Congratulations to the Learning Center!

The Raikes Foundation of Seattle recognizes youth programming effort as among best in Pierce County.

A Seattle foundation has honored Trinity Presbyterian Church's middle school Learning Center program with an award for Trinity's ongoing commitment to youth program quality. Members of Trinity Presbyterian's staff were presented the 2016 Youth Program Quality Initiative Pinnacle Award at an event hosted by the Raikes Foundation on the evening of October 25th, at the Westin Hotel in Seattle.

The award, accompanied by a $500 gift, acknowledges that Trinity Presbyterian Church's middle school Learning Center program stands out among other youth development programs in Pierce County.

The award was presented by Greater Tacoma Community Foundation Program Officer, Holy Chea, and accepted on behalf of Trinity Presbyterian by Learning Center Coordinator, Jaquette Easterlin, and Trinity Director of Outreach, Rod Nash.

Chea said, "Trinity has been selected as this year's 2016 Raikes Foundation Pinnacle Award recipient by demonstrating high quality scores in 3 out of 4 domains the Pyramid of Program Quality over time. This past year, Trinity's program staff have worked hard to create opportunities for youth to lead and also prioritize time for youth to reflect and make choices during program. The Raikes Foundation Pinnacle awards are awarded to organizations that demonstrate a commitment to creating a culture that elevates quality and embeds quality practices for all of their youth programs. These organizations/programs also produce high quality scores and progress data over time, and involves staff at all levels into the continuous quality improvement process."

Learning Center Coordinator, Jaquette Easterlin, remarked, "This award is a reflection of our commitment not only to program quality, but to our youth, their families, and our community. We are engaging youth by providing them with opportunities to lead in our leadership class and the after-school program. Students become invested in day-to-day tasks through leadership opportunities. They are managing the Bobcat Learning Center Store, providing staff with student feedback to improve program, and planning our Family Nights. We are not done yet! This award is only a pit stop on our journey to even greater program quality."

"This is very much a shared award," said Director of Outreach, Rod Nash. "We absolutely could not do what we do at the Learning Center without the ongoing partnership of Peace Community Center and the Tacoma School District, specifically Jason Lee middle school. This award highlights what can truly be accomplished when a community comes together on behalf of its young people." 

Last year, over 200 students participated in Trinity Presbyterian Church's after-school programs.

The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation is committed to building a vibrant, compassionate and engaged Pierce County. They work with individuals, nonprofits, businesses and community partners to promote effective philanthropy and connect people who care with causes that matter.

What We Need Is HERE House Parties

What you need is here. And what you need to know about Trinity’s Capital Campaign can be learned at one of the upcoming HERE House Parties. We invite you to join us at the HERE House Parties for refreshments, fellowship, and enrichment. This series of small gatherings will celebrate why we call Trinity home, while also providing an opportunity to learn more about our building’s future. Leaders in the congregation will present more information about the capital campaign, including our goals, anticipated challenges, and member involvement. A purposeful component of the HERE House Parties will also be to create a space for dialog, questions, and feedback. Attendees will come away with a better understanding of how the plans for our building fit into the church’s mission and ministry. No financial commitments will be asked for or received at these meetings.  

For a list of dates and times of HERE House Parties click here. To makereservations to a specific HERE House Party, click here or visit the HERE table in the Fellowship Hall of the church after the Sunday worship service.  HERE House parties will be offered from October 11th to November 6th. Don't delay!  Sign up today!

October at Trinity: Seeking the Shalom of the City

Transformational Presence Month 2016

Since October of 2011, the term “Transformational Presence” has been a guiding term for Trinity’s ministry posture here in the Bryant Neighborhood.  Trinity strives to be an authentic faith community whose presence not only brings relief and compassion to those in crisis, but hope through our efforts around education, advocacy, and authentic relationships with our neighbors.  In all that we do as a community, as we learn from one another and step into each others’ lives, our prayer is that mutual transformation takes place among us all. During the month of October, we focus on our commitment here at Trinity to live out this calling ... here in this place ... together.  

This October we will be taking a month-long look at Jeremiah 29:4-7 and God's call to seek the peace (shalom) of the city. Each week a different preacher will share the good news of what this reality has meant in their lives.

