Over the last year, many of you have asked about our French-Swahili congregation. As you might have guessed, the pandemic had an impact on them too.
A couple of families lost loved ones to assorted health issues in their home country. Also, for some of the congregation in Richmond, the pandemic impacted employment, education, and housing.
Luckily, those disruptions in Richmond were countered by your generosity. Your financial donations have allowed us to assist our French-Swahili families in their times of economic stress.
But also, like you, they have not been able to worship in person, and this has created an extra level of stress for a close-knit community. Working with some special funding, the church was able to purchase and donate 13 Lenovo Chromebook computers to help these families.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, March 16, their congregational leader, Vianney Kayimbula, stopped by the church to pick up the Chromebooks for distribution. As soon as Vianney walked into the church office corridor, he said with lots of emotion, “Oh, how I miss my church.”
So do we Vianney.
The Chromebooks will enhance their opportunities to connect with each other, help to restart their worship and prayer meetings, and assist with learning the English language.
We want to thank everyone who has helped with financial donations during the last year for our French-Swahili families. You have made a real difference for them during the pandemic.
Our Trinity Stitchers are at it again! This time they delivered 24 handmade stockings filled with goodies to the Hermitage in Richmond. The stockings included Chex mix, a small cake, tissues, candy, toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, an Advent book, crackers, and an elf.
Despite our rain-out and rescheduling, 15 families were able to participate in our Pumpkin Carving Party in October. It was a great joy to see our Trinity families again and to play together while also observing social-distance rules and making safety a top priority. Thanks to all who came and to all who helped make this in-person event happen!
The renovation of the Mastin room started on Monday, July 27. Building permits, insurance coverage, and contracts were finalized. A pre-construction meeting was held with key personnel from Century Construction Company to outline their plan. This project will create a new meeting space for our youth while also improving the adjoining hallway and restrooms. Our Trustees want to thank our congregation, the Trinity Foundation, the Finance Committee, and Church Council for their leadership and cooperation in making this project a reality. We will keep you updated on the progress.
In a very short period of time, the Sanctuary has become like a production room for a television show. Also, in a very short period of time Aaron Miller, Bryce Miller, Charles Staples, Hung Su Lim, Jen Williams, and our communication consultant, Kim Johnson, have revisited past skills and learned new skills in the weekly broadcast of the Sunday morning worship service. That service just doesn’t happen in a blink. During the week, assorted recordings and videos are produced. This involves lots of technology for editing, mixing, and developing a take that is worth broadcasting. This also involves lots of communication with musicians and choir members. When a piece is filmed off-site, this requires a whole different level of production techniques and strategies.
Recently, this team has worked to improve the infrastructure of our technology. The goal is to improve the quality of the broadcast, but we all need to remember technology is imperfect. All it takes is one tiny gremlin to wreak havoc during a Sunday broadcast.
We thank you for your support and feedback as we continue with virtual presentations. And we appreciate the hard work and teamwork that Aaron, Bryce, Charles, Hung Su, Jen, and Kim give us each week.
A pandemic certainly changes things that we usually do. The ways of celebration look different this year. However, it is always a joy and a blessing to welcome new members.
Trinity joyfully welcomes four-family units that consist of seven transferring members and four children in the English congregation and fifteen family units that consist of twenty-four transferring members and thirty-five children in the Swahili/French congregation. In sum, we have received thirty-one new members with thirty-nine children.
Since August, we had Discovering Trinity, which is a four-week new membership class. We have talked about God, humanity, faith community, and life. It was such a blessing to share our faith together and how God has impacted our lives. We truly learned that when we do that in the name of our Lord, we reaffirm our beliefs through the Christian fellowship and acknowledge that we are all part of the one body of Christ. Technically, we had to have two different classes because of the language difference. One of Trinity members, Vianney Kayimbula, translated the whole conversation for the Swahili/French session. We especially thank him for his help with that.
As we praise and give thanks to God for the new members, I commend these persons to your love and care. Let us do all in our power to increase their faith, confirm their hope, and perfect them in love.
Joyce Winters, Sara and Thomas Hall (children: Julia and Martha), Alison and Daniel Keefe (child: Declan), Aaron and Brandy Miller (Child: Zadie)
Rugoheza Kahihimo and Machozi Adeline (child: Helena Rugoheza)
Nadeje Kamwanya and Habimbi Heritie Habulo (child: Nkulu Habulo)
Ngoie Jonathan Kamwanya and Alice Eliza Mukuma
Henry Kambilo and Marie Niyingeneye (children: Guylain Abel Kambilo and Ariel Kambilo, Archange Kambilo, Alexandrine Kambilo, Ashlay Kambilo)
Moza Bwami and Christine Moza (child: Furana Kazadi)
Rona Veronique (children: Bela Khadiga, Marie Khadiga, Francois Khadiga, Rene Khadig, Vanessa Khadiga)
Abedi Shishi and Neema Ngeoya (children: Abedi Shishi, Matthew Shishi, Remi Shishi, Madelene Washishi, Benjamin Shishi, Mariane Abedi, Sela Abedi)