My yard is full of azalea bushes, and right now they are in spectacular bloom. Blooms of white, pink, and red are everywhere. The largest bush I have is right beside the driveway. This time of year it looks like the biggest bouquet you’ve ever seen. Last year, that wasn’t the case. Our mild winter last year caused it to bud a little too early, and then you guessed it. We had a late freeze. It killed all the buds, and there were no pink azaleas greeting me every time I pulled in the driveway. I must admit that it was disappointing. Something that was a symbol of new life had that new life snuffed out. It may seem silly, but I need those signs of new life. I need signs of spring. I need signs of resurrection in my life.
We are a few weeks past Easter Sunday, a great festival day that celebrates a defining event for what makes us Christian…the resurrection. We serve a risen Lord! It is the greatest sign of new life that any of us could hope for. And yet there is still a lot in our lives and our world that makes us doubt and question new life. After the songs of Easter are sung, we may be hoping and expecting to see new life everywhere, just like I expected to see my azaleas last year every time I turned into my driveway. And we, too, may be disappointed when it’s not readily recognizable to us.
We spent a lot of time preparing for the season of Easter during our Lenten study. It was titled, “Restored: Finding Redemption in our Mess.” During the six weeks of Lent we met each week to share with one another the places in our lives that were a mess and to contemplate the places in the world that are a mess. There was lots of brave people in that group because they opened up about themselves and their situations. Like Vegas, what happens in Bible study stays in Bible study, but I can tell you this: As the members of the group shared, I saw signs of new life everywhere. In the midst of our messes, we began to recognize ways in which God is working in our mess. God is working to bring hope, renewal, and, yes, new life in the midst of our messes.
Now I wouldn’t say that Trinity UMC is a mess but we face challenges. Some might write us off as a struggling urban church. In the midst of those challenges, I have seen new life springing forth. And let me tell you, it is as beautiful and as breathtaking as my giant azalea. I see people willing to try new things to spread the love of God to those who can recognize new life right now. I see individuals praying for God to guide the church so that we can continue to be a witness to God’s love. I see prayerful decisions so that we can be good stewards of this wonderful gift we’ve been given known as Trinity. I see new life everywhere!
It’s as if Trinity is like that azalea bush in early March, buds everywhere getting ready to explode. And I feel that God’s movement and God’s work here isn’t going to let anything freeze out that bloom. New life is stirring in our yards, in our hearts, and at Trinity United Methodist Church. It’s hopeful! Won’t you come bloom with us?
Young adults with ties to Trinity UMC and friends gathered for the sixth year for a "Party With a Purpose".They decorated to-go bags with messages of love and resurrection and filled them with non-perishable items for guests attending Trinity Table Community Kitchen on Easter Sunday. Kelley Henderson from Action Ministries spoke with the group, thanking them for helping and letting them know about additional opportunities to serve.
Party With a Purpose
Trinity celebrated a wonderful worship service in the sanctuary, followed by helping to serve the Table meal in the basement. We are grateful to the Conoly-Wright-Anderson families for preparing and serving the Easter meal to guests visiting Trinity Table Community Kitchen. Shakura Conoly works for Action Ministries as ViP of Hunger Relief Programs. Thanks to everyone who pitched in to make it a wonderful experience of welcoming and joy!
In 2017 Action Ministries, Inc. (AMI) partnered with Trinity United Methodist church to begin management of Trinity Table Community Kitchen. Each Sunday, Trinity Table serves a seated, hot lunch meal to approximately 200 individuals in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Guests of the kitchen also receive a to-go meal as well as access to hygiene kits, clothing and blankets, and other donated items.
Trinity Table Community Kitchen 2017 Statistics
1,265 unique individuals received meals and services at the kitchen
19,303 meals were distributed to individuals
188 individuals accessed health screenings and education opportunities
1,151 volunteers served 4,107 hours at the kitchen
57 community partners participated in service at Trinity Table. These include:
40 churches and congregations
3 business and civic groups
3 non-profit partners
11 colleges and schools
The picture below highlights one of the many churches that help out with the Table every Sunday: Mount Zion UMC. Our District Superintendent, Dr. Bernice Kirkland, is in the center of the picture.