Bryant Late Start at Trinity

Once again, Trinity is offering childcare for students in Kindergarten - Fifth Grade on the "Late Start Days" in the 2016-17 school year.  Late Start is every second Wednesday of the month during the acadmic 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. 


Contact or call 253-272-8819 to let us know you're coming!

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.

B2SN 2016

Backpacks, bicycles, and cotton candy. This was Back 2 School Night, 2016.

150 students attended B2SN on Sept. 6, 2016, receiving backpacks, school supplies, bicycles, and cotton candy in honor of the start of the school year.

Every person found themselves cheerfully greeted by Trinity's Iris Jackson at the front door, before a team of AmeriCorps volunteers with the Northwest Leadership Foundation distributed bags of carefully collected and sorted school supplies.

Next, families were invited to the parking lot for hot dogs, chips, and cotton candy. Additionally, a collection of community organizations had tables offering resources for our Hilltop Neighbors. The rainless skies allowed all our guests to enjoy each other's company in peace, while kids puttered around on their new bikes and tried on the new helmets. 

Pat's Closet was also open, offering it's usual fair of clothes, as well as a collection of school uniforms. And the volunteers at the Neighborhood Health Clinic provided 13 sports physicals and served three other patients throughout the evening.

This year's school supplies were made possible by our partners at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Puget Sound Christian Center, the Salvation Army, and generous contributions by the good people of Trinity. 

Additionally, we'd like to thank the various Community Organizations who offered resources to our neighbors: Community Healthcare, United Healthcare, Food Mania with WSUTacoma Housing Authority, and the Bryant PTO.

Finally, none of this would have been possible without our incredible team of volunteers. Special thanks goes to the fantastic School Supply Sorters: Stephanie and Lucia Ayer, Jaquette Easterlin, and the Trinity Youth; our Grill Masters: Paul Duke and Harlan Shoop; Sue Shoop for overseeing the rest of the food; Dre and Gabby Frank, who brought their cotton candy machine; the 15 AmeriCorps who comprise the Urban Leaders in Training with the Northwest Leadership Foundation; and the team of doctors, nurses, and front desk people with the Trinity Health Clinic.

Once again, Trinity is so grateful to all the phenomenal people who made this possible. We look forward to next year and the opportunity to continue these beautiful partnerships.

11 Weeks in the Hospital

Trinity's Director of Outreach, Rod Nash, spent most of Summer 2016 on leave, participating in a Clinical Pastoral Education internship at St. Joseph's Hospital. Here, Rod offers us a reflection of his experience.

For 11 weeks this summer, from early June to mid-August, I served as a Chaplain Intern at St. Joseph's Hospital here in Tacoma. I was part of a CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) class alongside five other Chaplain Interns from all over the country. Together, with the guidance of our supervisor, we processed our collective and individual experiences serving as hospital chaplains. The 11 weeks were, as you might imagine, intense, challenging and tiring, as well as encouraging, eye-opening, and personally revealing about my own growing sense of pastoral identity.

I met daily with patients and their families. In those meetings I encountered people dealing with everything you can imagine - from emergencies to minor surgeries, to imminent death, and even death itself. I talked and prayed with people in those challenging places, and accompanying patients and families in their questions and their grief and their grasp for hope. I participated in more sacred spaces and conversations than I could possibly recall, and felt immensely privileged to be there for them.

The hospital is an especially vulnerable place. For many people, it is a place that brings up the greatest human fears; those of pain, loss, suffering, and death. Being a patient puts immense stress on individuals and their relationships. While I saw many people struggling mightily in the face of their fears, I also saw inspiring resilience, courage, and faith. This dynamic of vulnerability produced deep, rich conversations and connections with people throughout my entire summer experience.

One of my greatest takeaways from the summer was realizing the tendency that I have have to want to bring people out of the depth of whatever pain they may be facing. I deeply desire to give others hope and help them focus on the positive in their situation. However, in meeting with people day in and day out, I soon realized that what people need most in these situations is not someone who is going to try and make it all better (as if I could), but someone who is willing to accompany them in their darkness and to sit with them in the depth of their pain. Giving a voice to hope, especially the hope we have in Christ, is still vitally important, but I learned to allow the moments of verbally expressing that hope to come in their own time, usually after sitting with someone in their pain for a long while.

