September 1, 2012
The Mission Planning Task Forces have been hard at work this summer developing exciting new programs and directions for Trinity. This article is an update on the numerous initiatives that have been developed, many of which will be debuted this fall. It should be an exciting new year at Trinity.
Service Ministries Task Force
The Service Ministries Task Force is at work developing a new framework for the Social Concerns Committee that is aimed at getting more members of Trinity directly involved in volunteer projects, not just as financial donors but also as active workers. This is a key part of the living out of our mission of transforming lives, in accordance with the Mission Planning effort. The goal is to transform the lives of Trinity’s members, even as Trinity helps transform the lives of those in poverty and those with special needs in our community.
To enable that work, the Service Ministries Task Force is developing a new process for coordinating the work of the Social Concerns Committee with Stewardship and our Mission Possible projects. It is also working on new means of recruiting, supporting and affirming disciples volunteers, with the goal of getting every member of Trinity to engage in such hands-on ministry at least once in the coming year.
New Worship Task Force
The New Worship task force has been hard at work, engaging in intensive study, internal and external research and conversation synthesizing all of these streams of data in order to craft an even more engaging, focused and accessible Lutheran worship experience. By the time you read this article, the group will have completed work on the first version of this new service, moved through a “dry-run” of the new service, and made final adjustments in preparation for its debut at Trinity’s 11 a.m. service starting Sunday, September 16th. Although we expect that all will appreciate the worship experience, and that the service will appeal to a broad range of worshippers, the center of our target audience is families with young children (especially people new to Trinity and perhaps unfamiliar with worship).
Our main goals are to include easily understood modern language and easy-to-sing songs, to employ a variety of art forms (music, dance, drama, etc.), to be exceptionally welcoming, to address both head and heart (intellect and emotions), and to achieve greater thematic focus. Even as we work to achieve these goals, the service will be centered on Word and Sacrament and be truly Lutheran.
You are invited to participate in the introductory new worship service at 11 a.m. on September 16th and on the following Sundays at 11 a.m. We want to hear from you about the new service and will provide the congregation with avenues for feedback to the committee. As we have been working on the new worship service project, our motto has been the same one used by the earliest 16th century Lutheran reformers - semper reformandum. That’s Latin for “always reforming.” Like Luther and our earliest forbears in faith, we have come to recognize that we have to find new ways to convey the unchanging truth in a changing world. We are developing version 1.0 of the new worship service, and we fully expect to further refine it as we move forward.
Adult Education Task Force
The Adult Education Task Force has been at work on both near-term and longer-term goals. Starting in October, we will introduce a series on Social statements produced by the ELCA on some issues that are important issues currently front and center in our nation including: Sustainable Livelihood for All, Health, and Education. Pastor will provide an introduction and overview. Longer term goals are currently under construction, but the group thought it essential to gather information from the congregation concerning their needs and preferences concerning subject matter, format and timing for new educational programming. We will gather that information in September.
Assimilation Task Force
The Assimilation Task Force has been asked to “focus on creating an inclusive and engaged Christian community by developing an intentional ministry of welcoming and assimilation.” The Task Force has identified the following key goals for further review and possible implementation at the Council’s discretion:
The “Angels Unaware” welcoming program, which is intended to help connect visitors with Trinity members on Sunday mornings, and to provide a personal introduction to Trinity. These welcomers involved in this ministry will be trained to serve as the initial informational gatherer of visitor(s), through whom further introductions might be made. The hope is to “deepen the welcome” that visitors experience, and to try to insure that no one who visits will do so without having been welcomed and engaged in caring conversation. Those serving as welcomers in this ministry may also give tours, answer visitor questions, provide information to the Pastor and staff for further follow-up with those who visit. Implement a more formalized introductory process at Trinity: It has been identified that we would benefit from a more formalized sponsorship and mentoring program for those interested in being a part of the Trinity community, whether or not this includes membership. This would include follow-up contact with visitors, personal invitations to church events and small-group activities, and availability to answer any questions. Once the family/individual has decided to become a member of Trinity, the sponsorship program will continue this more personalized relationship. The sponsorship program process and expectations and obligations need to be more fully delineated so that there is consistency among this volunteer group. Long-term goal of connecting our members and their talents to specific interests which are applicable at Trinity. There has been some discussion of the need of a volunteer coordinator to track activities and member participation. Following the first year of mentoring, we want everyone to participate as active members of the church as they desire and are able.
Signage: Currently researching what this might entail, but improved information at a minimum of where to find key areas: Nursery, Bathrooms, Gathering Space, Sanctuary, Library, Sunday School classrooms. Additional information might include: maps, list of events (for today and the week), etc. Location and technology requirements and cost need to be determined.
Youth and Children Ministry Task Force
“Let the children come to me and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God
belongs.” Luke 15:16
A new year of Sunday School starts soon, and there are exciting changes underway for our program this year! Starting Sunday, September 9th, Sunday School meets every Sunday at 10 a.m. in Fellowship Hall (downstairs). Kids from age 3 through 5th grade start Sunday School every Sunday by meeting as a group to worship (songs, prayer, and story/skit), and share a snack. Kids then break off into their own classrooms - PreK/K, 1-2nd grade, and 3-5th grade, for the morn-ing's lesson and activities. A junior high (6-8th grade) class meets during this time as well, and they start in their classroom at 10a.m.
If you are the parent of a child between age of 3 and 8th grade, please watch the mail for your child's “invitation” to Sunday School, as well as an informative letter regarding our program this year.
The last few years we have tried out a rotational model of Sunday School, which relied heavily on weekly volunteers to lead up activities for the children. This year we will be returning to a basic classroom model, with the classroom teachers serving as the leaders throughout. We will, however, be trying some rotational activities during Advent and Lent, so be on the lookout for opportunities to help serve our youngest members! A big thanks to all Sunday School teachers who have volunteered, as well as those yet to volunteer.
We are excited for a new year and welcome your prayers for a year filled with God's Word and experiences of God's grace for our young ones here at Trinity.
Mission Planning Background Report Links (Updated 5/19/11)