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Trinity Commons Parish Magazine + Season after Pentecost + 2019

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Ice cream. Sunshine. Freshly mown grass. The crack of a baseball bat at McCormick Field. The Beach Boys on vinyl. The blur of feral children running around without a care in the world. Ah, summertime. The mad dash of cobbling together child care and day camps that cripple bank accounts. Thirsty mosquitoes. The everpresent hum of air conditioners and fans. Heat and humidity. Tourist traffic. AH! SUMMERTIME. Whatever your reaction to this freewheeling, sundrenched, afternoon-thunderstorming, traffic-jammed season in Asheville, one thing remains a reassuring and comforting constant. Ministry doesn’t take a break at Trinity. The work of God’s kingdom doesn’t stop during these summer months. Worship, study, and mission continue to thrum with steady energy and excitement at our parish. Just take a look at the summer issue of Trinity Commons. It is brimming with vitality, with mission, with care for our neighbors and friends both near and far, with formation, fellowship, and activities for all ages. The rhythm of the year, of course, means that many of us will find ourselves away for a week or two during these summer months, including myself and most of our staff. Rightfully so. Sabbath rest is a glorious and holy thing during the summer. So we grab some watermelon and fresh berries. We chill out and unwind a bit. We vacate and relax. We practice our canonballs in the pool or hone our talents for afternoon naps. We enjoy God’s bounty and creation. We take a little time to breathe and remember we are God’s beloved. The soul unfurls, like a sail hoping to catch the wind. And then we share that gift with renewed energy and rekindled life. Because the rhythm of God’s kingdom continues its steady march and witness for God’s love and mercy in the midst of a world that is too often unjust, cold, and uncaring, and, as this issue makes clear, Trinitarians remain in lock-step with the drumbeat of God’s grace in every season, even during summertime.

Trinity Episcopal Church 60 Church Street + Asheville, North Carolina 28801 828-253-9361 +

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Housing program for women stretches the souls of volunteers.

By Erwin Gunnells


oom in the Inn began in 1985, when the priest at one parish in Nashville opened the doors of the church to a few individuals in the parking lot to sleep for the night. Thirty-four years later, Room in the Inn is a national, even international, project--a workable and working program, caring for homeless people using church facilities and volunteers. The specifics vary from vicinity to vicinity. In some towns the congregations take only men, in some they do their own screening, giving breathalyzer tests before accepting guests. In some communities the program has developed into a separate staff and shelter run by the churches. Our Room in the Inn (RITI) is one branch of the nonprofit Homeward Bound, which offers

a variety of services to help folks get off the streets into homes. Rather than an emergency shelter, they call it a ”shelter-to-home program” in which congregations provide overnight lodging and food for a dozen prescreened women, women who are actively participating insupport services such as job education and drug treatment, medical care and behavior skills sessions, all leading to being housed and staying there. Homeward Bound finds suitable housing when the women are ready and continues to support them until they are firmly on their feet. RITI retention rate for staying housed is about 92 percent. The overall rate for Homeward Bound clients is about 89 percent—quite good. But why the difference? “I believe in my heart the difference is that for all those

months instead of sleeping in shelters they are surrounded by people who care,” says Sharon Blythe, director of Buncombe County Room in the Inn. In our county about 40 faith groups participate in the program,

Room in the Inn Needs Your Help Prepare meals Provide transportation Sleep overnight (this is a high need to keep this vital ministry sustainable)

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using around 2,000 volunteers. Trinity has been a part of the local Room in the Inn since its beginning. As usual, our church contributed significant leadership and financial support to launch a great community effort. Partnering with Central United Methodist, we host the women three weeks a year, usually twice at Trinity. The Basilica of St. Lawrence, which does not have suitable overnight facilities, provides meals. Many of the host churches find it very difficult to recruit volunteers to spend the night with the women. People with loving hearts and the best of intentions are hesitant about face-to-face contact with a group so different from themselves. Scott Abernathy, who spearheads the program at Central, says about potential volunteers: “You can hear it in their voices, the uncertainty. They ask, ‘What do I do? What can I say to them?’” Aside from the physical discomfort and loss of sleep, the being

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away from home and our own comfortable beds, there is a social anxiety, a fear, not of the women themselves, but of the situation. Many of us have similar anxiety about large parties where we have to make small talk with strangers. On a typical RITI evening, the guests come from the day shelter, where they have access to showers, mail, and storage. They settle into their space in the youth rooms and then gather for supper with the overnight volunteers and cooks. There are introductions and prayer, and everybody lines up for the excellent meal. Conversation at the tables is quiet and covers everything from global warming to bell bottom trousers. (Nobody seems to approve of either one.) Everybody disperses, some to the kitchen to wash dishes and collect serving bowls, some to read or call friends or have a smoke outdoors. Most of the guests are in bed very early, as their day is long and tiring. Very few are still awake at ten o’clock lights out.