I'm very grateful to Trinity for allowing me the time off this summer to take part in this CPE experience, and and to the Olympia Presbytery for making it fiscally possible.

Meet the Staff: Iris Jackson

Iris Jackson has been part of the Trinity Community for almost 15 years. Recently, Tim Morton, a member of Trinity's Personnel Team, had a chance to sit down with Iris over breakfast.  Here is a excerpt of his thoughts from his time with Iris.

What a great way to start the morning - spending time with Iris Jackson over breakfast. I complimented Iris on her Cleveland Cavaliers Jean jacket, but she admitted that she wasn't a huge NBA fan, but does like LeBron James. Iris is a fun and jovial person. She has a great passion for people and their needs. 

Born in Philadelphia, Iris comes from a large family with nine brothers and sisters. Her family  moved often during her childhood because her dad was in the military. Iris lived both overseas, moving to various parts of the world, and all over the United States. Ultimately her family settled in Tacoma, and this has been “home” ever since Iris was sixteen years old.

Iris and her husband Barry have two grown children. The Jackson family have attended Shiloh Baptist Church, but Iris has been a part of both communities. Initially Iris worked with youth at the Boys & Girls Club. Then she served Trinity as the Nursery attendant, caring for all of Trinity's babies (no small task). Later she and her husband, Barry, worked as Trinity's custodians until they retired in 2014. 

One role that Iris has not given up, is her integral work on Thursday nights at Pat's Closet, Trinity's Clothing Bank ministry. Iris not only is the staff member in charge of the Clothing Bank on Thursday nights, but she has begun providing simple meals to those who come with their clothing needs.  

Concerning Trinity, Iris states, "I like the dynamics of the church" particularly, Iris is drawn to the youth.  Iris wants to be present to the youth, especially during the rough times of adolescence. Her own home has often been a haven for troubled youth in the neighborhood. Iris would love to see more people at Trinity join in the work on Thursdays and Fridays at Pat's Closet. 

We discussed many of Iris' ideas and dreams for ministry at Trinity. Iris believes that deeper integration between Trinity and the Bryant neighborhood is crucial for both to prosper. Perhaps as Trinity's desire for church renovation comes to fruition, Iris' dreams of an expanded ministry with and to the neighborhood will become a reality.  


Creation Care Camp

What has animals, art, and activities? Trinity's Creation Care Camp!

June 28th - 30th, 2 interns, 6 volunteers, 20 youth volunteers, and 36 children came together for Trinity's first VBS style camp. Creation Care Camp encouraged kids to enjoy creation, cherish creation, and co-create with God. The jam-packed mornings were full of songs, dancing, games, art, and science! Children crafted beautiful, fish-shaped wind socks, looked through microscopes, and visited real live animals at our own petting zoo!

A special thanks to all our incredible volunteers! This multi-faceted week of fun would not have been possible without your commitment to our kids, and God's glorious creation!


Meet the Staff: Nate Nolting

Nate Nolting has been the Custodian at Trinity since November, 2014. Recently, Tim Morton, of the Personnel Committee, had the chance to sit down with Nate and hear a little of his story. Here are his thoughts.

Last week I had the opportunity to meet with Nate Nolting, the Trinity Custodian, over a cup of coffee. Nate thoroughly enjoys his work at Trinity, having a history of cleaning churches and church camps.

Nate grew up in Pullman, Washington. His father was a Lutheran pastor and his mother was a public school teacher. A sports fanatic, Nate enjoyed living in a university town and attending the many sporting events at Washington State University. Additionally, WSU provided him with a number of mentors who invested in his life.

When it came time to pick his own college, Nate left Washington for Valparaiso University in Indiana, where he studied Youth, Family, and Educational Ministry. There, Nate met his wife Kia, a nurse practitioner working in urgent care.

In his early career, Nate spent time in the church as a youth ministry intern, youth director, and camp director. A lot of his time went to cleaning camps and churches, just as he cleans Trinity now. But he enjoys the solitude of the task, listening to podcasts while giving the church sparkle and shine.

When he isn't attending to his custodial duties, Nate works as a substitute teacher in the Tacoma Public School district. He and Kia attend St. Mark's Lutheran Church of the Narrows, and enjoy exploring all that Tacoma has to offer.

We finished the last of our coffee and Nate left to work at the church, insisting the caffeine would cut cleaning time in half. I left content, happy to have had the pleasure to meet and get to know this wonderful person.

