Good News Letter | February 2017

Good News Letter

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,


We need Lent.  More than ever, I believe we individually and collectively need a time of prayer, fasting, and introspection.  A season to pause and turn towards God.  That season is upon us.

I bid and implore each and every one of us to holy observance of Lent in 2017, beginning Wednesday March 1st.  There are many ways to observe this holy season: prayer, spiritual practice, and/or self-denial. In addition to individual practices you may choose to bring into your home, Holy Trinity has several opportunities I would like to tell you about:


  1. Participating in Ash Wednesday services is a great way to start a season of prayer and spiritual conversion.  We will be offering 4 Ash Wednesday services to our community on March 1st, to accommodate varied needs and schedules.  I strongly encourage you to be a part of this holy day in our community of faith.

8:00am Ash Wednesday Service with Holy Eucharist (spoken)

12:00pm Ash Wednesday Service with Holy Eucharist (spoken)

4:00pm Simplified Children’s Ash Wednesday Service

(spoken, less than 30 minutes)

7:00pm Primary Ash Wednesday Service with choir and music

  1. Our Sunday morning worship will look slightly different during Lent.  We will be utilizing the “Penitential Order,” (BCP page 351).  We will have silent processions and recessions into and out of worship.  Like last year, our chairs will be arranged such that some (but not all) chairs are facing one another, for those desiring a contemplative experience.
  2. As is our custom, we will be offering Simple Soup Suppers during the season of Lent (Tuesday 3/7, 3/14, 3/21, 3/28, and 4/4) at 5:30pm.  Following these Simple Soup Suppers, I will be leading a Book Group, a discussion of David Brooks’ The Road to Character from 6:30pm – 8:00pm).  This book group will do more than discuss the book.  We will intentionally engage one another and reflect on our experiences in a complex world.  If you are interested in this Book Group, please email me at
  3. On Sunday mornings during the season of Lent (9:30 – 10:15am), I will be leading the Adult Forum in the Parish Hall.  We will be studying the 1979 Book of Common Prayer following Derek Olson’s new book, Inwardly Digest.  This will be an opportunity to intentionally engage the season of Lent through a uniquely Anglican/Episcopal lens.  Please join us!
  4. SAVE THE DATE.  Our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Rob Skirving will be visiting Holy Trinity on Sunday May 21st at 4:30pm offering Confirmation, Reception or Reaffirmation.  If you would like one of these sacraments, I ask you to attend the Tuesday evening class and/or the Sunday morning classes during Lent.  I will also gather the group during the season of Easter before the bishop’s visit.  Please email me at
  5. Lastly, one of the great gifts of our Anglican heritage is our worship during Holy Week.  In addition to Ash Wednesday, I strongly urge to worship with us during Holy Week:

Sunday, April 9th Palm Sunday (8am and 10:30am)

Thursday, April 13th Maundy Thursday (7:00pm)

Friday, April 14th Good Friday (12:00pm)

Stations of the Cross (7:00pm)

Saturday, April 15th The Great Vigil of Easter (8:00pm)

Sunday, April 16th Easter Sunday (8:00am and 10:30am)


However you choose and are able to participate this year, I urge you to invite God into your life this Lent.  Inviting transformation requires intention, openness, and community.  I pray this season finds you able to authentically and whole-heartedly enter into the story of our Christian faith.




Save the Date!

Confirmations, Receptions, and Reaffirmations

Sunday, May 21st at 4:30pm


Our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Rob Skirving, will make a special visit to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Sunday, May 21st at 4:30pm. It will serve as a time for Bishop Rob to better know our church, support our leadership, and guide our common life (please come!) Furthermore, Bishop Rob’s visitation will be an opportunity for Confirmation, Reception, or Reaffirmation for individuals in our community.

The sacrament of confirmation is the opportunity for individuals already baptized (in an Episcopal Church or in another Christian denomination) to make a mature public affirmation of their baptismal vows and receive the laying on of hands by our bishop.  Any members of Holy Trinity who have not yet been confirmed, and who will turn 16 years of age by the end of 2017 will be eligible for this sacrament.

