Trinity Family, I’m sharing this pastor’s corner on behalf of pastor Larry. I would think that many of you heard about Larry’s accident that happened a week ago at his son’s house. He fell, broke his two ribs, and fractured his ankle and wrist and the orbital socket of his left eye. I visited him
last week. Even though he looks terrible with black bruises on his face, he is in good spirits and on the right track with healing.
We are thankful that this accident is not life-threatening and we all agree that life is fragile, and you never know. Larry appreciates all of your prayers and cards. He thanks the stitchers for the beautiful prayer quilt that they shared with him. He does feel our strong support and love. He also
wants to say, “Thank you!”
Please continue to pray for him for healing and Amy as she takes care of him. No visits or phone calls would be helpful at this time. Cards, emails, and prayers are much appreciated as a way to lift him up. Please refer to Trinity staff and me for any questions related to the life of the church.
We’ll do our best to communicate with you in terms of our ministries and missions. Trinity has been blessed to relaunch its ministries outdoors and indoors since June 6. We will continue to adopt a Summer schedule for Sunday mornings (9:00 AM Outdoor Worship, 10:00 AM Discipleship Hour, 11:00 AM Indoor Worship). We will keep our current protocols for indoors and outdoors with the guiding principles: Do no harm. Do Good. Stay in love with the Lord.
We have exciting news about student ministry. Jenna Bush will join our church family as the Director of Student Ministries this summer. She has been serving in youth ministry for 14 years and is a graduate of Eastern University with a degree in Youth Ministry and Biblical Studies. She is married and has two young children, ages 3 and 1. We’ll have an official time to welcome her and her family this summer. Please pray for her and her family in this time of transition.
We have come a long way through God’s grace, navigating new ways to participate in God’s redemptive works for the community and people. We give thanks to God for all that God has done for us and will continue to strive to be a vibrant church that would reflect the kingdom of God. That’s why we need to be together to support and encourage each other. People need to feel God’s welcome, experience God’s love, and find life meanings beyond life fragility. I believe that a community of faith can do that through lifting up songs and prayers and reminding each other of faith that tells us about who God is as our creator, redeemer, and sustainer and who we are as God’s children. Let us continue to have faith and trust in the Lord.
Trinity staff is always open for dialogues that would help us grow in God’s love and discern God’s vision for our ministries and mission. We’ll offer opportunities for us to share our hopes and dreams this summer. We thank God for you.
God bless you!
Hung Su Lim
Finally! Trinity is fully re-opening! Throughout this pandemic, we have been guided by our faith. As the people of Jesus Christ, our commitment has been to love our neighbor by protecting our congregation and the community by limiting spread of COVID-19. We have followed the guidance of the CDC and the Office of the Governor on these matters. This continues to be our guide. The Conference has relaxed restrictions and empowered each church to make appropriate decisions as long as we abide by the Governor’s Executive Order 79, effective May 28, 2021. Our Trinity plan has been reviewed and approved by Dr. Hyo Lee, our District Superintendent. (He also asked if he could share our plan with other churches as a template.)
Here is the information you need to know:
Changes beginning on June 6:
We will adopt a Summer Schedule for Sunday mornings starting Sunday, June 6
9:00 AM Outdoor Worship (How long this service remains outdoors remains to be determined)
10:00 AM Discipleship Hour (Sunday school for all ages, indoor and outdoor)
11:00 AM Indoor Worship
Outdoors: All restrictions have ended. You longer need to register for the service. You may sit where you wish. Masks are not required for anyone outdoors.
Indoors: You may sit where you wish in the sanctuary (except the balcony, see below). Singing without masks is allowed.
For fully vaccinated persons: Restrictions are lifted. Masks are not needed.
For people not fully vaccinated: We respectfully request that you wear a mask indoors. This is on an “honor system” with no registration or monitoring involved.
For those who may be uncomfortable with these changes:
- Livestream worship will continue at 11:00 AM
- The Outdoor service is a wonderful alternative.
