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Marengo Team Enjoys the Crawfish Boil

posted May 3, 2011, 6:58 AM by Keck Mowry   [ updated May 14, 2011, 6:17 PM by David Carlton ]

Arriving early, the mission team from Marengo, Illinois enjoyed participating in the annual Crawfish Boil. They made this entertaining video to remember the experience.  The team built the risers for the Praise Team, the Altar, and the Pulpit, worked on doing some special sheetrock work and triming the sound room area.  This was their ninth trip and tenth team to come to Buras .... They were introduced to Crawfish here and became addicted.... We are greatful for all the team has done

Fellowship Hall Reaches Completion

posted Mar 19, 2011, 2:32 PM by David Carlton

The Disaster teams from Aldersgate in Slidell led by Dale Kimble and Blackwater UMC north of Baton Rouge came and laid floor in the fellowship hall... completing this project.  Dale promised the people of Trinity he would come and complete the fellowship hall, and he has kept his word.  Many thanks to all the other folks and teams that have helped in the program. We now have a fellowship hall to be proud of, and to serve our community.  So far we have held several activities in the new facility.  Now we concentrate on the sanctuary, kitchen, hall and sunday school rooms.  Thanks again to all who have helped make this happen!

Downsville UMC lends a helping hand

posted Jan 19, 2011, 6:02 PM by David Carlton

Downsville UMC has given a wonderful helping hand to Trinity UMC... they have furnished a refergerator, and a piano, as well as chairs and tables to hold dinners.  Now they have come and installed light fixtures and breaker boxes, emergency exit lights and outside lights... and another crew finished putting siding on the outside of the church.  One of the members came in and made the statement, "Triinity is back!" and that says it all... thanks again to Rev. Gloria YOungblood and her church team for a job well done......!

Lights in Fellowship Hall

posted Jan 19, 2011, 5:46 PM by David Carlton   [ updated Jan 19, 2011, 6:01 PM ]

It has been a long struggle to go from an open covered area to having our fellowship hall closed in, sheetrocked and now painted and lights on.  There have been numerous teams that have made this happen, and when we celebrate the re-opening of TUMC we will remember them all!  Thanks to the team from Downsville UMC who came and added the electrical work necessary to make this happen!  Breaker boxes, fixtures inside and out... and completed the siding on the outside....WOW!  What a difference!  Many thanks again.

VBS, Jackson, Miss. Style

posted Aug 21, 2010, 6:56 PM by David Carlton

Members of Christ United Methodist Church came down to hold a VBS for the community children and youth.  They also did some work around the church and community.  They brought music and a lot of energy to those who came.  A great celebration put music in the children's heads... they are still singing, When I get down, He lifts me up!  Great job to this wonderful team.

Bible Story Wall

posted Aug 21, 2010, 5:48 PM by David Carlton   [ updated Sep 9, 2010, 1:31 AM by Keck Mowry ]

Mrs. Sandra Carlton is Pastor Carlton’s wife and resides in Jonesville where she takes care of their son and grandson during the school year; she came to Buras to spend the summer and gave her time to the church through her gift of art. During her time here, she dedicated many hours to create pictures that walks us through many Bible Stories from creation, to the birth of Jesus to the resurrection. “I really enjoy listening to the children name the different stories.” said Mrs. Sandra, “That’s what it is all about.” We are very appreciative of her hard work and service during VBS.

Trinity Youth Group delivers School Kits

posted Aug 21, 2010, 5:27 PM by David Carlton   [ updated Sep 9, 2010, 1:36 AM by Keck Mowry ]

The Louisiana Methodist Conference Provost, Don Cotrill along withUMCOR and Disaster Relief Director Daryl Tate bring School supplies for the Trinity UMC youth of Port Sulphur south to Venice... the Trinity Youth Group delivered the supplies in time for school. and completed the project with a pizza party!   Tony Frickey, Chair of trustees at Trinity was on hand to help deliver the school kits along with his dad.  Port Sulphur Elementary, and High School received their kits, and Boothville Elementary also received some kits.  The schools were appreciateive for the gifts, and thnak everyone for their support during this time.

VBS Texas Style

posted Jul 30, 2010, 9:12 AM by David Carlton

Vacation Bible School is always a fun event for our children in the Buras-Empire-Venice aea, and this year has been no execption. 
A fun-loving group of Christian youth and adults came from Azle, Texas to bring a Texas size VBS program. 
With crafts and lots of song and laughter, we celebrated living in Christ. 

