By Pastor Tracey Leslie
This year during Lent our Sunday worship has included a segment called “We Are the Church Together;” an “interview” with church folks about their engagement with Trinity. We’ve heard from a variety of people (Bronwen Everton, Morris DuBose, Amanda Atkins, Dr. Steve Ash, and Susan Eicher). They’ve shared with us some of the ways they have connected and served and what has made Trinity a special place for them.
Many of you are aware that Trinity was awarded a grant from the conference last year; and received a DNR grant for our brickwork. We are currently applying for additional grants to fund the care of our facilities and our community outreach programs. Many of these grants require reports on metrics related to Trinity’s membership and worship attendance. While membership and worship attendance are important, they represent only a small piece of what Church involves. Being part of a church involves far more than showing up for Sunday worship. The Book of Acts tells the story of the Church’s beginnings. Early in Acts, right after the story of Pentecost, we read a summary statement about what life was like among the early Christians. So, what did it mean to be a part of the early Church? What kind of “metrics” might they have used in the first century? Acts 2:42-47 tells us that the early Christians spent a lot of time with one another: they fellowshipped together and ate meals together; they learned stories of Jesus from the apostles; they prayed together; they worshiped together; they practiced generosity and sharing, being willing to sell possessions so that they might distribute the proceeds of those sales to their brothers and sisters who were in need.
Not surprisingly, our “We Are the Church interviews” have named some of these very same things. Trinity folks have shared the joy they experience in serving those in need, in supporting the church financially, through worship, prayer and being a part of one another’s lives. That’s what it means to be the Church! When we say “We are the Church Together,” the word “together” is just as important as the word “church.” Church is about who we are together in Christ and the work that God is able to do through us together.
Recently, one of our church members, Richard Jewell, had a need. His apartment has steps leading up to the porch.
Because Richard now uses a walker, those steps are difficult for him to manage. Richard needed a ramp to allow him to more easily and safely get out and about to church and other places as well. One church member responded to that need by giving a financial contribution to construct a ramp.
Maintenance team coordinator Bob Lilly did some initial research on constructing the ramp and putting a plan in place. We received permission from the landlord. Then, Trinity’s volunteer maintenance team (see the team picture on the front page!) worked together to construct a ramp for Richard. Richard is so thankful for this blessing. I can’t think of a better example of what it means to be the church together!
Our “We Are the Church Together” interviews will conclude in mid-April. I hope you have taken time to check out the green sheets in the Sunday program to consider ways you can get more engaged at Trinity. I hope you’ve responded by turning in your sheet. On Sunday, April 22, during morning worship, we’ll place all of the green sheets – representing our commitments to being the Church together – on the altar. And we’ll say a prayer of blessing and thanksgiving for those who have committed to being the church together.
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