- The sanctuary balcony will be limited to those (vaccinated or unvaccinated) who agree to remain masked, who prefer to sit only among others who are masked and agree to reasonable (3ft. is the CDC standard) social distancing. Anyone may simply go and sit in the balcony at will, but these restrictions need to be observed.
Small Groups maymeet throughout the week. Groups will self-monitor as they see fit.
Students 12 years and older are regarded the same as other adults.
Kids 5-11 years, should be masked indoors. Masks are not needed outdoors.
Weekday Preschool resumes in the Fall (normal schedule, Preschool has operated throughout pandemic and will continue to do so under VDH guidelines.)
We are well on our way to a new normal. Our schedule may change due to weather or needs. We pray that the virus will continue to recede and that we put this behind us. If there is a resurgence or the rise of more disturbing variants, we will adapt. We are, as we have always been, in God’s hands. Let us move forward in unshakable faith.
Trinity’s PRG – Post-Covid Re-Entry Team – (formally called the Healthy Church Team)
Alice Hirata, M.D.
Corey Booker, Church Council Chair
Jim Crowder, Trustees
Mike McCullough, J.D.
Hung Su Lim
“‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ He asked them, ‘What things?’ They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death
and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and beside this all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had seen a vision of
angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’”
Resurrection. Victory. Life. Love. In just days we will be celebrating Easter. It can’t come fast enough! We need the Easter message with it’s strength and triumph and hope!
I’m more than ready, aren’t you? The Easter message is at the heart of our faith and it is at the heart of our lives. What joy indeed! But Easter Sunday can’t come without Good Friday, that is to say there is no resurrection without crucifixion.
Far too many Christians go straight from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, trading Hosannas for Alleluias, palm branches for Easter lilies, and in the process overlooking the unpleasantness in between. But, dear friends, the power is in the story. To know the sublime joy of Easter we must acknowledge the harsh reality that is Holy Week.
Therefore I invite you to fully participate in this greatest story ever told, the story of what God has done for us.
See below the listing of our Holy Week services. Please be a part. Let us worship together and make this story the very center of our hearts and lives.
My heart was broken by the recent tragic violence that took six innocent lives in Atlanta, GA. There is no way to justify any forms of violence against people based on their colors and ethnicities. It is not only anti-cultural and anti-ethnic but also anti-human. Our baptismal vows remind us that we are called to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. We must stand together against racism and stop racial hate crimes.
Whenever I learn such tragic news, I think of my child, who amazes me from time to time. Not only do I care for her, but also I learn from her. One thing that I learn from her is her sense of innocence and non-biased perspectives. When I walk with my daughter at a park or in the neighborhood, she greets anyone who passes by. Her genuine greeting with a smile toward people makes them greet her back with a smile, although you cannot see her whole facial expressions because of a mask. Then, she would call someone that she encounters either a sister, a brother, an uncle, an aunt, or a friend. How she does interact with people reminds me of what Jesus said about children, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” (Matthew 19:14) Her innocent view on people helps me understand what we are intended to be and how we are created for. We are God’s family, no matter who you are and where you come from.
Can we learn from our children and protect their non-bias racial perspectives? What do we teach the next generation? How could they inherit love, kindness, and compassion from us? We as human beings have a distorted perspective on human races with misogyny and hatred and experience the consequences of broken humanity. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed this dream, “…all of God’s children…will be able to join hands and sing…” His dream continues, and God invites us to join this dream to fulfill.
For such a time as this, we turn to the Lord, who has already claimed the victory from sins and death, offering us healing and hope. Our Lord guides and protects us when we wonder and struggle because God is always with us no matter what. Let us pray for and be mindful of all of the victims of hate crimes and racism. Let us stand together against racism. Let us pray that our children may live in a world where all people join hands without hatred and discrimination and sing together a song of love and justice. Let us love one another as the Lord has loved us.
