A well constructed story appeals to us all because everything that happens contributes to the whole, and we, most of us, often wish that all the events of our own lives contributed to some overall meaning in the same way. In Orthodoxy G.K. Chesterton described how he eventually came to the conviction that all life was like a story – a grand adventure story. Adventure stories usually have some important goal that requires great dedication if it is to be achieved; they tell of the valor of loyal companions who face danger and endure losses in achieving that goal. Chesterton showed that this “life as adventure” theme is also present in the Christian understanding of life.
You and I express who we are in the form of the stories we tell about ourselves. We introduce ourselves to other people by telling them where we are from, where we were educated, who we know, whether we are married and have family, and sometimes, what our goals are, etc. We do this because our identity is achieved slowly, through time, and it cannot be expressed apart from an account of our specific passage through time. Let us remember those who in 2018 passed from time-bound life to life eternal: Ruth Mutchler, Woody Rogers, John Sadler and Doug Swanson.
You, I and all who worship with God at Trinity Church are on a grand adventure together. Only God knows what wonderful adventures lay ahead for us in year 2019; what new faces will join our happy throng; what familiar faces will disappear from our earthly fellowship. We are all just passing through time. So, with full confidence that God knows where our journey leads, let’s embrace one another with an esprit de corp. and enthusiasm for ministry together with Christ that we write our names on the pages of volume 2019 of the greatest story still being told.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6
How good of a communicator are you? Would you like to learn ways to be more effective when talking with family, friends, colleagues or even those you meet for the first time?
In January, we’ll begin a six week class, How Conversation Works: Six Lessons for Better Communication. Here are the topics:
How to become conversationally aware
How the conversational floor works
How and when to be direct and indirect
How to navigate face-threatening acts
How to negotiate professional relationships
How to maintain relationships with talk
We’ll base the classes on sessions led by Anne Curzan, a Yale grad, and linguistics and language professor at the University of Michigan. Just in the first few classes, we’ll look at how the word um can speak volumes and can even change the direction of the conversation.
We’ll also dive into conversational work, finding out what to do if you’re the only one doing the heavy lifting in the conversation.
Our first class will be January 6 at 9:30 a.m. in room 302 in the Fellowship Building. I hope you can join us.
“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” – Abraham Lincoln
Life exposes our limitations and capabilities. It demands far more from us than what we know is possible. Therefore Lincoln, one of the finest and capable presidents, is known to have been a person of prayer. However, most are unaware that he was viewed as the most irreligious president, despite his emphasis on prayer.
I asked all the parents to pray for their children this year. I also asked that they include in their prayers all those who influence their children – their children’s friends, schoolmates, classmates in school and church, pastors, teachers, neighbors, teammates, coaches, church and community leaders, and for the welfare of our country and the world. I renew my request because when I look at my own children, on one hand I thank God for the protection and grace that was provided. But on the other hand, I realize how inadequate I was as a father. I was not fully aware of all the changes that were happening to them and even if I did, I was not equipped to adequately address them. Thank God for God!
The picture is a prayer wall in Room 301. For confirmation and preteen classes, I have been asking students to write down their prayers and place them in the canvas. This exercise not only helps them to pray but also visualize in a concrete way that Trinity is a praying community. Let’s pray together to help our children grow in the Lord!
Start the New Year with a book! The Trinity Book Chat will meet on Tuesday, January 8, to discuss The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, by Kelli Estes, a novel inspired by true events that speaks to the endurance of the human spirit and the human heart. We’ll get together at 6:30 p.m. in the Trinity Library. Bring a light dinner (dessert is provided) and enjoy fellowship and lively conversation. Reading the book isn’t even required! Contact Kathy Maher to be added to the e-mail list. Coming up: Our book for February is West With the Night, by Beryl Markham.
Crafts for a Cause closed out 2018 with some awesome statistics:
250 neck pillows,
118 heart pillows,
212 adult hats,
79 surgery dolls,
and an astonishing 1,200 kitted and crocheted baby caps.
That’s a rough estimate of all the comfort items Crafts delivered to Fair Oaks Hospital, Christ House, area shelters and ministries to needy girls around the world during the past year. Just this week, we dropped off 52 Christmas stockings and 86 knitted Santa hats that will be given to holiday newborns at Fair Oaks Hospital.
Our group also donated a big shipment of medicine and health supplies to Art for Humanity, bought wish list items for the Fairfax animal shelter, and supported Trinity’s missions to The Leadership Center and Heart to Heart orphanage. We paid for all our supplies and donations solely through sales from the annual Holiday Bazaar. So thanks to everyone who supports us by shopping! (Sales continue through Sun., Dec. 23.)
Meanwhile, our work continues on alternating Monday nights, when we make all those comfort items. Sessions in January will be Jan. 7 and Jan. 21, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Room 124. If you can’t make the meetings, we have homework. We also have a Loom Hat project for those interested in making adult hats for Christ House and baby caps for Fair Oaks Hospital. For more information, contact Molly Sprouse.
“The New Year is here, and I am looking for a resolution.”
If you are having this thought, why not join one of Trinity’s choirs? Choir is more than rehearsing, ringing and singing. It is a vital part of Trinity whose members feel called to minister to others through music.
Join one of our choirs and you will:
1) Be a part of the church’s worship life
2) Fellowship with others who feel God’s call to serve through music
3) Experience how music becomes an extension of God’s word
Qualifications for joining a choir include:
1) Loving Jesus with all your heart
2) Wanting to express through music what God has done for you
3) Being willing to serve at Trinity
You don’t have to be a great singer or ringer (although we are blessed with those!). If God has called you to serve in a choir, others will help you begin your journey in this new way to serve. Remember that “God does not call the qualified; rather, he qualifies the called”. If God is calling you to serve at Trinity through its music program, please make a resolution now to try one of its choirs!
Trinity Trebles, Wednesdays, 6 p.m. in Langley Hall for dinner (ages 4 – 6th grade)
Youth Choir, 1st & 3rd Sundays, 11:40 a.m. in the Chapel (grades 7 – 12)
Happy New Year to all the kids of Trinity Church. It’s your friend, Henny. Can you believe it is 2019? Time flies when you’re busy playing fetch, snacking on Milk Bones and taking naps. But, that’s just me. Maybe you are celebrating the New Year with your own tradition.
Do you have a Bible? If you do, reading the Bible more often would be a good way to start 2019. Have you heard of a New Year’s resolution? It’s when you decide to start doing something (like reading the Bible, exercising or eating healthier foods) on January first.
Here are some fun things for you to know about the Bible and some you can look up.
More than 100,000,000 Bibles are printed every year.
The longest word in the Bible is Mahershalalhashbaz, found in Isaiah 8:3. That’s the super-long name of Isaiah’s son.
The longest book in the Bible is Psalm 119, with 176 verses.
The shortest book in the Bible is Psalm 117, with just 2 verses.
The shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35. “Jesus wept.” That’s really short!