Hello from the Interim Lead Minister. Which way is the office, please?
It is a joy to send this first message to you as Interim Lead Minister of Trinity Church of Austin, where I am still trying to learn which end of the corridor the minister’s office is on—the end or the beginning? But although I am directionally challenged, I usually find my way, or I find someone to help me.
Similarly, I am here to help Trinity find its way during their transition time. Many of you have also stepped up to help—and when the others join in, together we will process the changes, challenges, and choices that lie ahead for this beloved community.
Trinity Celebrations Call You Back to the Beginning
For August and September, worship celebrations will beckon us “Out of the Wilderness, Back to the Garden,” and events small and large will accompany this theme:
– Blessing of the Backpacks – Sunday, August 15
– Clean Sweep Weekend: All-Church Make Ready Event – August 28 & 29
– Trinity Reinvents Church with Small Group Ministries – Sunday, September 5
– Interim Ministry Training: The Work of the Congregation – September 13-15 & 20-22
Blessing of the Backpacks Still a Go for August 15 at 2:00pm
Nothing can stop the Blessing of the Backpacks! On Sunday, August 15 at 2:00pm, outdoors on the shady playground (or from the safety of your car if you prefer), with proper social distancing and masking maintained out of love and care for the Trinity community:
– Students and teachers of all ages will receive a small gift and a Backpack Blessing;
– Children can reconnect with Mr. Tom Hansen, volunteer Interim Director of Children’s and Youth Ministry, and offer warm wishes to our outgoing interim director Angela Hobbs as she returns to school and moves into a support role on our Children’s Ministry Team; and
– Parents can learn more about Trinity’s plans to keep its children safe with new programs for families and children beginning in September.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Clean Sweep Weekend: Saturday, August 28, 9:00am-4:00pm & Sunday, August 29, 1:00-5:00pm
Oh, yes: it’s just what it sounds like. An opportunity to get your hands dirty and set your soul free. Trinity’s building has suffered a unique set of losses that require professional intervention, and the staff has been working tirelessly with those professionals to make the place whole again. (Not entirely true: they are very tired.)
But now we need to repurpose the many rooms of Trinity for the small group ministries that will keep Trinity’s heart blood circulating.
We need to clean up, clean down, declutter, decontaminate, rearrange, and renovate Trinity’s rooms to make safe, clean House Churches where Trinity ministry can take place in thoughtfully scheduled, pandemic-approved groups of 10 or fewer.
And once we have cleaned our house…
Trinity Reinvents Church with Small Group Ministries Forming September 5
First, our inclusive, unifying celebrations of worship will continue, premiering online every Sunday at 11:00 am with music, readings, and a message, and will remain available 24/7 thereafter, hopefully feeding the Trinity family’s need for a positive connection with Trinity’s values, vision, history, and hope.
But people also need community in the physical world, so we will open the many newly cleaned rooms in the church building to properly masked and socially distanced groups of 10 or fewer. Led by trained small group ministry leaders, these groups will share worship in intimate communities, like fractals of the larger beloved community. Each will be accountable to one another for pastoral care and to the pastoral leadership team for the spiritual growth of the groups, their leaders, and of the new groups that each ministry will be fostering at all times.
In these microcosms of the church, we will embody our values and maintain the beloved community despite the terrible plague that requires so many restrictions on gathering. Watch our weekly e-mail newsletter for details as this ministry develops!
Interim Ministry Training: The Work of the Congregation September 13-15, 20-22
I will be completing my final phase of training as an Intentional Interim Minister through my participation in two intensives on September 13-15 and 20-22. This training will place the congregation downstream of exciting resources for the next steps in your journey: guidance for coming to terms with your history,exploring your identity today, and imagining your future–all in preparation for developing the church profile you will need when it is time to search for your settled pastor.
We’re not there yet–that’s in another part of the corridor.
But in the meantime, please know that I really would like all of you to be on that journey together.
So come with us back to the beginning. It will be a great experience; a cosmic do-over.
Meanwhile, I’m just hoping I’ll be able to find the minister’s office before the interim term is up.
Go and be the beloved.
Rev. Dr. M. Christine Tata, Interim Lead Minister