Recording of Annual Meeting Q&A
The Care Ministry spent 330 hours with people for counseling and discipleship. In an effort to personalize the numbers, here are just a few stories of people who have come to Care over the last ministry year:
- A young man came to us looking for spiritual direction. He needed help figuring out how to incorporate his faith in Jesus with the practical aspect of choosing a career path; all while trying to kick a pornography habit.
- Twice, both a man and a woman—at different times—came in distraught believing they had committed the “unpardonable sin”. Great progress was made in each case as the emphasis was placed on the truths of Scripture and not their emotions. Hope in foundational truths replaced accusations.
- Sitting with a woman who vigilantly sat by her husband while cancer slowly drained his life from him.
- Working with a young couple in practical, emotional, and spiritual ways, who have only been married a short period of time as they try to navigate life together while locked in the same house for months and months without local support and friendship.
- Working with two separate counselee’s who suffer flashbacks and grief from very traumatic experiences in their lives.
- Several marriages restored; couples who have simply grown apart, or suffered the aftermath of adultery, or faced a life threatening illness together. Couples learned to embrace each other through the disciplines of: confession and repentance; seeking and granting forgiveness; turning to Jesus to heal what is broken.
Children and Students:
- For Trinity@Home VBS this summer, we had 11 amazing sites around the Greater Lansing area where nearly 100 children got to participate in the learning and fun. Seventy eight volunteers served in preparing materials, teaching God’s truth and showing His love. In addition, families who didn’t attend a VBS@Home site were able to participate in the VBS worship and teaching online at Trinity’s website.
- Student Ministries, both Impact and Crosswalk, have continued to meet weekly through the summer and entire COVID season either by Zoom or in person at the homes of eight different families and Trinity’s backyard.
- This COVID season has presented us with opportunity to make personal connections with Trinity families in innovative ways including staff and volunteers delivering Prayer Kits and Preschool Craft Kits to homes, equipping families to host their own Daddy-Daughter Dances, phone call check ins, and Park Playdates with Thrive Moms and kids.
- Despite the limitations put on all of us by the pandemic, the Deacons have continued to meet as a board via ZOOM and continue to serve the poor and needy of Trinity Church.
- In the 2019/2020 ministry year, the need for food assistance has been great. The Deacon Ministry provided 45 boxes of food to Trinity and non-Trinity families. Thousands of dollars in gift cards was provided to those with food needs among our own Trinity family.
- Because of Trinity Church’s generosity to the Deacon Assistance Fund, the Deacon Ministry was able to help dozens of families stay in their homes by providing rent or mortgage assistance and by paying thousands of dollars in utility bills.
- The Deacon Car Ministry (God Enabled Auto Repair or GEAR) has continued to help clients with their emergency transportation needs. This has allowed clients to safely get to and from work and to medical appointments. The GEAR Ministry made 119 vehicle repairs in the ’19/’20 ministry year, did 82 oil changes, and gave away 8 vehicles to qualified individuals.
- The Trinity Deacons worked with a group of employees at Auto Owners to provide Christmas gifts and food to 8 families within Trinity Church. The Auto Owners employees wished to remain anonymous, so the Deacons nominated families that they serve and assisted in delivering the gifts.
- The Board of Deacons has shrunk this year with the retirement of 3 of our Deacons and 1 Deacon Ministry Assistant. If you or someone you know has a heart for serving the poor and needy, please contact Jay O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We approved new members and added another Elder
- Elders spent time connecting with members through weekly phone calls
- Elders began and continue Saturday morning weekly prayer for specific needs of the congregation
- Successfully Completed Financial Audit
While COVID-19 provided some interesting opportunities to “Pivot,” redesign and adapt our ministry areas to be more nimble, economical and efficient, the Executive Team (Lead Pastor, Executive Pastor and Executive Assistant) sought to contribute in the following ways to helping our church move forward in the last Ministry Year:
- COVID “Pivot” – With both Staff and Congregation, the Executive team has sought to provide a consistent sense of “touch” to ensure that people stay connected during this unusual season through the following:
- Checking in with Trinity Congregation – We were able to personally reach out and connect with dozens of our congregation members as a part of a Staff-wide check-in initiative to ensure that everyone felt seen, connected and engaged.
