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Trinity Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC
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The Session is seeking your opinions, using a brief churchwide survey, in regards to returning to in-person Sunday services. The consensus of the congregation as expressed in the survey results, will be part of Session's decision on reopening. Please fill out the survey before March 14th; the survey is designed to be one per family. If you have questions about the survey or need more information, please email the church office.

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What a wonderful youth service we had last Sunday! One of the reasons these services are so moving is that they represent a threshold moment in the lives of our seniors in high school who are finishing one very important phase of their lives and about to enter another. We Christians like to mark special moments with important rituals. When we baptize our young infants, we promise to love, nurture, and teach the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ to them. This is no small deal.

We begin by providing a safe and loving nursery for them, so their parents can participate in Christian education and worship with peace of mind. We have a children’s message in every worship service to let them know that they matter a great deal to God and to us. We teach them about the importance of Christian faith and practice in Sunday School classes, PK and youth groups, and Confirmation class. After a year-long confirmation class, we receive into full membership in public worship those who are ready to make their profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. But confirmation is not graduation; it is the midpoint of their faith development in the first phase of their journey. Accordingly, they continue to receive Christian education in Sunday School, in youth groups, mission projects, weekend retreats, and summer conferences at Massanetta Springs and Montreat. They also have opportunities to serve as worship leaders and to sing and ring handbells in our choirs. So, when they stand in the pulpit on Youth Sunday in the twelfth grade with college acceptances already in hand, a whole lot of love, prayer, and preparation have gotten them to this threshold.

I want to thank all of the nursery volunteers, Sunday School teachers, PK parents, youth advocates, confirmation mentors, parents, Nancy Elder, and Worship Team elders who have given so generously of their time, talents, and love to these wonder young people. When I look back on their counterparts who helped prepare me for my profession of faith and graduation from high school and then sent me off to college and seminary, I feel a great wave of emotion and deep gratitude. It really does take a village to rear a child, and it takes a congregation to create a Christian. We sometimes lose sight of that. But when we are on the receiving end of that we can see it with greater clarity. So, I want to thank our seniors, Natalie and Mackenzie, for thanking the long parade of leaders in our congregation for helping get them to this important threshold moment in their faith journey. I was really moved by their keen insights and the heartfelt gratitude they expressed.

One of the bittersweet parts of being a parent or a church leader is that after we spend all those years loving and educating these wonderful young people they leave us. But isn’t that really the goal – our job? To give them what they need to go into the world and thrive and begin the process all over again with their own children. I want to thank all of you, too, for supporting our ministry and mission that enables this process to work.

I trust that your Lenten journey is going well and that you are finding more time for prayer, study and reflection on the meaning of the cross – the high cost of the new life God has given us in Christ. I look forward to “seeing” you online for worship as we travel the Lenten road to Easter.

Grace and peace,
David
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OPPORTUNITY
The Session has approved a second food drive for the Raleigh Dream Center, whose food pantry is running low. We are grateful for your generous response during our last drive and hope that many of of you will be able to participate in this one, which will end on Friday, March 5th. In order to keep everyone safe during COVID,  Amy Rhoades and the Mission Team will do the shopping for the canned meat items requested. To support this effort, please send a check to the church marked "Raleigh Dream Center Donation." Thank you in advance for your generous contributions.
The church is collecting funds for the ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING offering during the season of Lent. The offerings received will be divided as follows: 36% for the Presbyterian Hunger Program, 32% for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and 32% for the Self-Development of People. These three programs work in different ways to serve individuals and communities in need. 

Trinity has long-supported this offering, with the exception of last year. At the time we would have normally collected for these programs by placing envelopes in the pews, the pandemic changed how we would “do” church in 2020. Therefore, 2021 gives us a do-over - a fresh chance to support PCUSA’s One Great Hour of Sharing offering. If you would, please mail your checks to the church with OGHS noted in the memo line. We’ll report the total received after Easter.
Trinity's elders, deacons, and staff are praying for you, your loved ones, and your friends. If you should have a care concern or celebration you'd like to share, please email David or the church office.

Celebration: We're happy to share that Amanda and Nora Bernardina are home and happy to be with Jon and Hazel. As Amanda writes, "We have had two weight checks at the pediatrician so far and all is well. We are so happy she is home and keeping me awake all hours of the night just like she is supposed to. Ha!"

David shared that Edna Thompson’s brother, Milton Griffin, passed away last week. Please pray for comfort and peace for Edna and Joe and their whole family during this time of sadness.

Alex Darden, Bill Raudenbush's friend who has Parkinson's, will be scheduled for brain surgery in the near future. Please pray for the success of the surgery, Alex's well-being, and for his family as they provide support before and after the surgery.

Harvey Stone’s brother-in-law, Russell Crocker, passed away unexpectedly this past Friday. Please keep Harvey and Brenda, and Russell's wife Shyerell and their whole family in your prayers.
 
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