A Day at the BNC

The Bryant Neighborhood Center is is both the future home of the current outreach programs at Trinity Presbyterian Church, and a space for potential community partners to use, offering programming that welcomes our community into this space. To accomplish this, we are working towards a $4.7M capital campaign. Read on to experience more of what a day in the completed BNC might look like, and consider supporting us in this journey! 

Special thanks to Tom Llewellyn for writing down this vision, originally shared at Trinity's 2018 Easter Service.

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The first thing you see is the sign. You notice the name—Bryant Neighborhood Center. That’s your neighborhood’s name. That’s for you. This place is for you—for you and your neighbors.

And that’s who you see going in there. On a Monday morning, you hear and see a mob of preschoolers and their parents gathering in the new space—playing, creating, connecting with each other, and with professional parenting resources. You hear the sounds of kids playing—laughing, crying, shouting. You hear mothers and fathers talking—getting to know each other, building relationships.

After the kids leave, you watch adults come for a workshop for medical resources—less fun, but practical—connecting these people—your neighbors in need—to services that help folks navigate the complicated system of healthcare resources.

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Then you see an after-school program. This one looks familiar. You recall it’s been going on for years, but here it is again, only this time it’s in a sparkling new space, brightly lit and brand new. And the quality of the space communicates something to you—a first-class level of love for your neighborhood and for the kids who live by you.

And then you hear the sounds of play again. More laughing and shouting, along with running feet and balls bouncing—when the gym is opened up for supervised playtime—a safe place for kids to gather, a safe place for kids to do the best of human activities—to play.

That same feeling of safety carries over to the next group that comes. This one is called the IF Project and it connects juvenile offenders to the resources and support they need to succeed on the outside.

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And that’s just Monday—just one day of a busy week.

But there’s so much more to come in the rest of the week: support groups for Bryant Montessori parents, financial literacy classes, a professionally staffed health clinic, meeting space for community partners like AA and Youth For Christ.

One of your favorite things to watch is the bike repair workshop, done in partnership with a local non-profit, helping turn well-loved bikes into well-working bikes. You like watching your neighbors find the clothes they need at Pat’s Closet. And you like watching when Tony’s Kitchen turns the Center into place of soup and conversation. And on Sundays, you see the space fill with kids from the church above. Seems like a nice church. Seems like nice people.

But your eye keeps returning to that sign: Bryant Neighborhood Center. You smile when you look at it, because it means something—to have a space just for your neighborhood. Because, you know, lots of folks talk about helping, but talk is cheap. But that kind of dedication—I mean, such a nice place—such a busy place, just for your neighborhood. Well, that’s kind of what love looks like, doesn’t it?

 

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Pat's Closet and the Heart of Christ

Trinity's clothing bank, Pat's Closet, offers clothing and household items to anyone in our community. Our inventory is donated by groups and individuals throughout the Tacoma area, and made freely available for anyone to come and take what they need. Pat's Closet is open Thursdays from 5-7 PM, and Fridays from 1-3 PM. Mark Hillis regularly volunteers at Pat's Closet, and offers a reflection on his experience.

 Mark Hillis, a regular Pat's Closet volunteer.

Mark Hillis, a regular Pat's Closet volunteer.

Pat’s Clothing Closet is an example of a ministry that, like all good outreach programs, serves multiple purposes consistent with the heart of Christ: meeting needs, being present, and staying put for the long term.  What’s illuminating here is how the heart of Christ works too, which is to say inclusively.

The Clothing Closet is a place, located in the basement of Trinity Presbyterian Church, that provides clothes and food to those with modest means.  More than that, it provides a retreat for someone to get out of the cold. A place to talk. A place to relax in a peaceful atmosphere. What is experienced reveals itself by means of thankfulness and humility, charity and welcome… and it’s really good.