Reception will be offered for any individuals who have been confirmed in another Christian denomination, but who would like to reaffirm their baptism vows and be received into the Episcopal Church by the laying on of hands by our bishop.  I have spoken to several members of Holy Trinity, new and seasoned, for which this option might apply.  This is the manner in which one would officially become “Episcopalian.”

Reaffirmation is open to anyone who has previously been confirmed (or received) as an Episcopalian, yet desires to publicly reaffirm their baptismal vows and receive the laying on of hands by our bishop.  The opportunity for reaffirmation is open to anyone, and I have personally experienced how helpful it can be for one’s journey of faith.  Therefore, if your journey of faith at present is such that you desire this experience, I invite you to be reaffirmed on Sunday, May 21st as well.

The preparation for Confirmation, Reception, or Reaffirmation will essentially be the same.  I will be offering classes during Lent.  One on Tuesday evenings during Lent 3/7, 3/14, 3/21, 3/28 and 4/4) at 6:30pm.  This class will follow and expand on David Brooks’ bestselling book The Road to Character.  Additionally, on Sunday mornings during Lent (3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26 and 4/2) at 9:30am, I will be teaching the Adult Forums in the Parish Hall following Derek Olsen’s book Inwardly Digest.

I ask those requesting Confirmation, Reception or Reaffirmation to attend either the Tuesday evening classes or Sunday morning classes during Lent.  I will also gather all receiving these sacraments for 2 sessions sometime during the Easter Season.

In addition to participants in the class, I would like to find others who might pray with and offer hospitality for the individuals in this class.  Whatever your current spiritual practice and theological foundation, I invite you to prayerfully consider participating in one of these three opportunities.  If you are interested in be a part of these classes, I ask that you email me ( before January 28, 2017.



Labyrinth Walk – February 2 at 7:00 pm.  The Evening Labyrinth Walk for February will take place on Thursday, February 2 from 7 – 9 pm.  Please arrive at 7:00pm if you want to watch the optional orientation video. If you just want to walk, please arrive no later than 8:15pm.   Tara Bartal


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5 – J2A CHILI FUNDRAISER:  No time to cook during this busy SUPER BOWL SUNDAY? J2A will be selling containers of DELICIOUS beef and vegetarian chili following the services.  The cost is $8.00 a container and the money raised will be used for their 2018 pilgrimage.


Lobster Dinner – February 11th See below for details.

Adult Formation:  Reading and Writing the Holy Trinity Church Doors -You may walk through our church doors each week, but how well do you know them? In this three-week course, author and medievalist Dr. Dean Swinford will guide a reflective consideration of the various panels, the Biblical passages that influenced them, and the significance of their interconnections.  Classes begin February 12th.

February 12:  You are cordially invited to St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church for Holy Eucharist in celebration of Absalom Jones Day.  The service will take place at 4:00pm.  The Rt. Reverent Robert Skirving, Bishop of East Carolina, will be the guest speaker and celebrant.

February 28:  Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper and Family Mardi Gras Party (more details coming)

Parish Weekend at the Beach!  May 26 – 28, 2017.  Where will YOU spend Memorial Day Weekend?  You have a place at the beach, and a family to share it with!  Trinity Center is our beautiful diocesan camp and conference center on Bogue Banks. (The property goes from the sound to the sea.)  Our church family has been going there for more than 20 years on Memorial Day weekend for a relaxing fun weekend together.  If you have never been, please consider joining us this spring!  Rooms go fast so don’t wait to sign up!  Look for the registration form in the March Good Newsletter and on the Activity Table in the Parish Hall beginning in March.    Amy St. Peter & Beth Early


Hurricane Matthew Assistance – The Diocese has money available to help persons still in need due to Hurricane Matthew.  The grant application is online at the Diocesan website:


