On Photography, Silent Contemplation, and the Image of God.

I’m a photographer. While I photograph weddings 99% of the time, I have a strong interest in capturing people and their stories, and an equally strong interest in street photography- basically photographing what’s happening on the street as I walk by- always with a focus on people. So in the spring, I went to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke to see a small exhibit of street portraits taken in Italy just after WWII. Around the same time, a caravan of migrants was making its way through Mexico toward the US Border. There was a lot of strong emotions in the media about this caravan with equally strong opinions. I found it all rather upsetting and noisy- like white noise from an old TV and that background noise makes it hard for my restless soul to find rest with Jesus as Augustine says.

 From my collection  Together but Alone, New York, 2018

From my collection Together but Alone, New York, 2018

It was silent in the museum, and I live with very little silence in my life. When I get a few moments of it, I make the most of it. As I moved through the exhibit I thought about how I would never meet these people in the images- I’m sure most of them have passed on by now. But I felt a certain sense of solidarity in the fact that we were probably a lot alike: they loved their families, they went to work, they struggled. Most of them had lived through bombings and food shortages- more than I might ever experience in my small suburban life.  

 From my collection  Together but Alone, New York, 2018.

From my collection Together but Alone, New York, 2018.

The silence allowed me to visually get to know these people, and then, on the way home, to think through this time we live in where people just trying to survive have somehow become a threat, and how the voices opposing them became so loud and why God allows these things to occur. I think the answers might never come on earth, but I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps the Lord honors the questioning and deep insecurity I feel about it all.

 From my collection  Together but Alone, New York, 2018

From my collection Together but Alone, New York, 2018

For me, the power of photography is in its silence and stillness- that freezing of a fleeting moment in time. In the silence of a photograph, I’m forced to confront the beauty and tragedy of a shared humanity and our shared need to be known and loved and valued. When I see the faces of people in a photograph, whether or not I’ve taken it, and regardless of whether they’re part of a migrant caravan or a person of infamous note in the world, I’ve learned to see them as people created in and bearing the image of a holy God, searching for hope and for life and freedom, just like me. It’s been an experience in which God has been perfecting love and my faith to cast out fear of what a person might be and focus on who they truly are.

Photography has instilled in me compassion, the ability to lean into hard things, to ask difficult questions for which there might never be answers and to be ok with the possibility of that. The practice of photography as art and business has built my faith in a way that augments my experiences in church or community group. It gives me the ability to live in the world and hold onto Jesus in a way that I couldn’t have imagined for myself before I ever picked up a camera. I’m less fearful of most things and people and a little more bold when it comes to building relationships. I’m thankful for the eight years I had with my business, and I’m hopeful that the Lord will take me and my camera into new challenges of showing the gospel to people visually in the future.

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Charity Starchenko came to Trinity Park in 2018. She and her family live in Cary.

Serving in the Women's Ministry- Abi Spears

It’s so hard to believe that another year for Women’s Ministry is coming to an end! It has been my privilege to serve the women of Trinity Park again this past year. From our women’s retreat back in March to our bowling and winery nights, and with our spring bible study and triads this fall, there have been many precious moments among old and new friends. I’ve been so thankful for the opportunities with each event and bible study group to meet so many of you and to connect on different levels. God has truly blessed us with many wonderful ladies at Trinity Park!

 The October Women’s Winery Night.

The October Women’s Winery Night.

The new year will bring many changes for the Women’s Ministry Team. Our group has always been a combined team of events, inreach/outreach, discipleship, and coordinator under 1 umbrella. But as our church grows, we strive to grow and change with the needs of the women.

We have 1 more event before this year is up: our Women’s Christmas Party on December 7! I hope many of you will join us to celebrate good food, fun games, and Christmas carols. This will be a great opportunity to engage deeply with other women at Trinity Park, to build friendships, and enjoy a fun holiday evening!

 Our Annual Women’s retreat in March.

Our Annual Women’s retreat in March.

In 2019, there will be 2 umbrellas under Women’s Ministry: 1 for shepherding and 1 for events. These 2 teams will correspond with each other and serve the women together. But they will both focus on their individual tasks. The names of the women on these new teams will be posted soon. Please join me in prayer for these teams, that the Lord would give wisdom to both teams in these new roles, that our church leadership would be wise as they move forward with developing and changing ministry towards women, and that the Lord would be glorified in all these things.


I will miss my role in serving the women of Trinity Park as part of the Women’s Ministry Team. But I’m so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had the past few years. All praise to God!

Learning about Prayer from Eugene Peterson- Clay Shelor

On October 14, 2018, I read that pastor and writer, Eugene Peterson, had entered hospice care and was near the end of his journey on this earth. He entered into the presence of his Good Shepherd just a few days later on the 22nd. Though I had never met Peterson, I was deeply saddened to hear of his death and felt and enormous indebtedness for the things I learned from him.

 Eugene Peterson and his wife Jan

Eugene Peterson and his wife Jan

Through his little book, “Answering God,” I learned the simplicity, beauty and joy of praying the Psalms. Why the Psalms?