For the overnight volunteers, the most difficult task may be staying awake until locking the door at 10:00. They chat with other volunteers, get paperwork done, or read. While both hosts and guests have obvious goodwill for each other, “The ladies have their own world” as long-time volunteer Grace Pless says. She wishes she could get to know them better, but one night is a very short time. She and Meriwether Beaty have been roomies each host week since Trinity entered the program, a dozen years ago. They both agree that the job does a lot of good while making few demands. It is a time for them to be together, to meet new people, and to give one peaceful night to people who need it. This ministry is not one of personal relationships or of creating change (except possibly in ourselves). It is one of presence. Being there, not advising or formulating solutions. Simply being there.


GLENN CHILDES, SEXTON In every issue, we take a behindthe-scenes look at one of our many ministries that make worship at Trinity so vibrant. He’s usually the first to arrive and the last to leave on a Sunday, and his personal, diligent touch is in almost every aspect of our weekly worship. Even though his work is often behind the scenes or when the building is quiet and emptied, if you attend Trinity for any length of time, you probably know our sexton, Glenn Childes, and how important he is to the orderly, tidy manner in which it functions. Glenn takes care of things, makes problems go away, and opens doors—literally—to make our worship happen each week. Many people take pride in Trinity Church, but few more than Glenn. So we decided to get a view of Trinity on a Sunday from the perspective of our beloved sexton.

How long have you been at Trinity and how did you wind up working here? I started working here 12 years ago. I used to work for Anvil Knitwear as a lead dyer, before they moved everything down to Honduras, and then I worked for PBI doing office installments. I used to do side work with a contractor who called me to do some work in a church. When I was there, this dude asked me to have lunch with him. It was none other than Bill Whisenhunt. We ate lunch, and he interrogated me, got all up in my business, and then he pulled open a drawer, handed me a set of keys, and said, “Be here on Saturday.” And I’ve been here ever since.

What does a typical Sunday look like for you? I get here around 6:30 a.m. and I start my routine: cutting on the lights, check the A/C, put out the flag, put out two or three handicap signs, cut the oven on, the dishwashers, and the coffee. And then it’s nonstop, cooking bacon, setting up coffee station, making sure the chafing dishes are hot. I take a little break after the building is clear after the services and then I come back for the Celtic and am here to about 7:30.

What do you think would surprise people about Sundays at Trinity? That I’m doing a lot, and when I get here I’m gathering up trash outside, sometimes syringes and other stuff that shouldn’t be there.

What do you think would surprise people about you? My ability to deal with homeless people. Scott taught me something a long time ago. You can’t meet anxiety with anxiety. You have to be calm, and usually I can defuse a situation no problem.

There are a lot of your personal touches here in making every room at Trinity look nice. Why is that important? I’m just like that. I’ve been like that all my life. It has to be just right. It bothers me if it’s not done well, if it’s not done right. I like for it to be perfect or as close to it as I can get it.

You take a lot of pride in preparing for funerals. Why is that particularly important to you? For me, first of all, even though they are dead, they still deserve

respect as if they were living. It’s for family also. I want it to be the best that we can give them. And sometimes you have to go beyond the call of duty not just to get the job done, but to give them the best. And the reward is not that anyone recognizes it or gives you attention for it, but that you know it’s the best you could have done.

What does Trinity mean to you? It means a place of good being, plenty of love, a lot of respect. It’s a good place to be. It’s my church. I love it. I love taking care of it. I love it when we have people here, even if it’s outside groups. It makes it feel alive. I enjoy being here. I think I’m going to retire from here one day. It’s the best job I’ve ever had. Seriously. And you can tell from people’s faces when they come in here that they appreciate it when it’s clean and everything looks right.