PASTORAL CARE:  We are in the process of discovering the ways we care for one another here at Holy Trinity, creating systems to more carefully and intentionally live out pastoral care and assessing what has been working, what is not working and how we can build for the future. Some of the ministries we are expanding, changing and working with under the umbrella of pastoral care are: Lay Eucharistic Visitors, the Prayer Shawl Ministry, Meal Trains, the Healing Team and Immediate Visitation needs. Moreover, we are beginning to dream about how we can best use our resources to care for the people in our midst. As with most ministries, we are always looking for more people who feel that God is calling them to use their gifts in this way. Please be on the lookout for more information about these current ministries, please feel free to share with me your experiences, ideas or thoughts about them and prayerfully consider joining with us to more intentionally care for our community.

In faith, The Rev. Anne Thornberg


WOMEN’S CONNECTION is a place for moms of every kind to gather, share their lives, and grow in faith. We will meet on the first and third Wednesday of the month from 9:30am to 11:00am in the Parish Hall (there will be childcare provided for these events), on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7pm in Parish Hall for an outreach project with the Daughters of the King, and one Friday a month for a more social and informal gathering. While the nature of the group lends itself to mothers of small children, we hope that wherever you are on your journey through motherhood, you will consider joining us. We are all enriched by the stories and experiences of one another, especially ones who have gone before. Please pick up a flier with our winter/spring dates in the Parish Hall, join our Facebook group and come whenever you are available.  If you have questions or need more information please contact The Rev. Anne Thornberg at


PARENTS FORUM:  Come meet with other parents of children and youth. This series is not a parenting class or a lecture on discipline. It is a moderated, casual conversation among parents, providing time and space to share thoughts, questions and concerns, and to build community among parents. A team of 2-3 parent moderators will keep conversation going, impart a bit of their parenting experience and wisdom, and share both their best parenting moments and their mistakes. The Sundays for these forums this spring are: February 12th, March 12th, April 9th, and May 7th.  We will meet in the Library. Please join us!

If you have questions or would like to suggest a topic please contact The Rev. Anne Thornberg at


CURSILLO meets the third Thursday of the month from 6pm-7:30pm in the Parish Hall, beginning February 16.  If you’ve been to Cursillo or just interested in knowing what Cursillo is about, join us.  Everyone welcome.


PLASTIC BAGS NEEDED:  A HUGE thank you to everyone who brought plastic bags.  We have enough for the moment and ask that you bring them on the first Sunday of the month.  Any plastic grocery bags are welcome, and yellow and blue are particularly appreciated!  There will be a bucket in the Narthex for bag collection.  See Sharon Robertson if you are interested in more details about this ministry.

Reports and Updates


January 2017 Vestry Highlights

In lieu of its regular meeting for January, the vestry held its annual retreat at Trinity Center from January 13-15.  We were fortunate to have Howard Loughlin with us as facilitator, enabling us all to participate fully in the conversation(s) and decisions made during our time together.


The busy weekend included time to get to know each other better, planning for 2017, and structured time for meditation and prayer.  We continued previous inquiry regarding our parish size, both in numbers and budget, and how that impacts our parish ministries in Fayetteville, the Diocese, and the world.  It is an exciting time, to say the least, and the vestry is dedicated to improve parish culture and infrastructure.


The vestry clearly recognizes that Holy Trinity falls on the cusp of what is described as a “program-sized” church based on our average Sunday attendance of 280 people.  A parish of this size requires different roles for not only the vestry, but also for clergy, staff, and lay leaders.  The vestry is committed to begin the process of empowering non-vestry lay leaders to manage ministries (programs) within the church by organizing, budgeting, recruiting volunteers, and conducting activities needed to successfully accomplish the goals set for each parish ministry. In turn, the vestry will be more intentional about visioning and planning for Holy Trinity for both the short and long term.


One focal point identified by the vestry is improving our ability to engage new and existing members.  By any standard, Holy Trinity has been blessed with significant growth in membership, and with that brings the challenge of forging new ways for us all to employ our time, talent, and treasure. When we all work together, God’s work is accomplished.