But there is something else at play, which I hadn’t planned on experiencing as a volunteer: humility.  This emerged through watching and serving others who consistently expressed a deep sense of gratitude. This is what it looks like:

  • A woman asking if it would be alright to grab an extra pair of socks

  • Listening to a teenager express gratefulness as they receive a hot meal

  • Watching Iris engage in a lengthy conversation with a someone who just needed to talk and be heard

  • Always hearing a ‘thank you and God bless’ when leaving Pat's Closet

I came to Pat’s Closet thinking I was going to ‘do a good thing.’  Fortunately, it has turned into ‘having a good thing done to me.’ And that, in the best sense of the word, is humbling.

 Iris and Barry Jackson, serving coffee to Pat's Closet guests.

Iris and Barry Jackson, serving coffee to Pat's Closet guests.

Those who frequent Pat’s Closet are gracious people.  They don’t have a lot, but they still somehow find it in themselves to be thankful for everything they get.  The heart of Christ is a funny thing. Right when you think you’ve figured out the dimensions of it, it seems to expand and include much more than you ever thought possible.

Report: Neighborhood Clinic

The Trinity Neighborhood Clinic is open every Tuesday night, from 5-7 PM. Below, find the 2017 Annual Report, detailing the good work of the organization over the last year.

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Our Patients

The Trinity Neighborhood Clinic offered high-quality medical care for over 322 individuals in the greater Tacoma area last year. We provide care to a culturally diverse population representing over nine languages, with Spanish being the most predominant non-English language spoken.

Our patients include people experiencing homelessness, people unable to qualify for Medicaid or subsidized coverage, people insured but unable to afford visit copays or prescription refills, and people who have experienced recent incarceration.

Our Services

Our services include acute medical visits, sports physicals, medication refills, and community referrals. Total patient visits increased from 308 in 2016 to 322 in 2017. Sports physicals continue to be our largest service offering. Fifty percent of sports physicals in 2017 were given to students that attend Lincoln, Jason Lee, Wilson, Foss and Stadium; more youth were seen for sports physicals from schools outside the Hilltop/Bryant neighborhood than in previous years.

The Clinic continues to prioritize prescription refills and health education as primary methods to address chronic disease. The pharmacy coverage program the Clinic budgets annual provides patients free prescriptions for needed medicines dispensed at Tacoma General Hospital. In 2017, the Clinic encouraged patients that had the financials to fill prescriptions at commercial pharmacies taht offered a low-cost prescription program.

Funding

In 2017 the Clinic received generation grants and in-kind donations from faithful and new supporters, including:

  • The Dimmer Foundation
  • Pierce County Medical Society
  • The Milgard Foundation
  • MultiCare
  • CHI Franciscan
  • Anderson Island Community CHurch
  • Bartell Drugs Foundation
  • The Florence B. Kilworth Foundation

These donations pay for patient prescriptions, Clinic insurance, facility and assistive support from the Trinity House, and the Director's stipend. In addition to the above monetary donations, we receive many hours of donated time by providers, nurses and front desk support from members of our community. We could not operate without our generous volunteers.

Volunteers

In 2017 we were excited to welcome new clinic volunteers to our team. We are joined by a new provider, Dr. Norman Gosch, a retired family physician, and two retired nurses, Laura Gruse and Joann Smith. Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) students have also supported the Clinic by supporting the assessment and development of needed community resources for our patients.

Staff

Staff changes that occurred in 2017 included a change in Clinic leadership. R'Lene Brobak, the Clinic Director since 2014, turned in her hat to spend more time with her grandchildren and pursue new adventures. In her place, the Clinic welcomed Sarah Stacy. Sarah located to the South Sound this year to complete her master's degree in nursing at PLU. Prior to joining the Clinic, Sarah worked in various capacities to improve healthcare access in community health center settings.

 Trinity's 2017 B2SN

Trinity's 2017 B2SN

Community Partnerships

Community partnerships and services are an integral part to the Clinic. Community partnerships maintained in 2017 included connecting with Pierce County's Project Access for specialist and dental care referrals, as well as additional support from MultiCare. Patient community referrals in 2017 coordinated by the Clinic included Pierce County Project Acces, Sea Mar Community Health Center, Community Health Care, and the Mary Bridge Mobile Immunization van.

