Growing Together: West King
Many parishioners have been wondering what this “West King” thing is all about. In the fall of 2021, a vestry subcommittee entitled Mission/Outreach was formed with a twofold purpose: to see if Trinity could help the next generation have a brighter future; and to examine the church’s overall outreach monetary giving. Very often “helping” means giving material assets. While that can be beneficial and seems to always be needed, it is only part of the picture. “Long-term loving relationships where the parties see each other as equals with something God given to contribute to the relationship,” is what Deacon Steve Seibert shared in an email after our first meeting. We were given a book to read: When Helping Hurts How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself.
How many times have you thought you were blessing someone in need with your gift of time, talent, or treasure, only to realize afterward that you were blessed too? What is currently happening in West King involving our church is the forming of a relationship with Pastor Britton of New Mount Moriah Christian Ministries (650 Christopher Street) and his wife, Carol, and some of their leadership and congregation. It started on MLK Jr. Day, 2021, at the annual celebration in the Plaza. Britton was one of the speakers. Mayor Tracy Upchurch introduced Fr. Matt and Pastor Britton, and then along with Fr. Curt, they had a few meals together. “Rebuilding the ability of the Black community to create and sustain wealth seems like a good place to put some effort,” Fr. Matt said in reference to an opportunity for Trinity Parish.
The first collaborative effort between a few of our vestry members, Fr. Curt, and NMM occurred when Britton invited us to join his congregation (along with community volunteers and some city/county agency staff) with their weekly food distribution, provided by Epic Cure, to those in need in the area. Often this is preceded by an educational opportunity in their sanctuary.
Then in October, 14 members of Trinity joined New Mt. Moriah leadership to work together on a CareFest project in West St. Augustine. They replaced steps, worked on a ramp, did bathroom repairs and other odd jobs including yardwork on a total of seven homes.
There is a Wednesday noon service at NMM that is comparable to Trinity’s Healing Service and Bible Studies. This is another avenue for both “growing together” and spiritual support. A special treat is that the first Black woman elected in November to the City Commission, Cynthia Garris, attends this service regularly.
Fr. Curt and Pastor Britton are trying to find a Sunday when he and his wife and some of their members can join us for worship and breakfast so that our congregation can give them a warm, Trinity-style welcome and enjoy some fellowship.
In addition, Youth Pastor Jouana Murphy and a total of eight youth participated three times in Take Pride in the West Side, painting homes, potential apartment homes, and churches on West King Street. This non-profit was organized by Pastor Laverne March and the Living Waters Ministries church in order to help beautify homes on the west side by enlisting the help of volunteers from various faith and community groups.