In July, 2019, Morris DuBose began a grant-funded position as Trinity’s Narrative Consultant. Trinity has built our discipleship and outreach around narrative and story. Trinity Fusion (our Monday evening gathering) fuses together sacred story and our personal stories and experiences. Last summer we hosted Unfinished, monthly gatherings for story telling. Previously, Morris led a small group of church members who came together to share their life stories and experiences with one another.
What makes our stories so important? Why have we chosen narrative as the primary format for our discipleship and outreach? Because, as Irene Nowell writes: “telling our stories leads us to understand who we are… If our stories are not told, the depth of our souls will not be known.”
As we continue to explore new and exciting ways to engage the community both within and external to Trinity we are fine tuning our approach to our storytelling and narrative. We are pivoting from our original Storytelling Group model, that featured designated storytellers with hour and a half presentations, to the Unfinished Circle.
The Unfinished Circle will meet on Wednesdays beginning on April 3rd, continuing weekly at 5:30pm in Trinity’s Great Room. We will create a space for small scale storytelling that will center around specific themes. People are invited to share, listen, or of course do both. Come to as few or as many evenings as you want. If a specific topic inspires a particularly compelling story, contact Morris DuBose at email@example.com or leave a message at the church office.
For the past several months, a small team of Trinity and community members led by Ruth Smith have been meeting to form a nonprofit to manage the historic preservation projects at Trinity. The purpose of forming a separate nonprofit is twofold: 1) to apply for grants that Trinity is currently ineligible for as a religious institution and 2) to charge rental fees for the use of our space. The team has named this new nonprofit Living Stones Historic Preservation. Through Living Stones, we strive to build a welcoming community by preserving the solid foundations of the past. The mission of Living Stones is to support preservation and encourage use of historic religious structures in Lafayette. More at www.livingstoneslafayette.org.
In addition to determining the mission and vision, the Living Stones team has identified strategic options utilizing the strengths and opportunities at Trinity to address its weaknesses and threats. Some of these options include:
Over the next year, Living Stones will focus on completing two historic preservation projects:
1. South Lawn Landscaping
2. Stained Glass Window Restoration.
Living Stones will apply for grants and in order to provide matching funds, Living Stones will enter a cooperative agreement with the Trustees to rent out building space owned by Trinity to individuals and organizations, raise private contributions (individual and corporate) and utilize Trinity’s Building Endowment funds as authorized by the Trinity Endowment Bylaws.
In addition to the two projects, the Living Stones team is also focusing on developing a strong board and operating plan. During this first year, Trinity will provide administrative support and the Living Stones team will write grants and recruit board members. Trinity does not currently have enough available resources to support the financial management of Living Stones. Until Living Stones can acquire the resources to maintain a financial administrator, Friends of Downtown has offered to provide fiscal support. Friends of Downtown is interested in seeing Living Stones succeed for the vitality of the downtown Lafayette area and is offering their support and services at no cost. This fiscal agent support is already offered to many local non-profits in Lafayette like Grow Local. By the end of 2019, Living Stones team will prepare a plan for rental management, accounting and grants management, and fundraising. The Living Stones team is excited to move forward with year one!
Without volunteers, many necessary tasks and ministries would not be completed! We welcome your talents, skills, and spiritual gifts as Trinity seeks to grow in love and service through relationships with God and community.
Over the past several months, Trinity has been renovating the parlor behind the sanctuary and redesigning this space to become more versatile, welcoming and “user friendly.” The dark, narrow hallway between the parlor and sanctuary has been transformed into storage space. This will allow the renovated parlor area to be more versatile and will also keep our sanctuary space more neat and tidy. No Operating Budget or Building Endowment Funds were expended for this renovation. It was funded, primarily, with excess money from the sale of the Education Building, along with some designated member giving.
In the old parlor space:
We also hope our GREAT Room will be good space for our community. Toward that goal, on Sunday afternoon, October 28, at 4:00 p.m., we will host a “Movie Night” for our church and neighborhood in the GREAT Room. If you would like to assist with this outreach event (room setup, snacks, passing out invites to our neighbors, etc.), please contact the church office.
Finally, to be good stewards of our limited resources, Trinity did not use a construction company for this project. We secured individual bids for work that required professional expertise and utilized volunteers for non-professional tasks. Please express your thanks to Kristi Evans, Trustee chrp., and Bob Lilly, Maintenance Team Volunteer Coordinator, for all the work they did to make this renovation project a success.
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