Listening Project: We want to hear from you!

Trinity has launched a Community Engagement project in an effort to intentionally listen to our neighbors about what they think makes a thriving neighborhood, and how we can dream about this vision together. As part of this process, we are looking for 300 different voices to inform our Listening Project! 

Do you have a few minutes to be one of these important voices and tell us your views on what makes a thriving neighborhood? Take a few minutes to complete our survey!

Create your own user feedback survey


To further the reach of this process, Trinity will be hosting a Community Forum on June 8th in the Trinity Fellowship Hall. We hope you will join us! Click here (link to event page) to find out more.


Bleedership Conference

Trinity Youth, Carleigh Templin, and her fellow cadette, Julia Witecki, are hoping to make menstrual health a little less awful.

The pair of Girl Scout Cadettes are hosting the upcoming Bleedership Conference at Trinity Presbyterian Church on May 28th from 10 AM - 3 PM. Their mission: "To make periods better for everyone here and around the world by talking openly and honestly about menstrual health."

Does reading about a conference on menstruation make you cringe? That is the stigma and shame they are combating. "It's hard to talk about in our society," Julia explained. "But if you've got a problem, you should tell someone. Women are strong, and shouldn't be afraid to talk about a natural body function."

The self-described "Masterminds" were inspired to host the Bleedership Conference when they noticed their friends acting ashamed whenever menstrual periods were mentioned. The pair have  met every Thursday since November to make this event come alive. With the support of their parents and troop leader, they've planned t-shirts, organized speakers, recruited a team of volunteers, and hosted a Bloody Mary Fundraiser.

"It's ongoing and stressful," they explained with a laugh. But it's clear the two believe the work is worth the outcome.

The conference will feature an assortment of seminars on topics such as period nutrition, personal safety, and "Is that NORMAL? A Q&A Session about Menstruation and Puberty." A complete schedule is available on their website, Participants are welcome to attend the full event, or drop in for the seminars that most intrigue them.

In addition to the seminars, a team of volunteers will spend the day sewing reusable pads in the Fellowship Hall. These pads (and proceeds from the suggested $5 donation) will be distributed by an international organization intending to put reusable pads and a sanitary kit in the hands of every girl who doesn't have these supplies by 2022. You are invited to bring cotton and flannel for reusable sanitary pads and storage bags, and unopened packages of tamps and sanitary pads to be distributed locally.

Carleigh, Julia, and their team invite all girls and women to join them on Saturday, May 28th, from 10 AM - 3 PM at Trinity Presbyterian Church, to learn how to make periods better for yourself and others.

While at the Front Door

Rachel Boisen serves as Trinity's Front Door Ministry Coordinator and the Administrative Assistant at Trinity House. Answering the doorbell and our phone calls, she has the most contact with people seeking assistance. Below, find her thoughts on a recent interaction.

"Every morning, I settle into my desk at Trinity House and see the voicemail light blinking on the phone. Every morning, I push the button, enter the code, and hear the stories:

“I’m on disability and I need help with rent.”

“Do you help with utilities? I’ve got a shut off notice.”

“I need a gas voucher to get to a doctor’s appointment.”

“Please call back. I don’t know what to do.”

Most of the time there are no funds. There is nothing I can do but pray.

And then last January, thanks to a generous Christmas Eve offering, I had the money to help.

“I just need a little help to get a job.”

The Front Door Ministry paid for a new ID and fresh car tabs so she could legally drive to interviews. She stopped by a few times to get all the paperwork taken care of, carefully planning trips to preserve gas. I gave her information about jobs I’d heard about, and prayed something would turn up.

Most of the time, I don’t hear from anyone after they receive their check. Faces and stories cycle through my memory, and I wonder if the divorce finalized, the lawsuit was settled, if they managed to keep their home.

Monday, I arrived at work to find a pile of pamphlets pushed through the mailslot, and a new kind of voicemail blinked on the phone.

“Rachel, I got a job! Thank you so much for all your help!”

She found a fantastic job, offering important services to the same clientele we serve at Trinity House. “Pass out the pamphlets. Trinity helped me so much, I wanted to offer help in return.”  With the information she shared, others can acquire specialized skills to find jobs of their own!

