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Heart for Arcadia Task Force Update # 2

The Heart for Arcadia task force met again on Wednesday, March 4th, clarifying its vision for the HFA initiative: to tackle the problem of loneliness (in its many manifestations) in the Arcadia area, further transforming the congregation in the process as one that shares God's heart more and more. 

After recapping the conversation from the previous meeting, the task force spent some time reviewing historical accomplishments of Trinity Lutheran, such as the assistance given to the Burgess family and, more recently, to the Rogers and Shoults-Sullivan families. It was noted that TLC has a track record of being a catalyst for community-building in Arcadia. 

The two templates that had risen to the top for the task force were Need Adoption and Institutional Renovation/Targeted Transformation. Will Mancini defines these templates this way:

  • Need Adoption—Your church’s vision is to adopt a specific need you identify, often through compassion or mercy, typically triggered by studying the needs and then responding to them.
  • Institutional Transformation—Your church’s vision is to rejuvenate an institution that matters to God, most often a ministry that historically has been significant but has lost a degree of relevance, focus, or momentum.

Taken together, the task force envisions a church that is devoted to showing mercy to its neighbors in need (= Need Adoption), which transforms the culture and mindset of the congregation into one that intentionally and regularly devotes itself to serving the community sacrificially (= Institutional Transformation).  Recognizing that it’s more effective to act yourself into a new way of thinking, rather than think yourself into a new way of acting, the task force asserts the priority of practicing our faith. Nevertheless, the relationship is cyclical: as we act on behalf of the needs of our community, it transforms our hearts and minds, and as a consequence we act in mercy—and so on. 

This first attempt at the vision for the initiative did leave one question open: is there a particular “need” that we wish to “adopt”? The task force discussed a more open-ended approach—that the congregation simply apply itself to works of service generally, without a specific need in mind. But one need especially emerged from the discussions that resonated with the task force as a whole: loneliness. 

Loneliness is a pervasive cultural problem with profoundly spiritual roots. Although those who are socially isolated are often the most lonely, in our contemporary society even young people who are surrounded by their devices feel a sense of being alone. And in a rural community such as Manistee and Benzie Counties, this loneliness can be felt even more acutely by people of all ages and walks of life. Pastor also wrote on this in a past Inklings

Thus, in its rough draft vision for the Heart for Arcadia initiative, the task force has placed an emphasis on adopting and addressing the need of loneliness (in various aspects) in our area, toward the end of the ongoing renovation and transformation of our congregation. The next meeting will refine this big-picture vision and begin to work toward its practical implementation.

The members of the task force are Amanda Babcock, Kent & Terry Babcock, Bill Beck, Dana Care, Tom Dunn, Ben & Esther Loosemore, Sarah May, and Pastor Tinetti. Congregational members are encouraged to participate in the task force by providing feedback and questions to any member of the task force. 

Heart for Arcadia Task Force Update #1

The Heart for Arcadia task force met again on Wednesday, February 19th, to review the twelve vision “templates” from Will Mancini’s book God Dreams and come to agreement on which of the twelve might be most relevant for Trinity to pursue over the next few years.

The twelve templates fall into four categories: vision that advances, rescues, becomes, and overflows. The task force was largely drawn toward templates that fell under the “advance” and “rescue” categories, with Institutional Renovation (rescue) receiving the most support, followed in a tie by Needs Adoption (rescue) and Targeted Transformation (advance), and then Geographical Saturation (advance). 

Learn more about each of the twelve templates here

Pastor led the meeting and began the conversation by sharing an anecdote from the recent Arcadia Township visioning session, in which the 70-80 attendees identified “assets” to the community. Among those mentioned were the Marsh, Arcadia Bluffs, Camp Arcadia, and others. But Pastor noted that no one (other than himself) mentioned Trinity Lutheran Church. He challenged us to imagine what would have to be true so that, if another such meeting were to be held in five years, the first asset that would pop into people’s minds was Trinity.

The discussion then turned to each of the twelve templates, and the task force members’ comments about them. In the course of the discussion of the various templates, three themes especially emerged: geography, transformation, and mercy. 

