Your Story

Impacting Lives One Card at a Time

By | Your Story

Impacting Lives One Greeting Card at a Time!

Bill Range started sending birthday cards to our homebound members around eight years ago. He does it because he can no longer come into the church office to help with weekly bulletins like he used to do.

“We don’t have a car anymore,” he explained. “So this is the only way I could do something for the church. I like doing it. It makes people feel good when we remember their special day.”

Bill also sends sympathy cards to members who have lost a loved one, or get well cards to members who are ill.

He buys the cards and the postage on his own, organizes the cards by date months in advance, and sits at his dining room table to do the work. He signs each card, “With love and blessings, Bill and Kay Range, Trinity Church.” He even keeps a journal of the cards he has sent.

The number of cards each month varies. It’s enough to keep him connected to others, and it’s an extension of his life of service.

Members since 1966, which is also the year they married, Bill and Kay came to Trinity from Loysville, Perry County. He worked in public relations and was also a church organist. He would play on Sundays, come home for a quick lunch, and then go to Country Meadows to play for three worship services there.

At Trinity, he sang in the choir for 50 years, plus he coordinated an art display in the Gathering Space, helped Pastor Horner with the purchase of icons, worked in the kitchen, and at one time served on Council and various committees.

With all that he’s done, what does he like most about Trinity?

“I love the people. And I like the way that things are run here. I miss church if we can’t go. Without a car, we have to depend on someone to take us, so Phil and Meg Groff pick us up every Sunday. We’re very grateful,” he said.

“We have a spot in the columbarium, too,” he laughed. “So we’ll be at Trinity forever.”

Want to send birthday cards to Bill and Kay and impact their lives? Bill’s birthday is January 22; Kay’s is October 26. Call the church office for their address.

Memories of First Communion

By | Your Story

Christina Fortin-Maurer: The impact of first communion and its memories

Seth and I truly appreciated the first communion for our daughter, Veronica, at Trinity. A first communion is memorable, and its impact lasts forever. I remember mine in 1995, how studiously I had prepared for it, and exactly where I asked to go for lunch afterwards. It was a Chinese restaurant, and I spilled soy sauce on the lace of the white dress my mom had gotten for me!

On March 26, 2023, Veronica wore that same dress (her Mimi replaced the stained lace) with the same accessories. My parents came from New York, and we were all touched by this milestone and the memories that we shared. We even went to a Chinese restaurant for our after-communion lunch. No soy sauce on the lace this time! The dress has been carefully packed away again, this time for Veronica to pass along when she is a mother.

Your financial contributions to Trinity allow us to create these special milestones for our young members. Thank you for your generosity.

A woman on the move

By | Your Story

From music teacher and organist to Spanish speaker and Guatemala trip organizer, Janis Martinez is a woman on the move!

How many paths did Janis Martinez travel until landing at Trinity as a volunteer with a major role in securing funds and supplies for our Guatemalan ministry partner, Tree 4 Hope? The answer is “many.”

When all the paths finally merged, the destination was perfect. “This is my spot,” she said. “I believe that God has directed every step.”

Let’s start Janis’ story with her education, and then we’ll add more.

In 1975, Janis earned a bachelor’s degree in music education. In 1980, she earned a master’s degree in organ performance and literature. In 2006, she received certification in English as a Second Language. In 2011-12, she completed courses in a master’s program to become TESOL-certified (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). In 2017, she received another bachelor’s degree, this one in Spanish, with certification in translation and interpretation.

Her career began as a music teacher, one who wanted to do something in church music, too. Over time, Janis alternated between teaching and church music. She often took on both roles jointly as a weekday teacher and a weekend church organist. She constantly pursued additional learning.

Along the way, she had two boys, now adults. Early on, she and the boys lived in St. Croix, where she taught. Subsequent jobs included music director at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, York; organist at Christ Lutheran Church, Reading; and K-5 music teacher for Central Dauphin School District.