I was so happy - floating through the day.  As the “face” for Trinity’s Front Door ministry, I have learned to offer what we have with faith that the little we can give makes a difference. But it gets hard to continue to see all the need. Thanks to one woman’s thoughtfulness and joy at finding a job, I was reminded that what we do matters - to the individual and to the Trinity community.  “For whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 24:40).

Trinity provided her with help with her finances. She gave me the gift of joy and the priviledge to see the church at Christ's work.

Strengthening Pierce County Grant!

Trinity Outreach Programs is grateful to announce that we have received a $10,000 grant from the Strengthening Pierce County fund at The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation!

The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation is a community foundation that seeks to inspire people and mobilize resources to strengthen the Pierce County community. Established in 1981, the Community Foundation provides individuals, families, and businesses with the resources and expertise to promote effective philanthropy and connect people who care with causes that matter. In 2014, the Community Foundation awarded $5.2 million in scholarships and grants to nonprofit organizations.

The Strengthening Pierce County fund offers general operating support to small nonprofits like ours. Specifically, this award invests in organizations who learn from their constituents, operate under a clear mission, and address critical issues towards building a stronger Pierce County.

Nearly 50% of the Outreach Programs’ operating budget comes from foundations and grants like these. With these funds, will be able to continue coming alongside our neighbors here in the Bryant Community through programs like:

  • TAP: the Trinity After-school Program
  • Bobcat Learning Center
  • Pat’s Closet
  • Tony’s Kitchen
  • Camp Trinity
  • Back to School Night
  • Christmas House

We offer our sincerest gratitude to the Foundation for their support of our Programs.

Click here to view a list of other supports who support Trinity Outreach Programs.


Getting to Know Our Staff: Rachel Boisen

Rachel Boisen has served at the TAP Coordinator since October, 2014, and became Trinity’s Administrative Assistant a year later. The Personnel team sent Lori Bekker to sit down with Rachel and learn about her life.

The moment Rachel opened the front door at Trinity House, I immediately felt her warmth. It’s obvious that she is a wonderful person to represent Trinity to the neighborhood and greater community. Our time together was easy and I left realizing how fortunate we are to have her in two very important roles at the church.

For the most part, Rachel grew up in Tacoma, the second oldest of 3 sisters. In 2009, she graduated from Mount Tahoma High School with the Acheiver’s Scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Awarded to low-income, high potential students from diverse backgrounds, this scholarship allowed Rachel to attend Seattle Pacific University, where she studied Journalism and Sociology.

A few months later, Rachel joined Trinity as the TAP Coordinator. She loves the opportunity to work with the kids every day, building relationships with her students and their families. When it became apparent that Trinity needed a part time Administrative Assistant, Rachel was the natural choice. It is obvious that she is an excellent fit for the role. Rachel lit up when she talked about the people she had gotten to know through the Front Door ministry. She tends to carry the sorrows of the stories she hears, but the relationships she builds with the “regulars” can be so life giving.

Outside of her time at Trinity, Rachel finds joy in photography, reading, walking the trails at Pt. Defiance, and spending time with extended family in the area. She also loves to travel, and spent her summer 2015 in Fiji, serving at a community center and visiting some of the outer islands. Click here to read about people she met, things she did, and stuff she learned while serving abroad. Over the next five years, Rachel hopes to visit more places, get a masters degree, and become involved with the foster care system.


How can you support Rachel in her role? First, she is always looking for more TAP tutors. Anyone with a spare hour who knows how to read ought to give her a call. Second, give to the Front Door Ministry. Tuesday mornings, she easily gives away 25 bus tickets in less than 10 minutes, often sending people away empty handed. Additionally, the good weather has created renewed interest in the bike program. Unfortunately, we have limited funds for helmets, leaving our bike recipients in danger of head injuries and traffic fines.

I enjoyed my time getting to know Rachel. If you haven’t met her yet, stop by Trinity House and say hello!  She is another person we are so fortunate to have on staff at Trinity.


AmeriCorps Highlight: Hayley Uliana

Do you you ever wonder what happened to those awesome AmeriCorps staff who dedicated a year (or more!) to Trinity's Outreach Programs? For the month of February, we will be highlighted a few of our past members. This week, we'll check-in with one of our current AmeriCorps before the release of a Trinity Outreach publication, highlighting the service of many past AmeriCorps staff at Trinity.

