Trinity Greetings

A Note from the Pastor

Dear Trinity members and friends,

After much deliberation and consultation, we have decided to cancel worship at Trinity this Sunday and until further notice . I have been involved in numerous discussions about the coronavirus, both within Trinity and outside of it, for most of this week, as I expect most of you have as well. This is not an easy decision to make –most churches and pastors don’t have an up-to-date 2020 global pandemic plan! I understand that other congregations may make other decisions, and I don’t think they are necessarily wrong to do so. Nevertheless, for me the final straw was the decision of the Denton ISD school district to cancel classes next week. In conjunction with other closures and measures, I am led to the conclusion that the decision to cancel worship is the prudent measure at this time.

This closure applies to other church activities as well – Sunday School, choir, etc. Until further notice, church group activities are suspended indefinitely. In addition, in the days and weeks ahead, I encourage Trinity members and friends to use their discretion in their own decisions. Even when church activities eventually resume, you need to make the right decision for yourself based on your own circumstances.

Worship will be cancelled this Sunday (the 15th) and the next.

Please stay tuned for further updates.

Trinity’s staff will continue to work as we are able, always encouraged to use their common sense and maintain good hygiene. Please contact myself or the church office with any concerns, and we will respond as we are able or as possible.

Furthermore, we hope that you will extend grace and patience to those within our faith community and those outside of it in these uncertain times. I pray especially for those experiencing loss in these days – the loss of a sense of stability and security, the loss of travel plans, the loss of income, the loss of services, the loss of health, and, in the most extreme circumstances, the loss of faith. May God grant us the power to hold on to our compassion, our patience, our kindness, and our faith.

In Christ,

Pastor Craig

Easter Lilies

The worship committee invites you to help beautify the sanctuary by ordering Easter lilies. You may signify that your gift is either honoring or memorializing a loved one. The cost will be $20 each with checks being addressed to Trinity. A folder will be in the office with order forms inside beginning March 8. Deadline to order will be Friday, April 3rd.

Daughters of Abraham Meeting at Trinity

Trinity will host the next Daughters of Abraham meeting on March 22, from 2:30-4:30. Please plan to come! The topic will be, "How does your faith community practice outreach to the community, and what do you think community outreach for this interfaith group should look like?" Christian, Jewish, and Muslim women are welcome to attend. Email Emanda Johnson for more information about the Denton Daughters of Abraham or to join the mailing list. We will need a few volunteers to bring snacks and make coffee and lemonade, so if you can help, please sign up in the Narthex.

Pipes for Trinity

We have had three visits from local organ builders and have received one proposal. The process is slow but steady. I expect the other two proposals in the next two weeks. Then they go to the sub-committee and then to the Session. I will keep you posted as I promised! Lenora

Special Request

You probably know that part of the Presbyterian constitution is titled The Book of Order. This book helps us do everything "decently and in order," one of our most important goals. Please help us keep our sanctuary decent and orderly by returning the attendance pads to the end of each row closest to the center aisle and placing hymnals in the allotted space beneath the seat of the chair in front of yours. Thank you for your kind assistance!

SAVE the DATE!

Trinity Camp, June 1-5 Music, dance, mindfulness, art, history and science, etc.
The musical is about Daniel in the Lion's Den! Lots of acting and singing solo parts!
For children who can read and youth in middle school and high school.
9:30-2:30 with lunch and snacks.

Online Devotionals

Austin Seminary is offering nine brief videos from faculty members this year. You may sign up to receive these videos here: www.austinseminary.edu/lentsubscribe

60th Anniversary: Remembering Our Stories

William (Bill) Spearman served as Trinity’s pastor from 1977 to 1982. It will probably not surprise you to hear that he had a personal background in social activism. In fact, he had been at Kent State in 1970 when the Ohio National Guard fired on student war protesters killing 4 and wounding 9. He defended the right of the church to speak out about this in a time when many church leaders and their congregants felt it was not the Church’s place to question the government. As were many Trinity pastors before and after him, Pastor Spearman was not afraid to preach on controversial topics. By this time, the congregation had become much more diverse in education, vocation, age, and religious background. Not everyone responded positively to Pastor Spearman’s challenging sermons. God’s message for us can often make us uncomfortable when we are forced to confront issues that may challenge our current way of thinking.

Perhaps Bill Spearman’s most long-lasting contribution to Trinity was his leadership during the building campaign to renovate the existing building and to build a new sanctuary to accommodate the growing membership and programs. The building committee included current members Ann Barnett, chair, Paula Joslin (Blind), and Don Smith. Ann Barnett was the organist and Hildegard Rainbow was the choir director.

