Trinity is a part of my life. Here is where friendships are made and a relationship to God is nurtured. Here is where I start my week. I love God and I talk to Him every day. And I love Trinity church. The other speakers have told you about the parts that make up Trinity, so I am going to dwell on the people and the friendships.
Friendship is central to our well-being. As humans we have a basic need for community, for the fellowship of others. Friends help us grow, comfort us in times of need, laugh with us or help us laugh when we become too serious. Different types of friends help us to explore the different needs in our life. Every friendship gives us something unique and adds something special to our experience.
I have always told my children, "Go to church, there you will find your friends for life." Once you make those friends, you have to grow that friendship. That is the way with me. My closest friends are the ones I met here at Trinity. If you just met the person and no other contact was made, you did not develop a friendship.
I believe relations have to be nurtured in order to grow and that is the glue that holds a group together. We need more potluck dinners, talent shows, Lenten studies, and Bible studies to develop the fellowship needed to keep that family feeling growing that you get here at Trinity.
When I was a little girl growing up on the farm in Gibson County, Tennessee, my grandmother took us to church. That church became the center of our social life and religious life. That is where I joined the Methodist church when I was 10 or 12 years old. My Sunday school teacher, Miss Jewell, told me the stories in the Bible and I learned about God. We are blessed at Trinity with such a teacher in Jennifer Gray. These children will remember the things that she has taught them all of their life. Thank you, Jennifer.
My family moved and my mother took us to the Methodist church in town. There we had a youth group where I was nurtured and grew in my faith. We are blessed with Mandy Bridges and our youth will remember those experiences for life. Thank you, Mandy.
When Noel and I came to Purdue in 1958 for Noel to attend college, I missed my church relationships and we started to seek out a church where we could develop friendships. We met Margaret and Harry Galloway and they invited us to their house for dinner and then to come to church with them. We did and we have been here since. This is what the District Superintendent meant about connectional relationships.
Here is where our four children were baptized, went to Sunday school and youth group, joined the church, and were all married. We are grateful for all those who were involved with their growth and introduction to God.
Bible study is very important and it is the Disciple Bible Study led by Kim Riesman that renewed my faith and helped me to develop a stronger relationship with God. I am forever grateful for that experience. My father died at age 54 and I was mad at God. I had taken my beliefs for granted. During this study I had to ask myself just what did I believe? I read the Bible for the first time and learned to pray.
Because of the people of Trinity, I got involved in the operation of Trinity and volunteered on many committees and groups. I got to know most of you by name and I enjoy that very much. It was when I got ill that I found out how many friends I had here at Trinity. I felt your prayers, your love, and your compassion as I received cards and your phone calls, as people brought soup and went shopping for me. I thank you. I miss ushering because I could greet each of you as you arrived.
My pledge to God when I joined the church and as I transferred to Trinity was to give of my time, my talents, and my resources to God and that is what I believe you should do. If you have not pledged for the coming year, please do so. God is counting us to keep Trinity alive and well. We have to do all we can to bring new members to church. We have to use the talents God gave us to help with the works of the church, and we have to give all we can to keep our staff, to support the ministries, and keep our programs strong.
So that is what Trinity means to me: Friendships, serving God and his people, and supporting the church with my time, my talents, and my money.
God bless each of you and thanks for being my friend.