Since March of last year, the COVID virus has taken the wind out of the sails of many churches and institutions. Trinity, like many churches, cancelled in-person and all other church related activities. Yet, by the grace of God, we were still able to broadcast our services on the radio; we adapted and began to livestream our services on Facebook and eventually the church’s website. The church updated the audio-visual technology and thereby our media ministry. These ministries bless the Sumter community even as we are now back to in-person worship. Over the past year and a half, Trinity has continued to adapt, overcome, and thrive. God has blessed us greatly. The stained glass windows have been restored and cleaned; the nursery has been renovated; we hired Rachel White as our director of youth ministries and the youth ministry has flourished; because of the work of Duke Divinity intern, Jay Punt, the church saw what was possible for children’s ministry and has taken steps to hire a full time children’s minister.

This coming Sunday is “Welcome Home, Trinity” Sunday. It is a Sunday we normally celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of our new program year. For me, it is so much more this year. It will be a time for congregational thanksgiving for God’s blessing and guidance of Trinity from March 2020; it will be a time for congregational fellowship so that we can see people we may not have seen over the course of the pandemic. Finally, it is a token of appreciation for you, the members and friends of Trinity. Your energy and devotion to God through this great church has not diminished despite the substantial challenges before us. Thank you, Trinity. Thank you for your perseverance, your faith in God and one another. Thank you for deliberately fulfilling God’s mission for this great church in the most adverse of times.

I look forward to seeing you next Sunday, August 29 at 10:30am on the east lawn near the columbarium. Bring your stadium chairs and tailgate tents. We will serve box lunches following the service. In case of inclement weather, we will meet in the Williams Brice Center.

May God Bless Trinity UMC- her mission, vision, and future.

Joseph James