Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Our Denomination

As many of you know we are organically connected to other Presbyterian churches through our denomination, ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. It's a mouthful but each word has a significance and meaning that helps identify who we are as we work together with other churches to see the kingdom of God come and God's will be done one earth as it is in heaven.

At one of the initial gatherings the leaders of ECO described the denomination as being a three legged stool (of course I prefer triangles) of missional congregations, covenant order, and common theological language. If you haven't noticed, Trinity is not only mission minded but purposely adapting to the new context and culture by becoming more missional (you may remember our last churchwide study, The Tangible Kingdom). We also believe in a connectional form of church government, being in a covenant order. In ECO our pastors are required to meet regularly in groups with pastors from other churches, and also the ruling councils of each church (Session) are required to be in affinity groups with other churches for the purposes of sharing life, accountability, and learning from one another. Finally, ECO has a document of essential tenets, or the essentials of the Reformed faith derived from our historic confessions that all deacons, elders, and pastors must hold so that we have a common theological language and core. I'm hopeful to examine some of these core beliefs in upcoming blog posts but in the meantime this denominational commitment is one of the reasons Pastor Michael and I are teaching a course on Reformed Theology for the next 10 weeks on The French Confession. We hope you'll consider joining us, if even just for one or two sessions. You can sign up and see the documents and course topic schedule by following this link, using the password "trinity", and locating the Pastor's Fall 2013 Class.

It truly is exciting to partnered with other churches and gatherings of Christ followers. On October 11th and 12th we will welcome many of our Florida ECO pastors and elders to our own campus. We hope you'll be able to attend, maybe even volunteer, but most importantly participate with us in the larger body of Christ.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How do you Serve?

One of the most exciting things about serving at Trinity is being a part of a church family that loves one another and extends that love outside the walls into the surrounding community, over the causeway, and in some cases over the oceans! I hear stories all the time of people helping each other, serving with our mission partners, and being missional on their own initiative.

As we kick-off our life groups for the fall, it's exciting to check and see some of the things these groups have been up to. Some have been making lunches for our Project Light outreach team, others have gone and served at our local neighborhood school, Sea Park Elementary. Of course a huge blessing to my own family is when life groups came and moved my entire family from one town-home to another while I was in Haiti!

It's great to hear these reports because they are an encouragement to the entire church family. They help those in leadership see the heart and the calling of our people. They help guide our decisions about Trinity's mission partnerships. It's also great to know where we're involved so that as new people join our community they can be connected with those already serving in particular areas.

I encourage you to share your outreach, whether it's making soup for someone in your own group, or going to volunteer at The DOCK's afterschool program.

Please take a moment and Click Here to share that information with us! It's vitally important!!! Share if you've done one or two things. Share if you have a person, location, or organization that you serve at on a regular basis.

If you lead a life group, or are the outreach coordinator for your life group, you can report your outreach efforts by Clicking Here and typing "genesis" as the password, find your group, and click Edit, and then Outreach.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, and for encouraging your church family by keeping us informed and connected with our service as the body of Christ. As Paul writes to the Thessalonians "[E]ncourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."