A message from Pastor Tommy (05/07/2020):
Return and Revival through Home Gatherings
Dear Trinity family,
I am excited to share with you a vision for our return to in-person Christian community: Return and Revival through home Gatherings. We continue to be grateful for modern technology and the ways we have stayed connected. And yet at the same time, we hunger for person–to–person connection. Our God is incarnational, coming to us in the flesh in Jesus, and we long to be in each other’s presence in the body of Christ.
We are rolling out this vision believing a few things. When we look at the early church in Acts 2: 42-47, we find a community of believers in the original Greek language who are the koinonia. This word means the fellowship communion of Christians. The New Testament uses two words for “church,” koinonia and ecclesia. Koinonia is the fellowship and ecclesia means the “called out” community. We are both. At our current historical moment we are uniquely placed in a position to nurture the koinonia aspect of church. In fact, we always need to nurture koinonia, the fellowship of believers. Check out what Acts 2:42-47 says about that early church fellowship:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
Throughout the centuries since, especially in the renewal movement of early Methodism, we find a similar pattern. People meet in local small groups in order to foster spiritual growth and development in community and deep fellowship. Koinonia has to do with how we knit our lives together and open ourselves to the Holy Spirit in community. Powerful spiritual growth in the life of the church over time has arisen from small groups! This season of distancing and smaller everything is an opportunity to recapture the hope of koinonia—the possibility of fellowship that enlivens the faith, and leads to a greater sense of joy and deeper connection with both God and our neighbors.
This vision begins with a simple invitation:
Phase 1: Host or Join a Koinonia Group
If you are well and able to host, invite a church member near you, or join with a family that you know around the corner or in your neighborhood. Perhaps get out your church directory and look for someone you don't know who you’re willing to invite or join. Start joining with one neighbor. In a week or two, invite one more, and keep going as you feel healthy and led by the Spirit. Meet in the yard, meet where it seems right for all. Email Linda Woodring if you need help with who the Trinity neighbors are near you (email@example.com).
All those who feel healthy and ready, we will launch the week of May 17th.
Phase 2: Neighborhood Worship Party
Gather this group on Sunday mornings and watch Trinity on Channel 6 or Trinity Facebook Live.
Phase 3: On Campus
When we worship on campus again, we will set up three areas: Sanctuary, Vivion Hall, and the Youth Center. All large spaces will be sanitized with different entrances and exits. The service can be streamed at each. Keep meeting at home and inviting and then invite neighbors back to Trinity’s campus when we go back.
Each Koinonia Group will be given a 10-15 minute video with our Pastors offering teaching and testimony on the power of a growing faith through subjects like prayer, Scripture, Baptism, Holy Communion, and much more. We will provide each group a set of discussion questions and a guide to prayer. The focus is less on acquiring new information about the faith and all about life transformation and community building. The questions and guide have ample space for conversation with the group. Discussion questions, video, and prayer guide will be sent on Sundays.
We are in a unique time but not a time without hope. This is the perfect moment to lean into the deep reservoir of our Methodist tradition and utilize the technology of today. Instead of rushing back too soon to the largest gathering we have (worship), we are allowing God to use our home spaces and our need to gather in smaller groups as a transformational time. In this, we remember who we are in Christ and to whom we belong—each other.
Our hope is for these groups to continue beyond this season and become a source of revival in our church and community. Please pray about your part in this movement of the Holy Spirit through Trinity United Methodist Church. See video for a summary of this vision -
In the peace of Christ,
No one walks alone…Our God is with us and we are here for each other
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…
What you need to know…
Bulletin available on website HERE
Trinity United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 5247, Beaumont, TX 77726
3430 Harrison | Beaumont, TX 77706
Memphis Web Design by Speak