Hayley Uliana has been an AmeriCorps member at Trinity since 2015 as the TAP Assistant, as well as being on staff with the Bobcat Learning Center. Origionally from Hawaii, Hayley is an Azuza Pacific graduate.

Trinity didn't feel as strange or foreign as jobs usually do when you first start - it was more like being adopted into a family. Now, don't go grabbing for those tissues just yet. While the staff at Trinity was more welcoming than I could have ever hoped for, it did not detract from the anxiety that accompanied me at the beginning of the year as I started working in Jason Lee Middle School and Bryant Montessori.

Halfway through my service year, I have found my place as  a tutor and mentor, having formed great relationships with several of the students. It is a hard thing at first when you just want to hurry up and get to that point where you are comfortable and know what you are doing in a program. It was definitely a test of my patience. This patience turned out to be a key player throughout my service time, extending as a valuable tool to not only my time at Jason Lee, but also to my primary focus, Trinity's Afterschool Program (TAP), a reading program that partners with Bryant Montessori. I have spent most of my time working with Bryant, being the assistant coordinator of TAP, and doing some in-class help during school hours.

The great thing about TAP is that it creates a space to really look at each student individually and figure out how they learn best. Getting to know a student, learning their interests and about their life outside the program has helped me feel much more connected to students. It's a whirlwind of work and memories; I'm definitely not in Kansas anymore, but I think I'm on to something better.

AmeriCorps Highlight: Kyle Lee

Do you you ever wonder what happened to those awesome AmeriCorps staff who dedicated a year (or more!) to Trinity's Outreach Programs? For the month of February, we will be highlighted a few of our past members. For the next two weeks, we'll check-in with our current AmeriCorps before the release of a Trinity Outreach publication, highlighting the service of many past AmeriCorps staff at Trinity.

Kyle Lee has been an AmeriCorps member at Trinity since 2014, serving in the Learning Center. Originally from Hawaii, Kyle is a recent UPS Alumnus. Next fall, Kyle will be the Nutrition Coordinator for FoodMania, a WSU research curriculum. Later, Kyle plans to attend grad school, studying dietetics/food science.

Last year, as a first year AmeriCorps member, I worked hard to form lasting relationships with the middle school students at the Learning Center. Now,  as a returning AmeriCorps member, I am finding new ways to build relationships with students, while also maintaining the previous connections I have established. 

At the Learning Center, it's essential to establish a positive working relationship with students. Moreover, a working relationship is successful when trust is built and maintained between the mentor and the student. Our goal is to support and aid each student in their academic progress as well as their social development.

Located at Jason Lee Middle School on Monday - Thursday, and at Trinity on Fridays, Trinity partners with Peace Community Center to provide a safe space for approximately 50-60 Jason Lee students a day to receive academic support. At the middle school, during the first hour of a 2-hour long program, students attend their scheduled enrichment session. Enrichments resemble after-school clubs and these sessions range from outdoor activities to youth development. At the end of the first hour, each member of the Learning Center will gather in the library where mentors are ready to assist students on their homework. Our goal at the Learning Center is to support and aid each student in their academic progress and social development.

As I reflect on this, my second year of service at Trinity, my big takeaway is that relationships with students are not always easy to make, but there is no better reward than when a student looks up to you and says, "Thank you."

30 Hour Famine Follow-Up

Imagine you have 10 minutes to leave your house - on foot - to never come back.  What will you pack? How will you dress? Where will you go?

This past weekend, Trinity youth wrestled with these questions during the 30 Hour Famine. Together, they temporarily stepped into the shoes of refugees around the world. 

Over the course of the weekend, the youth

  • learned that 51% of the worlds 20 million refugees are children
  • heard stories of refugee families from Syria
  • fasted for 30 hours to get a glimpse of the day-to-day experience of hunger that displaced people in extreme poverty live with
  • raised over $2,000 to support the work of World Vision with children in refugee camps and poverty stricken communities around the globe
  • visited the Northwest Detention Center for undocumented immigrants
  • served at the Catholic Worker Guadalupe House that provides transitional housing for people exiting homelessness or incarceration
  • played simulation games to teach them about living in poverty
  • prayed for suffering children around the world
  • drank lots of gatorade and fruit juice
  • slept, just a little.

