All Are Welcome

November 2017

“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.”

Romans 13:10

 

Dear Friends,

Trinity is very blessed. At our Diocesan Convention last weekend, Trinity’s very own Pat Grodt was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons.  As a vocational deacon, Pat will serve at St. Dunstan’s in Shoreline, where she has been shadowing for the past year as part of her ordination process. Pat will serve at Trinity on Sunday, November 5th at our 10:00 am service celebrating All Saints Day. A special reception will be held at 12:30pm that day, providing sufficient time for folks from St. Dunstan’s to drive north to join us for the reception for The Rev. Deacon Pat Grodt.

Additionally, at Diocesan Convention, Kelly DiCicco was honored with the “Ky Chen ‘No Problem’ Award of Excellence.”  In 2011 Bishop Rickel established the Ky Chen Employee Excellence “No Problem” Award to honor the service of diocesan staff member, Ky Chen, upon his retirement. For 25 years Ky ably and graciously staffed the print shop at D House, responding to any request (no matter how large or last-minute) with the response “No problem,” even if it meant rearranging prior plans or scrambling to get the needed supplies. Ky was a devoted employee whose enthusiasm and team spirit epitomized the best of any employee.  The Ky Chen Employee Excellence “No Problem” award is set up to recognize outstanding employees from any congregation or affiliated organization in the diocese. Trinity is honored for this special recognition of Kelly for his outstanding service to Trinity and the people of our diocese.

As we all experience, Trinity is also blessed by our heritage sanctuary and buildings that allow us to host community groups and celebrate Sunday services as well as weddings, baptisms, and funerals that mark important moments of transition in people’s lives and in the life of our community. We are blessed with the talents of David Spring and all those who contribute their skills and passion for music to the broad range of our music programming. We are blessed by the generosity of those who belong to our St. Mary’s Altar Guild, those who steward the many precious items associated with our worship and hospitality of our services.  We are blessed by our Pastoral Care Volunteers and people who provide leadership to the many outreach initiatives of our parish, and we are blessed by the presence and prayers of our chapter of The Daughters of the King.  We are blessed by our Youth Group and Sunday School and by the enthusiasm and dedication of the volunteers and parents, without whom our education programs would not be possible. We are blessed by our nursery staff and volunteers and by the talents of Emily Malmevik, who creates our monthly newsletter and maintains our website.

Trinity is blessed with so much by so many.  In the midst of such blessing and abundance, it can be difficult to acknowledge what we do not have. Trinity does not have enough income. We do not currently have sufficient contributions to adequately cover the costs of our operations this year. Our projected expenses for next year mean that we are looking at another year of operating from deficit budget, which is simply not sustainable. We must protect and grow what savings we have as an organization and must not spend down our endowments. In previous years, we have invested some of our savings into our education programing and education program development, which the bishop’s office agreed with us was a good investment to make. As Trinity has worked hard over the past several years to return to paying our full assessment to the diocese, our financial challenges have reflected the reality of a paying full assessment over this past year. Paying a full assessment is something we must continue to do, and we are committed to doing so in the coming year.

If we, as the People who are Trinity parish, want to continue to know and support the many blessings we have, then we must add the blessing of sufficient financial support. Such a blessing – as with all other blessings we are experiencing – can only come from us, from those who are proud to belong to Trinity or support our presence, our ministries, our inreach and our outreach. If – when our pledge campaign ends in just a couple of short weeks – we find that we will have insufficient projected income for 2018 (based on the pledges we receive), then the community of Trinity will have some important decisions to make together. We will no longer be able to continue as we have for the past many generations. We will need to identify new paths of clerical and organizational leadership, new ways of operating our church front office and music programs, and even new places and spaces in which to be the church.  With at least ¼ of our budget going towards maintaining our facility, this last is a genuine question to ponder, along with everything else.

Our pledge drive – our annual campaign – will conclude on Saturday, November 18th. That evening, our community is invited to gather for a special Evening Prayer Service at 4:00 pm, during which we will dedicate a 125th Anniversary plaque and offer our pledges for 2018 to be blessed at the altar in thanksgiving. The prayer service will be followed by our Parish Thanksgiving Dinner in Rogers Hall.  Whatever else we may gather – in terms of our talents, time and financial offerings – what we are most blessed by at the end of the day is one another.  When we gather as community in the name of Christ, giving thanks for all that God has given to us, we are faithfully following what Jesus has asked us to do.

I hope that all of us might come together to celebrate Trinity on the evening of November 18th. No matter what challenges we may have or what changes our future may hold, we have much to be thankful for in the here and now.

The joy of meal fellowship was something that Jesus valued very, very much. For him, sharing a meal was a precursor to the Heavenly Wedding Banquet, where all are fed by faith, nourished with love and filled with grace. If you need a ride to the Evening Prayer and Thanksgiving Dinner on Saturday, November 18th (beginning at 4:00pm), please contact the Church Office at 245-252-4129. If you have completed a Pledge Certificate, please bring it with you for the prayer service.  If you need a Pledge Certificate for 2018, please contact us.

 

 

In Christ’s Peace,

Pastor Rachel+

The Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, Rector

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