It is wonderful to be back among you after a few weeks away enjoying a time of sabbath rest. And now we are “off to the races” again as we launch into this new program year. This past Saturday marked our one-year anniversary together- and what a year it has been! We have been busy getting to know each other, worshiping, praying, singing, eating, playing, planning, meeting, teaching and learning and growing in trust and friendship. So, for all that has been and is now also on the horizon for this second year- thank you. My life is so much richer and more meaningful now that we have found each other and are learning to travel this road together. This Trinity Topics is full of announcements and reminders of what we will be offering in the days to come but let me give September highlights and then close by providing a brief spotlight on 3 new and exciting ministry opportunities we are working on.
This Sunday (9/9): Ministry Fair- following the service we will have a wonderful coffee hour and tables set up with descriptions and representatives of many of the Trinity ministries. We hope that everyone will stay and learn about some of the ways to get involved.
Sundays 9/16 & 9/23: Reclaiming Jesus Introduction-The Christian Formation Team and I will be presenting this theme for our year of programming. Based on a faith statement written by a collective of religious leaders last year (including our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry), we are going to use their 6 faith statements to engage various ways of approaching our collective faith life. Join us for both highlights of the upcoming year and a conversation unpacking what these words might mean to us and how we hope they will challenge and encourage our ministry together.
Sunday 9/30: Worship at All Saints, Toledo- We have learned that it is futile to try to get to Trinity on the day of Race for the Cure. So, this year we are asking everyone (choir and all) to make a concerted effort to worship with the members of All Saints – details will follow, and we will remind each other of this many times between now and then!
New Ministry Opportunities:
- Next to New: Lisa Kish, former manager of our Next to New Resale Shop has left us to help take care of a grandchild so we are putting this time of transition to good use. We are in the process of upgrading all of the technology the store uses and needs including computer systems, internet access and a new Point of Sales system. We are also in the process of crafting a new position description for the manager role and will begin the hiring process shortly. We have made the decision to move the store hours from 2 days a week to 3 and will keep you updated regarding more volunteer opportunities as we move forward. This is a wonderful ministry that is self-sustaining financially and does so much good in our community We are particularly grateful to the faithful Trinity members who volunteer on a regular basis and hope to grow that number in the days to come.
- Toledo Streets: Recently this monthly local paper has undergone an organizational transition and approached us as a potential partner to help support their efforts. With a new board in place, they are working to engage local partners to support the production costs equivalent to one month’s publication. The vestry reviewed the request for partnership, considered the mission of the paper, and then voted unanimously to support the paper as a ministry partner for the next 3 years. Toledo Streets’ mission is to develop a team of vendors struggling with extreme poverty giving them not only a way to participate through self-employment and job training, but to build confidence and new opportunities with dignity and purpose. We will be exploring ways to connect, support and learn more about this vital work in our beloved downtown in the coming year as well.
- Open Table: Every year some 30 foster children “age out” of Lucas County’s child-welfare system. At 18 yrs old they are “emancipated”- and their placement and care come, sometimes, to an abrupt halt leaving them unequipped to succeed on their own. “Open Table” is a nationwide anti-poverty strategy that picks up where the foster care system stops offering relationships, not services. Since 2005, this program has been established all over the country forming groups (“tables”) of 6-8 individual volunteers who are trained and then matched with a single former foster youth meeting weekly for an entire year. The program is currently used in over 180 cities around the country and is now getting started in Toledo. Trinity member, Roberta Durham is spearheading this new initiative in Toledo and has garnered a stellar group of community leaders in Toledo to form an Advisory Board. They began meeting this summer and are now ready to register with the national organization. Roberta approached the vestry asking if Trinity would be willing to sponsor the necessary annual licensing fee ($500) in order to receive the necessary training materials and move forward with additional plans. The vestry agreed to this exciting request as well. To learn more about how this program will be introduced in Toledo and how we may be additionally involved, Roberta has agreed to host 2 parish-wide discussions on Sundays October 7 and 14 following the service.
I can hardly contain my excitement as I think about all that is being asked of us and all that we are being called to live into together with God’s help. This is such a very exciting time- even amidst all of the dust and inconvenience of construction and the challenging parking lot situation, not to mention the on-going building issues. What I am coming to know, deeply, is that we are in it, all of it, together, and that is the source of great joy and hope. And when that is truly the way, then nothing can stop God’s love and power from moving us forward towards the kingdom. Step by step we are on our way, and I give thanks that we make this way by walking together. Together is better indeed.
May you never forget that you are loved.