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TRINITY CHURCH
ANNUAL REPORT - 2021

ADULT MINISTRIES

A Message from the Scott

 Adult Ministries

Faith formation is a lifelong process, a belief that Trinity lives out by offering a diverse, engaging, and timely slate of Adult Education opportunities throughout the year. 

 

In 2021, faith formation has largely unfolded online through a variety of digital platforms in the first half of the year. When the pandemic made in-person formation opportunities an impossibility, Trinity was immediately prepared to move nearly all of our prepared offerings through an online format.

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These included multi-week series from Dr. Lisa Toland on Lost and Forgotten Christian Communities and Dr. Elizabeth Colton on Public Diplomacy. We took a brief break in July for planning and returned in August with a series featuring local and regional guests in conversation. These Adult Forum programs remain available to watch on-demand on our YouTube channel.

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We also entered into an intentional exploration of Trinity’s history in relation to race. This is part of a larger effort of an ongoing effort to be a community committed to racial healing. Our wider culture and the wider church has awakened in us the realization that the history of our nation and our church contain embedded racial inequities that need to be exposed and understood. A foundational place to start is with our own history as a church community and Trinity’s history in the city of Asheville. The Rector is committed to this work as a long-term ongoing process of understanding and healing. It is work that must be done with urgency and at the same time in ways that draw us into the process rather than turn us away. As a largely white faith community we are called to be agents of healing and transformation. You can find our work in this area on our YouTube page. I also want to thank Sharon Lechner and Page McCorkle, who, along with David Henson's assistance, begin a study/book group to explore the ways in which race is part of our life, our theology and our sin. It is my firm belief that we are all being called to understanding how race and inequality in our culture and in our church has been, is and continues to be present. A holy question for disciples of Jesus is therefore, "what can we do about it?" As our Rector, I am committed to continued conversation, learning and transformation that is grounded is following the call of Christ. This work cannot be done by shaming each other. It can only be done with a desire to listen, to understand, and to love. 

 

When we began to open for public worship in the Spring of 2021, we kept our Adult offerings online and continued through the Summer. 

 

When the Fall program year began we moved to a simultaneous, in-person and online process of hosting our Adult Forum. We have hosted forums on the Gospel readings for the upcoming lectionary, a forum to introduce our new Deacon and a series on a few of our partners in the community, namely Habitat for Humanity and Trinity Place. We also heard from member Rosemary Crow about her new book covering her years of music in the church and we will finish out the year with an eight week series of Exploring the Episcopal Experience. 

 

Our Parents in Conversation Sunday morning group returned to in-person meeting in the Fall and it has been well attended. In the absence of an Associate Rector this group has moved to being self-led with a schedule that outlines subjects and leaders. 

 

Our rector, Scott, maintained a Thursday night Rector’s Bible Study on Zoom that has been consistently well-attended, averaging 20-30 people each week. Other adult formation offerings, including the Women’s Bible Study, Men’s Bible Study, and Parents in Conversation moved online during the first five months of the pandemic. 

 

During the pandemic we launched a parish-wide program called Gospel Based Discipleship that includes participation from all of the parish’s adjunct clergy and seeks to gather our folks around the gospel text for the week so that we can all be contemplating in a similar direction. It’s one more way to build more connections in spite of the distance we are experiencing because of COVID-19. This includes a written booklet outlining each week’s Gospel passage AND a weekly, mid-week video meditation released on Wednesdays at noon. We have every intention of continuing this ministry. 

 

We give thanks especially to all those who led formation series or offered their professional expertise and spiritual wisdom.

Respectfully submitted,

Scott White

Women’s Bible Study

 

The Women’s Bible Study (WBS) continued its faithful weekly meetings this year to hold morning prayer and discuss the Sunday lectionary texts. The group took a summer hiatus and then reconvened in August.  Averaging between 10 and 20 participants each Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., WBS provides a warm, engaging, and fun environment in which those gathered share their joys and prayer requests, listen for God’s guidance, and enjoy each other’s companionship. Conversation around shared life together and around the scripture text is lively, engaging, and encouraging.


Because of the pandemic, the WBS has moved to a hybrid platform that allows members to participate either in person or online. The

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Zoom online version of the program allows members who are not able to attend in person (whether by location or health) to join this beloved group and find weekly support and connection during a time of social isolation. We’ve had folks join from multiple states away at times. 

 

The Rev. Scott White, the Rev. David Henson and the Rev. Bob Zito facilitated the discussions along with adjunct clergy and lay members of the group on occasions when diocesan commitments required our clergy to be at other meetings. WBS remains a strong, important spiritual gathering in the life of Trinity Episcopal Church.