HUGE thank you to everyone who prayed for us and donated to on behalf of refugees around the world. Click here if you are interested in contributing to this cause.

AmeriCorps Alumnus Highlight: Yusuf Word

Do you you ever wonder what happened to those awesome AmeriCorps staff who dedicated a year (or more!) to Trinity's Outreach Programs? For the month of February, we will be highlighting a few of our past members, culminating in the March release of a Trinity Outreach publication, highlighting the service of many past AmeriCorps staff at Trinity.

Yusuf Word served with AmeriCorps in the Trinity Learning Center from 2009-2011, working with middle school students from Jason Lee middle school and Bryant Montessori - Trinity's two school partners. Yusuf currently lives in San Diego, CA where he is a Video Editor for LYON and a freelance filmmaker.

"Working at Trinity was a tremendous opportunity that I truly valued. I made some great friends and learned a lot about myself and what it means to live a life of service leadership.

The most important lesson I learned through that experience was meeting people where they were at, especially when that comes to youth. I was able to help the students create goals for themselves and not just what I wanted for them, but helping them to critically think about their future - a skill that they will need for the rest of their lives.

I also learned what grace looked like, as well as the importance of service ethics. 

It impressed me so much to see the good work that Trinity was doing in the community, whether those people attended Sunday service or not.

I now have over three years of experience working in video production, working as a freelance filmmaker and editor. I have also worked on various television projects as a crew member, including two seasons on the IFC show Portlandia, the CW show Significant Mother, and the NBC show Grimm. I have also worked on commercials for Nike, Kroger and Sol Republic.

Rod and the rest of the Trinity community recognized that I had a passion for video production and being creative, and they helped me to find ways to express that in my work as a staff member at Trinity.

Whether it was making music videos with the youth, creating a Trinity Learning Center Film Festival, making a training video for a teacher that we worked with at Jason Lee, or making a documentary about the history of Trinity as a church, I always felt supported in my dreams at Trinity.  While working with our youth, I was also able to learn a craft and turn that into a career."

Want to read more? Check out last week's AmeriCorps highlight of Amber Englund, a 2006-2008 AmeriCorps Alumnus.

Trinity continues to utilize AmeriCorps members in our Education Programs through our partnership with the Northwest Leadership Foundation's Urban Leaders in Training Program.

2016 Elder and Deacon Nominees

This Sunday, at our Annual Meeting, Trinity will review the nominees for Elder and Deacon.

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, witness and service after the example of Jesus Christ. It is a ministry of caring, a ministry of love, a ministry of compassion and a ministry of prayer. Trinity is glad to be reinstating the office of deacon this year. The 2016 Trinity Nominating Team brings the following nominees to the congregation for election as Deacons and Elders at Trinity.

Elder Nominees

Charlene Coates

You may recognize Char as a regular greeter at Trinity with her husband, Bob. They have attended for 14 years alongside their three chidlren, seven grandchildren, and great grand son. 

With an undergraduate degree from Whitman College in Psychology/Sociology, and graduate work in Child Psychology and Education at UW and UPS, Char's vocational background includes work as a caseworker for DSHS, an elementary teacher, and a librarian. She has often volunteered in church, schools, and the community.

"I love Trinity, 'the church with heart!' I feel very blessed to have been led here 14 years ago, and have received so much; now, I would like to give back to Trinity during this important time in the life of the church."


Peter Elling

Peter and his wife, Kari Ann, have attended Trinity since moving to Tacoma in 2008. Both have come to love the city and the church they call home, and look forward to bringing their daughter, Svea, up in such a real, authentic community. Peter and Kari Ann hail from the mid-west, love being out of doors, and are well schooled in the culinary field of church potlucks.

"I am most excited for the opportunity to be a part of Session at Trinity to put service and faith together in a way that has not yet been available to me. For faith to be an integral part of service, in a community I am deeply invested in, means a great deal to me."


Mark Hillis

Mark has been a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church for the last 25 years. He and his wife, Cheryl, have been married for over 30 years. Together, Mark and Cheryl have 4 boys: JD, Cory, Chase, and Matthew, and a dog named Maia. An self-described "wannabe engineer," Mark has enjoyed his time as a part of the Trinity family.

