This morning we wrap up Trinity’s Fall Stewardship Campaign, “Setting the Table for Trinity: How Table Talk Shapes our Hospitality and Generosity.” We want to remind you we’ve set a goal to increase 2019 pledges by $20,000. If pledges increase by $20,000, we will be able to address our budget deficit and designate $5,000 toward Trinity’s Caring Fund. Two weeks ago we viewed a video during worship in the Great Room that talked about Trinity’s Caring Fund. You heard from some of the people whose lives have been impacted by our Caring Fund. Pledges are critical because they make sure our infrastructure (staffing, facilities, and administration) is in place to respond and carry out the work of ministry. Our church’s caring ministries impact the lives of people right here in our community. In addition to some of our direct engagement with individuals, your ministry is amplified through our partnerships with other community organizations. This morning Bob Lilly and Susie Riley will tell you about some of those people and one of those partnerships: Lafayette Urban Ministry’s Immigration Clinic.
About three years ago, we were contacted by LUM’s Immigration Clinic about a young woman from India named Neetu Sinha. Because of what took place in Neetu’s life and her native country’s culture, it would not have been safe for her to return to India. She had no place to live and no resources of her own. Trinity agreed to make our Lily House – which is now our church office – available to Neetu. We worked with LUM and recruited donations from members of our own Trinity congregation and other community groups to cover the cost for Neetu to live in the Lily House. Even more importantly, many people in our congregation got to know Neetu and helped her navigate the challenges of life in a culture very different from her native land. Neetu knew that she could rely on individuals in this congregation to help her when she needed to locate a resource, if she was sick, and even simply having people who invited her into their homes for holiday meals. When we sold the education building, we located an apartment within a block of the Lily House and continued to take the lead in raising the funds needed for Neetu’s rent. For a full year, her rent was covered entirely through Trinity’s Caring Fund and the contributions of church and community members.
Because of our support for Neetu, LUM’s Immigration Clinic approached Trinity again when another immigrant family was in need. They are a family of eight who fled the violence and instability of Honduras. Conditions in Honduras were unbearable for this family. One child has a medical issue and the family was told they could not receive the care he needed in Honduras. Another family member owned a business and gangs threatened and extorted money from her. Other family members faced physical violence. Trinity’s Mission Team met with Susan Brouilette from LUM’s Immigration Clinic and voted to make a sizeable contribution toward rent for this family as they await their immigration hearing and continue to navigate the challenging and lengthy immigration process. Support for this family now involves the Group Home for Children, Trinity and other local churches and organizations. But it began with the long-established partnership between LUM and Trinity. When you support Trinity, we are able to partner with other local not-for-profits to make a difference in the lives of people right here in our own community.
I hope you will prayerfully consider increasing your pledge to Trinity this year and helping us meet our goal of a $20,000 increase. I hope the difference Trinity has made in the lives of Neetu, this family from Honduras, those who spoke in our Caring Fund video, and countless others… I hope the difference our church has made in their lives will inspire you to give generously. Thank you.
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