Janet Lechleitner came to Trinity Cathedral several years ago, searching for “her church.” She not only stayed but has become more and more involved. So much so that the Trinity community is now her second family! Janet encourages all “to take a prayerful look at your gifts, whether they be financial or otherwise, and then answer God’s call. Then, watch to see what God builds here at Trinity and in our lives!”
As many of you know, I grew up a military brat, which means that I moved about every two to three years. Every time we moved, we would search for a new church to attend and sometimes switch to a different denomination. As I became an adult, I stopped attending church outside of the high holidays. Several years ago, I was ready to finally begin my own search
With my mom’s family being Episcopalian and at least two of the churches in my childhood being Episcopalian, Trinity was the first church I decided to visit. During my first year here at Trinity, I hung back, feeling overwhelmed with all the wonderful ways to get involved. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.”
As we heard in today’s gospel reading (Mark 10:17-31), answering God’s call to share those gifts is not always easy. Gifts aren’t always about money though. We all have gifts that we are called to share even when it is just time, which can sometimes be harder to part with than money! Gradually, I started to get more involved at Trinity. I started the Inquirer’s class to figure out if this was truly the right denomination for me. In the middle of it, I had to miss two classes to be with my grandmother as she was dying. My aunt is an Episcopal Priest and led our family in the Eucharist, using the Book of Common Prayer, each day during that week.
Through the comfort of that familiar routine, I realized I was already an Episcopalian in spirit. I started attending the Sunday morning Community Gospel Reflections group. It gives me great spiritual food, helping fill me for the coming week. It enables me to understand each week’s gospel deeply and apply its lessons to my life. I highly encourage everyone to try Community Gospel Reflections if you have not before. Right now, we are doing new programming on the Beatitudes in the form of a Kerygma study. You can start any week. Keep an eye out for other exciting things to come this year.
One of the reasons I chose Trinity was its commitment to social justice. I became involved in the Greater Cleveland Congregations group, eventually becoming the co-leader of our core team’s subcommittee on education. It has been rewarding to see what the Cleveland Municipal School District commits to improve or change each year. I have also started ushering, serving at our “A Place at the Table” weekly hot meal program for our neighbors, and have joined the new Becoming Beloved Community group. With my recent appointment to Vestry, I am excited to find a way to use my love of spreadsheets to serve.
While I have a wonderful family, I have found second family I didn’t know I was missing. Every Sunday, coming to Trinity feels like a family reunion to me. Trinity has given me so much, and I am happy to answer God’s call to give some of that back. I encourage all of you to take a prayerful look at what your gifts are, whether they be financial or otherwise, and then answer God’s call. Then, watch to see what God builds here at Trinity and in our lives!