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A Return Journey Youth to Reunite with Cuban Episcopalians

by David Henson & Debbie Cox


hen it became clear that Hurricane Irma was going to strike the northern coast of Cuba in September 2017, a small group of teenagers from Trinity took special notice and immediately picked up their phones. They had friends directly in the path of the Category 5 hurricane and they wanted to check on them and let them know they were thinking and praying for them. Everyone was relieved when word finally trickled out that their friends from Cardenas had survived the storm, and the Episcopal church where just months earlier they had first met

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each other, worshipped together, laughed together, and danced together was still standing. That’s the magic of social media and international mission trips. Many of the students who went to Cuba in 2017 continued to stay in touch with the students they met in Cardenas, Cuba. Suddenly news and events that happened in a foreign country often considered an enemy to the United States became instead news about their friends and fellow Episcopalians. That’s the case with Elliott Hensley, one of two Trinitarians who will be making a return journey to see his friends at St. Francis in Cardenas during this summer’s youth mission trip to Cuba. Since that initial trip in

2017, Elliott said he has continued to stay in touch through various social media platforms with his Cuban friends regularly, especially one of the student leaders in the church named Frank.

The experience has changed him and broadened his perspective. “Cuba allowed me to grow in new ways with my Trinity peers and expand my worldly view,” Elliott said. “Entering such a drastic cultural change and being welcomed with open arms was a beautiful experience. The interaction showed just how open, trusting, and friendly the community was.” As a result, when he returns with Trinity, July 22-29, Elliott won’t be simply visiting on a mission trip to a foreign country with which his own is currently at odds. Rather, he’ll be visiting his friends at a church where he was made to feel right at home. This year, the team will be helping out with some construction at the church and again worshipping and building friendships together through shared meals at the church and also through home visits with parish members. Those visits were a highlight

during the 2017 trip for Debbie Cox, , Trinity’s director of youth ministries and parish life. Being welcomed into people’s homes and seeing how they lived was a true gift, she explained. “They had such a welcoming and deep faith in God,” she said. “Hearing them talk about what God and the church meant to them was so inspiring. People say it all the time, but I feel like they gave us more than we gave them, and we have a lot to learn from them about being faithful Christians.” Gratitude for the friendship and hospitality from our Cuban sisters and brothers was a common theme among the students who went on the first Cuba trip. There was excitement about how lively and integrated the church was with the broader community, even though the church itself was officially marginalized and not recognized by the Cuban government.

“The entire trip taught me so much about the love and kindness the Cuban people have and how their faith and hope finds a way to work itself into their everyday life,” Keith Rudd wrote shortly after returning in 2017.

Contribute to Cuba Trinity’s team is collecting these items to bring with us:

• • • • • •

Flash drives Gift-size soaps Bandaids Aspirin Neosporin Disposable razors men and women

Please drop them off with Debbie or in the Youth Rooms before July 15.

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Becoming the by the Rev. Dr. Paul lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance (Acts 28:30).


he book of Acts is the book of the Bible that shows us how the church began and how it developed. The book begins with the day of Pentecost, the giving of the Holy Spirit and then it details what the disciples did empowered by that same Spirit. The book details how the disciples of Jesus experienced the resurrection and what they did about it. Much of the book tells of the journeys of St. Paul as he traveled throughout parts of Europe and Asia founding churches, arguing with philosophers and defending himself against jealous colleagues, suspicious friends from his life as a faithful Jew and claims of paganism from government officials. The whole book ends with Paul in Rome and a description of what he was doing there...”proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” (28:30) Fittingly, the longest season of the church year is the season of Pentecost. Our church year ends with the feast of Pentecost, the giving of the Holy Spirit, who, just as the Spirit did for the disciples, empowers us for life and for service in the name of Jesus. There is a tradition in the church of talking about the 29th chapter of the book of Acts. Now if you look in your bible you will not

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see a 29th chapter. But, it is said, there is a 29th chapter—you and me. We, the disciples of Jesus living and breathing in this world are the 29th chapter. We are the next chapter in the life of Jesus’ church and we are writing it with our lives. I wonder how often we think of our lives as the living out of the

very church of Jesus Christ. You know the church—at least our understanding of it—is not made up of clergy who hold the key and decide how it is shaped and who gets to participate. The church is comprised of all those who are called to the life of baptism in the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Yes,

e Good News R. Scott white we have structures, we have ways of making decisions, we have ways as being sure that the core of our faith is carried forward and shepherded for all to hear. But the church is being shaped by all of us. It is shaped in how we live our lives. Though we believe God’s final judgment of our lives is grounded in forgiveness what we

