I hope that you've been participating in the Jesus Challenge this week. Each day offers a practical challenge to help you deepen your relationship with God. This Sunday, we'll start the second week of the challenge and turn our focus to loving our neighbors. I look forward to seeing you there.
One way of tangibly loving some of our God-given neighbors right now is through our support for persons in the Bahamas whose homes and communities have been devastated. I'm pleased to share with you that Trinity has already raised over $15,000 from our Mission Box offering last week, which will all go directly toward relief efforts through UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). I invite you to watch this short video message from our Bishop Ken Carter about what will be an ongoing response from Florida United Methodists. For those persons who want to go and help, those opportunities will be coming.
In other news this week, our youth ministry team unveiled a wonderful new name, logo, and vision for the future. It is exciting to see the growth and development happening in this area of ministry over the last 16 months and the collaboration that has helped shape the future. "The Bridge" Youth Ministries is a comprehensive approach to nurturing middle and high school students along the journey from childhood to adulthood as followers of Jesus Christ. You'll get to witness one expression of the new vision in worship this week. An ensemble from Lighthouse, the new worship ministry for youth, will be offering an anthem in the 9:30 service on Sunday morning. To learn more about The Bridge (and to see their fantastic logo!), click here.
Lastly, I (sadly) need to share with you an upcoming staff departure. Kim Lewerenz, who for the past several years has done an exceptional job in her role as Director of Adult Ministries, has recently been given a great career opportunity to begin a new position at the University of Florida. We are sad to lose her, and her combination of gifts for that ministry will be difficult to replace, but we celebrate with her and trust that God will provide just the right person to follow her here on staff. Here is a message from Kim about her departure:
"While I am excited for this new opportunity, I am sad to be leaving the Trinity staff. Working with all of you has been an amazing experience. It's not about the job you do. It's about the relationships you make along the way. You have made such an impact on my life, and I love you all! Thank you for your support during these years."
Kim will begin her new position at UF on Monday, September 23 but will continue to work some hours until October 20 in order to help with the transition. I know that you will want to thank her as you see her and wish her well in this new venture.
I look forward to seeing you this weekend for the next installment of The Jesus Challenge.
Grace and Peace,