In September, Clinic volunteers provided free sports physicals as part of Trinity Presbyterian's Annual Back-to-School Night. At this event, families in the Hilltop/Bryant Neighborhood are given backpacks filled with school supplies, hot dogs and snacks to celebrate the start of a new school year. One parent, so happy with the care their child received, donated the little money they had on hand to support the Clinic.

Communications

The Clinic Directory launched a weekly email newsletter communication for donors, community partners, and volunteers. This has been a successful method in coordinating Clinic workflow updates, supply and donation needs and volunteer opportunities. Providing consistent communication is also improving current and interested volunteer engagement at the Clinic.

The Trinity Neighborhood Clinic is an investment in the health of our friends, family, neighbors, and community. There is no greater method to improve healthcare access than by making medical services free of charge. There is no better time to make a difference in our community than now.

Sincerely,

-Sarah M. Stacy

Clinic Director

30 Hour Famine 2018

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Every year, the Trinity Youth participate in World Vision's, 30 Hour Famine. This learning experience and fundraiser focuses on the 795 million people around the world facing chronic hunger. February 24-25, 2018, the youth spent 30 hours fasting, while learning about these important issues and serving at local nonprofits. Read on to hear a little more about their experience.

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Twenty-nine youth and six adults gathered this year from Trinity, Overlake Park, Snohomish, and Calvin Presbyterian Churches for the annual 30 Hour Famine. It wasn’t our first, and it won’t be out last

We wanted to be together, to raise money, to learn about poverty here in Tacoma and around the world, to think critically about our call as follower of Jesus, serve our community, and have some fun while we were at it!

During one special time, we were visited by Anya, a refugee from Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine. She is 17 years old.

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Anya spoke to us in Russian, translated by Children Youth and Family Director, Julia Corbett. Anya shared how she and her family got out of her city just weeks before the war erupted. They moved from refugee camps to apartments and back to refugee camps. Sometimes her Dad would bring home only one loaf of bread for the entire family. It never really felt like reality, always like a dream. She imagined she would wake up and be back in her old home. Now, Anya goes to Stadium High School with some of our Trinity Youth, but somehow they've never seen her until now.

Listening to Anya, volunteering at TRM, and holding a prayer vigil, we were reminded that the funds we raise for the 30 hour famine are for real conflicts and deep trouble that harm real people.

This year our goal was to raise $3000 to give to World Vision. We haven’t quite reached that yet. If you’d like to be apart of our effort, but have not had the opportunity to donate yet, it’s not to late. Click here and to get started.

Many thanks to everyone who prayed for us, donated, helped with breakfast, drove children, spent the night on the floor, and danced team name aerobics. None of this would be possible without you.

Sincerely,

Christian

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Session: Class of 2018

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Trinity Presbyterian Church is governed by Session, a body of nine elders and our two pastors. Each year, three new session elders are elected, and three complete their term. This year, we say a fond farewell to Erika Mariani, Nalani Linder, and Tom Llewellyn. We are so grateful for the time, wisdom, and leadership they have shared. Read on to learn a little about the experience, and what kinds of things a Trinity session elder does.


It is amazing to think that my 3 years as an Elder on Session is coming to a close soon.  When I said “yes” to this commitment it was because I had no solid reason to say “no”. I felt God calling me to serve in this way during this specific season of my life and this period of our church life.  The many months of meetings, emails and ongoing discussions we have had as a governing board all blend together now, but I am left with a strong impression of the tremendous teamwork and collaboration I felt in working with these amazing people that make up our Session and our church.  I value each and every one of the members of Session and felt honored to serve alongside them as we discerned over and prayed about all of the decisions made in the past 3 years.  Thank you all for this opportunity to serve the Trinity community.

Erika Mariani


I’m grateful for having been part of the Presbyterian process and structure of Session these past three years.  Like most acts of faith and service, I got a lot more from it than the I put into it.  I sincerely appreciated being in closer community with the other Session members through the monthly meetings, and grappling together with a variety of issues facing Trinity.  It was great to work more with Matt and Rod, who are both highly competent leaders administratively as well as in church on Sundays. A ‘bonus’ for me was getting to do tasks assigned to Elders and Deacons that were surprisingly touching and meaningful for me: serving communion, talking about faith with new members, and other activities that called me into deeper reflection and relationship with God and with others at Trinity.   

