Toward a Resurgent Community Relationship
Community is one of the hallmarks of Trinity. The community formed by students, staff, faculty, alumni and family in shared experiences and purpose of mission: to form leaders for Christ’s church at work in the world. Unity of purpose might be said to be the glue which binds us together as a community. In this case, let us consider the value of “sticking to” a task or assignment until the goal is achieved. We perform that work and best achieve our goals, in community.
Ecclesiastes instructs us that there is a season to everything. Each person, every family and all communities are beset, at times, by difficulties and trials of one form or another. The events, the tragedies, the mistaken routes or misfortunes are parts of the journey. The destination remains unchanged. The world is full of divisive messages and distractions, but our faith and our mission call us to persevere. It is not the event or the detour which defines our journey, but how we adapt and overcome. Our focus must be upon the unifying purpose. We are called to stick to it.
Unity in purpose does not require uniformity of thought, experience or other trait other than the willingness to devote ourselves to the task. To the contrary, shared purpose helps us to appreciate the talents and abilities of others who join with us in achieving the goal. That which divides us then becomes an appreciation of diversity of talent, skill and ability. Common purpose, shared faith, united effort all advance community. Out of many, One.
Over the past 187 years, the Trinity mission has experienced many changes, many challenges and, to be sure, many tragedies. Yet, the mission endures. The challenges and changes are not to be dismissed, but appreciated as part of our heritage and as the purifying process through which God perfects us. Throughout those nineteen decades, women and men have suffered, sacrificed, mourned and celebrated. Most importantly, they have persevered in their faith and their adherence to mission.
As we strive to expand and share our passion for mission, we must employ the consistent transparency and honesty which lead to trust. Mutual trust and shared faith are the solid foundation stones upon which the most concrete relationships are built. As we move forward, our strict adherence to transparency and honest, open dialogue shall be the footing upon which we construct our relationships with our alumni, donors, congregations, friends and the community at large.
This past week, we witnessed two wonderful demonstrations of faith and trust in practice. In our Alumni Board meeting, we saw people from different states and experiences come together and agree. Differences were honestly, openly and transparently discussed and mutual respect for diverse thoughts was generously applied. What resulted was an understanding of the many roles each can play in serving the mission. Our alumni association, the mission and the communities we serve will be the beneficiaries.
If that was not inspiring enough, the brilliant interfaith dialogue of our Trinity Days speakers showed us that many of the issues which have divided believers for five centuries can and will be overcome with patience, understanding, and adherence to the single common, unifying value that we are one in Christ.
Having journeyed through the testing fire, we are in a new place. The mission has been hammered and fired in the crucible at various times, but it is stronger, we are stronger, for having endured the test and remained dedicated to the purpose.
We have learned from the errors and trials of the past. As we move forward, we are dedicated to be as open, transparent and honest with our many audiences and partners as possible. In our resurgent partnership with Capital, we enjoy the blessings of resources beyond measure to make us stronger and better able to serve. We will not forget the lessons and the trials, but will not let the mistakes of the past, present or future distract us from our common unity of mission.
We invite you to join in building the beacon fire to shine through the dense fog of our modern world and guide those who would serve with us in community and common purpose. Let us be bound in heart and spirit by the joy which surpasses all understanding, a finely woven tapestry of brilliant and beautiful colors.
Director of Development
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