- Checking in with Trinity Staff – Move to weekly Staff Meeting (digital) – We have maintained our weekly Staff Meeting (albeit digitally), whether All Together or in our Staff-based Squads (small, cross-departmental groups) to ensure opportunity for check-in, prayer and connection.
- Financial Economization blended with Generosity – Our Staff Team did an amazing job seeking economies in their ministry operations this year. Combined with the generosity of the people of Trinity Church and the faithfulness of God, we were able to finish the year under budget.
- Establishing and Maintaining a Rhythm of Prayer and Staff Development – Seeking to increase the amount of “touch” with our Staff Team also saw the development of new rhythms for both Prayer, Connection and Development through the following:
- Daily Staff Corporate Prayer – Early in MY2020, we began a process of prayer as component of operating a modified “Daily Office” at noon. After COVID, we transitioned that process to daily online prayer every day at 10:00 AM, and have kept that process each week and day to continue to pray for and with one another during this season.
- Staff Development – We have built a regular quarterly rhythm of Staff Development, hosting speakers from both outside and inside our Staff Team to continue to develop our Staff’s skills, knowledge and capabilities to better serve our congregation and community.
- We Are Trinity Dialogues – Prior to COVID-19, the Executive Team also conducted quarterly “We Are Trinity Dialogue” opportunities for people to gather together, express concerns, ask questions and hear about what’s coming next. Whereas Trinity typically only operated opportunities like this once a year after our Annual Celebration
- BCWI Qualification and Consultation – We have continued to employ outside 3rd Party verification and sampling of our Staff Culture and have for the second year in a row qualified as a “Best Christian Workplace” as a result through the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI). We have also been employing BCWI for further consultation on improving our Staff Organizational Development, economies and efficiencies for the coming year(s).
- In God’s divine providence the Trinity GO teams were able to successfully touch base with our 42 global partners in 20 countries during this COVID season. None are untouched! Through your generosity we were able to provide a little bit of extra support in these difficult times. We are particularly grateful that when our last global trip was completed in February of this year, just before the pandemic, that in the years 2018-2020 someone from our church was able to visit each of them. Almost as if the Lord knew that we would not be able to be in close touch for a season.
- There have been many answered prayers in our Global Community. One of significance that highlights the presence and power of God is reflected in this testimony from Pastor Zsolt in Romania whose ministry was being falsely vilified. Two weeks ago, he was called before his denominational leadership. One of the leaders in the Romania Church 2 Church partnership writes:
“After a few phone calls Wednesday, Zsolt learned that after he left the meeting Tuesday, the leadership made a few important decisions. While Zsolt was riding home to Gyergyó and wondering if he was going to be forced to leave the denomination, the leadership of the denomination made the decision to strongly endorse both Zsolt and the ministry in Gyergyó, and send this endorsement to everyone within the denomination. Furthermore, a decision was made to deny the falsehoods being spread.”
- COVID has changed a lot of things, but has hardly touched others. We are grateful for the covering of the Lord on His work and His people as He continues to use people like you and me to declare His goodness among the nations. For more information on Global Outreach at Trinity please visit our new website at www.outreach.wearetrinity.com.
- As Trinity focused on enjoying God more by focusing on fresh spiritual rhythms and practices, the Groups Team launched Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, part 1 of the 2-part Emotionally Healthy Discipleship Course. After Pastor Marvin preached the related “In My Feelings” series, 149 people joined our first EHS course! Though the course was interrupted by COVID after 4 weeks, about a third of us were able to finish the course on Zoom a few weeks later. Those who did described EHS as “excellent,” “life-changing,” and “transformational.”
- The Groups Team was able to train 61 new leaders in the past year, including 16 Emotionally Healthy Discipleship leaders and 5 leaders for our new ministry for Single Moms! Many of these leaders started new Groups and connected people at Trinity who were looking for closer, more authentic community. We’re grateful for our Group and Community Leaders – they have been instrumental in keeping people connected during the COVID season! All of our Sunday morning communities have continued to meet on Zoom, and many of our Groups have used a combination of Zoom and their decks or backyards to get people together to study God’s Word, encourage, and pray for one another.