Importantly, I also got an insider look at the extraordinary work that happens every day (and night) at Trinity House.  It’s a very special place, doing important and sometimes difficult work.  The stories of the many people who use Trinity House grounds as a place to sleep, stay and linger—often bringing drugs and/or weapons with them—breaks my heart, has me worried about the safety of staff, and invited us as session members into ongoing discernment about what the Christ-like response is in such complex circumstances.  These will continue to be questions for Session and staff, and all of us who care for Trinity and the Bryant Neighborhood.

As the 3 of us cycle off, I offer blessings to the ongoing and new members of Session as we move forward with the campaign, temporary relocation, and renovation.  Such exciting times and an important time for leadership.  Thank you for your service!

Nalani Linder


The top five things about serving on session:

Number five: Serving as an elder is indeed a time commitment, but it’s a small one. One elder meeting a month and then, typically, involvement in one other team, such as children and youth, budgets, personnel, nominating—that sort of thing. But beyond that, serving is an honor—a sacred duty. So, if someone on that nominating team calls you in the future, say yes. You can fit it in.

Number four: Serving on session is indeed sacred—more than I imagined it would be. I sit in meetings all day at work, and originally kind of dreaded another meeting, but these gatherings are different. Matt works to create sacred space when we get together—with time for prayer and reflection.

Number three: Session is a remarkable reminder that we really are in this weird thing called the body of Christ. It’s a reminder that, at Trinity, it’s easier to get through life when we do it together, with each other’s diverse talents, skillsets, and personalities. Session works the way our larger church does, on a smaller scale, and it’s kind of awesome to watch the wisdom, hard work, and generosity move into action. We’ve got some gifted folks. It’s been inspiring to hang out with them one Tuesday a month.

Number four: You get to know all the secrets of being a Seventh-Level Trinitarian: sacred handshakes, hidden passages under the pulpit, vegetable sacrifices. OK, none of that actually happens. In fact, what you learn is that our leadership is incredibly transparent and incredibly human. No secrets. No mysteries. Just people praying, asking God for help, and doing their best to make decisions in an orderly fashion.

Number five: Snacks. You get snacks.

Tom Llewellyn

Elder and Deacon Nominations

Sunday, February 11th, Trinity has our Annual Meeting. Here, the Trinity Nominating Team will bring the following nominees to the congregation for election as Deacon and Elders at Trinity.

Elders exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and together (as a Session) have responsibilities for the life of the congregation. The office of Deacon is set forth in Scripture as one of compassion and prayer, witness and service after the example of Jesus Christ. Click to learn more about the role of the deacons, or the roles of the elders.

 

Elder Nominees

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Alicia Klumpp

Alicia and her husband, Matt Aosved, have attended Trinity for nearly 13 years. Prior to moving to Tacoma, she directed youth & young adult ministries for 10 years.  

"I look forward to how God will use my gifts and grow my faith as I learn to serve in a new way."

 

 
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Sarah Nyland

Sarah began attending Trinity regularly in 2002 after her medical residency, and was looking for a small church with a mission focus. She loves how Trinity has been open to hard questions and challenging discussions. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Gerrit, and they have two boys Henry (15) and Max (13).

"Trinity is my family. I love coming to worship every Sunday and miss it when I can't be there. I am truly blessed to be nominated and hope I can some good work over the next three years."

 

 
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Todd Rorem

Todd and his wife, Anne, have been attending Trinity since 2004. They have three kids involved in Children's Ministry.

“Over the past 14 years, I have witnessed and experienced Trinity's mission to serve our church body and surrounding community.  I am excited to be apart of session and  have the opportunity to serve.“

 

 

Deacon Nominee

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Mike Smith

Mike and his wife Holli have attended Trinity since 2004. They have four kids. Mike has been involved in various committees and volunteered in Sunday school for many years.