Trinity Assessment Center
AMI, additionally opened a small, short-term shelter for women and children called Trinity Assessment Center (TAC). This shelter is an ideal location for women and children moving into our Action Empowers (rapid rehousing) and Action Serves (veterans housing) programs. Often it takes several weeks to find appropriate housing, obtain employment, and ensure security deposits are paid. Women and children who stay at TAC work with our case managers and employment support staff to ensure that when they move into a home of their own they are able to Trinity Assessment Center
AMI, additionally opened a small, short-term shelter for women and children called Trinity Assessment Center (TAC). This shelter is an ideal location for women and children moving into our Action Empowers (rapid rehousing) and Action Serves (veterans housing) programs. Often it takes several weeks to find appropriate housing, obtain employment, and ensure security deposits are paid. Women and children who stay at TAC work with our case managers and employment support staff to ensure that when they move into a home of their own they are able tomaintain that home, breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness for their families.
Trinity Assessment Center Statistics
143 individuals including women and children were served at TAC on their way to permanent housing solutions from January 2017 to January 2018.
Includes 27 individual clients who had previously stayed at the Peachtree & Pine shelter
§ 2 families were served from Peachtree & Pine (2 adults and 7 children)
§ 18 individuals from Peachtree & Pine stayed at TAC on their journey to stability.
Trinity’s legacy of outreach and caring continues to expand and grow through and with, Action Ministries leadership. If you would like to volunteer with Action Ministries use the following link: http://actionministries.net/volunteer/.
trinity partners with action ministries
Join Trinity United Methodist Church for our Brunch Church on Sunday, April 29th. We’ll gather around 10:30 to begin serving scrumptious brunch items. Once everyone has a plate, we’ll begin very casual worship at 11:00. We’ll eat, sing, hear stories from the bible, and learn from a short message. And of course, there will be plenty of time for seconds and fellowship. Bring your appetite, bring your friends and please, if you are able, bring a potluck brunch dish to share.
On Palm Sunday we celebrated the Baptism of one of our youth, Nickolas Nathaniel. He was supported by his parents, grandparents and sister, as well as Pastor Dana and his Sunday school teacher, Kathey Stubbs. Welcome to Trinity, Nickolas!
You may have noticed that Trinity UMC has upped its web presence and social media game lately. We’ve got a brand new website that we are constantly working to improve. Our social media posts are more timely and relevant with lots of photos. And the biggest improvement of all is that we now stream the sermons each week on Facebook Live! We’ve been able to reach folks all over the place!
Now you may be wondering what caused the big change. Well, it’s all about the dedicated work of a few people, but it’s mainly because of the leadership and hard work of Trinity’s newest staff member, Angela Odegard. Angela came to Trinity about a year ago, lending her beautiful voice to our choir. She joined the staff as a ministry assistant about six months ago. While she generally helps out in all aspects of ministry, her focus has been on communications. She is responsible for the new website, our increased social media presence, and the new and improved MONTHLY Evangel. So if you are enjoying the new newsletter, the website, and our social media activities, you have Angela to thank!
adult sunday school study
by Riki Bolster
trinity has a New employee!
brunch church is coming to trinity
In a collection of essays, Ann Lamott presents the struggle of our lives, the challenges, the disappointments, and the lessons we learn as we negotiate every day. In her book, Hallelujah Anyway; Rediscovering Mercy, Lamott insists it is mercy that lies at the center of our faith and our spiritual lives. It is our ability to give and receive mercy that saves us on a daily basis.
The adult Sunday School class has been discussing these essays for the past two months. As I looked back, part of a poem Lamott quotes at the very beginning struck me as a wonderful way to approach every day. The last two verses of the poem Famous, by Naomi Shihab Nye are below:
I want to be famous to shuffling men
Who smile while crossing streets,
Sticky children in grocery lines,
Famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
Or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
But because it never forgot what it could do.
265 Washington St. SW
*We stream our sermon every Sunday at 11:15am on Facebook. Come Join Us!
Trinity United Methodist Church
Atlanta, GA 30303