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.
Mark your calendars for “History.” Following worship on Sunday, June 2 in the Friendship Room and on the evening of Wednesday, June 19, at 6 p.m. in the Great Room the congregation will have two opportunities to craft our “congregational narrative” as Morris DuBose, our narrative consultant, facilitates two “story suppers.” The entire
congregation is encouraged to participate; but you only need to attend one of the two story events.
Morris and table facilitators will lead us in celebrating and “cataloguing” memories of such things as: past pastors, our
music program over the years, our missions and community outreach, how our surrounding neighborhood has evolved, memorable holiday traditions, etc. Light food and childcare will be provided at both events. This will be an enjoyable, interactive experience and will allow us to consciously shape our congregation’s narrative in preparation of celebrating our 200th anniversary in 2027.
“Growing in love and service through relationships with God and community” is Trinity’s Vision statement. Pastor Tracey used Trinity’s Vision Statement as the foundation for her Lilly clergy renewal grant. Pastor Tracey’s various sabbatical activities are designed to deepen relationships with:
While Pastor Tracey is living out our vision, Trinity will be diving deep into our vision as well. Among other activities, May 17-18, Rev. Dr. John Whitaker, from Shiloh United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio will facilitate a retreat for our congregation. This retreat is open to everyone who is a part of Trinity. It is not limited to leadership. It is not limited to “official” members. If you engage with Trinity, you are welcomed and encouraged to participate!
The title of the retreat is The Choice for Community. The retreat will feature learning and discussion around such things as:
Rev. Whitaker is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and a certified spiritual director. He completed his Doctorate in Ministry at United Theological Seminary. Understanding and constructing healthy Christian community within American culture was the topic of Rev. Whitaker’s doctoral dissertation. Rev. Whitaker and Pastor Tracey served on staff together for four years at Church of the Cross United Methodist in Dayton, Ohio. You will find that Rev. Whitaker’s teaching is well-aligned with our congregational vision and values. Rev. Whitaker will also bring the morning message on Sunday morning, May 19.
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.
What's New at Trinity
Keep up to date on the happenings at Trinity