“If we are willfully ignorant of the Psalms, we are not thereby excluded from praying, but we will have to hack our way through formidable country by trial and error and with inferior tools. If we dismiss the Psalms, preferring a more up-to-date and less demanding school of prayer, we will not be without grace, but we will miss the center where Christ worked in his praying. Christ prayed the Psalms—the Christian community was early convinced that he continues praying them through us as we pray them: "we recite this prayer of the Psalm in Him, and He recites it in us." (page 4 quoting Augustine)

From “Eat this Book,” I was stirred in fresh ways to read the Bible, not to accumulate facts and theological data, but for my very life itself.

“Christians don't simply learn or study or use Scripture; we assimilate it, take it into our lives in such a way that it gets metabolized into acts of love, cups of cold water, missions into all the world, healing and evangelism and justice in Jesus' name, hands raised in adoration of the Father, feet washed in company with the Son.”

As I am now reading his translation of the Bible, “The Message,” I am often startled and amazed at the big picture of creation, fall, rescue and new creation that Scripture tells. I am amazed yet again at God, who is "so good! His love never runs out” (Psalm 107:1, MSG), at the wonder of the gospel, that "The Word became flesh and blood,  and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14, MSG).

Some of his final words just before death were, “Let’s go.” 

So I thank God for the faithful life of Eugene Peterson and how he has brought me back again to the beauty of Scripture, the wonder of the gospel of Jesus, and the astounding promise and joy of praying Scripture. I’m forever grateful. 

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Clay Shelor is an elder at Trinity Park. He lives with his family in Cary.

Transitioning with God- Alicia Park

Given this opportunity to write on TPC’s blog, I contemplated on what would be a good topic to share. Somewhat feeling my mundane life doesn’t really deserve a spotlight,  I thought I could talk about ordinary stuff like transition in life. Just this year, our family of 7(yes, you read it right!) went through many different transitions in our lives.

It started with our 4th child’s arrival. A baby girl born in March brought a great anticipation in every member of the family. Jae and I knew what to expect from this littler person and what great responsibilities she’ll add to our lives. Sisters made cards to celebrate and brother helped to assemble the crib. My mother busily cooked and stored food for us. We were ready to face the new stage of our lives!

Soon after, with a 6-week-old baby, our first house was complete to move in. All I remember is countless driving back and forth with my newborn taking every nap in the car seat. This move required hustling from every member of the family and there were many moments of frustration. Not bursting into sudden anger or blaming another family member during this season was very difficult!

 Photo by  Evelyn Paris  on  Unsplash

Looking for a new church and new community happened right alongside with the move. Our family had been involved in a Korean church in Durham for past 4 years. We had friends and relationships we called family. When we prayed and considered to look for a new church in the same area, it was much too difficult. Anxiety came from feeling disconnected from the old and uncertainty of the new. But we knew God was broadening our perspective to look for a church beyond our own race. We wanted our children to see God’s kingdom in many different forms.

I believe our family is still going through this transition, but we are very thankful God led us to TPC. Members of the congregation embraced us and we were at ease. Not to mention our children are blessed to walk in their journeys in Christ with so many other children!

Lastly, it had been a long time topic of our prayer for a direction in Jae’s career. Battling with our own thoughts and plans while nothing seemed hopeful was grueling. However, acknowledging God’s faithfulness and sufficiency helped us to be patient with thankfulness. This October, Jae started a new position.

It almost feels like a fast moving wind carried us in 2018 to be where we are now. God who knows us the best prepared each step for us. Was I a good follower? I can recall some ugly moments of complaining and trying to be self-sufficient.

Transitions give us opportunity to examine the sovereignty of God in our lives. Also, it gives us a chance to reprioritize our lives. With transitions in life, I was able to practically see where my faith is at and test it. That being said, I hope my next transition would reflect more of the goodness of our Lord.

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Alicia Park came to Trinity Park in 2018. She lives with her family in Cary.


More Than Conquerors- Lindsey Wilkins

My husband and I love to snuggle up to our kiddos at bedtime and whisper truth into their ears as we kiss them goodnight. One of our favorite things to remind them of is that nothing can separate them from God’s love. When we first started repeating these words to to our children my daughter Story had a fear of animals, and even now she always responds with, “not even animals!” As our family has been through a lot of transition these past few months these words have been great truth to repeat. Anna, my oldest daughter, started kindergarten and has experienced so much change. Nothing can separate her from God’s love, not even Kindergarten! Filling children’s hearts with the truth of God’s word carries them through each sadness or fear and reminds them that God is the true source of their joy.

The children’s ministry at Trinity Park has made some changes in the past few months and it’s so exciting to see and feel the excitement when you walk into the gym during the eleven o’clock hour! One thing that we have added is a time of worship before Pastor Drew gives a lesson. We’ve provided space for kids to learn the truth of Scripture through song and movement. It was a joy to stand up front this week and watch the children sing and move with huge smiles on their faces. The song that we’ve been singing the last few weeks says:

“We are more, more, more than conquerors, through him who loves us.” “What can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus?” “Nothing, Nothing, Yeah!”

