November 5-14, Pastor Tracey attended the first of a series of retreats for a program entitled Women Touched by Grace, a women’s clergy renewal program conducted by Benedict Inn and funded by Lilly. 20 women clergy from across the U.S. and Canada are a part of this group, representing nine denominations and 1 non-denominational church and coming from as far as Texas, Oregon and California. This program includes five retreats spread out over 2 ½ years. The second retreat (April 29 – May 8) will be the first activity of Tracey’s sabbatical, which begins April 25, 2019.
Our first retreat in November focused on Christian community in the Benedictine tradition. Benedict Inn is where I received my certification in spiritual direction so I have become very familiar (and appreciative) of this faith tradition in recent years. In many ways, there are strong similarities between Benedict (who established his monastic order in the 500’s) and John Wesley, founder of Methodism.
In Benedict’s time, it was not uncommon for people to go into the wilderness as hermits to seek God. But Benedict believed strongly that we grow closer to Christ through relationship with one another. John Wesley also believed that our faith grows best in the context of supportive and accountable Christian community. The Methodist movement began when John and Charles Wesley formed their “holiness club” at Oxford University. Early Methodism was structured around small grounds (named bands and societies). One might consider Wesley the inventor of the small group movement!
Benedict established his monastery around three primary vows: stability, fidelity and obedience.
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.
In my twenty years at Trinity, I have heard pastors who in their own personal styles have presented the Scriptures and explained how I can live my life according to the Scriptures. Trinity has always been a caring and sharing ...
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