"We came to Trinity because we heard that there was this church nearby where the people were actually "real." That shared value of authenticity is why we stayed. My prayer to God is often that I can be useful to His Kingdom. My hope is that I can be of use to the Trinity community as a Deacon."

Trinity Neighborhood Clinic

The Trinity Neighborhood Clinic is a free clinic available to non-insured and under-insured individuals throughout the area. Our dedicated team of volunteer nurses and practitioners work alongside Clinic Director Sarah Stacy to continue to provide this valued service to our community. Read on to hear a little more from Sarah about the good work our team does!

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The Trinity Neighborhood Clinic is off to a great start in 2018! We continue to provide medical care and community referrals to individuals and families in the Hilltop/Bryant community. In 2017, our volunteer providers and nurses served over 171 individuals, totaling 413 medical visits and sports physicals. Medical care and prescriptions continue to be provided at no cost to the patient, ensuring equitable healthcare access for all. We are always pleased to see our patients leaving the Clinic with hope and support.

A family, recently immigrated from Africa, learned about the Clinic through their children’s school. They came to the clinic to access services, including the coordination of free specialty care through Pierce County’s Project Access program. One woman, a month after being seen, came back to the Clinic and made a cash donation because “the Clinic helped her in a time of need and [she] wanted to pay forward the service for someone else.” One of the volunteer nurses made a home visit to a family seen at the Clinic, providing them with a full Thanksgiving meal. The two children in this family were also gifted beds when the nurse identified they had been sleeping on the floor in a 1-bedroom apartment.

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These stories are the essence of the dedicated number of hours our volunteers provide our community. It is the helping hands of our volunteers that enable us to support access to healthcare and services in the greater Tacoma area.

In addition to providing excellent medical care, the Clinic has a few projects underway to enhance our service offerings in 2018. A Pacific Lutheran University nursing student recently conducted a needs assessment from our volunteer clinical staff to enable a better understanding the needs of our patient population. In January, the Clinic welcomed a student intern from the Health Information and Technology program at Tacoma Community College, who is building an electronic population health management tool. Both of these projects will enable the Clinic to improve referrals and identify social needs for the patients and families we serve.

Earlier this year, the Clinic entered into a partnership with Sea Mar Community Health Center which provides the Clinic with a patient navigator - an expert in health insurance enrollment and community resources and services. In just two Clinic nights, the patient navigators have enrolled four individuals into Medicaid, and have connected two families to social services such as WIC and food stamps. The have also provided translation services for those patients that are Spanish-speaking, therefore improving the quality of care and coordination to community resource.

It continues to be a very good year for the Trinity Neighborhood Clinic. We are excited that we will continue to provide much-needed excellent medical care and services here in our community. 

Time at TAP

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The Trinity Afterschool Program, often called TAP, is an after-school reading program for first and second grade students. Kelly Humphreys, our wonderful TAP assistant, has taken a few moments to reflect on her TAP experiences so far. 

 

 Kelly at the TAP Christmas Party snowmen decorating contest!

Kelly at the TAP Christmas Party snowmen decorating contest!

On my first day as the new TAP assistant, I made a little girl cry. Classic, right? (She was sad she had to finish her lesson, when others had finished and moved on). She bucked up though – especially with the brilliant empathy and encouragement of Miss Rachel – and ended the day with a smile, with her favorite book. Sometimes your favorite book can make it all better.

When I was a first grader, the school librarian would only let us check out one book a day. Every day I would go to the library right before taking the bus home and check out my daily book. I’d devour it on the ride, many times finishing before I got to my house. Eventually, I checked out longer books, which took longer to read, but I’ll always remember that first love I had for getting a new book. As an only child (who also played a lot with cousins and other friends), books were my best friends. I would take a stack of books and hole up in the curtains in my home, making myself a reading fort right next to the window, with lots of natural Oregon light streaming in. Small wonder I majored in English Literature in college.

