There will be a simple format to help us dialogue with the people around us. You will not be asked to share in front of the congregation and participation is completely up to you. But we invite everyone to step outside their comfort zone! We hope that, through this short-term experience, it will allow our Sunday morning worshipers to have a fuller understanding of the mission of Fusion and why it is of value. To facilitate dialogue, we strongly encourage you to sit farther forward in the sanctuary, and perhaps even consider sitting in the center section. We have a large sanctuary and are often very spread out making it difficult to connect to those around us. Also, on Aug. 19, Morris DuBose (who is coordinating speakers for Fusion) will bring our Sunday morning message.
With God’s earth, sunshine and rain, along with Trinity’s community garden volunteers: Mel Shoaf heads the garden and Janet, his wife, Julieann Davis (Master Gardener), Mark Longfellow (row 1 – onions), Pastor Tracey (row 2 – beets), Jeremy and Sparrow Grossman (row 3 – carrots), Amanda and Jim Atkins (row 6 - cabbage and kale), Kay Franscoviak (row 7 – beans), Morgan Tarlton (row 8 – peas, squash and peppers), Evan Neace (row 9 – cucumbers), and Ryan Wynkoop (row 10 –tomatoes). Row 4 – radishes and kohlrabi and row 5 – lettuce and swiss chard are trended and nurtured by all of the volunteers.
The garden is growing, green and producing vegetables. Feel free to ask the volunteers about their stories regarding the garden and growing relationships with each other and the community.
In June and July, Trinity held the Garden and Grill Meals which volunteers helped set up, serve and cleanup along with providing salads, casseroles and desserts for friends, families, and community to partake. Everyone enjoyed the meals and activities provided while nurturing relationships.
Please join us at the next meal, Tuesday, August 14th at 6:00pm. And feel free to pull a weed and pick a vegetable!
—Gloria Thompson, Garden Volunteer Coordinator
August Trustee's Report
Great news, we have received a grant from the DNR once again to assist with the restoration of our bricks. Some of you may have noticed ads in the Journal and Courier advertising for bids to complete the west elevation of the church; this bidding process is a requirement of the grant. We are currently in the bid review process and will announce the contract as soon as possible. Work on the west elevation will begin sometime in late August or September.
You may have noticed carpet has been removed from the parlor and a new sub-floor is down. This floor will remain the only flooring until after the paint has been removed. A licensed contractor will remove lead paint on all wood surfaces in the parlor. This process will take two weeks and will begin in August. As soon as the paint is removed we will install new flooring and have new furniture delivered, so that the room will be ready for use in early September. As part of the parlor renovation, we have also converted the hallway between the parlor and sanctuary into a closet.
A new ramp door has been ordered and will be installed in the next couple weeks, along with repaired side glass for this door.
The labyrinth has been removed and sod will replace it as phase 1 of the garden refurbishing begins. We will work to create a welcoming, safe space.
Finally, our maintenance team works most Friday and Saturday mornings, and always has room for one more. If you’re
concerned about the skills required, they have tasks for every skill level and would love to have you join them.
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