- When everything shut down in March and April, the Groups Team went to work learning how to lead on Zoom and then launched three Bible studies and a 3-part training (How to Read and Study the Bible) for Trinity-goers to access! Volunteer leaders jumped in to lead Starting Point, Psalm 23 by Matt Chandler, and Philippians by Jo Saxton, breaking the two larger studies into breakout small groups for discussion and showing videos online every week. We had large turnouts for the video-based studies (over 50 people in each) and a healthy small group for Starting Point. We’re so thankful to the Lord for the many leaders who led studies and groups at a time when people were hungry to connect!
- COVID Response (May, 2020) – As soon as COVID-19 interrupted our normal rhythm of Love Lansing monthly serve opportunities, the people of Trinity Church mobilized to build over 700 “Care Kits” for area Healthcare Workers, Firefighters, Law-Enforcement and EMS Teams to love, serve and care for them. In addition, Trinity families wrote nearly 500 letters of gratitude and encouragement which were distributed to area hospitals to Emergency Room Staff.
- Saddleback BBQ Meal Runs (March – August, 2020) – A new partnership with area restaurant Saddleback BBQ allowed Trinity Church to deliver excellent, gourmet BBQ meals to Gardner International Magnet School graduating 8th Graders and Staff, area Healthcare Workers at McLaren and Sparrow, and numerous occasions to SummerPlace Townhomes. In each of these deliveries, Saddleback has provided complete meal kits a no charge to Trinity Church so that Trinity could focus on delivery and relationship-building throughout the community. We were also able to pass out Saddleback meals to the Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy for a special school lunch available to kids who were eligible for free and reduced lunch.
- Gardner International Magnet School Partnership – We have invested deeply in the Gardner International Magnet School community through our ongoing partnership with that school. Before COVID, and in both large-scale and monthly Love Lansing initiatives, we consistently saw 15 – 25 individuals and families for monthly events mobilized to paint, clean, construct, help teachers, counsel students (we even have a dedicated office at Gardner where we can operate as Chaplains), deliver and distribute food and supplies, and serve on a monthly basis to keep the school operating as a welcoming and effective place for students to learn, and also meet Jesus. We donated, and our volunteers helped hand out, Saddleback BBQ meals and beautiful fresh roses to each graduation 8th grader in June. In late August, Trinity volunteers showed up in force, wearing masks and socially distancing, to help Gardner teachers pack over 900 bags of books and school supplies to pass out to families as they drove through to get what they needed for virtual classes for the fall. One teacher told us, “Every teacher here feels so supported and is so grateful for Trinity Church.”
- We have begun to see teams of people showing up independent of our Love Lansing efforts to build and operate separate teams to paint, construct, clean or operate as aides for teachers and staff. Many of these teams represent Small Groups at Trinity Church -- groups who are committed to reaching out on mission with Jesus to the students, staff, and families at Gardner.
- We have also begun to see Trinity people joining the staff of Gardner to deepen the relationships, and also teachers and staff from Gardner joining the Trinity Church family as a result of our ongoing presence and partnership(s) there.
- SummerPlace Ongoing Partnership – Our Love Lansing monthly initiatives consistently serves the people of SummerPlace Townhomes in Lansing, partnering with administration and ownership to help with construction and cleaning projects, activities, relationships and discussions with the families who live there. On Monday nights, Trinity volunteers have occasionally helped out with a Bible club run by Dr. Elizabeth Kue of Healing Hands Ministry. On Wednesday nights we have offered homework help to approximately 40 kids.
- Our impact at SummerPlace has further been increased by a group who has been consistently loving, serving, and building relationships with immigrant and refugee families by organizing and coaching a soccer team playing in a private soccer league, as well as inviting kids to Trinity’s Vacation Bible School, and integrating with other local churches (like City Life Church) who have similar passions. We consistently see between 15 – 50 children of all ages and from a variety of nations (Republic of Congo, Bhutan, Nepal, Sudan, etc.) experiencing the love of Jesus through Trinity’s people. Both at Gardner and at Summer Place, people are taking steps toward Jesus through those relationships several times per week.
- The Operations Team published and trained the staff on Trinity Church’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan as required by the Governor’s Executive Orders. The Response Plan is based on published guidance from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Ingham County Health Department.
- Trinity Church hosted 2,043 events until the Stay Home, Stay Safe order went into effect in March.