do today matters. Our actions, our beliefs make a difference. Recently, I taught a class based on our Presiding Bishop’s new book called, The Power of Love. Bishop Curry’s premise is that Jesus’ way is the way of love and when we live in the way of love the world is transformed more and more into the likeness of Jesus. To

some, his assertion is simplistic until you start reading the Bible. Time and again Jesus’ life reveals a mission to see humanity relate to each other and to creation in the same manner that God relates to us—with compassion, grace and forgiveness. But the real power of Bishop Curry’s argument is that when we treat each other with love the way the world operates actually changes. In other words, we make a difference, th Holy Spirit is transforming the world in and through us. We are writing the next chapter of the church of Jesus Christ. Here at Trinity there is a renewing Spirit in our ministries in all aspects, yet especially in our ministries of service, from our partnership with the Church of the Advocate, to our developing collaboration with our sister churches on Church street, to our Mission Team that is exploring a partnership with farm workers, to our Outreach Team’s leadership of Trinity’s “Day of Service” and even right down to our renovation of the Church Street Courtyard, where we will be better able to welcome strangers and friends. Be not mistaken, our lives make a difference, our actions make a difference. In the power of the Holy Spirit we are writing the next chapter of the church. May all our words and deeds be an extension of the book of Acts, caring on where Paul left off: “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.”

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CHURCH STREET COLLABORATION Church Street Churches Working Together

by Scott White

I’m pleased to report on a developing project between the three churches on Church Street. In 2018 the Vestry of Trinity had, as one of its goals, a desire to survey our neighborhood. We called it a “neighborhood study.” The desire was to learn how the neighborhood around Trinity is rapidly changing. We learned much from this study, not the least of which is that many of our neighbors don’t know who we

are and what we do. Around the same time as this study was being done, there developed energy among lay members of Trinity Church, First Presbyterian Church and Central Methodist Church to come together for purpose of collaboration where it was right and good to do so. The governing boards of each congregation adopted the statement below as an organizing vision of why such a collaboration is good for each of

our communities of faith. One of the early projects the group is considering is a study that seeks to account for the economic impact our congregations make on the city of Asheville. Increase collaboration with our other neighbors on church street and the south slope as well as other ways we can further our missions in Christ together are being explored. Members from Trinity Church include, Scott White, David Pheil, Spencer Atwater, Linda Watt and Candy Shivers.

STATEMENT ESTABLISHING THE CHURCH STREET COLLABORATIVE For Adoption by the Governing Bodies of Central United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, and Trinity Episcopal Church As a downtown church, we engage in our ministry along side two other historic houses of worship on Church Street. Our church will likely benefit those we serve, our congregation, our neighborhood, and our city by collaborating with our sister churches in many strategic and other areas of common interest. Accordingly, we now establish, in conjunction with our sister churches on Church Street, the Church Street Collaborative. The purpose of the Collaborative is to identify opportunities for strategic and other collaborative efforts among the Church Street churches, to recruit and mobilize church staff and lay volunteers from the Church Street churches to participate in collaborative

projects and programs, and to monitor those activities. The Collaborative will be comprised of clergy, staff and lay representatives of each of the Church Street churches. The senior pastor of each church, or a member of the church’s clergy staff that the senior pastor may designate, will serve on the Collaborative. In addition, the senior pastor of each church or his or her designee will appoint from time to time one or more members of the church’s congregation or administrative staff to serve on

the Collaborative. The senior pastors of the churches will, insofar

as practical, provide that an equal number of representatives

from each church serves on the Collaborative. We adopt this statement concurrently with its adoption by the governing bodies of our two sister churches on Church Street.

Adopted by the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church on May 21, 2019 Adopted by the Session of First Presbyterian Church on May 7, 2019 Adopted by the Administrative Board of Central United Methodist Church on June 2, 2019

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Marketplace VBS 2019

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Join our rector, Scott, on Trinity’s second annual Men’s Retreat, Oct. 26-27 as we explore these questions and other unique aspects of male spirituality.

Along the way, we’ll have plenty of time for relationship building and fun activities at Lake Logan and in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The cost for the weekend is $159 for a single room or $129 for a double room. Both options include meals. Registration will be available from Trinity’s web site.

Remember that our main service time has changed from 10:45 to 10:00a beginning on June 9 through August 18. We return to our 10:45 service on August 25.

