Over the past three years, Trinity College Qld has welcomed hundreds of people through its doors for our Trinity Unplugged Events. We’ve heard stimulating talks on topics such as “Things I Wish I Knew When Telling My Friends About Jesus” (Sam Chan), “I’ll take Jesus But Not the Church” (John Frederick) and “God’s Voice or My Feelings?” (Paul Jones). However, as many of you will know, due to COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings we recently had to postpone Melinda Tankard Reist’s much-anticipated talk, “Too Much Too Young: the sexualisation of our children and what we can do about it”.

In order to continue our support of local (and not so local) churches, on July 23rd Trinity College will be hosting an Unplugged event on our Facebook page. And since it will be an online event, we’re tentatively calling this one “Trinity Plugged” ?

On this occasion, we’ll be hearing three talks in response to the question: ‘What is the Spirit Saying to the Church?’ The talks will have a very practical focus and are open to anyone and everyone. Afterwards, Vicki Lorrimar (Lecturer in Systematic Theology) will host a Q&A session aimed at supporting church leaders during this time of upheaval and change. Each of the three speakers will make themselves available to answer questions after the presentations.

The talks, just 15mins each, will be as follows:

A) Mark Cornford (Presbytery Minister for Moreton Rivers)
The Revelation of COVID-19

In the Revelation to John, there is a constant encouragement for the reader to ‘hear’ and to ‘see’ that they might understand and respond with faith to the unveiling of God’s involvement in human history. The restrictions on Australian society in response to the COVID-19 epidemic have dramatically changed how the church has to operate and presents an incredible opportunity for us to reflect on how we have responded, and what this ‘unveils’ about who we are as a church – both the good and the challenging. In this session Mark will reflect on the themes he has heard in the stories and experiences of ministers and congregations in the Moreton Rivers Presbytery and ask the question ‘How might the Spirit be leading us more deeply into God’s ministry of reconciliation for the world through what we have experienced and learnt during COVID-19?’

B) Simon Gomersall (Lecturer in Historical and Contemporary Mission)
If Only I’d Known!

Had you known COVID-19 was coming, how would you have prepared yourself and your church for social isolation? This is a critical question to engage with, as we reflect on what we want the church to look like in a post-covid world. Covid has provided a unique opportunity to step off the treadmill, catch our breath and see both the world and the church with fresh eyes. Amidst growing calls for world and church to not just return to ‘normal’, how do we go about listening to the Spirit and extracting from this experience lessons to rebuild the church for the 21st century? This session will reflect on these critical questions, drawing on mission studies (World Christianity) and cross-cultural theory, with a smattering of church history.

C) John Frederick (Lecturer in New Testament & Greek)
Zooming Ourselves to Death: Digital Saturation in an Age of Physical Separation

Do you feel strangely exhausted lately even though you’ve likely been leaving the house far less? Like the web invites you, not so much into a communication highway of connection, but into an infinite fog of digital distraction? Recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and the BBC (to name a few) have given a name to this now universal experience of the separated multitude: “Zoom fatigue.”

In this age in which everyone’s mother, pet, child, and weird uncle Larry has started a new podcast, and in which an endless stream of streaming church services and resources flood into smart phones, the Christian faith has a unique gift to offer to the world: the sanctification of time. What if Holy Scripture and the Christian discipline of sanctifying, consecrating—intentionally and prayerfully marking and planning—all of the hours of our day was one of the key gifts that Christianity could give a lost, hurting, dying, and now chronically distracted world? Join us as we discover how to grow in faith, health, and holiness, by avoiding the seduction and distraction of digital saturation through intentional acts of timely sanctification.

Vicki Lorrimar will be hosting the talks and chairing the question time. We look forward to hearing these talks with you, and hope the evening brings fresh perspectives and practical insights to you and your community. Get it in your diary: July 23rd!