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Trinity E-News

February 2019


      The following articles, printed in the Tullahoma News,        were written by Carl Smithson.


Truly listening is empowering the powerless

To the editor:

As a person who spent close to two years over the years as a mentally ill homeless person, I feel I can provide a unique perspective to the problem of what to do with the mentallly ill homeless.

Being a mentally ill homeless person is a very lonely way to live.  The isolation and the dehumanization you suffer daily make you almost want to welcome death with open arms.  

In my opinion, the key to solving the problem of the mentally ill homeless is empowerment.  This means enabling and equipping these unfortunate people to take control of their own lives.

How do you empower the powerless and the down and out and the left out?  Actually, it is very simple: You listen to them.  There is no better way to bring back to life the living dead than by taking the time and effort and energy to truly listen to hurting people.

When you dedicate and commit, however long it takes to listen to the story of people whom no one important has the time to listen to, you are telling them that they are worthy of respect and dignity.  By treating them with respect you help to increase their self-esteem.  By taking the time to truly listen, you help them to feel like humans again.

The founder of The Room in the Inn, Charles Strobel, has written, "Those who are homeless often have lost hope and given up on their dreams.  Empowering them means helping them dream again."

In an often unbearable and hostile world, you have to be able to dream in order to survive.  I dream a lot.  People tell me I need to be more realistic.  But it is when I become realistic that I become very depressed.  I have to dream in order to keep my sanity.  

I once saw a church banner that read, "When we dream alone it is only a dream but when we start dreaming together, it is the beginning of reality."  And this new reality provides us with the way out - with new hope and new beginnings for people like me and like you.

Karl Smithson                                                                  Tullahoma


We need 'maladjusted, transformed nonconformists'

To the editor:

If Martin Luther King was alive today, what would be his message?

For me the answer was found rereading "The Strength of Love" and "The Letter for the Birmingham Jail".

King wrote, "I have watched white church men stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities".

Why has the message of the churches become so insignificant?  Because we place too much emphasis on being comfortable, we conform with the secular way of life.

In "Tranformed Nonconformists", Dr. King gives the answer to problems we face today.  "The apostle Paul reminds us that who so would be a Christian must also be a nonconformist."  Dr. King identifies Jesus as "the world's most dedicated nonconformist" and states "there are some things in our world to which men of goodwill must be maladjusted".

Dr. King wrote what I believe provides a key to solving many problems.  "This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed noncomformists.  The saving of our world from pending doom will come through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.  Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

I attended a church sevice celebrating Martin Luther King Day. The sermon lasted so long the final hymn was omittted.  And that is why Dr. King's call for nonconformists creatively maladjusted goes unheeded.  As Dr. King explained, "transformed nonconformity is always costly.  Christianity has always insisted that the cross we bear precedes the crown we wear - the more excellent way which comes only through suffering."

Suffering. Pain. Costly grace. This is why we ignore the message of Dr. King.

In my opinion, this sickness of a corrupt America can only be cured by a return to the religion of Dr. Martin Luther King.  I believe Martin Luther King can be described as the black Jesus.

I believe our world can only be saved by finding a few good men and women who will become creatively maladjusted, transformed nonconformists by following in the footsteps of the man from Galilee, Jesus Christ, "the most dedicated nonconformist in the history of the world."

Carl Smithson                                                                Tullahoma

                                        CHURCH FAMILY BOWLING                                                Sunday, February 24th               1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Tullahoma Bowling Lanes          900 S. Anderson Street



 FRIENDS                                                             Thursday, February 28th                       11:00 pm

The movie "Get Low" will be shown with Pastor Alex giving the program.

The meal will be provided by Dick Gross.



AFFIRM applications are available online at  

Please register online and pay them the $225.00 deposit or apply for a $225.00 scholarship.

The deadline is March 10th.

See MaryBeth if you have questions.


"SOUPER" BOWL OF CARING                       

The total amounts for our "Souper" Bowl of Caring were  $300.00 to ELCA World Hunger and 177 food items to Good Samaritan.

Thank you all for assisting our youth in Tackling Hunger!



A calendar is in the Narthex for signing up to assist with the phones and walk-in during tax season.                                     Please see Fred Galanga for more details.


The Finding Forward Committee would like to thank you for your generous support to the finding forward campaign.

Currently, we have received around $16,000 toward our $125,000 goal over three years.

We have already replaced an HVAC unit and will be making repairs to the roof soon.  Then, we will begin work on various windows and doors.

Again, thank you for your generous giving.


Please see Pastor Alex if you are able to assist with spraying the property with the upcoming spring season.



We are taking donations for peanut butter for Good Samaritan.

If you wish to purchase at Aldi, the cost is $1.79 per jar.



