One summer, when I was about ten, I spent two weeks with my grandparents at their lake cottage. I signed up for an art class and spent the mornings painting and the afternoons at the beach. It was a glorious summer. My grandma spent summers at that cottage as a little girl and the tradition continued with my cousins, siblings and me. Now, I take my kids to the cottage at least twice a year. And each time, as I drive down Route 45 and turn onto Lake Road, I feel my body relax and my breathing calm. Each time, when we pull into the gravel driveway and hop out of the car, I take my shoes off and walk across the cool grass, down the 72 steps to the beach, and dip my toes in the water. This time, I realized that this was the last place that I still go which I grew up going to. This is my last piece of home.
Many of us feel the same way about Fusion. It’s a place we return to each month to connect with others, tell stories, and share a meal. It’s a place where we can share pieces of ourselves that often remain hidden to others. It’s a place where we can strip away the pressures of work or the expectations of perfection and just exist with one another, barefoot in the sand.
I invite those of you who have not yet experienced Fusion to check it out this summer. We have a great line up of guest storytellers, delicious food, and welcoming table hosts to facilitate conversations.
The Power of Story
Telling someone else’s story is a massive responsibility. Even if there is an objective in the project (fundraising/ evangelism/ motivation), your first duty should be honoring the story of the people. Rev. Jack Hartman and Humanitarian Photojournalist, Allison Mayer spoke to us about that sacred power.
Pastor Jack shared a homily from Ezekiel 3:12-16 in which, after being sent to the people, the prophet sits among them for an entire week before speaking. This gave the people the chance to acclimate to each other, and the prophet the chance start understanding the people before he spoke.
Allison Mayer [https://allisonmayer.com/ ] told her stories of exemplifying that in her work as a Humanitarian Photojournalist. She told of working with people who, while being depicted as pitiable and tragic, live lives full of energy, hope, and love. She showed us beautiful pictures, and told stories of people who even in their need, are eager to give and share. She shared pictures that express the physical lack that the people have while also sharing their joy. As we learn the stories of others, we must commit to portraying the honest nuance in their lives.
On June 17th, our speaker will be Amanda Guthrie who served as a chaplain in Oregon working with people in the midst of acute mental health crises.
On July 15th, our speaker will be State Representative Chris Campbell who is currently representing the 26in district.
Learn more at www.trinitylafayette.org/fusion and follow Fusion on Facebook.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
What's New at Trinity
Keep up to date on the happenings at Trinity