 Credit: Jfoust on FLickr

Credit: Jfoust on FLickr

Our children at TPC are not the only ones that need to hear these truths. As I reflect on my day I am brought to repentance about how many times I doubt the love of Jesus for me. I continually find myself believing that all of my weaknesses and sins will separate me from God’s love: my impatience with my children, my fear and anxiety, my lack of trust in God about my desires and dreams, my selfishness, and my desire for control. Without Christ I am powerless to conquer these sins and weaknesses, but through his death and resurrection I am no longer controlled by my brokenness, but I have freedom. Freedom to stand in the truth that absolutely NOTHING can separate me from Christ’s love. Freedom to fail, to run to Christ in repentance and rest in his grace. There are so many days that I don’t feel like a conqueror, but I will repeat these truths to myself, sing them loudly on Sunday morning with the kids, and repeat them each night to my children.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

-song reference from Seeds Family Worship, “More Than Conquerors”

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Lindsey Wilkins came to Trinity Park in 2018 from Ohio. She lives with her family in Cary.

Why We Need Good Stories- Kari West

There’s a quote famously attributed to G.K. Chesterton that reads, “Fairy tales are more than true. Not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Many of us have a sneaking suspicion that the only truly important things are facts. We like the measurable and the provable. We think that if only we define something, then we’ve gotten at the heart of that thing. And while dictionaries are delightful because God has given us reason, a definition can’t capture the whole of truth. For that, we also need the imagination. We need the arts. We need good stories. God has made us creatures of rationality and creativity; both are vital for a deep understanding of the world and our place in it.

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Take a certain young wizard with a scar on his forehead. He has the power to enlarge your comprehension of belonging and sacrifice far beyond the scope of a dictionary or a lecture. Now, you can memorize definitions of these concepts, and that may be helpful. But if you open one of my most beloved series and follow Harry Potter through the hallowed halls of Hogwarts as he journeys from utter isolation to deep community, from youthful uncertainty to a mature grasp of his sacrificial role in the world, you will gain a better vision for deepening your own friendships and bearing burdens for the good of those around you.

C.S. Lewis compares these two kinds of knowing, the scientific and the imaginative, in his essay, A Meditation in a Tool Shed. He talks of being in a small garden shed and seeing a single beam of light streaming in through a hole in the ceiling. The scientific way of knowing is like staring at that beam of light. You can see it, you can measure it, you can prove that, yes indeed, the beam of light is there in front of you. But the imaginative way of knowing is like stepping into that beam and looking along it to see the glorious sunlit day beyond. There is a true kind of understanding that comes from the imagination that is just as valid, and is often more beautiful, than the one that comes through reason.

 “The imaginative way of knowing is like stepping into that beam and looking along it to see the glorious sunlit day beyond.”

“The imaginative way of knowing is like stepping into that beam and looking along it to see the glorious sunlit day beyond.”

So throw a few good novels onto your nightstand along with that latest devotional and biblical commentary. We need good stories that tell us that wherever there be dragons, those dragons will be beaten. We need the fresh vision that good art can impart, so that we remember our deepest hopes as believers. Each satisfying ending of a story is a fresh reminder that soon, as J.R.R. Tolkien puts it, every sad thing will come untrue. One day, C.S. Lewis would tell you, the term will be over, and the holidays will begin.

Step into the beam of light that is a good story, and you may just see glimpses of the sun struck days to come.

5 Non Worship Worship Songs- Mark Atkinson

I’ve curated a list of five songs that have become worship songs for me. They were not written for that purpose.  I do not know about the spiritual life of most of the artists but they are each spiritual in their way. I’m fairly certain they would not pass our denominational doctrinal test — not that they would even want to take such a test.


Belle and Sebastian - "Ghost of Rock School”   

Belle and Sebastian is a Scottish indie band led by  Stuart Murdoch. I’m not sure what the song is about but the chorus is this repeat:  “I've seen God in the sun. I’ve seen God in the street. God before bed and the promise of sleep. God in my dreams and the free ride of grace. I see God shining up from her reflection.”  In that chorus, Stuart Murdoch recognizes God’s presence all around him.


T-Bone Burnett - “The Trap Door”  

I discovered T-Bone Burnett in college (mid-80’s).  This song is special to me as reminder to “watch out for the trapdoor.”   Listen careful—very carefully—to the lyrics. It’s as good a mini-sermon about dying to self and the dangers of pride as you’ll ever hear.   He wins the award for best name: T-Bone.

 

Leonard Cohen and the Webb Sisters - “If It Be Your Will”

This may be one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.  It’s written by Leonard Cohen and sung by the “sublime” Webb Sisters.  I read that Cohen was sort of a Jewish-Zen-Buddhist-poet-monk. No matter what, there’s no doubt he’s aware of The Transcendent.  He made a musical comeback when he was in his 70’s, touring internationally, filling large venues include DPAC. I first heard this song then—it’s a prayer.

