Giving in gratitude. What does this mean? How do you give in gratitude? I believe to truly understand this concept, we must go deeper beyond the surface of the words.
As an Engineer by profession, I have lived by the concept of being open-minded for as long as I can remember. Being open-minded means being willing to listen to other people and consider new ideas, suggestions, and opinions. This is an essential practice in the logical world of problem solving and many people within our society practice being open-minded daily. As I find myself thinking deeper about being open-minded, I feel that something is missing. There is a missing component to balance out the logical aspect of the mind.
If someone practices being open-minded alone, they are missing the emotional connection. Sure, they will communicate effectively and even be able to work well with others, but they will never be able to connect on a deeper and more emotional level with others. To do this, you need to also be open-hearted. Being open-hearted is to be honest while expressing one's feelings without concealment and being willing to give generously. This is the true challenge today and something that I have personally struggled with. Being open-hearted is to be vulnerable by sharing your personal narrative with others no matter how hard it is. It means to be kind to all, no matter the circumstances. It means to give all that you can, above what is expected, in hopes that you can impact those that are in need. To truly give in gratitude, you need to first strive to open your heart and pour out to those around you.
In efforts to be open-hearted with our church family, Isabel and I want to share a small portion of our current story with you. In early August, we received the most exciting news. We were going to have a baby! Family is a big part of who I am today, and I have always looked forward to having a family of my own. Given that, our excitement was through the roof. For the last couple of months, we devoted our lives to planning everything out for our new addition to the family. Names were picked out, nursery plans were underway, and even reveal plans were in place for our families. The future was set in our minds. We were oblivious to the fact that God had different plans for our future. Late into September, we found out that we had a miscarriage. Nothing is more crushing than the sinking feeling of your future being ripped from you. Words cannot describe the overwhelming sadness that overcame our life within only a few seconds of receiving the bad news...
Through all the hurt and sadness that we have been feeling, there is some good that has come out of it. We have made ourselves vulnerable by opening our hearts to some members in our church family and in doing so, have fostered a deeper connection to them. This connection translates to a sense of belonging to the church and its members. This vulnerability has helped us find our gratitude for what we currently have and continue to grow within Trinity and our community. We will Give in gratitude.
So, I challenge you to open your heart. Be vulnerable with us. Tell us your story. Be kind to everyone, no matter the circumstances. Give generously. I promise you that the act of opening your heart will allow you to find your gratitude for what we have in our church. Please, give in gratitude with me.
Please complete your 2020 Estimate of Giving Card and turn it in during worship on or before October 27th or mail it to the church.
Trinity United Methodist Church
During Pastor Tracey’s sabbatical, there will be exciting ministry opportunities for Trinity as well. Next month, more will be shared about a weekend retreat and two “Narrative Nights.” Trinity’s part-time Associate Visitation Pastor, Linda Dolby, will have expanded duties. Morris DuBose will have expanded leadership of Fusion. Amber Traeger will bring the message during one morning worship and one Fusion. But, most of the pastoral coverage will be provided by Rev. Jack Hartman. On page 10 is a bio to help you get better acquainted with him:
Jack Hartman grew up in Lafayette with the idea that someday he would be a pastor. It was at one of our church camps during his senior high years that the idea was linked to a calling to ministry in the local church. Jack’s passion has been to share the good news of Jesus with others so that they could fully realize God’s presence in their lives.
Jack spent forty years in full-time ministry in the United Methodist Church and was a District Superintendent for five of those years. During this time period, Jack served as chair of the Conference Camps and Conferences, Chair of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration, and Chair of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. He retired in June of 2010.
Since 2012 Jack has served as a part-time Associate Director of Church Development for the Indiana Conference United Methodist Church and has worked particularly in the redevelopment of existing congregations. He has served as a consultant with over fifty churches in the Indiana Conference. Jack has also served four U.M. churches as an interim pastor: Lebanon Centenary, Monticello, Delphi, St. Andrew (West Lafayette). In two cases this was coverage during a pastor’s Lilly sabbatical.
Jack has three hobbies: woodworking, photography, and golf… although he is quick to mention there were times he was glad no one was taking pictures of his golf shots. He and his wife Carolyn like to travel to places that offer opportunities for nature photography.
Another Leg of Pastor Tracey’s Sabbatical Journey…
Some of you are aware that my father, mother and brother are deceased and that my sister, Vicki, who lives in Johnstown, PA is the only surviving member of my family of origin. Due to distance, we don’t get to spend as much time together as we’d like. Both of us enjoy traveling and, for many years, have talked about an historic Route 66 vacation. For one week of my sabbatical, Vicki and I will fly into Albuquerque, NM, rent a car, and drive Rt. 66 from there to the Hoover Dam and back.
See what people are saying about Trinity. Read and watch testimonies.