August marked the one year anniversary of Trinity Fusion! Fusion came about as a result of a conference Urban Transition Grant and was undergirded this first year by a grant from the Center for Congregations in Indianapolis. Fusion involved a long process of research, conversations, prayer and discernment. It is focused on narrative and the power of connecting the sacred story with our own personal stories.
Fusion meets in the Great Room and seeks to cultivate a space where participants can connect, discover and grow. It features a Bible story, a guest story teller, “table talk” discussion, and concludes with a free meal. Our redesign of the youth room transformed it into an inviting space where Melissa and Jan provide an opportunity to connect, discover, and grow that is specially geared for the children (see green box about Fusion Kids).
Fusion is Trinity’s primary community outreach. It is designed to reach individuals who have a desire to connect with God and experience authentic community, but are not drawn to a traditional – or even contemporary – church worship experience. Fusion is a unique experience of Christian community and welcomes people who may be skeptics or hold unique spiritual perspectives.
September’s story teller will be our own Morris DuBose who will focus on the power of narrative in our lives. The vast majority of our bible is narrative and the story of God’s work in our lives and our world is ongoing. Fusion’s narrative format provides a relational experience that fulfills Trinity’s Vision of “growing in love and service through relationships with God and community.”
Have you invited someone outside our congregation to attend Fusion? If not, September Fusion is an ideal opportunity.
It has been a great two months for Fusion. Julieann’s culinary offerings never disappoint. And our storytellers have been amazing. In June Rev. Amanda Guthrie shared the process whereby she served as a Chaplain in a hospital setting, showing us the importance of asking, “What will help this person?” And Amber shared a homily from the Gospel of Mark chapter 5, which highlighted Jesus’s restorative love, as he brings an exiled demoniac back into fellowship.
Our July storyteller, Priya Sirohi, an Artist and doctoral student in Rhetoric & Composition, told her story of seeking identity, expression and belonging, and shared her beautiful artwork with us. Check out her work at @KoshaStudio on Facebook and Instagram.
Join us at Fusion on August 19 at 6pm to hear from Rep. Christine Campbell. More info found at www.facebook.com/TrinityFusion
The two Story Suppers were fantastic events. We were able to share in the stories of Trinity over the past 50 years. We shared collectively, as well as by table. Table leaders collected audio recordings of the conversations. This audio will be transcribed and collected into a report which will be made available to the congregation. The best audio samples will be preserved for the archives additionally.
This has been a joy.
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.
Trinity Fusion's second meeting was a wonderful time. Pastor Tracey shared an inspired reading of the story of The Woman at the Well from John chapter 4. She helped us reflect on the interaction between Jesus and the woman as a quest to build a relationship between God and a people fragmented by tradition. After that we were privileged to have Jacob Wolverton of Team Friendly Indiana (and former music director at Trinity) speak at our second meeting of Trinity Fusion. He engaged the audience in the stories of the interaction between the church and the LGBT+ community. Check out his speech on our Fusion Facebook Page. Check out his advocacy work at https://www.facebook.com/teamfriendlyIN/
Attendance at the September and October Fusion Gatherings has been in the mid-forties. Our October Fusion included several people only loosely connected to our congregation as well as 4-5 individuals who have not attended any prior Trinity gatherings.
As we enter the Harvest season, Trinity Fusion is going to take a look into the narratives of First Nations. We will hear from a Native American speaker on navigating an inherited identity and making it your own. Join us on November 19th at 6:00 pm in the GREAT room.
Learn more about Fusion here and follow Fusion on Facebook!
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