Sufjan Stevens -  “The Greatest Gift”  
Sufjan Stevens is a talented, creative artist.  Helen (my wife) and I saw him at DPAC a few years ago. As with all these artists, I could have picked any number of songs to profile.  This— “The Greatest Gift”— is the most explicitly Christian on my list.  He also has a wonderfully quirky Christmas album. Check it out.

Mountain Goats - “Romans 10:9”  

The Mountain Goats is mainly the lead guy,  John Darnielle. Helen and I saw him in concert about a year ago.  The crowd ranged from young lesbian goths, hipsters, and the middle-aged. He’s “into” heavy metal (I’m not), nearly died from a meth addiction as a young man, worked as a psychiatric nurse for a while, and wrote two award winning novels. He grew up on the West Coast but now lives in Durham.  This song—Romans 10:9—is from an album where each songs is (loosely) inspired by a biblical passage. I love his lyrics and word pictures. You can tell his dad was an English professor.

Acknowledgements:  I must thank my four kids (Kevin, Sarah, Will and Stephen) who introduced me to most of these artists and many others.


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Markt Atkinson is an Elder at Trinity Park. He lives in Cary with his wife Helen.

At the Head of the Class- Mike Hall

Good teaching is something that has been instilled in me since childhood. When I was very young, my mother kept children in our home and would teach us kids bible stories. Looking back, I am amazed at how dedicated she was to teach us about the Lord despite all the wiggles and distractions she had to endure. This legacy stuck closely with me through the years and has helped me to become the man and the teacher that I am today.

When I started attending Trinity Park, I had been serving on staff at a church in the area as a children and student ministry curriculum editor. That project I was leading was wrapping up and I was contemplating where my next area of service would be. I didn’t have to wait too long for an answer because God opened the door for me and my wife to serve in the children’s ministry at Trinity Park. We have cared for babies in the nursery, taught the tweens class, served as co-leaders in our community group and even helped to teach a survey class on biblical theology.I figured that teaching occasionally at Trinity Park would be the extent of my teaching, but God had other plans.

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A little over two months ago, I felt a pull to go back into teaching full time. I wasn’t sure where to start until at community group one thursday evening, Andy Ew suggested that I get to know Rick Williams the principal at Davis Drive Middle. I felt as if I had been fighting an uphill battle because even though I have taught at some private schools and have an education degree and even a Masters Degree from Seminary, I am not certified by the state of NC. Rick met with me, gave me some good advice, and agreed to stay in touch.

A few weeks later, I got an email from Rick asking me if I would come and meet with him in the school office about a need that had opened up. As a result of that meeting, I am now serving as a long-term substitute for a teacher who is unable to teach this school year. I am hoping that I can parlay this into a full time position in the not so distant future.

I am very thankful to have the privilege to teach in both the church and the school. It doesn’t matter if I am teaching our tweens about Jacob and Esau or my eighth graders about the Declaration of Independence, my focus is the same. I am called by God to use the gifts and abilities that He has given me to glorify Him and serve others. This is a high and holy calling and I couldn’t ask for anything better.


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Mike Hall has been attending Trinity Park since November of 2016. He teaches Social Studies at Davis Drive Middle School and is a Realtor with Fathom Realty. He likes to hunt, fish, hike, follow college sports, and play board games with friends. 

Finding the Gospel in Grief and Loss- Monica Crolle

We were devastated. I remember staring at the screen.  Where was the heartbeat? It had to be there. We had prayed for this baby for so long. What had I done wrong?

October is Infant Loss Awareness Month. Tragically, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss. Either early pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or newborn loss. Maybe you or someone you know has experienced this terrible loss.  It is difficult to understand the emotional impact of such a loss. I would like to share our story to bring awareness to this experience that is so often grieved in silence.

Our baby was only 8 weeks old in utero. I was bereft. I was angry at God.  I didn’t want to pray. It was most definitely the darkest time in my life.  But I knew God loved me. I knew he didn’t want me to stay in this dark place.  The Holy Spirit lead me to write down how I felt.

I wrote: I have failed, my heart is sad, I don’t know how to go forward, I am being punished. Then I wrote verses alongside each feeling. Psalm 143:10- You lead me on level ground, Isaiah 26:3-4 the Lord is the rock eternal, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 My grace is sufficient for you.  Through this process a beautiful picture emerged. A picture of the gospel, a picture of God’s grace, of His love. A prayer picture.

 Photo by  Shelby Miller  on  Unsplash

It was powerful, therapeutic, and profoundingly healing to go through this process.  It validated my grief for this beautiful short life. Something about seeing my darkest, ugliest feelings on paper surrounded by God’s word was encouraging.  Somehow without realizing it, I was praying. I knew God was near, and I could feel his presence. He reassured me that I hadn’t failed, I wasn’t being punished.  On the other side of this terrible loss, I can honestly say this is the one experience in my life that has strengthened my faith the most. I am so grateful.