The vestry also conducted some regular business during its retreat, including accepting the end of year 2016 financial statements as presented by Neil Bergman, Treasurer. Thank you to the lay leaders and clergy who covered the regular vestry duties while we were on retreat. We look forward to working together as a parish this year!   Tom Holt


News from the Food Pantry


We ended the old year on a high note with the Food Pantry.  The move, the flooding from the hurricane and the “snow storm” in January did not slow us down too much!  In December of 2016, we served 122 households. We had 32 household receiving food for the first time and gave away 1190 pounds of food in total.


Our Food Pantry is thankful for a grant received from the May Catherine Huske Fund of St. John’s Episcopal Church.  We are looking forward to another great year with the Holy Trinity Food Pantry.  We thank all who do so much to help us out. Sid Gardner, Pat Stang, Karen and Sharon Robertson


News from the Preschool!


CLAWS for a CAUSE:  Buy lobsters and help the preschool.  Place your order by February 6.  Order forms on the Activity Table in the Parish Hall.  Lobster pick-up and dinner on February 11th.  Come celebrate Valentines’ Day early at the lobster dinner hosted by our local Cursillo group. Just order your cooked lobster, indicate on the form (Lobster Order form) that you will come to the dinner, and bring a couple of side dishes to share with the others. Dinner time – 5 p.m.   Return the completed form to the preschool office.  Thanks for your support!    Ruth Gillis, Director


It’s not too late to join us for “Parenting with Love and Logic for Early Childhood”, a series of 5 evenings exploring learning ways to parent that are fun and rewarding instead of stressful and chaotic. We’ll provide practical tools and techniques that help adults achieve respectful, healthy relationships with their children. Classes will be Thursday evenings, 6:30 to 8:30, beginning February 16th. Childcare will be provided. Call Ruth in the preschool to reserve a spot. Cost is $12 per couple for the workbook, or free if you already have the workbook.


PRESCHOOL:  Registration for the 2017-2018 school year is ongoing in the school office. Classes are offered for children 2 to 5 years.




Holy Trinity adopted 9 families for Christmas including several families displaced by Hurricane Matthew. Thanks to everyone who took an ‘angel’ from the tree and/or gave a cash donation. There were toys, books and clothing for the children as well as household items the families needed. Each family received a grocery gift card.

Many families displaced by the hurricane have found other housing but those who lived in Mt. Sinai Apartments are still in temporary housing. It is expected to be 2 more months before their apartments are ready for occupancy. The funds donated by Holy Trinity will be used after other resources, e.g. FEMA, are spent.


Wonderful Wednesday:  In January everyone enjoyed an informative program concerning dialing 911- when to call and what transpires when you do. The speaker described the 24/7 availability of highly trained professionals who fill 12 hour shifts ready to help as needed. She encouraged all of us to call so help an be delivered quickly and transportation to the hospital take place as necessary. We all felt appreciation that these EMTs are always there to help.


February 15th will be the next meeting with information regarding our wonderful, awarding winning library system. Come out to hear all you are missing if you have not taken advantage of our state’s library programs. March 15th will find us drifting down the Cape Fear River aboard a river cruiser!   Join in the fun and fellowship offered the third Wednesday of each month as we attend Holy Communion followed by a brown bag lunch and program!  Joyce Lipe, Jane Squires


YOUTH:   Rite 13 held their spaghetti lunch fundraiser on January 22nd. We cooked and served spaghetti, salad, bread and dessert and raised a little over $700.00 for our Washington DC trip.  The youth groups will be travelling to Washington DC April 28-30 to participate in a service project with the Homeless Coalition, tour and attend worship at the National Cathedral, participate in a scavenger hunt on the mall and museums, and take a walking tour of the monuments at night. This is a great trip; previous youth have enjoyed it immensely!  We would like to thank you, the congregation, for all your support.  Judy Philbrook


YOUTH GROUP ICE SKATING – attended by 3 adults and 14 youth!