Respectfully Submitted,

Scott White

Bob Zito

Rector's Bible Study 

 

The Rector's Bible Study has continued to be a bright light through and coming out of COVID-19. The study was born out of COVID-19 and our inability to gather in person. Begun soon after in-person worship was suspended the study continues to flourish and has become one of the largest online gatherings at Trinity. Our first book studied was Paul's Letter to the Galatians, we moved on to study the Acts of The Apostles and now we are doing a comparative study of the Synoptic Gospels. We have every intention of continuing this study. God has the power to take our darkest moments and do something amazing with them. This study is one of the blessings of COVID-19. The use of the Zoom platform for this study benefits so many of our members. When the time changes and our evenings turn dark, during the winter months of questionable weather and more this platform allows us to continue meeting consistently. Many of our participants live 20 minutes away from the church building so what would be a nearly two hour block of time to participate is strictly the one hour of the study. 

 

Respectfully submitted

Scott White

The Men’s Morning Prayer and Bible Study 

 

“Thy words were found, and I ate them, and thy words became to me a joy and a delight of my heart, O Lord, God of hosts.”

Jeremiah 15:16

 

The men’s group meets using ZOOM at 7:30 A.M. each Friday for a little over an hour.  The group has grown to an average participation of 8 to 10 men.  Still, in the quietness of the early hours, we continue to pray for the health of Trinity Parish family, the local community, our country, our nation, and the world. We also pray for those with personal concerns. We then take time to reflect on the following week's Gospel lesson. Often, contemporary national and international issues influence our discussions and prayers.

YOU CAN COME AND GO TO THE MEETING AS YOUR SCHEDULE PERMITS. 

We welcome any and all to gather with us using ZOOM at the following address  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/, meeting ID: 250 373 9548.  This information can also be found in the weekly updates at www.trinityasheville.org.

Respectfully s,ubmitted

Bill Myrick

Education for Ministry

 

EfM provides a four year curriculum that develops theologically informed laity who are prepared to listen for and respond to God’s call.  EfM helps participants discover and exercise their varied gifts for ministry in their everyday lives.

An EfM group is 6-12 participants who meet weekly over 36 weeks.  The classes are about 3 hours in length.  Students are given weekly assignments to study and then come back to class ready to discuss the readings.  Year One students study the Old Testament, Year Two, the New Testament, Year Three is Church History and Year Four is interfaith encounters and ethics.  

EfM is open to all denominations and is an international program.  

Trinity currently has two EfM classes representing all four years of study.  Two of the classes are held on Monday evenings at Trinity.  At the present time both of these meet by Zoom. 

New classes begin in September 2021. and would welcome new students.

For more information, please contact Peggy Buchanan or Sandy Grant for the evening classes .

 

Respectfully submitted,

Peggy Buchanan

Trinity Wednesday Book Study
Reimagining Our Place in the Story

 

This hybrid book study group meets every other Wednesday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm in the Clark Room and via Zoom.  The group originally started by David Henson, former Associate Rector, along with parishioners, Sharon Lechner and Page McCorkle in June 2021.  The first series included an initial group forming and norming meeting followed by discussions of the book, "Jesus and The Disinherited" by Howard Thurman.  

 

The second series began in September 2021 and continues through December 2021.  Co-facilitators, Sharon and Page, continue to lead the group.  The book being studied is, “Sisters in the Wilderness” by Delores Williams.

 

The third series will begin in January 2022.  The book selected to study is - “I’m Still Here, Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown.

 

Each meeting we host about 6 people in-person and 2-4 online.  Most members of the group are Trinitarians.  The group has garnered attention of some non-members, who have joined us.  We invite any interested participants.

 

We created a set of intentions that guide our meetings and we follow a simple format.

Intentions include:

  1. Building relationships, following Jesus into the wilderness, and learning together,

  2. Practicing making changes where we can, no matter how big or small,

  3. Committing to the work for a lifetime, making it a lifestyle choice

  4. Seeking the Third Way of gentleness, creativity, and divestment of power, not only in our antiracism work but in our relationships with each other. 

 

In exploring the works of theologians of color and other African-American authors, we deepen our faith, expand our understanding of Christ’s call for reconciliation, and develop a different perspective of scripture.

 

We welcome group members to enter into dialogue in a safe and supportive setting with other fellow Trinitarians and church leaders – to discuss questions about the text that can be challenging and uncomfortable.  

 

The group’s journey is to do “the work” of learning what have our black brothers and sisters experienced (and continue to experience in our world), how did (and do) they feel, what have they learned (and what can we learn from them), where did (and do) they find God in the midst of racism, oppression and violence, and most importantly -- what is our role in doing God’s work as fellow Christians.

 

We share our own stories of personal growth, shame, healing, and where we find hope and opportunity to embrace the larger community of faith that includes all God’s children.   We discuss ways we -- as individuals, a group, a community and a world -- can promote social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

 

If you are interested in joining us, then please contact Page McCorkle or Sharon Lechner.

