We strive to live out our philosophy of ministry through the various specific ministries that we perform at Trinity and in Petaluma. Below are a list of some of these ministries:
Corporate Worship and Fellowship
Lord’s Day Worship * – We come together corporately on Sundays as a gathering of the triune God with his people. In our worship we strive to bring glory to God. It is the reverent and joyful assembly of the Lord’s people on the Lord’s Day. The elements of the worship include the call to worship, the reading and preaching of the Scriptures (see our online podcast), the singing of psalms and hymns, the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments, and the benediction. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month.
Lord’s Day Fellowship – After our Sunday morning worship service we gather for a time of fellowship over refreshments. We will also routinely have fellowship meals or other opportunities for God’s people to gather and encourage one another. For visitors, these are also great opportunities to get to know our church family better.
Prayer Meetings – Believing that prayer is also a means of God’s grace to us, we provide opportunities for our congregation to meet together specifically to pray with one another. On Sundays, we have a brief men’s prayers meeting before the morning services. On Wednesday evenings, a portion of our midweek ministry time is dedicated toward prayer. On the first Sunday of each month, we gather after the morning worship service for a special time of prayer concerning the outreach of our church to our community. Occasionally, the session of elders will designate a day of prayer and fasting based on special circumstances that have providentially arose before the church and its members. We especially encourage members to be regularly praying individually and with their families.
Sunday School * – Believing that the Word of God is a means of God’s grace to us, our children and adult Sunday School classes are intended to better prepare people to receive the reading and preaching of the Word. To that end, classes range in various topics and curriculum.
Midweek Ministry – Each Wednesday we gather for study and fellowship at 7:15 pm. Prior to the study, we have a fellowship hour starting at 6 pm.
Men and Women’s Fellowship – During the first Wednesday of the month, our Midweek Ministry takes a break from its normal study to split up into separate men and women’s groups for study and fellowship. Also, there is a men’s and women’s prayer partner program to help us pray with and for each other.
Special Classes – As the needs of visitors and members arise, we host various special classes. We conduct an “Investigative Bible Study” to aid visitors who are inquiring on the Christian Faith to learn the basics of Jesus’ teaching and the gospel. We hold a “Profession of Faith Class” to prepare our baptized children to profess their faith publicly for the first time. We have a “New Member Class” for those interested in becoming members of our church to learn about the essentials of church membership and to find out more about the history, faith, and practice of our church and denomination.
Service and Outreach
Reformation Rally – Each year the congregation hosts a rally on a Sunday close to Reformation Day (October 31, when Luther touched off the reformation in 1517). Members from various congregations, and people from our community, gather for a night of singing hymns, hearing the Scriptures opened, and enjoying fellowship over refreshments. At this rally, we particularly celebrate the rediscovery of the Biblical gospel by the Protestant Reformers. Five main truths were proclaimed by Martin Luther and his followers: We are saved through grace alone (apart from the law), by faith alone (apart from works), by Christ alone (apart from human mediators), as taught by Scripture alone (all other Christian writings must be true to the Bible), and to the glory of God alone (no one can be proud of achieving salvation).
Community Involvement – We believe God has especially called us to minister here in Petaluma in Sonoma County, California. Because of this, we prayerfully seek to find ways to be involved in this community which God has placed us in.
Worldwide Missions – In the Great Commission God calls the church to go to the ends of the earth with the gospel of salvation. We support this worldwide mission through the Worldwide Outreach (WWO) committees of our denomination (Home Missions, Foreign Missions, and Christian Education). We support these committees regularly through prayer and financial support, as well as more personally through things like sending care packages to our missionaries. We also receive a special Thank Offering for this work annually from Thanksgiving until the end of the year. As the Lord leads, we sometimes have members from our congregation whom we send to serve in various capacities in these efforts.
Home Visitation – Following the apostolic practice of preaching from “house to house” (Acts 5:42), the pastors and elders at Trinity regularly visit the members of the church as part of their shepherding and oversight of the congregation.
Visiting the Sick – The pastor and elders are honored to be able to visit those in our congregation who are undergoing various health trials. During these visitations we pray with the sick and encourage them with the Word. These visitations might occur at either a home, hospital, or other location as the needs of our members require.
Biblical Counseling – As our members struggle through life’s trials and temptations, they may have need for biblical counseling. The Pastor and elders provide this counseling, seeking to understand the specific issues(s) that the individual(s) are facing. In this process the counselors open God’s word to the counselees, showing them how it speaks to their specific situation and working with them to apply it to their lives.
Pre-Marital Counseling – Our pastor provides counseling and instruction to those engaged to be married in preparation for their union as Christians in holy matrimony.
Pre-Baptismal Counseling – In preparation for presenting the children of believers for baptism, we provide counseling to parents, instructing them concerning the institution of baptism especially as concerns their children, and of the obligation of parents to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Church Discipline – Though church discipline may not be very popular in today’s culture that exalts self-autonomy, we believe church discipline is one of the essential marks of Christ’s church. Church discipline is the exercise of that authority which the Lord Jesus Christ has committed to the visible church for the preservation of its purity, peace, and good order. It is lovingly exercised to keep and reclaim wayward Christians, unto the glory of God.
The diaconal service of our church is led by the board of deacons under the oversight of the session of elders. The priority in our diaconal service is first and foremost to the members of our local congregation (Gal 6:10), but we also offer support to the greater church and our community as we are able. Our diaconal services manifest themselves in various ways, depending on the needs that are present, including providing financial assistance, meals, budgeting assistance, labor and manpower, supporting local relief agencies, etc.
* Spanish translation via manuscript is available for these services. Enlarged copies of the music are available for the vision impaired upon request.