A Mission Overview
Saint Trinity, located in south St. Louis, is an urban mission replant funded by grant money from the District. The church is located in an historic building over 150 years old and sits next to two other properties of Saint Trinity which help with outreach: a refurbished house and a large, old school building. These properties are serving as unique blessings in a unique time.
In addition to hosting socially distant worship and streams services online, Saint Trinity has also worked hard to prepare at-home advent activities for members and others in their faith family. Heidi Lewis volunteers as DCE at Saint Trinity. DCE Lewis explains the importance of creating an at-home learning packet. “We wanted to really meet people in a powerful way, in a unique time,” explains Lewis, “Also knowing that as spikes are occurring, some of our members, and as they should – have preexisting conditions or are seniors – are choosing to worship at home for their safety, which we totally understand and encourage, but we didn’t want them not to have a Christ-centered advent. And so, this kind of came out of a dream of ‘how can we meet people’.”
That dream of meeting people where they are, extends to their use of the two properties next to the church building. One is an old house that has been slowly and fully refurbished over the last eight to nine years thanks to volunteers’ time and skills. Saint Trinity also has a large, old school building. While the school closed in the 1970s, it remained in use over the decades as the church’s offices and as a food pantry on the lower floor. The large building, complete with an upstairs wooden floor gymnasium, has found another purpose during COVID-19. The large, previously unused spaces allows for people to gather for certain activities while remaining socially distant.
One great example of this is hosting virtual learning for high school students. Lewis explains, “We call it ‘remote learning doesn’t have to be lonely learning’.” They host students on Tuesdays from 7:15 a.m. until 3 p.m. with between two to eight students representing seven different schools. “These are all kids who have a relationship with our ministry. Some are technically members and some are active here and not necessarily members, but we consider them part of our church family,” says Lewis, “By the end of the summer we were just kind of aware of the mental health of everybody, Everybody was just struggling. And, we just felt that we had this blessing here with this big, empty building.” Response has been very positive and several other groups have contacted Saint Trinity about using their building, such as volleyball and basketball groups and a Girl Scout troop.
“Our ultimate goal is to use the space like a community center,” Lewis comments, “That’s our dream for this building, so that it would be a safe hub for our community where the light is shined and gives us an opportunity to have rich relationships that point to Jesus.”