A Note from the Pastor
Greetings Trinity folk,
Last night Trinity’s Session met for its last stated meeting until August – we are taking July off. Most committees are likely to take a break in July also. Perhaps the most significant item of discussion last night concerned Trinity’s website. We will be embarking on a significant – and long overdue – overhaul of our website in upcoming weeks/months, and plan to structure ongoing updates more sustainably. This will be a process, and we are still at the beginning, but stay tuned.
In other news, yesterday the International Engagement Committee of our denomination’s General Assembly met in Louisville. Members of the committee were greeted by a protest from a small number of people who inflated a large hot air balloon that stated “PCUSA: Fight racism, not Jews.” They were opposed to the approval of many of the items the committee would be considering regarding Israel/Palestine. (As it happens, I would agree with the slogan on their balloon, but not with their recommendation of avoiding criticism of Israel.) I attended the meeting as an Overture Advocate from Grace Presbytery for the overture that started here at Trinity over 2 ½ years ago and was postponed from the last General Assembly, the overture that calls upon the denomination to recognize that Israel’s practices meet the international legal definition of the crime of apartheid. I was joined by four other overture advocates for the same overture from 4 of the other 8 presbyteries that had concurred with our presbytery on the overture. One of other overture advocates was Rev. Fahed Abu Akel, a Palestinian-American and a former moderator of the denomination, who spoke powerfully in favor. test edit tbs
As expected, our overture proved to be the most controversial, and took the longest time to discuss and debate. After the Overture Advocates spoke to the overture, there were questions from the commissioners/committee members, then resource people were called upon to try to answer the questions, including our denomination’s Presbyterian Mission Co-Worker who lives in Israel/Palestine, Doug Dicks. Then there was a motion to approve the overture, then a motion to substitute a different overture, then a break, followed by motions to perfect/amend the original motion, a vote on the amendment, then a motion to perfect the substitute motion, then a motion to reconsider the perfection of the original motion, a vote on reconsidering, then more questions for the Overture Advocates and the resource people, then debate, then a vote on the motion to make the substitute motion the main motion (it failed), then further debate on the main motion, then finally a vote on the main motion.
I attended the meeting virtually for four and a half hours, being called upon multiple times to speak. It felt very much like watching Presbyterian sausage be made.
In the end, to my pleasant surprise, the motion passed by a large margin – 28 in favor, 3 opposed. The overture will now go the floor of the plenary next week to be voted upon by the entire Assembly, with the rather overwhelming endorsement from the committee. I expect that if the overture passes, it will likely make the news.
Meanwhile, committees of the General Assembly continue to meet to discuss other business. I will be teaching a Sunday School class in August that will survey some of the more significant actions of the General Assembly.
Worship link for July 3
Adult Sunday School
Marcus Borg, Beyond Belief: July 3 – August 7
The video series, Beyond Belief features the teachings of Marcus Borg, an American New Testament scholar, theologian, and author who passed away in 2015. He was among the most widely known and influential voices in progressive Christianity and internationally known in both academic and church circles. The New York Times described him as “a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars.” Marcus brought clarity and insight to an understanding of Jesus and Christianity that was accessible and transformative.Whether you agree or disagree with his teachings, these videos will spark a lively discussion.The session topics are: Centered in the Spirit, Meeting Jesus Again, Followers of the Way, Reading the Bible, An Emerging Way, and Beyond Belief.
Trinity Community Garden UPDATE/New Trial Program
Our community garden is up and running again this year! So far this spring, the garden has donated 25 pounds of produce to Our Daily Bread!!! If you want to get involved more with the community garden or have any questions about it, please ask Dorothy Mathes, Chris Smith, Kim Moor, Marcella Clinard, Missy McCormick, or Tom Slade when you see them or send them an email.
We are starting a new trial program to see if we can increase the produce that goes to Our Daily Bread (see details below). Do you have a home garden that produces more vegetables than you can eat? If so, we encourage you to drop off excess produce in bags to the kitchen counter at Trinity on the following dates: Sunday mornings (June 26, and July 3). All produce will be picked up in the afternoons on those dates and taken to Our Daily Bread the following Monday or Tuesday. If you have any questions please contact Missy McCormick.
Please join us for Coffee Fellowship each Sunday in Fellowship Hall at 10:30. If you are interested in serving or bringing snacks, there is a sign-up sheet near the kitchen. Instructions are provided, but if you have any questions, please contact Missy McCormick 940-765-6555.
Vacation Bible School Weekend,Saturday July 23 and Sunday July 24
The Trinity Christian Education Committee is doing a new thing! We are offering Vacation Bible School to rising Kindergarteners through rising 5th graders using a weekend format! We will need adult and youth volunteer leaders for this ministry, as we prepare for and carry out this new program! We will engage with some of the many Bible stories about water, and learn about the importance of water in God’s creation.
On June 5th, Trinity received the Pentecost Special Offering. This offering supports Young Adult Volunteers, Youth Ministries including the Presbyterian Youth Triennium, Advocating for Children at Risk, and 40% of the offering is retained by Trinity to develop and support program for young people in our church and community. Previous years we have used our portion of offering to support local programs such as Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home, Denton Christian Preschool, a program at local high school to prevent bullying as well as supporting Trinity Fall forums. This year your gifts to this Special Offering totaled $985.00 and the 40% we will retain is $394.00. The Mission Committee has chosen to develop and support a LGBTQ Film Festival with these funds. Thank you for your generous support.If you missed contributing to this Special Offering, it isn’t too late. Provide your offering to Trinity and note that it is for the PENTECOST OFFERING. Remember if we all do a little, it adds up to a lot!
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