I keep this prayer picture in my bible to remind me that even at my lowest point, God was there.  I have done many other pictures over the years for myself and for others, and I always feel closer to God after they are completed.


So chances are you or someone you know has experienced this loss.  I encourage you to pray. Prayer can take on many different forms. Be real with God.  Show him your feelings. He is big enough to handle them all.

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Monica Crolle and her family came to Trinity Park in 2018. She serves as the director of children’s ministry and loves craft of anykind, especially if it involves glitter.

Source: Photo by Rachel Lynette French on Unsplash

Welcome Wilkins Family!

Trinity Park,

I'm excited to announce that we have offered the new position of Pastor of Youth and Children to Drew Wilkins and he has accepted our offer! Throughout the interview process the search committee and the session have been impressed with Drew. We feel he will be a great fit for our church in general and for this pastoral role in particular. 

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Drew and Lindsey will be moving to the Cary area in late August or early September. We are still working out the final details of when Drew will officially start in his new role. 

If you want to learn a little more about Drew and Lindsey, click the here for his resume or here to view his cover letter. Keep your ears open for more updates about the Wilkins' transition to Trinity Park in the coming weeks!

Please rejoice with us in God's provision for our church by bringing the Wilkins family to us. Also, please pray for Drew, Lindsey and their 4 children as they prepare to leave their current church in Ohio and move down to join us in the Triangle. 

Grace,

Corey Jackson
Senior Pastor

Women's Ministry: Triads

Triads

This Fall the women’s ministry team is rolling out a new program that will replace the morning and evening Bible studies that we usually offer at Trinity Park.

 

Why are we doing this?

After taking some time to review the results of the women’s forums we have seen a few patterns. Many women are looking for deeper friendships and discipleship relationships. And women are also seeking to build relationships with women of who are in different stages of life and who are from different cultural backgrounds. As the church grows it’s becoming more of a challenge to get to know new people. After much conversation and prayer, we’ve decided to roll out a new idea called Triads to encourage women in the development of these type of relationships.

What is a Triad?

A Triad is a group of three women that are paired together for a set amount of time, to study a book together, to pray for one another and to develop life on life discipleship relationships.

What will the women be studying together this Fall?

The session and the women’s ministry team have come up with a list of six books. Each book has a different focus. 

How often should a Triad meet?

We will notify you about who is in your group by the end of August. At that time you can gather and discuss where and when you will meet.  It is suggested that you meet as a group 7 times between September 17 and December 10th. We realize that the nature of these groups (because we are intentionally pairing different ages and stages) might make finding a time to meet a little complicated, but we feel that with creativity you can work out a schedule. Meeting 7 times means you will be meeting roughly every other week. Of course, if you really connect with your group and would like to meet more frequently that is ok as well.

How do I sign up? How are groups members picked?

There is a google sign up at the top and bottom of this page and a link that will be sent out in the weekly updates newsletter. The sign up will list the six book choices. When you sign up you should pick the book or books you are most interested in studying this Fall. Groups will be organized by the women’s ministry team based on desired book choice.

There will also be a line where you can write a preference of a few people you are hoping to get to know better from a different age, stage, or cultural background. The Women’s Ministry Team will do our very best to put you in a group that desires to study the same book and if possible with the people you have listed that you’d enjoy going deeper with as well.  If you want to sign up but are unsure of someone you’d like to be grouped with, that’s fine as well. We will pair you together based on the book you have selected.

Going forward.

After the first week of December the Triads program will end and the traditional Morning and Evening Bible studies will begin again in the Spring. This is a trial run for the Triads program and feedback is welcome.

Our hope behind the Triads is that deeper community will be built among our women at Trinity Park. Our desire is that these groups will be a source of Spiritual encouragement and growth for all of those participating. We pray that your time together will produce authentic friendship and grow us all in love for one another.

If you are interested in the Triads program, please sign up by August 12th.

Sunday Morning Set-up & Children's Ministry: 40 New Volunteers Needed

New Volunteers Needed

We need 40 new volunteers to help us make worship possible each week.
20 in Children's Ministry
20 in Set up

If you are interested in learning more about how you can volunteer at Trinity Park contact Assistant Pastor Andy Ew, andy@trinityparkchurch.org.

Thank You!

It takes a lot to make worship happen each week! We are incredibly grateful to the volunteers who have served us over the past 7 years.

Summer Community Meals

Summer Community Meals - Chatham Forest Apartment Community

By Alexey Negru

Our Goal: Engaging Our Community

The goal of Community Engagement is to help each member of Trinity Park Church be actively engaged in the work of practical ministry in our community, according to God’s given talents and abilities.

As the church grows, we want to make sure that all of us have plenty of opportunities to serve in practical and tangible ways. We want to see our faith meeting the real challenges and needs of those around us.

A Heart Of Service

I know many of you who have been sacrificially serving for years at TPC (we thank you and praise God for you) and I know there are many wonderful people who just recently started attending TPC and also have a heart to serve and be involved in other people’s lives for the glory of God (we praise God for you as well!).