The girl’s favorite book is called What Does Bunny See?* which we usually read together after her lesson. This particular first grader – lovely inside and out -- is still learning to read by herself, but she loves this book. The colors of the illustrations are vibrant, with the cute bunny checking out different flowers and different colors in the “cottage garden.” It is written in rhyme, so the reader can guess the next color, which bursts out on the next page. This girl loves the playfulness, almost singsonginess of the rhymes, and I love her delight as we read it together.

That’s one of the reasons I enjoy working with TAP – the kids are great, and they love a good book, too. Days with a group of kids can be up-and-down, but there is always a take-away. And I love helping them get there, to read by themselves, to come alongside them as a listening and caring adult as they talk about their day, to be in a world where imagination can explode. It reminds me that God created us to be wonder-filled people. I just might get more than I give and learn more than I teach at TAP each day.

*Written by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Maggie Smith (NY: Clarion Books, 2005).






 

UNITE! 2017

In the last week of December, youth at Trinity joined a group of other churches in the Puget Sound region for UNITE! Winter Retreat, 2017!

Over a hundred youth came together for winter fun, playing in the snow, skiing, building community, worshiping, and learning about living a committed life. It was a fantastic fourth year participating in this three day event.

Pageant 2017

Last Sunday, the Trinity community enjoyed a fresh retelling of an old story, the birth of Jesus. We are so grateful to the many volunteers who helped make this possible, and the fantastic performers who shared this good news with us! 

Ordination and Installation

On Sunday, December 10th, Trinity gathered with the Olympia Presbytery to host the ordination and installation of our new Associate Pastor for Community Engagement, Rev. Rod Nash. Rod has faithfully served for the last ten years as Trinity's Director of Outreach. After completing his Masters of Divinity from Dubuque Seminary and the preparation for ministry process, the Trinity congregation recently called him as Associate Pastor.

Pastors and elders from across the Presbytery, family members, and people from throughout the Trinity community attended the worship service, where we heard a thoughtful message from Pastor Lina Thompson of Lake Burien Presbyterian Church. Afterwards, we gathered for food and celebration of this significant milestone in Rod's life, and in the story of the Trinity congregation.

Thank you to the many volunteers and clergy who helped host this joyous evening, and a special thanks to Mark Hillis, Kelly Christel, Joel Zystra, and Edwina Dorsey who served as the Pastor Nominating Committee throughout this process.

Advent Meditations

In preparation for the Advent season, members of the Trinity community have composed reflections rooted in lectionary readings. You are invited to explore the season through these diverse voices. Click below to access the full devotional, or sign up for the eNews to receive weekly selections. Advent begins December 3rd.

Trinity's Gold Star

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Monday, November 20th, Trinity was honored to received a Gold Star Award from the Tacoma Public School District.

This award is granted  in honor of the longstanding partnership we share, serving the community at Bryant Montessori and Jason Lee Middle School.

We are extremely grateful for our ongoing partnership with Tacoma Public Schools, along with Merilee Tanbara (Office of Community Partnership), Christine Brandt (Jason Lee Middle School Principal) and Jennifer Brown (Bryant Montessori Assistant Principal) who assisted in presenting the award.

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Welcome Back, Daniel and Laura!

Trinity is pleased to be welcoming back Laura Johnson and Daniel Akamine to the Bobcat Learning Center team!

Daniel and Laura spent the 2016-2017 academic year serving the students at Jason Lee Middle School, both in classrooms and in the afterschool programing. Read on to hear their thoughts as they begin a fresh year.

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My favorite part about working at the Jason Lee Learning Center is doing a cooking enrichment with the students. I wanted to cook with the students because cooking and eating a meal together was always a way for my family and I to come together for some memorable times and I wanted to bring that experience to my students. Last year the cooking enrichment was a gateway for me to get to know the students better and this year my hopes are to use the cooking enrichment as a tool to inspire my students to make meals at home for their family and friends.
-Daniel Akamine
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Starting another year at Trinity and Jason Lee’s Learning Center feels a bit returning home. One of the greatest joys I found in my work last year was the community that I got to be part of. In almost every activity, program, or event we put on, there was collaboration, familiar faces, and a sense of shared purpose. What makes this community so special is how welcoming it truly is. With a new year comes even more opportunities for me to grow personally and in community at Trinity. I look forward to getting to know my coworkers, peers, students, and everyone else even more and continuing my part in the Trinity community story.
-Laura Johnson

Bryant Late Start 2017

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Trinity is offering childcare for students in Kindergarten - Fifth Grade on the "Late Start Days" in the 2017-18 school year.  Late Start is the second Wednesday of every month during the academic year. 