"I've had the pleasure to watch Trinity go through a variety of changes. What's always seemed to be true and consistent is Trinity's commitment to the poor -- which, in my opinion, is the heart of the gospel."


Deacon Nominees

Bev Hatter

Bev has been a part of the Trinity community since 2000, holding roles from Elder, to participating in governence, to serving as a first grade Sunday School teacher. Bev retired from MultiCare, where she worked with Hospice, Pediatric Palliative Care, Grief and Loss services, and founded BRIDGES: A Center for Grieving Children. Widowed as a young mother, Bev has a heart for people of all ages who are going through loss.

"I love how Trinity is an outward focused body. But I also know, from my years as a social worker, that we need to care for the caregiver too. That balance act is complex and creative. I would like to be  apart of a group that cares for Trinity, its members, pastor and staff."


Suzi Entwistle

Suzi grew up in the San Juan Islands and spent her high school years in Snohomish. She attended Seattle Pacific Univesrity for a year, and finished up at Western with her degree in Human Services. After a few years in Americorps, she returned to continue working in social work and attend Seattle University for a Masters in Pastoral studies. Who knew that Tacoma held her "destiny," where she met her husband Zach. Together, they have 2 energetic boys and are grateful to live is such a wonderful community.

"From the time I came to Trinity (2001), I felt like I had found a home. I have always appreciated how genuine the people are at Trinity. I appreciate our willingness to grow together and share our joys together. I am interested in being a Deacon because I feel a need to provide a more intentional way of coming alongside each other in the midst of our messes. God know we've all got messes."


Ruth Tiger

Ruth was raised in Eugene OR, daughter of a Lutheran minster and a teacher. She married her high school sweetheart, Alan, and they put each other through college and grade school. They now have 2 children and 3 grandchildren. Ruth was a speech-language pathologist, a special education administrator, and currently, the principal of a new Early Learning Center. Ruth and Alan settled in Tacoma in 1988, and started attending Trinity in 1992. She has served in many capacities over the years, especially regarding worship.

"I feel called to take this next step and minister to those who are hurting, grieving, and dealing with difficult life circumstances through prayer and presence."

AmeriCorps Alumnus Highlight: Amber Englund

Do you you ever wonder what happened to those awesome AmeriCorps staff who dedicated a year (or more!) to Trinity's Outreach Programs? For the month of February, we will be highlighting a few of our past members, culminating in the release of a Trinity Outreach publication, highlighting the service of past AmeriCorps at Trinity's 2016 Annual Meeting.

Amber Englund served in AmeriCorps as Community Partners Liaison from 2006-2008. Currently, Amber lives in Seattle where she is an Infant-Early Childhood Mental health Therapist at the Center for Human Services in North King County and South Snohomish County.

I loved my time at Trinity. It really became a home for me. Some of my favorite memories involved working with the staff and neighborhood for Christmas House, Block Parties, and Back to School Nights. At Trinity, I learned what it meant to live into abundance. When you gather together as a community with all bodies participating there is a richness of support; and when each person gets the opportunity to discover his or her unique talents within that community, then the capacity to bless increases dramatically.

I learned what a gift it is for people in need to be able to have one place to go to meet the majority of their needs. At Trinity, the people I was working with had access to food, clothing, medical care, education support, and community at various times throughout each week. I also learned that children are an access point in supporting and changing entire family systems. Since my time at Trinity, I went on to work in early intervention for children with special needs and then back to graduate school to get a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. I know work with a non-profit community mental health agency that provides family counseling, substance abuse counseling, and family support to the community of North King Co and South Snohomish Co.

Finally, through AmeriCorps at Trinity, I learned how to observe a community to search for the needs of a community. I learned how to draw people together with a common goal and facilitate conversation and development. One of the significant examples of this is seen in my work with the development of the Tacoma Food Co-op. As I was interviewing the people involved in the clothing bank, food bank, medical clinic and other programs, there was a repeated theme of a need for fresh and healthy food for the community. With lots of research, connection to Olympia's Co-op Development Center, and endless community meetings and education - the TFC began.

Want to hear more? Check out last week's AmeriCorps highlight of Seth Farber, a 2003-2005 AmeriCorps Alumnus.

Trinity continues to utilize AmeriCorps members in our Education Programs through our partnership with the Northwest Leadership Foundation's Urban Leaders in Training Program.