Jesus said: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” - Mat 25:35    

And I’m so excited that throughout this summer we have an opportunity to provide healthy meals and drinks for the children in Chatham Forest Community!

In partnership with Project Phoenix (Cary PD), Wake County Human Services and Pleasant Grove Church we will serve as site supervisor in Chatham Forest apartments by providing healthy meals and recreational activities for the children of the community.

Mark Your Calendar

We'll be starting on June 8th with a big kick-off party with food, crafts, various sport games, fire truck, K-9 unit and music and then twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays evening we will be there to distribute healthy meals to any child 18 years old and younger, for free!

I want to clarify, this is not giving out non-perishable food items, this is feeding children with nutritious meals, freshly prepared by our friends and sponsors at Pleasant Grove Church.

How It Works 

Our job would be to set up tables, distribute the meals, monitor to make sure all of the food is consumed at the site and offer recreational activities. Oh, and the clean-up of course.

Every other Friday we will also host a cookout for anyone in the community, any adult who decide to stop by for a freshly grilled burger or a hotdog! There is no better way to get to know people, their life situation and their needs than by sharing a meal together!

You might of heard somebody said:  “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care

Jesus in his earthly ministry would often meet people’s needs first and then shared the truth of the Kingdom of God. And we want to follow his example.

Our Hope

So our hope is that through being in the community, serving with meals and recreational activities, we’ll get to know its residents, their needs and struggles, and be able to continue to develop relationships with them after the summer is over.

I invite you to pray that from this summer meal program, many other opportunities arise like helping the youth with school, teaching ESL, career counseling and others. Most importantly, I hope we will have the opportunity to pray for people we serve and perhaps see them as part of our church family.

We Need Your Help!

It’s an ambitious endeavor and we do need many volunteers. To signup, CLICK HERE and commit to serve at one or all of the 20 events throughout the summer. Best way actually would be to connect with your Community Group and participate together in sharing the love of Jesus. We believe this is perfect opportunity for each CG to stay engaged in doing good while taking a break from regular meetings this summer!

God bless you!
Alexey Negru

Panel Discussion: Speaking openly about race and the gospel

The Gospel & Race: Discussions of race in the light of the gospel

MLK 50 Conference

In April 2018 Senior Pastor Corey Jackson, Assistant Pastor Andy Ew, and Worship Director Joe Jackson attended the MLK 50 Conference held by The Gospel Coalition in Memphis, TN. To learn more about their experience and listen to a selection of the seminars from the MLK 50 Conference click the link below.

TPC Panel Discussion

On Sunday, May 13, 2018 Corey, Andy, and Joe sat down for a panel discussion on what it looks like to discuss race in today's culture with a gospel lens.

Trinity Park Church hopes to see more conversations like this, in which we can come together and speak openly and lovingly about uncomfortable or difficult issues in the light of the calling of the gospel. 

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility - Ephesians 2:14 (ESV)

The Gospel & Race

The Gospel & Race

By: Corey Jackson

Last month from April 2-4 Andy Ew (Assistant Pastor), Joe Jackson (Worship Leader) and I (Senior Pastor) all had the privilege to travel together to Memphis, TN to attend the MLK50 conference. MLK50 was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. At the conference 4000 church leaders from multiple denominations and many ethnic groups from all over the United States met on this anniversary of Dr King's death to consider the state of race relations in the church and what it might look like for us to lead forward together.

These three days proved to be a rich time of worship and of learning for us. However, we would all say that the most beneficial aspect of the conference for us was found in the side conversations where each of us were able to share our experience of racism in America, specifically in the church. As we processed our thoughts and feelings together in-between speakers and panel discussions, we connected deeply with each other. In the end, we developed a care and compassion for one another in the area of race we simply didn't have before. 

The conference was one of the best I've personally attended - I'm grateful for the times of singing with the broader body of Christ and for the times of learning from cultural and theological experts. But much more important to me was the personal connection the three of us developed as we processed our life experience with each other. I'm confident Andy, Joe and I now have the personal understanding required to lead the church forward together on matters of the Gospel and race in this critical, cultural moment.

If you want to journey in deeper with Joe, Andy and I on the topic of the Gospel and Race, let me highlight three opportunities for you THIS week:

 

#1 Tune into these specific talks from the MLK50 conference

If you can only listen to one talk, listen to Matt Chandler speak on 'A House Divided Cannot Stand: Understanding and Overcoming the Inconsistencies in White Evangelicals on Racial Issues'

If you have more than 30 minutes, here are the next two talks and one panel discussion Joe, Andy and I would recommend to you: 

Russell Moore 'King and Kingdom: Racial Justice and the Uneasy Conscience of American Christianity'

Charlie Dates 'The Most Segregated Hour in America: Overcoming Divisions to Pursue MLK's Vision of Racial Harmony' 

Panel Discussion: The State of Racial Tension in America

 

#2 Come to Trinity Park this Sunday (May 13) and listen to the sermon on The Gospel and Racial Division I will be preaching from Galatians 2:1-16

In Galatians 2 Peter, a mature Christian, shrinks back from fellowship with other Christians for racial and cultural reasons. Paul, another mature Christian, is not okay with this - he sees Peter retreating from relationship with other believers based on his own cultural preferences. Paul sees Peter's prioritization of race and culture above the truth of the Gospel as a sin issue - as a matter where the Gospel itself is at stake. 