Geography—Though not all members of the task force ranked Geographical Saturation, per se, as one of their most meaningful templates, there was a consensus among the group that we want to focus on our particular place, generally Arcadia Township. 

Transformation—A recurring theme in the discussion of several templates was the desire for our congregational culture and mindset to be renewed to active ministry. Gratefully recognizing that we have received many blessings in 138 years, and that God has done much good in and through our congregation, we desire to revive and renew that energy. 

Mercy—The third theme that seemed to be interwoven throughout the conversation as we discussed several different templates was mercy: compassionately serving the needs of our neighbors. This theme was especially apparent in the Needs Adoption template, but emerged elsewhere as well. There is a sense that serving our area’s needs is a means toward the end of transformation for both our congregation and our community at large. The task force discussed the need for us to have a posture and mindset toward serving the needs of others. 

For their next meeting, the task force will be relating those three themes into one single idea, and begin developing the big picture vision that will serve as the “beyond-the-horizon” goal for the Heart for Arcadia initiative. 

The members of the task force are Amanda Babcock, Kent & Terry Babcock, Bill Beck, Dana Care, Tom Dunn, Ben & Esther Loosemore, Sarah May, and Pastor Tinetti. Congregational members are encouraged to participate in the task force by providing feedback and questions to any member of the task force. 

Advent at TLC Arcadia

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Each Wednesday in Advent (Dec. 4, 11, & 18) we will gather for Evening Prayer at 6 p.m., followed by a soup supper. The theme for our Advent services is "Love Comes Down," looking at the Apostles Creed. Join us!

An open letter to our community

Dear Arcadia neighbors,

We are grateful for all the input, consideration, and kindness expressed over the last few weeks regarding our church bells.  We strive to be a good neighbor in all things. Two days after the public forum, our congregation voted to keep the bells as they have been.  Again, we thank you for your participation at the public forum, your written comments, and the conversations you had with us.  

We think that this event can open a new chapter in the relationship between Trinity and the village.  We hope to foster the kindness and respect that has been shown to us throughout this period.  As a first step, since the bells will continue to ring, we respectfully ask those with signs in their front yard to take them down. 

In the coming months, Trinity will be exploring ways to expand its relationship with the village.  Again, your ideas and thoughts are helpful and welcome.  Maybe you have an idea of how that relationship can expand.  Ideas such as movie nights, community potluck suppers, public presentations on timely topics, and even helping to launch a coffee shop have been suggested.  Maybe  you have other ideas.  Please, let us know.  Again, we aspire to be the heart of our village and so to serve our neighbors.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and concerns with us, on this and other matters of importance in our community. We love Arcadia and are honored to be able to serve this beautiful place we all share.

Sincerely,

Trinity Lutheran Church

"Parting Words": A Sermon Series on 2 Timothy

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"To Timothy, my beloved child..."

Thus begins the letter of the Bible that we know as 2 Timothy, and which was St. Paul's final correspondence. Writing from the shadow of the gallows, these are his parting words. 

In the month of October, the lectionary readings take us through this short but meaningful letter. In each installment of this 3-week series we'll hear more of Paul's wisdom from the end of his life. It might be summed up with this: "Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel..." (2 Timothy 2.8).

Join us at Trinity in October and learn from the great Apostle's last words.

Fall Schedule

The schedule for Fall begins Sunday, September 8th. This Sunday will be the beginning of Christian Education (Bible study and Sunday School) and the return to one Divine Service. The schedule is as follows:

  • Divine Service @ 9:30 a.m.
  • Fellowship @ ~ 10:30 a.m.
  • Christian Education @ 11 a.m.

Vacation Bible School 2019

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Join us August 5th-9th for this year's Vacation Bible School—"Athens Holy Land Adventure"! The children will learn some of the thrilling stories of the Apostle Paul's missionary journeys through fun games, engaging crafts, and dramatic retellings of the biblical stories from the book of Acts. VBS will go from 9 a.m. - Noon each day, and on Friday we'll conclude with a lunch for the kids and parents. 

To register, complete this form and either e-mail it to trinityarcadiami@gmail.com or drop it off at the church office. Don't delay! Space is limited! 

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