Dear Trinity Friend:
In this season of COVID-19, we want everyone to stay safe. The decision has been made to suspend worship through Palm Sunday, April 5. We will communicate in early April regarding Easter worship. That will depend on where we are with this pandemic, CDC recommendations and government restrictions. In addition, beginning March 23, the church office will be closed. Staff will continue to check mail, print checks, etc. but will otherwise work remotely.
Finally, as already mentioned, if you are aware of a church member who is homebound or self-quarantining, and who does not have someone checking in with them regularly, please take it upon yourself to contact them every couple of days or contact the church office.
Hospitality is a clear and tangible expression of God’s grace! So, each month I’m going to try and share a couple hospitality tips to help us do our best at welcoming the visitors and guests God sends to us at Trinity. Remember, the Bible tells us that, when we welcome a stranger, we may actually be welcoming an angel – a messenger from God.
Tip #1 – Give our best attentiveness to our guests. We all love to see our friends when we come to church, right? But we need to remember how nerve-wracking, anxiety-producing, and awkward it can feel to visit a church for the first time… especially if we don’t know anyone.
On Saturday, January 18, a group of Trinity staff, board members, and other lay leaders met for a day to
review Trinity’s ministries and progress with regards to our mission and vision. Those attending the retreat included: Pastor Tracey, Pastor Amber, Melissa Kramer, Savannah Jewell, Ryan Wynkoop, Norma Singley, Gloria Thompson, and Steven Flowers. The theme of the retreat was Seasons. We inventoried all of Trinity’s ministries and programs and evaluated their season of life. Here are some of the more significant discussions and decisions:
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.
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