Students can be dropped off at Trinity after 9 AM. Trinity Staff will walk the students to school at 11:30 AM.

Our staff supervise fun activities and free time for the students, in addition to a light snack.

We have space for 25 students. 

TO REGISTER

Contact rachel@tpctacoma.org or call 253-272-8819 to reserve your space!

Cost is $10 for the first student, and $5 for each additional student in the family. Payable via check or cash when you drop off your student.

Click here to download the registration form. Return in advance, or turn in Wednesday morning.

Idaho Servant Adventures 2017

 Mitchell on the wall.

Mitchell on the wall.

Mitchell hung by his clenched fists just under an overhang, thirty five feet up the craggy Shoshone climbing wall. Over and over again he attempted to pull himself over the awkward ledge, but each time a poorly gripped shoe slipped or a sweaty hand slid. He’d been stuck on the same spot for twenty minutes. At first his friends were cheering him on vehemently from below, but now they had quieted to an occasional hoot. None of them thought he would make it. The longer you’re stuck on a spot, the weaker your grip becomes until regardless of willpower or determination, tired fingers just can’t hold on.

“One more heave,” he thought.

  From below it looked like any of the other failed attempts, but this one was lasting a little longer. He was pulling himself higher than before, and twisting his body in a different way. His feet were holding. Once again his supporters cheered, only louder this time, jumping and screeching like surprised howler monkeys. He was actually doing it! After twenty two minutes of hanging from the same ledge, Mitchell hoisted his body over that exhausting impasse, and proceeded to scale the rest of the wall.

That night, during the Trinity group debrief, a time to reflect on the day, Mitchell shared that it was the most meaningful part of his Tuesday. Everyone agreed it was truly epic.

 Genet brushing old paint.

Genet brushing old paint.

Something about camp and service both breaks down and empowers youth in extraordinary ways. Thrown from their comfort zone, high on a ledge, prying rotten planks in a stranger's backyard, or sitting at a fire late at night, they encounter a challenge, and in grappling with it something changes. They gain confidence, put on humility, and hopefully draw a little closer to their Creator.

Trinity’s youth got to go to Shoshone the last week of June. Through service in Idaho’s Silver Valley, goofing off, fresh mountain air, and honest conversations they learned that they are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ’s image to do good works wherever they may be. Yes that’s from Ephesians.

 Daniel, Lena, and Aaron corn-holing

Daniel, Lena, and Aaron corn-holing

Much corn-holing, song singing, river floating, and horseback riding were had in the evenings, while in the mornings the kids set out in separate groups to help out the local community in the ongoing Idaho Servant Adventure effort painting fences, demolishing decks, and chopping wood. Under the stars we worshipped, learned and reflected. Did anyone mention a day of roller coasters and water slides at Silverwood?

Thank you Trinity for your prayers and support, this trip full of sweaty car rides, meaningful service, and sacred conversations couldn’t have happen without you!

Trinity Featured on PC(USA) Website

An article about Trinity Presbyterian Church entitled "Buckle Up, Hold On Tight, and Pray Like Crazy" appeared on the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s website under the "News" section.  This is the second publication in less than a month to report on Trinity's story. For many of us at Trinity, we forget has special the Trinity's history is and how much we have to be thankful for. It is always good to "rehearse our faith" by remembering our past.  

As Trinity looks forward to what we feel God is calling us to be and do, especially with the "Here for Good" Capital Campaign, we can easily become overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. These articles remind us that as God was faithful and enabled a small band of believers who acted on his call to service, so he will now provide the resources to complete his calling.  Further, we are encouraged by being a part of a larger community who celebrates with us God's work in our little corner of the Hilltop community.