Women’s Bible Study

 

The Women’s Bible Study continued its faithful weekly meetings this year to hold morning prayer and to discuss the past Sunday’s lectionary texts. Averaging between 10 and 20 participants each Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., the WBS provides a warm, engaging, and fun environment in which those gathered share their joys and prayer requests, listen for God together, and enjoy each other’s companionship. Conversation around shared life together and around the scripture text for the week, is lively, engaging, and encouraging.

 

Because of the pandemic, the WBS moved to an online platform only since March. However, Zoom has enable participants who had not been able to attend for many months (whether by location or health) to rejoin this beloved group and find weekly support and connection during a time of social isolation. We’ve had folks join from multiple states away at times. 

 

The Rev. Scott White and the Rev. David Henson continue to alternate weeks leading the group and facilitating discussions, with adjunct clergy, Nancy McCorkle, or other members of the group on occasions when diocesan commitments require our clergy to be at other meetings. The Women’s Bible Study remains a strong, important spiritual gathering in the life of Trinity Episcopal Church.

Respectfully Submitted,

Scott White

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Rector's Bible Study 

 

The Rector's Bible Study has been a bright light in the middle of this dark time of COVID-19. The study was born out of COVID-19 and our inability to gather in person. Begun soon after in-person worship was suspended the study continues to flourish and has become one of the largest online gatherings at Trinity, drawing up to 60 participants or more. Our first book studied was Paul's Letter to the Galatians. Now we are working our way through the Acts of The Apostles. We have every intention of continuing this study even when in-person gatherings resume. God has the power to take our darkest moments and do something amazing with them. This study is one of the blessings of COVID-19. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Scott White.

The Men’s Morning Prayer and Bible Study 

 

“Thy words were found, and I ate them, and thy words became to me a joy and a delight of my heart, O Lord, God of hosts.”

Jeremiah 15:16

 

The men’s group meets using ZOOM at 7:30 A.M. for approx. an hour and a half each Friday. The group has grown to an average of 10 often gathering 12 or 13. Still, in the quietness of the early hours, we continue to pray for the health of Trinity Parish family, the local community, our Country, our nation, and the world. We also pray for those of personal concerns. We than take time to reflect on the following weeks Gospel lesson. 

We welcome any and all to gather with us using ZOOM at the following address  https://zoom.us/j/7480056  which can also be found in the weekly updates at trinity.org. 

 

Submitted by Bill Myrick

contact # 262-203-2670 or 4wmharris@gmail.com

Education for Ministry

 

EfM provides a four year curriculum that develops theologically informed laity who are prepared to listen for and respond to God’s call.  EfM helps participants discover and exercise their varied gifts for ministry in their everyday lives.

An EfM group is 6-12 participants who met weekly over 36 weeks.  The classes are about 3 hours in length.  Students are given weekly assignments to study and then come back to class ready to discuss the readings.  Year One students study the Old Testament, Year Two, the New Testament, Year Three is Church History and Year Four is interfaith encounters and ethics.  

EfM is open to all denominations and is an international program.  

Trinity currently has three EfM classes representing all four years of study.  Two of the classes are held on Monday evenings at Trinity.  One class is held during the day at Deerfield.  

New classes begin in September 2020 and would welcome new students.

For more information, please contact Peggy Buchanan or Sandy Grant for the evening classes or Rhonda Kilby for the day class.

2nd Chapter Book Group

 

What better way to share in our community of faith than to come together in a small group for honest conversation about a good, or not so good, book?  We are a group of women who enjoy reading and getting together to talk about what we have read.  Sometimes you read a book you may never have chosen if it was not on the “list” and it opens new horizons of thought.

This daytime group meets six times per year on the second Thursday of the even numbered months at the church from 10-11:30AM.  2020 marks our seventh year of meeting to discuss a variety of fiction and non-fiction books chosen by the group that lend themselves to good conversation.  The year started normally with our first meeting at the church but quickly changed in April to a Zoom format online.  Attendance usually varies from 6-8 women from our list of regulars and continues to see those numbers as we adjust to virtual meetings.  Anyone interested in joining us should contact Barbara Fotinos (bfotinos@gmail.com) for more information.

Respectfully Submitted,

Barbara Fotinos

2nd Chapter Book Group

 

What better way to share in our community of faith than to come together in a small group for honest conversation about a good, or not so good, book?  We are a group of women who enjoy reading and getting together to talk about what we have read.  Sometimes you read a book you may never have chosen if it was not on the “list” and it opens new horizons of thought.

This daytime group meets six times per year on the second Thursday of the even numbered months at the church from 10-11:30AM.  2021 marks our eighth year of meeting to discuss a variety of fiction and non-fiction books chosen by the group that lend themselves to good conversation.  It was decided in early 2021 that we would pause our meetings until we could safely return to in person gatherings.  By the summer the pandemic was becoming something we could manage with members being vaccinated so we started meeting again in June.  We added several new members, now numbering around 20 with average attendance approximately 10.  Anyone interested in joining us should contact Barbara Fotinos (bfotinos@gmail.com) for more information.

Respectfully Submitted,

Barbara Fotinos