Lord, our hearts are shattered when we experience broken humanity. We have failed your love and struggled with evil, hatred, racism, and violence. We pray for all of the victims of hate crimes and racism. Be with their families and friends in this time of hardship. As we turn to you and have faith in you who has died for us and shown how to love, let your perpetual love shine upon us and give us the strength to love one another and end racism. “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us. Melt us, mold us, fill us, use us. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us.” (Adapted from The UM Hymnal, No. 393) In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray.
-Pastor Hung Su Lim
“Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
maker of all things, judge of all people:
We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness,
we from time to time most grievously have committed,
by thought, word, and deed, against thy divine majesty.
We do earnestly repent,
and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings;
the remembrance of them is grievous unto us.
Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father,
forgive us all that is past;
and grant that we may ever hereafter
serve thee in newness of life,
to the honor and glory of thy name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Those of us of a certain age will remember the prayer of confession in the old communion liturgy found in the 1968 Methodist Hymnal. I grew up with that hymnal, that liturgy and that prayer. (Actually it was written by Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer for his adaptation of the mass in his Book of Common Prayer during the reign of Elizabeth I, but I digress…) It is a good prayer. And I always think of it as we enter our season of Lent.
Lent is a season of forty days (not counting Sundays which are considered “little Easters”) starting on Ash Wednesday and ending on Holy Saturday. Lent (from the Anglo-Saxon word lencten, meaning “spring”) is a penitential season but it is also more than a penitential season. It is also a season of preparation, of preparing to celebrate Easter. It is penitential in that we all need to have a time to reflect on what we done wrong, either by what we have done or by what we have failed to do. We need examination, confession, and repentance. But repentance is an action verb. It doesn’t just mean regret; it also means change. We prepare by asking ourselves how to live better, how to live more fully, how to live more faithfully. Hence, Lent has both negative (what are you giving up this year?) but also positive (what will you do this year?) aspects. Lent has never been my favorite time of year, but it is arguably my most important time of year. How about you?
I wish for you a holy Lent.
It occurred to me recently that some of you might feel that the church is constantly asking you for money. The reason for that is because the church actually is constantly asking you for money. Consider: Trinity just raised over $33,000 for United Methodist Family Services, and thank you Trinity Foundation for the $5000 matching grant. Now, in the Samson Project, we are asking for money for area Food Pantries. (Hey, we’re just asking you for money. My donation is a little more “personal”*). We have begun Arise, Shine our annual Stewardship Campaign – absolutely critical! And, of course, Ash Wednesday is February 17, with Lent comes our Lenten/Easter Mission Offering.
Hey, what gives, you ask? Fair question (which is why I’m answering it before you ask it.).
Allow me to offer a few insights: Trinity is, and has historically been, an incredibly generous church. It’s who we are, a congregation of generous people and a church that gives generously to the community. We trust you to know what you want to do. Of course, our tithe, our support for all the ministries of the church, is our duty. It’s the offering of our first fruits to God. But after that our responses to various appeals is a matter of the spirit. No one can do and support everything, but let us all do and support something.
If we don’t ask, nothing happens.
In a phrase, follow your heart. Please faithfully support Trinity’s ministries in our Arise, Shine campaign. We are all called to do that. It makes everything else possible. But beyond that, listen for the Spirit. Follow your heart. Be generous, but don’t feel guilty or bad if you can’t support everything. I hope that like me you are proud to be part of a church that is constantly asking for money because we are constantly giving it away and doing so much good. The kids at UMFS, the women and children in Trinity’s apartment at CARITAS’ new shelter, the people with pantry-provided food on their table, families in Oak Grove/Bellemeade, or the people of Honduras may never get a chance to thank you, but then there is this,
“Then the king will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”
*$10,000 I get as haircut
$20,000 Cut shorter with electric clippers.
$100,000. I shave the beard as well. (I dare you! – LL)