Peter Dickson, who has been our lone tenor for the last year-and-a-half, said goodbye to Trinity and the Trinity choir on September 8th. Peter and his husband Todd are off to Dallas where Peter was offered a job with the Dallas Opera. We wish Peter and Todd well. We are so grateful to Peter for sharing his talents and time with us. He will be missed!
Rev. Deborah Williams Haag
Farewell to Peter
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Movement, was always putting himself in places where, quite frankly, no one thought he should be (sound familiar?). He and his friends were visiting people in prisons, sitting with the sick, and taking hard stances against the oppression and abuse of the poor. This is why the Methodist Church is known for being involved, hands-on, in people's lives and with political and social struggles. The truth is, we simply can not live our faith in a bubble. John Wesley said, "The gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness but social holiness. Faith working by love, is the length and breadth and depth and height of Christian perfection." Simply put, we can not love our neighbors if we do not know our neighbors. We can not be Jesus followers if we do not strive to act like Jesus by loving those we come in contact with and speak against systems and laws that purposefully oppress them and ignore their humanity.
That is why the Methodist Church has a collection of Social Principles. Over the next month, we will be exploring what these principles consist of and what they mean for us as people and as a church. To start us off I wanted to share with you the Social Creed of the UMC. I look forward to diving deeper into who we are as Methodists and our call in this world.
Our Social Creed
We believe in God, Creator of the world; and in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of creation. We believe in the Holy Spirit, through whom we acknowledge God’s gifts, and we repent of our sin in misusing these gifts to idolatrous ends.
We affirm the natural world as God’s handiwork and dedicate ourselves to its preservation, enhancement, and faithful use by humankind.
We joyfully receive for ourselves and others the blessings of community, sexuality, marriage, and the family.
We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disabilities; to improvement of the quality of life; and to the rights and dignity of all persons.
We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the glory of God and the good of themselves and others and in the protection of their welfare in so doing; in the rights to property as a trust from God, collective bargaining, and responsible consumption; and in the elimination of economic and social distress.
We dedicate ourselves to peace throughout the world, to the rule of justice and law among nations, and to individual freedom for all people of the world.
We believe in the present and final triumph of God’s Word in human affairs and gladly accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world. Amen.
Peace & Joy,
This year for Laity Sunday we will continue the focus on "Telling our Stories". Angela Odegard has done a wonderful job of recording Trinity UMC member stories in the Evangel, and as you read in the last edition of the Evangel as well as this one, story telling can assist us in learning more about each other to not only enrich our life together but also to open the way to dialogue, understanding and bridging the divides that undermine our communities.
HOW CAN PEOPLE OF FAITH BE ENGAGED IN ADVOCACY?
On Saturday, November 2, Trinity will be hosting a Legislative Priority Session. We will learn about Georgia’s legislative agenda for next year, hear your priorities, and set priorities for our collective advocacy work. We will also hear from a couple of advocacy groups for Medicare Expansion and Criminal Justice Reform as well as two of Georgia’s state legislators: David Dreyer (D) and a TBD Republican representative who will answer your questions. A light lunch will be served. Come join us and bring a friend. For more info and to register for the event or sign up for alerts, updates and recaps go to:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26th, 9:30AM - 4PM
Legislative Priority session
LAITY SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21ST - 11AM
All Church Retreat
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND, 10AM - 2PM
This year our Charge Conference will be held on November 14th at 7pm at Impact UMC. Hope you can join us!
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD - 11AM
Our All Church Retreat will be Saturday, October 26th at the Neighborhood Church in Candler Park. We will gather around 9:30am for a light breakfast and coffee before beginning at 10am and then spend time in fellowship together talking about what it means to be a missional congregation, brain-storming and setting goals for the next year.
On November 3rd we will remember those in our community who have gone before us in faith. If your life has been touched by the death of a loved one, please send us those names so we can remember them on this day. (You can send them by responding to this email or by emailing Pastor Deborah directly.)
All saints Sunday
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14th, 7PM
Walk to End Alzheimer's
On Saturday, September 28 the 14 member Harbin-All Team which included friends and family of Michael Harbin and Weny Worrall participated in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's. Team members included Michael, Weny, their daughter Joanna and her husband Dan, their son David, Paul, Riki and Lil Bolster, Angela Odegard, Patrick Kaney and his girlfirend Beth and Joanna & David's cousins. Their team raised $3250, while the GA Chapter of Alzheimer's Association raised close to $600,000. Way to go!
As you may recall, our new water fountain was installed last May (replacing the one that was broken), but on September 15th we had a dedication. We are so grateful to Tim and Ray and all the hard work they put forth in installing the new fountain; and to our anonymous friends who donated the money for the installation, we extend our gratitude and blessings for your generous gift. It has been a life saver during these hot summer months for our homeless neighbors.
"At the water fountain, we are all just people who are thirsty." - Pastor Deborah
(This was posted on Facebook and below are some of the responses of people who shared the post to their own pages.)
Dedication of water fountain
Former Trinity Pastor, Rex Kaney was in the pulpit during Pastor Deborah's vacation in September. We thought some of you might enjoy hearing him preach again.
Former Trinity Pastor
Rev. Dr. Rex Kaney
Did you know the United Methodist Church has a statement of Social Principles? The Methodist church has a long history of being in relationship with those on the margins of society and ministering to their needs, as well as calling out systemic injustice. At their best, the Social Principles articulate our ethical aspirations for the common good in our public policies and personal commitments. The document is reviewed every four years at General Conference and may be updated or modified at that time.
On October 5th a seminar was held at Peachtree Road UMC with participants from churches in the Atlanta College Park, Atlanta Emory and Atlanta Decatur Oxford districts. Five members of Trinity were in attendance. Three clergy from the General Board of Church and Society gave an overview of their work and the foundations of the Social Principles. Participants were then divided into three groups and had an opportunity to explore elements of the six principles more fully.
It is important to note that not all United Methodists agree with the principles as stated. It is also interesting to see the tension held in their approach to certain issues. For example, regarding abortion a partial statement reads, "Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child." One of the facilitators, Rev. Neal Christie urged us to have conversations with others regarding these principles, where we may either embrace or challenge the statements. They are not United Methodist law, but rather a preferred vision for our common life together and our future.
For more information about our Social Principles you can visit their website at https://www.umcjustice.org/ or find them on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.
Seminar on Social Principles
265 Washington St. SW
Our Sunday sermon is streamed on Facebook at 11:15am and can also be found as a podcast on Apple podcasts and Google Play.
Trinity United Methodist Church
Atlanta, GA 30303