Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Staff Pick Book Recommendation

From Wayne Brown, Director of Adult and Family Formation

The Hungering Dark, by Frederick Buechner (Seabury Press, 1969)

In 1979, when I was a student at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, I literally stumbled on my first Frederick Buechner book at the annual book sale in the library courtyard. In the midst of the book-buying chaos, the book was bumped from its perch on one of the tables, and onto my tanned and sandaled California beach toes. The book was The Hungering Dark, and my foot (and, eventually, my mind and spirit) were never so painfully grateful.

In The Hungering Dark, Buechner (pronounced BEEK-ner), draws on texts from both Old and New Testaments to help us encounter the gracious, sometimes hidden face of God in refreshingly honest ways. 

One sample from chapter 2, Confusion of Face: “The voyage into the self is long and dark and full of peril, but I believe that it is a voyage that all of us will have to make before we are through. Either we climb down into the abyss willingly with our eyes open, or we risk falling into it with our eyes closed.”

Author, Professor, Pulitzer Prize nominee, Poet, Philosopher, and lover of Christ: Frederick Bueckner. Read Him. You’ll be grateful from your head to your toes. Also, for a more personal sense of this extraordinary man, view Walter Brueggemann╩╝s interview with Buechner here:


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Trinity Touring the Town

Trinity members were treated to two walking tours on Sunday, August 17:

As part of the summer Adult Forums, a group of Trinity members traveled to the Globeville neighborhood where Habitat for Humanity has built, repaired or renovated a number of homes in an effort to revitalize the area.

Then, following the 11 a.m. worship service, a group of 25 joined Lynn Willcockson and Tom Noel (aka Dr. Colorado) for a history presentation and tour of Trinity's past locations.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Welcoming Cristina Muldoon, our New Director of Children's Ministries

We are thrilled to have Cristina Muldoon as Trinity's new Director of Children's Ministries! She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, holding a degree in Religion and Philosophy from Tulane University and a M.A. in Religious Studies from Yale University. Since moving to Denver in 2005, she founded Sloan Tutoring, taught at Kent School, and worked in the Center for Academic Support at Johnson & Wales University. Cristina joined the Trinity staff "officially" on July 1, but she jumped in early to get her feet wet under the tutelage of Kathy Gibb and assist with the largest Children's Ministry event of the year - Vacation Bible School.

There is never a dull moment during VBS week, and Cristina has shared a recap of the festivities. What a week it was!

This way my first Trinity Vacation Bible School experience, and I was truly a rookie; I never attended VBS as a kid, and I had never worked in a VBS program before. One in-service meeting later, though, and I was assigned to be a crew leader! I was excited to learn the ropes from Kathy Gibb and her amazing VBS team. My VBS group, the Rachel Rays, (the kids were assigned to age-appropriate groups, and “The Chefs” were mostly second and third graders) were Trinity experts. I was lucky enough to have both Marleigh Cummins (daughter of Angie Cummins) and Reagan Scheminske (daughter of Sharon and Erick Scheminske) to help show me the ropes and teach me the Agadoo dance (Linda Marshall is also an Agadoo expert if anyone would like a lesson).

     There were many moments during VBS week that I felt very lucky to be a part of: Clara Rutledge going door to door to raise money for the Habitat for Humanity mission; the surprise and pleasure on the faces of the Habitat for Humanity staff when we presented them with the flowerpots our kids had made to welcome our five families to their new homes; learning that our eggshell crosses were made using eggshells from our youth group’s burrito breakfasts (a great example of our Trinity family working together!), and the great joy our kids brought to the congregation when they sang our VBS songs during service.   

     I had a great time and was so impressed by the dedication of all the VBS volunteers. Running a week long camp for more than 100 children is a massive undertaking and it could not have happened without the incredibly hard work of many people. I want to give particular thanks to Andrea Evashevski and Aubrey Monckton for the innumerable hours they spent organizing, planning, and participating in VBS. I should mention, too, that Aubrey makes a very convincing Queen Esther. Special thanks is also due to Julie Belcher and Jan Wywrot for running the Science room (and teaching the kids to make truly delicious mustard, among other things); Betty Shropshire and Ariana Martinez for their work in the craft room; Liz Rodriguez for making Rivet, the VBS mascot/puppet, come alive for the kids; Erin Johnson and Abbey Watkins for taking charge of the outdoor games; and Nelisha Firestone and Linda Marshall for their work to prepare the kids for their music performance on VBS Sunday. The heroic behind the scenes efforts of the endlessly creative and talented Allison Watkins made the week possible. The list of the crew leaders and other volunteers (including many members of Trinity’s youth group who did a fantastic job) without whom VBS would not have been a success would go on and on, and I was so appreciative of everyone’s help. Of course, 2014 VBS would not have happened at all without Kathy Gibb; her devotion to making Trinity a welcoming and joyful place for children is something I will work very hard to emulate.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Trinity's Early Response Team in Estes Park

