October is stewardship month at Trinity. We have so much for which to be grateful. I hope you will take some time during the month of October to prayerfully reflect on the many blessings God has given you and how you have been blessed by your engagement with Trinity. At Trinity, our mission is to make disciples and our vision is to grow in love and service through relationships with God and community. How has your involvement with Trinity contributed to your Christian discipleship? How have you grown in your ability to love God and others through your involvement with Trinity? And how has Trinity provided you with opportunities to grow through loving and serving those in need? I am grateful for the difference Trinity makes in my life. I continue to be stretched as a disciple and a servant of Christ through my involvement with Trinity. I hope you can say the same! Even since my return from sabbatical, on numerous occasions people in our community have made remarks to me about situations they are aware of and ways that we have engaged in the lives of those in need in our community and helped and supported individuals during difficult times. What a privilege it is for us to support our church’s ministry that is making a difference in people’s lives.
I hope you will join us for worship throughout the month of October as we reflect together on what it means to give out of a sense of gratitude, as a way of giving thanks to God.
Also, watch your mail and email for stewardship updates, the 2020 estimate of giving card, and a personal letter from
Finance Chair, Eric Danz.
Please return your 2020 Estimate of Giving Card on or before October 27.
Beginning Sunday, July 28, Pastor Tracey returns to the pulpit for a post-sabbatical sermon series entitled, “A Traveler’s Reflections.” This sermon series will share and celebrate reflections from her sabbatical travels. The series will conclude on Sunday, August 25, with worship in the Great Room and that morning’s worship will feature several slides from the trip incorporated into the morning message. August 25, at 9:15 a.m., join Pastor Tracey in the Great Room for more casual conversation and dialogue about her experiences – her travels to the UK, Pacific Northwest and Desert Southwest and her time with diverse religious communities. The 9:15 hour will also include time to talk together about how the practices and experiences of those religious communities compare to Trinity and our experience of Christian community.
August Sermon Series: A Traveler’s Reflections
July 28: When God Appears - Genesis 12:1-9
August 4: A Tall Glass of Water - John 9:1-12
August 11: Welcoming the Stranger - Genesis 18:1-16; Matthew 25:31-46
August 18: The Family You Choose - Acts 2:41-47
August 25: Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies… Caverns, Canyons and Corn Fields - Psalm 19:1-6; 1 Kings 21:1-16
“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.
Pastor Tracey’s sabbatical will begin on April 25. There are some special congregational gatherings related to the
sabbatical. Read below and mark these dates on your calendar!
Leave-taking Reception on April 7
April 7, following morning worship will be a “leave-taking” reception for Pastor Tracey. Join us in the Great Room for a time of snacks and fellowship.
Congregational Retreat May 17-19
The weekend of May 17-19, Rev. Dr. John Whitaker, a United Methodist pastor serving in the West Ohio Conference, will lead a retreat and preach for Sunday morning worship. Rev. Whitaker serves as Senior Pastor at Shiloh United Methodist Church in Cincinnati. He is trained in spiritual formation and has a D.Min. from United Seminary focused on the topic of Christian Community.
Pastor John will lead a retreat Friday evening and Saturday morning entitled The Choice for Community. The retreat will take place in the Great Room and will begin with a light dinner on Friday evening, May 17, at 5:30 p.m. and conclude around 8:30. It will resume at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning and conclude at noon. The retreat will focus on topics such as:
· Definitions of community,
· obstacles to community,
· community strengths and weaknesses,
· spiritual practices that strengthen community,
· inclusive community, and
· foundations of community.
This retreat is for the entire church. It is not limited to formal church leadership. Lily clergy sabbaticals encourage events for the congregation to grow during the pastor’s absence. This retreat will be a wonderful opportunity for learning and growth.
Rev. Whitaker and Pastor Tracey served together at Church of the Cross United Methodist in Kettering, Ohio in the late 90’s and have remained good friends. You will certainly be blessed by Pastor John’s leadership and teaching.
June Story Suppers
During the month of June, 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 suppers. The first will include a light lunch and will take place following worship on Sunday, June 2. The second will include a light dinner and will take place on Wednesday, June 19, at 6 p.m. 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. This will be an enjoyable, interactive experience and will allow us to craft our congregation’s narrative in preparation of celebrating our 200th anniversary in 2027.
Communication during Sabbatical
Keep in mind that Lilly sabbatical expectations are for there to be no contact between the pastor and congregation during the sabbatical period in order for clergy to completely “unplug” and rest and renew. Pastor Tracey’s church email will be forwarded and will be responded to by either Melissa or Rev. Jack Hartman. Many of you have Pastor Tracey’s cell phone number but calls and texts to the cell phone number will also not be responded to during the sabbatical time.
Pastor Linda will be in town and you are welcome to contact her with any pastoral emergencies as well. A full listing of how clergy duties will be divided will be available on April 7 at the leave-taking reception to assist you in determining who can best field specific questions or concerns.
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