What do you think about Paul's boldness with Peter? Was Paul overreacting to Peter's separating himself from other Christians for racial and cultural reasons? What might Paul say to the church in the United States today about matters of racial and cultural separation? Come join us this Sunday for more.

 

#3 On Sunday directly after a shorter than usual sermon Joe, Andy and I will be on a panel moderated by church member Beth Peterson where we will seek to model a conversation about race. 

Our desire is to re-enact some of the side conversations we had during the MLK 50 conference in the hope that as a congregation we can begin more and more to 

(1) connect in Gospel friendships with those who are of different racial backgrounds than we are and 

(2) have loving but honest conversations with one another on issues of the Gospel and race (like Peter and Paul do with one another in Galatians 2).


So, if you want to learn more about what the Bible has to say about the Gospel and race, tune into these recommended talks from MLK50 and then come join us at Trinity Park this Sunday!

Grace,
Corey

Galatians Sermon Series: A Pastor's Resources

Galatians: Living In Grace Sermon Series
Resources

By: Corey Jackson

Trinity Park,

I've been enjoying the start to our Galatians: Living in Grace Series. I hope you have as well.

In my first sermon in the series I mentioned a few of the key resources the preaching team will be relying on as we prepare our messages. Some of you may be interested in going deeper into Galatians by reading one of these commentaries alongside the sermon series. If so, here's a list for you that moves from most accessible to most challenging and includes amazon links:

Most Accessible

Medium Accessibility

Most Difficult (But Truly Wonderful!)

Galatians by Martin Luther is available for FREE with Amazon Kindle.

If you want a taste of what reading Luther would be like before buying, check out the preface to his commentary. Just reading the preface has been life transforming to several of Trinity Park's elders. You can find it here:

Scripture Journal

Some of you may like to keep as you study the word throughout the series. You can find a good note taking journal for Galatians here:

May God bless us as we journey through Galatians together.

Corey Jackson
Senior Pastor

Vision Moment: Update from the Elders

TPC STAFFING UPDATE

By Elder Richard Sugg

WOMEN'S MINISTRY UPDATE

Women's Ministry Director

The Trinity Park Church Elders have heard from many of the women in the church and recognize the growing need for a Women's Ministry Director. In answer to this need the Elders are planning to hire someone in this role in the next 12-18 months. For more information about the growing Women's Ministry at Trinity Park contact Elder Richard Sugg, richardsugg@gmail.com or Women's Ministry Team member Joy Sugg, joystampin@gmail.com.

YOUTH & CHILDREN'S MINISTRY

Preschool Ministry Director

Our most immediate need is in the area of children’s ministry. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we have a lot of kids here at TPC! A few weeks ago our current Children’s Ministry Director Pam announced that she would step down from her role by June 3rd. 

From these discussions, we decided to move from one person filling these roles (as we had with Pam and Haley and those before them) to a two person approach to meet the growing needs of CM. To be clear we are going to be hiring for 2 positions simultaneously over the next several months.

As we look out into the longer range future, we believe youth ministry will grow into its own full time role in the next 3 years. So we anticipate hiring more staff for children’s and youth ministry in the future. Perhaps 3 or even more if God continues to grow our ministries here.

  • This new position will focus on Sunday morning ministry to kids 0-5 years old. 
  • We hope to raise up 4 adult members of the church to serve as point people on Sunday mornings to allow this person to regularly attend the worship service
  • We estimate this position will require 10-15 hours per week including Sunday mornings
  • We hope to hire a woman for this position from within the church so please let us know if you’d like to be considered for this position.

Timeline for this hire: Our desire is to hire for this position by mid-May to have ample time to connect with Pam before she finally transitions out of her role on June 3 (at the latest). All applicants can send in their resume to Laura Guthrie, laura@trinityparkchurch.org on or before April 22nd.

Pastor of Youth & Children's Ministry

  • This new position is a pastoral position. We will be hiring a 3rd pastor to assist Corey and Andy in pastoring this congregation broadly. As you may know we’ve grown by at least 50% in the past year making a new pastoral position necessary. This person will need to be ordained or ordainable in the PCA.
  • This pastor’s main area of oversight will be all ministries to youth and children 0-18
  • They will help give leadership to children’s ministry and youth ministry and here’s how we think that can look on a weekly basis:

○ On Sunday mornings, they face children’s ministry ages 0-5th grade. Since we will have the PMD in place, they will focus mainly on elementary school ministries - particularly the tween class
○ Outside of Sunday mornings, their main focus will be on middle school and high school ministries - on building our youth program.