VBS is always a hit!

posted Jul 28, 2010, 12:48 PM by David Carlton   [ updated Sep 9, 2010, 1:37 AM by Keck Mowry ]

Christ United Methodist Church from Jackson, Mississippi came to Trinity to hold VBS and serve in the community. 
They brought fun and energy that was a blessing to all they have touched... the children, the community and the pastor.
What a great event for our community, we thank them

Church revives spirits on Gulf Coast

posted Jun 15, 2010, 7:55 PM by Keck Mowry

By Betty Backstrom*

2:00 PM June 15, 2010 | BURAS, La. (UMNS)

  The Rev. Dave Carlton (right) offers encouragement to Tony Frickey, a manager for the Venice (La.) Port Complex. A UMNS photo by Betty Backstrom.
The Rev. Dave Carlton (right) offers encouragement to Tony Frickey, a manager for the Venice (La.) Port Complex. A UMNS photo by Betty Backstrom. 
View in Photo Gallery

Hurricane Katrina devastated the population of this small fishing town  between the Gulf of Mexico and the mouth of the Mississippi River. In some areas, one or two restored houses stand where once there was an entire subdivision.

And that was before the massive oil spill that produced a double whammy for this community dependent on both the fishing and oil industries.

Those who remain amid the sounds of helicopters and heavy equipment moving through town, with military personnel overseeing the response to the environmental disaster, need a message of hope.

“This is hurting the people,” said Tail Plork, a member of Trinity United Methodist Church. Tail and her husband, Phan, natives of Cambodia, fish commercially and have been forced to halt their trade.

That’s where the church is coming in.

Six-thousand “bags of hope” containing Bibles, devotionals and contact numbers for local pastors were assembled earlier this month at the Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference meeting in Shreveport.

Trinity United Methodist Church is installing volleyball and basketball courts in preparation for summer camps to serve area youth.

“I often say, God promised us a rainbow,” said the Rev. Dave Carlton, Trinity’s pastor. “We’ve got to go through the storm to get there. And on the other side, there will be a new norm. We’ve faced it before.”

Coming back

The community already has come far by faith.

Gerald Tompkins, a Trinity member, said the population of Buras is probably about half of what it was before Hurricane Katrina.

  Idled shrimp boats line the harbor in Buras. A UMNS photo by Betty Backstrom.
Idled shrimp boats line the harbor in Buras.
A UMNS photo by Betty Backstrom. 
View in Photo Gallery

Of those who remained, “a number of people just replaced their houses with double-wides. It was cheaper and easier,” he said.

Still, he said, “We were recovering, slowly but surely, from Hurricane Katrina.”

When he was appointed to Trinity a year ago, Carlton said, “I discovered that this church, in particular, has a true Christian spiritual outlook. After Katrina, the focal point was on the people. It was not just about rebuilding; it was about meeting the needs of the congregation and the community.” He said both attendance at Sunday worship and giving to the church have increased.

The latest catastrophe presents a substantial challenge, however.

Tony Frickey, a member of the Unified Command group responding to the spill, is concerned about the financial instability that local fishing workers are facing.

“Many in the industry spent the spring fixing up their boats in preparation for the May shrimp season. A lot of them tapped out their savings or used credit cards for new nets and equipment. Now those boats that aren’t being used in the cleanup sit docked, waiting for use in a fishing season that isn’t going to happen.”

Tail Plork echoed Frickey’s concern, saying, “We used credit to fix our boat, and we’re living on credit cards. I went to the bank and people there were saying that this will hurt a lot of fishermen for 10 to 15 years. They were saying we need to look somewhere else for work.”

To make matters worse, Frickey pointed out, many fishermen also are suffering from the moratorium on offshore drilling.

“A great number of these people will work in the oil industry during the off season when they are not fishing. So now, they can’t fish, and they will have no opportunities working for the oil companies to supplement their income. Towns like Buras have been built with both oil and fishing as their economic basis.”

  Work crews clean oiled beaches near Houma, La. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Luke Pinneo.
Work crews clean oiled beaches near Houma, La. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Luke Pinneo.

People are anxious about how long the cleanup will last, and what the spill will mean for the fishing industry, Carlton said.

“They need to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Providing hope

Carlton handed out the conference “bags of hope” at a recent Sunday evening service at the British Petroleum campsite. He rotates Sundays with a Catholic priest in providing the service for cleanup workers.

Tired and dirty from working outdoors in the 100-plus degree heat, workers settled into the air-conditioned tent where Carlton led a communion service on June 13. Referencing Corinthians, he told the workers that like the Body of Christ, the responders are all sharing their gifts to achieve a common goal—the restoration of the Gulf and affected communities.

Carlton is concerned that the economic crisis can translate into family crises.

“Families are stressed; the kids are out of school. Parents can no longer afford to send their children to camps,” Carlton said. “The church can provide assistance with sports and activities camps, as well as Vacation Bible School throughout the summer.”

The efforts are appreciated, Frickey said.

“It means a lot to me to know my church family here and beyond is praying for us,” he said. “I need the prayer. I can’t deal with the madness without the support.”

*Backstrom is communications director for the Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference.

News media contact: David Briggs, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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