Worship: Sundays @ 8:15, 9:40, 11:00 am | Wednesdays @ 6:35 pm
Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! Catherine and I hope that the end of 2016 brought opportunities for you to spend meaningful time with family and friends. We certainly enjoyed our first Christmas with Trinity. What a night we had on Christmas Eve as nearly 3000 people joined us live for one of the five services on campus and others tuned in online!

We are grateful for family who are willing to come to us at Christmastime, understanding that it's a little difficult for the preachers to travel anywhere else for Christmas morning, Being back in Gainesville means that it is a homecoming now for Catherine's sisters, Ellen and Susan, who also grew up at Trinity.

It was a blessing to have all our closest family members together for a few days. Our four parents, who are all still living, our two kids, and Catherine's two sisters, their husbands, and kids...17 in all! To mark the occasion, we took a group photo on Christmas morning right after the Service of Lessons and Carols. As I looked at the photo later that day, what stood out to me were the strong relationships represented in that picture, particularly the ones between husbands and wives. 5 marriages, 195 years of love and commitment, 0 divorces.
This Sunday, we'll begin a new message series, Vital Signs of a Healthy Marriage, and we really hope that every one of you will make the effort to be there all five weeks. Some of you are happily married right now, others are not. Some are not married, never have been, and perhaps do not have a desire to be. Others have been but are not anymore. No matter what your circumstance, there is something in this series that will benefit you personally and just might also help you be a better friend and encourager to others who are married. In fact, it's a great series to invite someone else you know to come and worship. We can't wait to see you for the first installment this weekend.

On another note, we want to thank you for your generosity that supported the mission and ministries of Trinity in 2016. While total giving fell short of total expenses last year, healthy reserves and a surplus from the prior year helped the church weather a year of significant transition. 

So far, commitments made for 2017 are pacing ahead of last year, which is both encouraging and important. To date we have received 451 pledges totaling $2,013,400 (compared to 461 pledges totaling $1,937,651 at the same time last year). The Finance Team worked diligently last fall with ministry leaders to prepare a budget with a net increase of zero from 2016. Hearing from some of you this week who have yet to make a commitment will help ensure that Trinity fully funds that budget for this year, which includes so many vital ministries that make a difference. Thank you for your prayerful consideration.

Lastly, on the subject of generosity, we are delighted to share that just over $30,000 was received for the Christmas offering. What a difference this will make in establishing a collaborative learning center where children of Rawlings Elementary School can be excited to learn and grow! In the days ahead, we also look forward to sharing with you some ways you can be involved in these children's lives not only through your financial offerings, but also through the gift of time.

Grace and Peace,