  • As the youth ministry grows, we believe and hope that youth ministry will become a full time role and so their focus may change over time; however our hope is that they will still oversee 0-18 ministries on a leadership level.

Timeline for the Pastor of Youth Ministry hire:

  • applications received by May 27
  • interviews in June and July
  • hired by August and here for the fall, Lord willing.

Women, Elders and others will be represented on each of the teams that will be put together to hire for these two positions. If you know of anyone who would be interested in this position, email Office Administrator Laura Guthrie, laura@trinityparkchurch.org.

Assistant Pastor Andy Ew's Role

Once we hire the new pastor of youth ministry, youth ministry will no longer be his responsibility. Other aspects of his current job are a full time job on their own leading the discipleship and community ministries of the church:

  • assisting Corey in general pastoring & preaching,
  • overseeing discipleship ministries
  • community group leadership
  • leading guest teams
  • and following up new visitors
  • overseeing the church membership process.

Session is excited to have received such participation from women, deacons and other men not on session as we’ve put this plan together. We feel good about it. But it’s up to the Lord to provide the right future preschool ministry director and pastor of youth and children for our church. There is much for us to pray for.

Good Friday Service 2018

Trinity Park had its first ever Good Friday Service on March 30, 2018! It was a wonderful time of worship and reflection on the great exchange Christ made at the cross when He gave us His Righteousness and took on our sin. 

The Trinity Park Worship Team encouraged us to draw near to God and embrace the grace given to us because of the sacrifice on the cross.

 

Draw Near (Psalm 69)

The flood around me is rising; 
the water’s up to my neck. 
My voice is worn out from crying. 
O Lord, please send me your help! 

Draw near to my soul, O Lord! 
Draw near to my soul, O Lord! 

My flesh and blood no more own me; 
my family’s no more my home. 
They hide their eyes from my grieving; 
they stop their ears from my groans. 

I asked them all for some comfort; 
I begged, but there was no bread. 
They gave me food that was poison; 
with wine, they left me for dead. 

Words & Music: © 2017 Wendell Kimbrough (BMI). CCLI Song #7100077

Vision Moment: City To City Partnership

City To City Partnership

By: Senior Pastor Corey Jackson

We are excited to announce that Trinity Park Church has been asked to join the Redeemer City to City Network!

In mid March 2018 Senior Pastor Corey Jackson received a list of churches participating in the partnership this year-there are 23 churches nationwide. Trinity Park is the only church from NC. Other PCA churches in the partnership this year include Pacific Crossroads church in LA, Harbor Church in San Diego, Oak Mountain Presbyterian and Covenant Presbyterian in Birmingham and Downtown Presbyterian in Greenville, SC. 

 

Why Trinity Park? 

Word is getting out about what God is doing here! God is calling all kinds of people from all kinds of places and backgrounds to himself through our church. We also have the mission of God to the world at the very heart of our DNA both with local ministry and global ministry. These factors make us a great match for partnering with Redeemer CTC.

 

What is Redeemer City To City?

CTC was founded by Redeemer NYC and Tim Keller but is non-profit existing outside the church itself. Since it’s founding CTC has planted over 400 global churches in all 6 continents of the world who all have these foundational principles at the heart of their church identity: urban, led by entrepreneurial committed pastors, are highly evangelistic, are culturally engaged and are economically sustainable and who have been trained by a trusted source, Tim Keller, and Redeemer CTC.

 

What does it mean to partner with CTC?

Trinity Park will partner with a new church plant in a global city. Since our first two major global partners are currently in Bangalore, India and in Chengdu, China we will look for a third major partner in Eastern Europe or Central America.

TPC will fund this church plant at 50K over four years (12.5K/year). 80% of this funding will go directly to the planter and 20% will go to the ongoing training and development costs incurred by CTC to keep the planter healthy, aligned with the mission and moving toward toward sustainability.

We don’t yet have this new third partner assigned to us. The TPC Missions Team and Session are currently in conversation with CTC. We hope to have a new partner by summer 2018.

 

What are other benefits of partnering with CTC?

Trinity Park will select up to four people to join a learning cohort who will have the opportunity over a nine month period to learn from Tim Keller and other leaders within CTC. The training is rooted in Keller’s book ‘Center Church’ and will be focused helping church leaders operate from a theological vision that is contextually sensitive, gospel­ centered, city-positive, and movement-oriented applying to our church’s whole philosophy and profile of ministry.

This cohort group will travel to NYC two times in a nine month period for training. All other meetings will take place in an online forum. Trinity Park’s four people attending this training have not yet been selected.

This is an honor for us, Trinity Park. It’s an opportunity for us to plant a Reformed, gospel centered church in a global city. And it’s an opportunity for us to learn from Tim Keller and others about how we can lead and operate out of the theological vision God has given our church. 

 

Resources

For more information about Trinity Park's involvement with City to City contact Senior Pastor Corey Jackson.

To learn more about Redeemer City to City visit their website by clicking the link below.