Breakfast and Bible Summer Adult Forum Series Sundays, 9:00-9:50a in the Conference Room (Between the 8:00 and 10:00 services) Grab breakfast in Tuton Hall and bring it to the Conference Room for Conversation and Reflection

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Temporary Service Locations through august 25

Until August 25, we are holding our worship services in the Redwood Chapel (8:00a) and Tuton Hall (10:00a and 5:30p). Due to the fire code, we are unable to be in the church Nave with one of our outdoor stairwells being out of use. The Church Street steps into the church nave are being reconstructed and will be out of commission. Accordingly, there is one main entrance on Sundays — on Aston Street, through the Chapel Courtyard. This is the ONLY main entrance into the church and the ONLY entrance to the the church that is accessible for anyone with mobility needs. Signs are posted around the campus to direct us. Please note that our Usher team is stationed on the sidewalk for those who need to drop off a family member needing assistance into the building while they then park a car. The popular entrance into Tuton Hall from our south parking lot is closed so that worship is not interrupted and we can welcome all through one entrance. All of our activities remain the same on Sundays. No activities are suspended.

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Adult Education & Formation Braving the Wilderness, The Quest for True Belonging by Brené Brown

July 7 - August 18 led by Scott White and David Henson Social Scientist (and Episcoplian) Brene Brown has taken the world by storm with her poignant observations about human life and ultimately the place of God in it. In this most recent work she tackles the human quest for belonging, redefining what it means in an age of increased polarization. She writes, “ a culture that is rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide behind our ideological bunkers, or fit in, rather than show up as our true selves....” This conversation continues our goal at Trinity to stand in the Gospel’s call to unity and justice, without falling prey to the belief that there is only one way to be united in Christ. Copies of the book will be available for $15.00.

Timely workshop offers ‘Clarion Call’ Saturday, September 21

How can we continue to believe we have the power to make a difference in a world where so much seems to be wrong? Political polarization, social, racial, economic and environmental injustice, today’s challenges can often feel overwhelming. Trinitarian, Randy Siegel will lead a workshop that seeks to move us from pessimism to optimism, powerlessness to power, paralysis’s to action. Clarion Call will be a fun, interactive, creative process to identify ways we can continue to make a positive change in the world. The cost is $25.00 (includes lunch and materials). You can register online at the

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church’s web site, or call the church office at 828-2539361. Registration deadline is August 31. For more than twenty years, Randy Siegel has been helping men and women “stand in their power and become the full expression of all they are.” Past clients include The Recording Academy (The Grammy Awards), The Giving Institute, and The University of Georgia MBA Program. The author of the Amazon best-selling book, In Search of The One, Randy is a nationally recognized expert on communications, relationships, and spirituality.

Registration Information Deadline for registration is Wednesday, September 18, 2019. To register, call the church at 828 253-9361.

Join a choir this Fall! For more information regarding choir membership, please contact Sharon Boone at or find her at the organ after any service. Children learn how to sing, read music, and participate in worship. Music plays an important role in brain development, plus being a part of the choir is a team sport! Parents, please don’t miss this opportunity to develop your child’s love for music and worship. Ages 4-2nd grade: Alleluia Choir Wednesdays from 5-5:30 Grades 3-8: Jubilate Choir Wednesdays from 5:30-6:15 The Handbell Choir grew last year, and will be off to an exciting start this Fall. It meets on Mondays from 5:00-6:00, and is intergenerational. We need one more ringer to help us with bass clef bells. It would be great to have a sub ringer for when we have absences. Please contact Sharon if you can help. The Chancel Choir has also grown and especially needs altos, tenors and basses. Come join this fun group to enjoy fellowship and singing. This choir meets on Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30. Please contact Sharon if you are interested in joining.

I sing! You sing! We all sing for ice cream! Join us on Sunday, July 14 at 6:30 for Pub Night, Hymn Sing and Ice Cream! This event will take place in Tuton Hall and in the adjoining courtyard. We'll enjoy some beverages, then sing your favorite hymns! If you have a particular hymn that is not in our hymnal, contact Sharon at sharon@trinityasheville ...and we'll have it available for everyone to sing. Don't miss out on this summer fun and fellowship!

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Kick-Off Sunday! Mark your calendars for August 25 for our Kick-Off Sunday. As students return to school, we will kick-off our own academic year with all the fun, games, food, and music you’ve come to expect and to love! The festivities begin after an abbreviated 10:45 a.m. service.

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Profile for Trinity Episcopal Asheville

Trinity Commons + Summer + Season After Pentecost + 2019