FEBRUARY:  1 Carl Beene 2 Sally Caldwell 3. Nancy Holt, Richard Karp 4 Coleman Smith 5 Ginny Franks 6 David Alecca, Florence Alvarez, Chick Chisolm, Leroy Chisolm, Katie Jenifer 7 Michael Ashford, Rosemary Zimmerman 8 Nancy Broadwell 9 Cooper Wilson 10 Alison Fleming 11 Martha Brown, Stuart Jordan, Chris Sim 12 Nan Fiebig 14 Mia Carpenter, Olisaemeka Udoh 16 Gabriella Holliday 17 Bethaney Armstrong 20 Karen Corey, Mamon Albawarid 21 Jessica Nelson, Libba Pate, Mary Lynn Mercer 22 Linda Karp, Liam Wylie 24 Derrick Nadalini 25 Charles Koonce, Linda Taylor-Lau 26 Meredith Philbrook 27 Cindi Slappey, Finnegan Nelson  28 Reagan Francis


Note about birthdays: Our database was migrated to the “cloud” and only birthdays with the year you were born converted.  If you don’t see your name in the birthday list, please call the office and give us the year you were born.  Thank you, Janice



Glenn Allen and Bill Emmons Family, Frank Allison, III, Ryan Boddenhammer, The family of Chase, Coleman Family, Patti Dill, Tom Ficklin, Tera Gardner, Ming Gardner, Cindy Humphrey, Hustwit Family, Melvin and Judy Johnson, Louisa Karp, Matthew Kirec, Susanne Kohrman*, Joyce Lipe, Kaylee McFarland, Marti Mansfield, Janice McDevitt, John Milton-Benoit, Anne Mizelle*, Bruce and Joann Parker, Marie Parker*, Wilbur Peffley, Margaret Peterson*, Diane Rauch, Paul Reichle Jr.*, Isolene Robertson, Alicia Russell, Samuelson family, Davin Schmidt, Debby Sims, Leigh Stevens,  Doug Stewart, Trey Stidham, Mary and Harold Syms*, Jimmy Teachey, Joe Thaman, Justin Thompson, Traci, Anita and Cornell Young, and Jeanette Zabala.

* Denotes Visitation Welcomed.

Military Prayer List

Leroy, John, Cedric, Daven, Scott, Daniel, Mike, Jon, Stephanie, Sam, Trey, Ed, Amanda, Robert, Augustus, Roger, Kyle, Brian, Oliver, Thomas, Nicholas, Alex, Matthew, Mitch, Abigail, Patrick, Geoff, Mark, Eric, Andrew, Nick and all their families.


Contact the church office at 910-484-2134 or with prayer requests or fill out a prayer request form found in the narthex.

Staff and Clergy

The Rev. Jeffrey D. S. Thornberg, Rector

The Rev. Anne C. S. Thornberg, Assisting Priest for Children’s Education and Pastoral Care

The Rev. Joe Running, Assisting Priest

Beth Jordan, Music Minister and Organist

Tara Bartal, Jeremy Fiebig and Jon Hecker, Vergers

Janice Luce, Parish Administrator

Jewely Schroeder, Financial Administrator

Ruth Folger Gillis, Preschool Director

Melissa Hickman, Nursery Coordinator


VESTRY:  Senior Warden: Tom Holt, Junior Warden: Keith St. Peter, Treasurer: Neil Bergman, Clerk: Wendy Hustwit

2017:  Tom Holt, Fitz Lee, Keith St. Peter, Dane Reid

2018:  Scott Hancox, Wendy Hustwit, Julie Lee-Jacobs, Mike Morketter

2019:  Amy Beene, Jimmy Driscoll, George Harrison, Elaine McKay


Office Hours: Monday – Thursday: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Office: 484-2134 Preschool: 910-484-0250

Website:          Email: