TRINITY… SERVING, TEACHING, AND PROCLAIMING
New Member: On Saturday, November 11th, we added a new member here at Trinity. We are happy to share that Jessica Ulrich is now officially a part of our church family. Please welcome Jessica in worship, and we look forward to working with her in carrying out our congregation’s mission. Welcome to Trinity, Jess!
All Saints Sunday, November 5th: We observed All Saints Day, one of the oldest observances on the church calendar, on November 5th. We gave thanks to God for the lives of saints past and present, saints being all those who truly follow Christ. We remembered loved ones who have gone to join the Church Triumphant in the past year as we lit a candle in their memory, giving thanks to God for their presence with us. The saints we remembered were:
James Hylton, Sr.
Sound System Dedication, November 5th: On Sunday, November 5th, we dedicated our new sound system to the Glory of God. This new system was paid for with available funds from the Terry Ebert endowment gift. We are so very grateful to Terry for his generous bequest.
Agape Community Meal, November 8th: We served our November Agape Community Meal on Wednesday, November 8th with about 60 people attending. Thanks to everyone who helped.
Special thanks to the Junior Youth Group for setting up tables and chairs, and also setting the tables. They do a great job, and we appreciate their help.
Operation Christmas Child, November 12th: On Sunday, November 12th, members of our Junior Youth Group brought 41 shoeboxes prepared for Operation Christmas Child to the front of the sanctuary for a blessing. We are grateful for their participation in this important project. They gathered these shoeboxes together, collected from the generosity of our faith community, to be sent as symbols of God’s love to various places around the world – to Bangladesh where hunger is a big issue for children; to Honduras which is the second poorest country in Central America; to Haiti where tens of thousands are still homeless from an earthquake in 2010; to South Africa where many live in ghettos made up of houses made from sheet metal; to Madagascar where the average worker makes $1 a day; to places where God knows there is need. We pray for God’s love to shine on the children who receive these boxes and for our love to reach them. Following the service the shoeboxes were taken to the Lighthouse Community Church in Muir which serves as a drop off location. When the Pastor of this church and his wife served as missionaries, the children in their mission area received shoeboxes from Operation Christmas Child. Read on to learn about the journey of our shoeboxes …
Journey of an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox:
Shipping: Thousands of volunteers serve annually inspecting and preparing shoeboxes for international shipping. Every hour work stops for a few minutes to pray for the children who will receive the boxes.
Worldwide Distribution: Long before shoeboxes arrive in more than 100 countries, volunteer National Leadership Teams train pastors and community leaders who want to share the message of the Gospel and bless children. The leaders learn how to host child-friendly outreach events, and how to implement The Greatest Journey follow-up discipleship program.
Outreach Events: Pastors around the world host shoebox distributions in places where people may not know Christ and invite them to follow Him. Other churches use the boxes as resources for outreach in orphanages and other at-risk areas. In many places, they also offer The Greatest Gift, a Gospel story booklet Samaritan’s Purse developed for shoebox recipients.
Discipleship & Multiplication: As a result of what they learn in The Greatest Journey, boys and girls grow in Christ and share with friends and family. The students also invite others to their graduations where the Gospel is shared. This often brings parents, siblings, and friends to accept Christ and become active members in the local church. Families are reached, churches grow, new churches are started, and communities are transformed.
We Did It – We Paid Off the Organ Loan!: As mentioned in the Congregational Meeting report, thanks to the generosity of members of our congregation, we exceeded our organ goal in November. The funds we received above what was needed to pay off the loan will be put into an organ maintenance fund. Pastor Brian is planning a special service to acknowledge this accomplishment and to thank all who contributed to this project. We will use this new organ to the Glory of God to not only enhance our regular worship services, but also to share the Good News in new ways with our community.
New Website, TrinityintheValley.com: Also mentioned in the Congregational Meeting report was our new website is now live. Since many people now use the internet to identify potential churches for worship, it is important that we maintain an easy-to-use website that is current and most important reflects who we are as a congregation and how we worship and serve ou Lord. Check it out and see what you think. Feel free to provide feedback to Pastor Brian. That’s www.TrinityintheValley.com.
Thank you, Mikayla: Trinity extends sincere thanks to Mikayla Ulicny who developed our first website and got our name on the web! Thank you, Mikayla
Thank you, Travis: Trinity extends sincere thanks to Travis Snyder for further developing our website and enabling it to be connected to other social media. Thank you, Travis.
We appreciate the efforts of both Mikayla and Travis and their willingness to share their knowledge and talent to help share God’s Word and our mission.
Community Thanksgiving Service, November 22nd: The Tri-Valley Community Thanksgiving Service was held at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, November 22 at Helper's Church of God in Pitman. There were about 65 people in attendance. The service included a beautiful anthem sung by the Pastors, and an excellent sermon by the new Pastor at Hepler’s, Bob Cassel. One very memorable part of the sermon was his analogy of being a Christian to the song Hokey Pokey. Are you all in?
Happy Thanksgiving, November 23rd: We received the following message from Hudock Capital Group, the Investment Management Firm for our Endowment Fund. “It seems that every year the holiday season starts earlier and earlier, leaving us with little time to really enjoy Thanksgiving and reflect on what we’re grateful for. So here’s our list! Our Family, Freedom, Soft-Serve Ice Cream, Happiness, Good Health, Our Friends and Neighbors, Chocolate, , Music, Mountains, Autumn Leaves, Our Job, Our Home, Girl Scout Cookies®, Sunny Weather, Laughter, And God. We hope you can take some time this Thanksgiving to reflect upon the wonderful blessings you have in your own life. Happy Thanksgiving!” We hope you were able to enjoy a Happy Thankgiving and take time to give thanks for the things you are grateful. What’s on your list?
Christ the King Sunday, November 26th: On Sunday, November 26th we celebrated Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of our Liturgical calendar and the closing of our church year. This Sunday is one of the newer additions to our church calendar, having been instituted in 1925. We celebrated Christ as the all-encompassing Lord of the cosmos!
Miles to Mend: In the month of November, there was one disbursement for Miles to Mend. This time of year is the perfect time of year to nominate someone to receive assistance through this program. If you know of someone who is in need of assistance with travel due to medical reasons, please feel free to nominate them using the forms located at the office entrance of the church.
Thank you for your support of this ministry!
Congregation Council Meeting Highlights: Tuesday, November 14th at 7:00 PM.
Minutes: Council approved the minutes from the October 2017 Council meeting the meeting minutes from the special Congregational meeting on October 22, 2017.
Treasurer’s Report: Council approved the October 2017 Treasurer’s report and requested a line be added under Worship and Music for Sound System supplies. Because of the possibility of upcoming changes, the budget will be prepared quarterly rather than yearly. Julie Ballay presented and reviewed the budget for Quarter 1 of 2018. The increase in the cost of Pastor Brian’s health insurance was discussed. The cost was increased because he now needs family coverage. The budget for Quarter 1 of 2018 was approved by Council and will be presented to the congregation at the annual meeting on November 19th.
Worship & Music Committee: Council approved the committee’s recommendation to purchase a new acolyte stick because one of the sticks is broken and both needed for the Christmas Eve service. Comments on the contemporary song used during worship were positive.
Christian Education Committee: All slots for teachers for the fall sessions have been filled. The schedule for the Christmas season will be Christmas play practice on November 26; Advent Craft Faire on December 3; Christmas play practice on December 10 and 17, as well as the program on December 17. The annual Christmas Story Puppet Show will be held December 24. No Sunday School on December 31. Sunday School will resume on January 7, 2018.
Youth Ministry: Two Carol-Grams have been sold for a total donation of $320. Eleven people are going on the Roanoke trip and deposits have been paid. Roland Wolfgang gave a presentation on his military service to the Junior Youth Group. Senior youth group will be collecting for Socks of Love for the Servants To All in Pottsville.
Endowment Committee: The presentation of the Endowment Report to the congregation was discussed.
Property Committee: Cindy Kramer reported that the library was cleaned up during Property Committee meeting this month. Cindy also stated that only 29 sign-up sheets for next year had been returned. Pastor Brian will allow time to complete these sheets during the service on Sunday.
Kitchen Committee: The committee will be catering the Sterman Masser Incorporated Christmas dinner this year again. This money will once again be put towards the Agape Community meals. Council approved the Committee’s request for the Kitchen Committee to have its own checking account at the Gratz Bank.
Day Care: The Day Care Board appreciates that Trinity eliminated the Day Care Rent for this year. They are having fund raisers to raise money to operate.
Pastor’s Report: After discussion of the shooting in the Texas church, it was decided that Trinity should establish an Action Plan for emergencies. Appropriate people will be contacted to help make this action plan. Council approved Pastor Brian’s request for vacation from December 26-31, 2017. Pastor Curtis will do the Saturday night service. Micah Ulicny will conduct the 10:30 am service. There will be no 8 am service that morning.
Old Business: A “Trinity Organ Loan Balance” paper showing the contributions from August 31, 2017 until the present was presented to Council. Since there are contributions which amount to more than the loan balance, Council approved the recommendation to put the extra contributions to the organ maintenance budget line.
Nominating Committee: The Committee reported that the following people’s names would be placed on a ballot for election to Council at the annual Congregational Meeting: Bill Bixler, Pat Harner, Keith Masser, Lillie Morgan, Sue Sallada, Steve Schwalm, Travis Snyder, and Tracy Witmer. President Robin Otto thanked Joe and Dezi Fogarty and Beau and Dara Troutman for serving on the Nominating Committee this year.
New Business: Council approved a recommendation presented by Pastor Brian and Robin Otto to set up Trinity as a recipient of “Amazon Smile” charitable contributions. When making a purchase, a buyer would select Trinity on “Amazon Smile” and a percentage of the purchase would be given to Trinity. A separate and dedicated savings account will be set up at Gratz Bank to make the electronic transfer.
Church Revitalization: Pastor Brian announced that there would be a meeting to start a “Church Revitalization” group. This begins with a book study of Surviving to Thriving and moves on to discussion of the “Orange Tour” that several members participated in. This group will make recommendations to committees and Council for revitalization. The first meeting will be Monday, January 8, 2018, at 7 pm, and will meet every other week. If you are interested in participating in this important effort, please let Pastor Brian know.
Request by Boy Scout Troup 662: Boy Scout Troup 662 would like to take title to a trailer which has been offered to them; however, the troop cannot own vehicles. The troop asked if Trinity would consider taking title to the trailer and explore the questions of liability and other insurance. Council agreed to explore this request.
Handicapped Restroom: It was brought to Council’s attention some problems arose because of the lack of a handicapped restroom. A suggestion was made that the nursery restroom might be able to meet that need if several alterations were made. The idea will be referred to the Property Committee.
Requests for Use of Church Social Hall:
Boy Scouts: Council approved a request by the Boy Scouts to use the social hall for a Christmas party on December 17, 2017, at 6 pm.
Girl Scouts: Council approved a request by the Girl Scouts to use the social hall for a Cookie Kickoff on Saturday, January 6, 2018.
Girl Scouts: Council approved a request by the Girl Scouts to use the social hall on Tuesday, December 5, or Thursday, December 7, 2017.
An agenda for the Annual Congregational Meeting was presented and approved by Council.
The next Council Meeting will be Tuesday, December 12, at 7 pm. Newly elected Council members are requested to attend and will participate in election of Council Officers for 2018.