Trinity’s Bus Ministry: Because of your generosity, Trinity has been able to purchase a “new” used bus. It is a 2016 Ford Goshen with approximately 29,000 miles. It can accommodate 12 passengers and 2 wheelchairs. The bus came in slightly under our projected cost so there is adequate money in the contributions for the license and registration and the new lettering which will be put on the bus very soon. Thank you to everyone who contributed toward this very important ministry!
Serving Our Neighbors in Need: During the month of August we initiated an appeal to help support local community service providers. These providers, since COVID, have seen increased demand for their services, but their abilities to fund raise have been greatly challenged. I am delighted to report that Trinity members contributed a total of $7,944.43! Because folks had the opportunity to designate their gifts toward particular organizations, the breakdown is printed below. As indicated in a recent sermon, your generosity represents more than dollars and cents. It is food in the belly of a hungry child, shelter for a homeless family, after-school care for a child who would be left at home alone, and may save the life of an LGBTQ young person contemplating suicide because their family has thrown them out. Your generosity is helping to save and sustain lives!
Fall Stewardship: Historically, Trinity has conducted our fall stewardship campaign during the month of October. This year our campaign will be conducted during November and will focus on the theme of Thanksgiving. We will highlight the contributions of church members and the ministries they lead. We hope this fall’s campaign will allow us to celebrate the blessings God has given us and inspire all of us to continue to contribute our time, talents and treasure in ways that advance our vision of “growing in love and service through relationships with God and community.” Watch for more info on the November stewardship campaign in your November newsletter.
Giving Year-to-Date: Because of some additional gifts given by members during this COVID crisis, Trinity is not behind, but actually slightly ahead on our year-to-date giving for 2020. Thank you to those who have generously given beyond their pledged gift to support Trinity’s ministry.
[Portions of this Pastor’s Word are adapted from a Taize service and reflection held at Our Lady of Grace Monastery and Benedict Inn in Indianapolis]
In Mark’s gospel, Jesus finds it continuously difficult to get away from the crowds clamoring for his help. He is continuously pressed in upon, even while he tries to make some time and space for his own physical and spiritual well-being.
His public ministry begins in Capernaum where, on the first day, he cures many who are sick and casts out demons until late into the night. He rises early the next morning to go into the wilderness, a deserted place, where he can have quiet time in prayer. But the disciples track him down to tell him that everyone is looking for him, presumably because they want to be healed and helped.
When Jesus goes to his hometown the crowd is so persistent, he does not even have time to eat. After an exhausting day of teaching, he tells his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side [of the sea].” Exhausted, he falls asleep. But when a storm arises, they awaken him in a panic. Reaching the other side of the sea, he is greeted by a demoniac as soon as he steps out of the boat. Crossing back again to the other side, a great crowd awaits him on the shoreline. People grab at the hem of his robe in the crowds. Wherever he goes, his arrival is anticipated, his presence is recognized, and people clamor after him. How exhausted Jesus must have been! Perhaps if Dr. Seuss were to write the gospel, he’d say:
"Jesus cannot have quiet time on the boat;
nor in the crowds where they pull at his coat;
and he cannot have quiet in the remote.
The crowds await him on every shore,
they press and they holler “more, more, more.”
One can imagine that each time Jesus “crossed to the other side,” he hoped something more peaceful and restful might await him.
Can you relate?
Oh, how we would like to get to the other side of this summer: to the other side of this virus, to the other side of our civil unrest, to the other side of our economic woes. And yet, at each turn, we find more of the same… a frightened, hurting, desperate world in need.
I want to encourage you in this time to be true disciples of Jesus, learning to live like Jesus lived; seeking rest and prayer and balance, yet also being responsive to the needs of those around you. Rest as you are able. Pray! But do not grow weary in doing good and serving those in need… even though it may be physically and spiritually exhausting at times.
And, as disciples, cling to the other lessons we have learned in this difficult season:
Did you know that hospitality is considered a spiritual practice? Spiritual practices are those things we do to open ourselves to God’s grace and the transforming work of God’s Holy Spirit. So what makes hospitality an experience of God’s grace? In Genesis, chapter 18, the patriarch Abraham entertains three travelers. He invites them to stop and rest under a tree in a cool and safe location. He brings them water to wash. And he and Sarah, his wife, prepare a meal for the travelers. But, these are no ordinary travelers. They are referred to as men, but also as Lord. So the story teaches us, as Hebrews 13:2 clearly states, that we encounter the divine through strangers and guests. The word “hospitality” means “the love of strangers.” Each time I am on retreat at Benedict Inn, I am amazed at the extravagant generosity and graciousness shown by the nuns. As members of the Order of Saint Benedict, they follow his teaching that guests are to be received like Christ and, in fact, we welcome the presence of God in each person and circumstance.
One of the most important expressions of hospitality at Trinity is through the ministry of our Sunday morning greeters. Many of us have had the experience of visiting a church where we are either ignored or embarrassed. Neither feels good. True hospitality welcomes people while also providing them with space. True hospitality creates a safe, open and generous space that communicates welcome and respect. It means being fully present and attentive to another person. That is a rare gift and blessing in today’s fast-paced electronic culture.
Right now at Trinity, we are in great need of greeters. Please pray about this. Research shows that most people decide within the first several minutes of entering a church whether or not they will come back. So greeting is a very important ministry.
If you would consider being a Greeter, please let Pastor Tracey know.
When we welcome others, we serve as ambassadors for Jesus. And when we are attentive to our guests, we often experience God’s blessing through them. I hope you will consider this ministry need and opportunity.
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.
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