                                 MaSH YOUTH                                                                (Middle & Senior High)                                                            Wednesdays                                   6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

  The schedule for youth events:  

                    6:00 pm - 6:30 pm   Dinner                                                 6:30 pm - 7:00 pm   MaSH Youth                                7:00 pm - 7:30 pm   Confirmation/FISHY

        If you want more information about youth events,                        please contact MaryBeth Smith, Trinity's Youth Minister                    at or                  call the church office at 931-455-9475.


                             COMMUNION SERVICES                                                                                Held each Wednesday at noon.



As in the past, our 2019 year begins with some annual expenses that often puts us in a deficit position for several months.  We incurred almost $6000.00  to insure the church buildings for the first quarter as well as the annual insurance on the buildings used by Shepherd House, Trinity Care Center and Tullahoma Day Care.  Fortunately, we had a couple large contributions as a part of required minimum IRA distributions which allowed us to breakeven for January.  We continue to add people to our electronic giving format which is similar to  how many pay their utility bill.  You can see Jim Peissig if you need help setting this up.




Although we have a paid childcare attendant every week, we do schedule a volunteer assistant.                         

If you would be able to assist with childcare, please let us know.  

Depending on the number of children in the nursery on Sundays, you may not be needed and can attend worship.



There is a box in the hallway for the collection of used eyeglasses.  

This is an ongoing service project of the Lion's Club.



There is a link on Trinity's homepage for the Church Directory.  

User Name: firstnamelastname                                             Password: peace                                                             You may then personalize your password.

Also, there is an app for iPhones and Android phones in the App Store which is "CTRN Online Directory".

The code for the mobile app is "trinitytullahoma".


       A way to support Trinity for those who have an IRA is          through Required Minimum Distribution.

          This is a way to give and your donation will not be               taxed as income through this charitable distribution.                                                                                                                    For a more detailed explanation,                       please see Jim Peissig or Pastor Alex. 

LWR QUILTERS                                           February 19th, 26th                                    March 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th                  9:30 am

You are invited to join the LWR Quilters every Tuesday of each month.

Meeting in the Banner Room, all are welcome anyone who would like to help make quilts which are sent around the world.  


                            WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR                                           LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF QUILTS?                            Below is a list of the number of quilts sent from                        Baltimore (where Trinity's quilts are shipped)                                to different countries worldwide!                                                                                                                                  Haiti - 15,840        India - 49,500                                        Peru - 19,800        Tanzania - 24,750                                         Georgia (near Russia) - 49,500                    

                 Trinity reaches out well beyond our borders!!                 LWR Quilters thank you for your support!


                          DOMINOES                                             Friday, February 15th                     Friday, March 15th                         1:00 pm

On the third Friday of each month, there is a gathering of folks who play Mexican Dominoes at 1:00 pm in the Banner Room.

Typically, we have around 8 people participate and there is always room for more.

Please feel free to join us!  


BIBLE CONNECTIONS                  For 4th - 5th Graders                 Wednesdays                               1:30 pm - 2:30 pm



If you would like to subscribe to text messages for church events, such as special dinners and/or activities:


Enter:  81010

Then, text this message: @drhoffn


This is a one way text communication message and your number remains private.



Kroger's Community Rewards Campaign Benefiting Good Samaritan


Good Samaritan has become a beneficiary of Kroger's Community Rewards campaign.  Kroger Plus shoppers can designate Good Samaritan as a charity that will then receive financial support from Kroger. 

It is very easy to sign up as shown in the KCR Flyer. 

Once you sign up for the program, then Good Samaritan will receive benefits from Kroger whenever your Kroger Plus card is used. 



For KCR Flyer Click Here.




If you have an event that you would like to have at Trinity, please notify the office staff.  To submit your event, you may call the office, e-mail the information to the office, or visit Trinity's website where there is a "Submit Calendar Item" tab found under the "Calendar" section.





The Good Samaritan Program of Tullahoma administers Project HELP funds and works with other public and private agencies to see that those elderly and handicapped in need receive adequate help.


You may contribute to this fund by adding extra amounts to your utility bill through TUB.






Electronic giving can be accessed on the Trinity Lutheran website by pressing the "giving" button at the top of the page.  Electronic giving is easy to setup or modify and can provide a status report on activity for the year. 

Or, you may click below to be connected to our online giving page. 


It is convenient for you and provides much-needed financial consistency for the church. It is a secure site provided by Vanco services that is part of the simply giving program.


To Give online click now!




We now have 29 families who have signed up for automatic giving.  Our website has access to the automatic giving process.  You may want to consider simplifying the giving process.  It is similar to automating the payment of utility or phone bills.  If you need help in setting up an automated payment, please see Jim Peissig.  

Thanks for all you do!



Those of you who are in need of Offering Envelopes, there is a sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex.


Please sign with your envelope number so we may get new ones to you. 




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For a List of Birthdays of our Members Click Here!


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