During her St. Matthew days, and following an education trip to Mexico, she became determined to study Spanish. She had discovered that music—yes, music—was helping Mexican farmers better cope with government-created trade provisions that affected their livelihoods. Janis recognized that she must learn Spanish to help the farmers and others. Today she is fluent in speaking, writing, interpreting, and translating.

Raised as a Baptist, Janis eventually became a Lutheran. In 2000, she joined Trinity. She basked in simply enjoying church music after having spent so much time working in it. She also wanted to put her passion to use volunteering to help refugees, immigrants, and others in need. Tree 4 Hope was the answer.

Janis went on the first Trinity-to-Guatemala trip in 2019. Her praise is effusive for our dedicated Missions Team, who added Tree 4 Hope as a ministry partner, and for the many Trinity volunteers and multiple staff members who have come together to support it.

“It’s a privilege to witness such collaboration at Trinity,” said Janis. “This is how the church works. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a concrete example of the Holy Spirit and Christian love at work. It’s wonderful to see how people get involved.”

Your financial contributions to Trinity allow us to support Tree 4 Hope and other organizations around the world. Thank you!

The feeling is deep. The impact is great.

By | Your Story

The feeling is deep. The impact is great.

Ron Livingston started singing as a tenor with the Chancel Choir in 2015. Since then, he’s served as assisting minister, pianist, and substitute organist. Most recently, he has played for our traditional worship during services in July. Here’s what he has to say about how Trinity has impacted his life:

While my history with organized religion has been somewhat traumatic, I’m blessed beyond measure to have found a “home” and community where I can share the music that feeds my soul. And they in turn show me how much they appreciate my gifts. The healing that has occurred at this keyboard, and is still occurring, cannot be put into words. And I am so grateful to have these people and this space to grow.

Words will never convey the depth of what I feel when I play here and the love I feel in return.

“Summer and winter and springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.”

–Great is Thy Faithfulness

Meet the Butchers

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Meet Laura and Dave Butcher: From Church Shopping to Stewardship

Growing up in nearby Middletown, Laura (Felty) and David Butcher became middle school sweethearts who eventually married. The Butchers now live in Camp Hill with their two sons, Jacob, 14, and Jonathan, 8.

In 2017, Dave surprised Laura by saying he wanted to find a church home. Laura, raised Catholic, had been on a decades-long hiatus from organized religion; Dave was a baptized but inactive Methodist. They realized that something was lacking, and so the search for a church was on.

People acquainted with Dave and Laura know they don’t enter lightly into any endeavor, and the church search was no exception. They came up with a serious “shopping list.”

In summary, the Butchers were looking for a church that believes “God values ALL humans,” is neither conservative nor liberal, has positive interactions, offers “intellectually stimulating and theologically rigorous” faith formation opportunities, offers a foundation for children and an array of children’s activities, has a strong music program, feels like home, has a positive impact, and has leaders with a vision for the future.

After 18 months of searching, Laura was ready to give up. They had visited a number of churches, but none that jumped out. Finally, in 2019, after several visits to Trinity, they found their church home here and soon became members.

The Butcher boys attended classes and joined the Children’s Choir. Laura and Dave attended classes, too, and began volunteering: Laura in the church office, on Pastor Liz’s Mutual Ministry Team, and more recently with the Community Outreach and Missions teams. Dave was elected to Church Council and is vice president; he also chairs the Give, Serve, Lead Team responsible for stewardship.

Laura joined Dave on Give, Serve, Lead, where the two are ideally suited to their stewardship roles; after all, Dave and Laura have seen firsthand Trinity’s impact on them, their family, the community, and the world at large.

So, on behalf of that team, Dave Butcher will be reaching out in the fall to ask for members’ financial support during the 2024 stewardship appeal.

In the meantime, you’ll be reading more stories like Dave and Laura’s. Look for these stories and keep them in mind as you think about how you, too, can ensure that Trinity continues to impact lives.

But I’m Bored!

By | Your Story

But I’m Bored!

It was getting increasingly difficult to encourage Ryan Andrews, 11, to attend Sunday worship.

