Update : The redevelopment team met in August and discussed many of the changes and expectations happening at First Trinity. We discussed the importance of shared leadership and how it has been both a blessing and a challenge to continue our ministry since Pastor Tom left. Much of the discussion was about the process of identifying and calling a new pastor and what that would look like for First Trinity. We also discussed ministries currently in progress like God’s Closet, Bible Study, and Youth Programming, in addition to some that have been on hold since Pastor Tom left. While Story Sharing and Radical Discipleship Training were very exciting ministries, we questioned whether they were worth investing time and energy into right now. It was agreed that in general we should slow down, focus on what is working and what we can fix, and continue the momentum we have started.
Goals for the rest of the year:
Worship – Let’s work to make worship good, inclusive, and meaningful. Let’s continue to have great music, heartfelt prayer, and a place of welcome and comfort. Let’s get more of the church involved in making worship happen.
Youth – Let’s approach our youth programming from a growth mindset. Let’s empower our youth and our leaders, and engage more volunteers. Let’s invest in youth programming and support our youth ministry coordinator.
Connection – Let’s connect with people, but especially people who lack connection in other parts of their lives. Let’s create a loving support system for our seniors, struggling families, and those experiencing homelessness. Let’s listen to people and try to connect them with programs that can help fulfill their needs.
Relationship – Let’s build relationships; in our congregation, in our community and in our synod. Let’s try to build relationships with those who also feel the call to grow in the spirit, love as Christ loves us, and participate in God’s liberating work of justice and peace. And let’s do this by not only being a welcoming congregation but also by inviting.
First Lutheran Church of the Trinity recently celebrated 150 years here in Bridgeport, and this year we are excited to announce that we have entered into a redevelopment partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the ELCA. This is an exciting opportunity for First Trinity!
As First Trinity decided to move forward in mission, and to be a sustainable, thriving church, it became important to define what our mission in the world would be. In early May 2017 we voted to approve our call to mission, and on Pentecost Sunday (June 4, 2017) we officially celebrated God’s renewed call and commission for us.
“We are a faith community called to grow in the Spirit, love as Christ loves us, and participate in God’s liberating work of justice and peace.”
The redevelopment process is focused not only on sustainability, but on creating a culture where our congregation is growing and participating in the work of the spirit. Some changes you may notice:
- Growth – We are no longer only a welcoming church. We are an inviting church.
- Discipleship- We are asking members to share their stories of lived faith. This started early in 2017 and will continue throughout the redevelopment process and beyond. Stories will be shared in worship, at special services, and online.
- Shared Leadership – Over the next few years we will work to empower leaders and have effective ministry teams.
- Stewardship – Culturally, we will move to see stewardship and giving as an act of worship, as well as an act of love and solidarity.
- Contextual and Relevant Worship – We will work to make worship more meaningful and inclusive to all who attend service at First Trinity.
- Inclusivity – We will strive to include and empower those who speak a first language that is not English, those that are LGBTQ, and those who are economically disadvantaged.
Questions about the redevelopment process can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.