Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Saturday is the meeting at Trinity at which we will be examining our core values—who we are, deep down—those convictions in communal identity that, by in large, once articulated, will continue to resonate among the group as core values, and attract folks who find themselves in line with those values; folks who would like to be a part of a community that resonates with them, deep down, and brings out the best of those inner ideologies. As preparation, at the suggestion of Pr. Fred Nelson who will be guiding us in this process, I am taking on the task of articulating what I think will be at least some of the values to surface from the cores of the congregation. No doubt, these are my core values, as well, so, well, that's that. So: here we go... The following is my attempt.

Deep down, we value:

The Message of God's grace and love for all people
At the core of the message of the Gospel is God's love for all people, as shown in the life, death, resurrection, and teachings of Jesus Christ. That message of grace and love, and the love of our neighbors that it calls us to, is central to our life together as a worshiping community.

Worship is central to the life of this community. Following the ancient pattern of the Christian liturgy in worship, sharing Holy Communion weekly, and singing hymns and spiritual songs, old and new, with a mix of musical instruments and musicians, worship at First Trinity can be considered neither “traditional” nor “contemporary.” It is both.

We gather to worship in response to God's love, and in order to hear the story of God's love again and again.

First Trinity is a truly unique community of individuals, gathered from various stages in faith and life. We take seriously God's gift of diversity, and consider the ability to work together in spite of societal boundaries of age, race, class, and so on to be a unique blessing and asset for God's ministry through our congregation.

Service to those in need
Our response to the message of God's love is not limited to gathering together in worship, but extends into our lives as people of faith, and into our life as a community.
We find it important to provide for those truly in need, either through our own services [At present, God's Closet] or through networking with social services in the area so that, when approached, we may give those in need a place to go for help. Service extends beyond charity, and encourages us to become involved in efforts to further social justice.

Education, learning, journeying
We value learning and journeying deeply. As we gather from various backgrounds and faith traditions, and as we find ourselves at different stages in our faith journeys, we value asking questions, digging for answers, and sharing in dialogue about the faith and its many expressions. We value the varied opinions and writings of other people of faith, both new and old.

Creativity, artistic expression
In addition to worship, community, and service, we value creativity and artistic expression as a gift from God. God is the poet of creation, and by participating in creative activity, we join in the dance of the Trinity.

Okay, well, it's a very rough draft. critique welcome!



  1. So well put, pastor: the root of it all in God's love & grace through Christ, the dynamic of it all in terms of a response - to God's love & grace, the centrality of such a response for the life of faith, the purpose of worship, the blessings of community & diversity, the indispensability of service both via charity & in struggle for justice, the constant necessity of faith seeking understanding, and creativity!

    Hope you won't mind me sharing this piece with folks in my church - and thank you for your generous sharing of your work!

    Happy Easter to you & your congregation!

  2. Hey Hammygirl- Thanks! Please share with whoever you deem necessary. I am convinced that if a congregation can articulate what they, as an individual community are 'about,' and what makes them tick,what motivates them as an intentional group of people, that overall, they will be healthier for it. Also,(I hope) if folks visit and read the core values, they will know the answer relatively quickly to the question: "is this place the right fit for me in my spiritual journey?"... In that way, we might be helping folks in their search more than we know... maybe :)Let's hope so!


  3. Sooo true... Thanks again for your help, pastor!

  4. By the way, I already received several quite appreciative feedbacks about your piece from members in my church! And so, I give extra many thanks to God for your thoughtful work so generously shared - not only very helpful to us, but also in a wonderfully timely fashion!

    His Heavenly peace to you, too.

  5. if you don't mind sharing, where do you go to church, anyway? (i understand if this is too much of a personal question).

  6. Haha. Okay. Well thanks for all the comments. God's Peace.