Ryan has been with Trinity since birth and baptism, worshiping with his parents and sister nearly every Sunday, attending classes and activities, playing in the Bell Choir, and making friends.

However, for this bright fifth grader with tons of energy and an active sports calendar, every Sunday service was starting to feel much the same. It all seemed a bit boring, despite his faith and interest.

In short, Ryan was not inspired.

That feeling changed when Trinity introduced an activity called Worship and Serve. Initially held monthly on summer Sunday mornings from 10 am to noon at an external location, Worship and Serve is true to its name. First, participants worship briefly and receive Holy Communion. The bulk of the time is next spent rendering a service.

On the two Sundays that Ryan and his family participated, they joined others to complete chores like outdoor weeding and indoor cleaning or organizing. One Sunday was spent at a mission partner’s inner-city location, where help is provided to people facing homelessness and poverty. The other Sunday was spent at a mission partner’s thrift store, where proceeds go to help women with breast cancer.

Here’s the thing. Ryan loved it. Not only was he eager to go, but he also

appreciated the abbreviated worship, the direct look into the work of mission partners, and the chance to be active in doing something that the partners need and appreciate. It was also special, he found, to work side by side with others in a true multigenerational setting, particularly when those far older than Ryan marveled at his outstanding work ethic.

Ryan looks forward to this new way of worship and service. He no longer talks about being bored, and he sees firsthand how Trinity’s work and financial support impact others. Your gifts and generosity make this impact possible.

Neither accepted nor welcomed?

By | Your Story

Neither accepted nor welcomed?

Steve Kauffman, 41, was raised in an Anabaptist Christian church in a rural area of central Pennsylvania. He continued that tradition when he moved to Harrisburg as a young adult. At the same time, he sought to develop and expand his passion for religion by exploring other faith communities.

As part of that exploration, he realized that the church he had attended for most of his life was not the best fit for him as a gay man. Even with his strong faith, including his unshakable belief in God, he knew and felt that he was neither fully accepted nor fully welcomed in his church community.

An active Trinity member and longtime friend—who has since become a Lutheran pastor—invited Steve to worship here. He immediately felt welcome and began to attend regularly. Within months, he had become active himself: chair of Fellowship, usher, lector, communion assistant, and eventually assisting minister.

After more than a decade of membership, Steve was hired for the position of Trinity’s Director of Administration. Soon thereafter, he also assumed the duties of property manager. He is a trusted, valued, and respected member of Trinity’s staff.

Steve knows that not everyone agrees with who he is as a person. Yet he has never felt that he cannot be that person at Trinity, or that he has had to hide his identity. He appreciates the acceptance and is glad to be part of the Trinity family.

Your support of Trinity’s mission and ministries allows everyone to feel welcome here. Steve and the entire staff of Trinity thank you for your generosity.

Turning grief into help for others.

By | Your Story

Turning grief into help for others

Joyce Roy is a longtime and active Trinity member. Her husband, Chuck, was equally active, and the couple attended worship and events regularly with their three children.

In 2017, just a month after Joyce and Chuck’s 45th wedding anniversary, Chuck died suddenly and unexpectedly. He was only 66. Joyce and her adult children were devastated.

Joyce continued to attend Trinity, but the memories were hard to face. Because the couple had been so active in their church lives, Joyce saw reminders of Chuck at every turn. Her struggles with grief weren’t confined to Trinity; they were everywhere. She looked for a grief support group, found one offered by another church, and completed the 14-week course.

Not only had Joyce learned that grief is hard, but she also learned that grief support is critical.

With her firsthand experience guiding her, Joyce approached our Director of Faith Formation about forming a grief support ministry. It was a perfect fit for Joyce to be the coordinator, but the launch was delayed when the pandemic hit. Joyce was steadfast in keeping the idea on the front burner and eventually was able to proceed. The first 10-week course went well, and it is now being offered on a regular basis.

Joyce had turned her devastating experience with grief into good. She knows she can now help others as much as others have helped her. And, with thanks to Joyce, Trinity has a new ministry.

Your gifts and generosity make all our ministries possible, and your support is appreciated.