The physical building of a church communicates a great deal about the priorities of the congregation. In Trinity’s case, the top priority has always been to support the mission of the church and to serve the community. When the original church was built in 1961, a conscious decision was made to keep it simple, functional, flexible and economical. In order to keep the cost down, much of the work was done by congregants, including Pastor Paul Young who constructed the pulpit, communion table and baptismal font. During the building and renovation project twenty years later, once again congregants, including Pastor Spearman, volunteered their time to do some of the physical labor and donated generously of their money. If you look around, you see that they were able to be faithful to the original goal of constructing a building that is simple, functional, flexible and economical. I might also add beautiful.

The sanctuary was dedicated on the church’s twentieth anniversary in April 1980. Trinity began worshiping in the round in the former sanctuary and Pastor Spearman continued that practice. The shape of the new sanctuary and the decision to use chairs instead of pews was to accommodate seating in the round and to provide some flexibility of arrangement for creative worship.

The stained-glass windows that were in the original sanctuary were moved to the new sanctuary in 1980. One of the first things you probably notice is that they do not fill the window as do traditional stained-glass windows. This was to leave the worshiping community open to the world.

Taken together the panels represent a journey through faith. We are awed, we grope, we praise, we entreat, we hope. As you enter the sanctuary, the first seven panels are on the right beginning at the back of the church. The last six panels are on the left going from front to back. The first three express the awe we experience in the mystery of the Genesis. The next four express our groping as we confront both the Creation and ourselves The next four express the response which is evoked following the awe and the groping. The Creator recognized, the finiteness confessed, and the illumination experienced, our spirit burst forth in praise. The last two reflect that moment after offering praise

ASSIGNMENT: You can read more about this in the 50th anniversary book pages 23-24 and pages 81-84.

Christian Education

Flawed Families of the Bible

The families of the Bible were far from perfect, and not so different in that regard from our imperfect families today. In Flawed Families of the Bible, a New Testament scholar, David Garland, and a professor of social work, Diana Garland, take a real and close look at the actual families of the Bible. This honest book will inspire and encourage readers with its focus on the overarching theme of hope and grace for families, showing that it is in the imperfect places that we can catch a glimpse of grace. Meets in the Library. The Rev. Dr. Melissa Hunter—Teacher

Entering the Passion of Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine

Jesus’ final days were full of risk. Every move he made was filled with anticipation, danger, and the potential for great loss and great reward. His followers risked everything when they left behind their homes, or anointed him with costly perfume. We take risks as we read and re-read these stories, finding new meanings and new challenges. In Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, author and Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies and Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences, Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story (the story of Jesus’ death). Class members will experience Dr. Levine’s expertise through weekly DVD presentations. Meets in the Fellowship Hall. Carl Seiler--teacher

SDOP Sunday, March 15, 2020

Once a year, Presbyterians across our country celebrate the ministry of the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People (SDOP), one of three ministries funded by One Great Hour of Sharing. SDOP affirms God’s concern for humankind by working with ecumenical partners dissatisfied with poverty and oppression, united in faith and action through sharing, confronting and enabling. SDOP participates in the empowerment of economically poor, oppressed and disadvantaged people seeking to change the structures that perpetuate poverty, oppression, and injustice. This year SDOP celebrates 50 years of promoting justice, building relationships in communities and seeking economic justice. “Journey to Justice: Where to From Here?” is the theme for this celebration. Along with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Presbyterian Hunger Program, SDOP receives funds from the One Great Hour of Sharing Special Offering which Trinity will receive on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020.

Trinity Moves

...is a free yoga class that takes place on Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Yoga mats are provided.

Coffee Fellowship

Thanks to the families and individuals who have provided snacks and beverages for coffee fellowship.

Coming Events

March 17 2:00 p.m. Lay Ministry Library
  4:30 p.m. 60th Anniversary Committee Library
  6:00 p.m. St. James AME/Trinity Fellowship Hall
March 21 8:30 a.m. Great American Cleanup Meet at Trinity first
March 22 1:30 p.m. People for Justice in Palestine and Israel Library
  2:30 p.m. Daughters of Abraham  
  7:00 p.m. Worship Service in the style of Taizé St. Andrew Presbyterian

Church Information

Church office hours are 1-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Trinity Greetings deadline is 1 p.m. on Tuesday and bulletin deadline is 1 p.m. Thursday. Articles received after the deadline will appear the following week. Send email articles for the Greeting or the Sunday bulletin to trinity@tpcdenton.org

Updated: 3/13/2020