Trinity Times for July and August

The Trinity Times for July and August is now available.  You can pick up a paper copy at Trinity, or download it here (we recommend the download because it saves on paper and copying costs, and you can get it and read it right now, but whichever works for you works for us!)

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People occasionally ask why we have a weekly e-mail newsletter, the Trinity Update, and the Trinity Times too.  (by the way, you can sign up to receive the Trinity Update each Wednesday if you wish by going  HERE— and you don’t need to be a Trinity parishioner to receive it) but the answer is that the format of the Trinity Update is too brief to be able to convey much information besides who/what/when and where — there’s very little room for  “how” or “why”.  The Trinity Times covers things in more depth and hopefully answers these important questions.

Trinity Times for July and August

One topic you’re read about in this issue of the Trinity Times is our backpack project. This photo is from 2014, showing the ingathering of the backpacks

News about the refugee family….

As most of you know, Trinity Lime Rock is strongly supporting the Church of St. Mary in Lakeville in their efforts to resettle a refugee family in the Northwest Corner.   In the interests of keeping everyone well informed, here is an update from Sean White from St. Mary’s providing current news about the refugee family.

News about the refugee family

Dear fellow Refugee Committee members and friends-

The Al Ghanems are settling into their new home and discovering their new environment.  The family is wonderful: gracious and grateful. The kids are charming and ready to learn.  The father is eager to work.  The mother is happy to see her family in a safe place.

The Al Ghanems are amazed by their new home (thank you, Wendy Hamilton)!  And I am amazed by the enormous amount of work completed in three short weeks by the committed Trinity and St. Mary’s parishioners, particularly Bob and Carol Hoskins and John and Barbara Pogue who took charge of home preparation.  The generosity of many others in providing furniture and household goods, and stocking the kitchen with food is astonishing.

Our focus now turns to self-sufficiency.  This means employment and English language learning for the parents, and schooling for their children.

As we navigate these challenges, we are most fortunate to have native Arabic speaker Zeina Mehio on the team.  Every day, she is helping the family find their way in this strange new world.  She is getting help from fellow Arabic speakers Paula Russo and Samia Elsafty.

Interpreters are necessary right now, but English language proficiency is key to independence for the Al Ghanems.  Our group also includes Katherine Perry, an experienced, professional ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teacher.  She will begin formal English instruction at St. John’s next week for the parents (and other adults in town).  Informal English lessons began at JFK, and have continued on a daily basis.  Zeina and Katherine have been working tirelessly these past ten days!

You may have seen Katherine and Rick Meehan herding six kids at the Grove yesterday.  They’re loving it!  You may have seen me and Zeina at the Social Security Administration office in Torrington.  Not so much!

You may also see the Al Ghanems around town.  Please say hello!  They need to practice their English.

Much more remains to be done to get our family launched.  We are fortunate to have Dick Collins, a medical doctor, and B.J. Christinat, a social worker on our team to navigate the official resettlement requirements.  Once these formalities are complete, the kids will start at Salisbury Central School.  Principal Lisa Carter has welcomed us with open arms.

A few more shout-outs are in order.  Early this year, Lloyd Baroody and I were sitting around discussing the refugee crisis, wondering what we could do on a personal basis.  With the encouragement of Leo Gafney and Rick Meehan, we formed this group under the auspices of St. Mary’s Church.  Father Joe Kurnath gave us his full and unwavering support.  Heidi Truax at Trinity Lime Rock Church came on board without hesitation.  Others of different faiths and many with no religious connections joined to create this diverse mix of people—a dozen in the core group, and many dozens beyond.  We share one goal: to help a family in need.  Thank you all.  We’ve gone from talk to deeds in six short months!

Many of you have already made contributions; many more have offered to assist.  Here’s where we are:

Household goods: We do not need more food and furniture.  Our work is done as far as preparing the house and stocking the kitchen.

Helpers: We are OK with helpers for now.  Over the coming weeks, we will review our need for drivers, baby sitters, tutors, ESOL teachers etc.

Clothing: we are assessing the family’s needs.  We will solicit donations for new clothing for school and for the winter months, probably in October.

Employment: IRIS, our refugee agency, will assess the parents’ job skills next week.  Our group will help with their job search.  If you need hard workers with limited English, let us know!  

Money* and prayers: we need more! Keep it coming!

We will keep you posted on the Al Ghanems’ progress.  At some point, when they tell us they are ready, we will have a reception for the family at St. Mary’s.

Thanks again for your help so far.  I am proud to be part of such a welcoming community and country.

Regards-

Sean

*Send tax-deductible contributions to St. Mary’s Refugee Committee, St Mary Catholic Church, 76 Sharon Rd, Lakeville, CT 06039

NOTES For Trinity parishioners:

–You can also contribute financially by putting a check payable to St. Mary’s Refugee Committee in the Sunday offering.  We will get it to the right place.

–As more news about the refugee family comes in, we’ll provide updates in our weekly e-mail newsletter, the Trinity Update.  Want to receive the Trinity Update weekly (Wednesday afternoons, around 2 PM)?  It’s free, and you can unsubscribe any time — and you do NOT have to be a Trinity parishioner to subscribe!  CLICK HERE to subscribe — so you’ll always have current news about the refugee family.

Trinity Update

Trinity Update for this week….

People sometimes ask why we don’t post our weekly newsletter, the Trinity Update, here on our website.

So, this week we’re posting it!  Here’s the link you can go to so you can download the Trinity Update for Wednesday, April 27, 2016.  Right here:  http://p0.vresp.com/Iun74F

If you like it — and we hope you do — why not subscribe to the Trinity Update.  If you do, it will arrive each Wednesday afternoon at about 2 PM and keep you informed about what’s going on at Trinity as well as a fair amount about what’s going on the towns we serve.

If you’d like to subscribe, just CLICK HERE — it’s free, there’s no obligation, and you can unsubscribe any time you want.