Trinity's Early Response Team, WHFG - We're Here For Good, traveled to Estes Park to work on Estes Park United Methodist Church.  The church deck needed repair and staining, the fence needed painting and fire mitigation was needed in the grounds surrounding the church building.  These projects were put on hold last September when flooding changed priorities for church and community members alike.  Our Trinity team worked together with Estes Park UMC members, shared meals and fellowship and finally discovered that working together builds friendships that last! 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Trinity Primetimers' Trip to Denver Botanic Gardens

Our Trinity Primetimers enjoyed a trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens on July 11 for a tour of the Dale Chihuly exhibit currently on display. Watch the weekly Vision and monthly Vision for upcoming Primetimers events!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Trinity Named a Winner of 2014 Downtown Denver Partnership Awards

We are very honored to be included as one of six winners of the 2014 Annual Downtown Denver Partnership Awards. The winners were selected by a jury convened by the Downtown Denver Partnership in recognition of the businesses, projects and initiatives that have had the most significant impact on the center city in 2013. Trinity was recognized for its 125th anniversary of service, ministry and mission to downtown Denver from our 18th & Broadway location.

The Partnership put together a short video presentation for all the winners, and we love how they captured the good works happening here at Trinity.

Pastor Mike accepted the award on Trinity's behalf and several members were present at the awards dinner. Here's to our first 125 years at 1820 Broadway!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Big Sunday for Trinity's Youth

Last Sunday, June 1, featured Trinity's youth in a big way.

We were able to recognize our exceptionally talented graduating seniors as they prepare to head off to college.

The youth and chaperones participating in mission trips near and far were also commissioned for their upcoming work in Guatemala, South Dakota and here in Denver.

On Friday, June 6, twelve juniors and seniors leave to spend 10 days in rural Guatemala where they will build a home for a widow and her five children, visit the John Wesley School and meet the student they sponsor, visit a local pastor and his family's weaving project, and learn the history of village of Lemoa where they will be staying. The youth will be taking prayer quilts with them to give to families in Guatemala. The quilts were made by Trinity's Prayer Quilt Team. Congregation members were invited to tie a prayer knot onto the quilts.

In July, Trinity's Middle High youth will spend three days right here in Denver doing mission work and exploring the city through God's eyes. The youth will host an ice cream and games party at the Olin Hotel, make sandwiches to hand out to those who spend their days at Civic Center Park, volunteer with Metro CareRing, decorate bags for Project Angel Heart meal deliveries and serve lunch to our downtown neighbors here in Fellowship Hall.

Also in July, eleven senior high youth will spend a week in Pine Ridge, South Dakota focusing on the Native American culture and learning about the complex issues facing the community. They will paint houses, lead Kid's Club and listen and learn from the wisdom traditions of others.

We will share updates on our youth and these exciting mission trips as the summer progresses.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Trinity Photo wins Prize

Photographer Greg Jacobs contacted us several weeks ago with a  photo he had taken of Trinity that he was going to enter in a photography contest. A friend of Greg's described it as a great depiction of "reaching for the heavens."

Greg just let us know that he won with his image of Trinity. Congratulations, Greg!

Greg Jacobs's Winning Photo

Monday, April 14, 2014

Faith and Education Breakfast

On Tuesday, April 8, Trinity hosted the Faith and Education breakfast discussion called "The 4 Rs: Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic and Religion." Pastor Mike Dent welcomed guests and gave a blessing.  Those attending heard from faith leaders about how churches can further engage and support Colorado's education system.

Guest speakers included Jill Hawley, Associate Commissioner of Achievement and Strategy, Colorado Department of Education; Andy Mendelsberg, Principal, Denver East High School; and Chris Watney, President and CEO, Colorado Children's Campaign. The event was sponsored by the Colorado Council of Churches and the Colorado Children's Campaign.

The excellent presentations stimulated the interest of Trinity members present and there is an on-going conversation about how Trinity might provide a program for those interested in learning more about how our congregation might further engage and support Colorado's education system. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, contact Rev. Miriam Slejko at 303-839-1493.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Christmas Cards from Russia on Display

Since 2007, Trinity has had a relationship with the congregation of Bethany UMC in Pushkin, Russia, with 20 of our members having made one or more of four trips to Bethany in mission and fellowship. For the last four years, the children of Bethany and our children at Trinity have exchanged homemade cards for Christmas and Easter. The ones we received this past Christmas are truly works of art and are currently on display in the Artist's Display Case on Level 2 near the church entrance.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Honoring Anamae Vasquez

Anamae Kool Vasquez was honored during worship on March 16 in celebration of her many years of service to Trinity through her gifts of music.  She is an alum of Morningside College Music Department in  Sioux City, Iowa.  Anamae offered her musical gifts as staff organist for Trinity and as accompanist for the Chancel Choir and for many years played for countless couples at their weddings.  Anamae’s husband, Abraham, and sons, Leon and Dan, and their families joined her for this special tribute, which was followed by a reception in Fellowship Hall.