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A Growth Mentality

The transition from October to November is felt across Trinity deeply. It isn’t necessarily bad, but it is noticeable. Students are beginning to prepare for midterms, staff and faculty are beginning to dig in their feet for the end of the year push, and if you aren’t careful all the work, stress, engagement, and tasks can pile up in a way that becomes overwhelming. All that being said, I was reminded yesterday in a yoga class taught on campus by former professor Mary Colosimo the importance of recognition. So often we see these “things” popping up in our lives as being entities we need to overcome or push through. While that may be true at times her message was simple, don’t attack everything, embrace it all. Breathe through it, and live into it.

I think at this point in the year there couldn’t be a more simple but impactful message. God has done some incredible things on campus already this year. Our women’s soccer team has dominated through the work of some fantastic student athletes and coaches winning a conference title. We have heard from a world renowned theologian and thinker Miroslav Volf in a worldview forum on campus. Professors have reported engagement and involvement in classes being at an all time high and there are so many more things i could talk about as well. The point being if we allow the things in front of us to dominate our thoughts and actions, we miss all the good.

This concept of growth mentality is one that Trinity has embraced over the past few years, and it is good. Dr. Colosimo’s point is one i hope anyone that reads this can embrace. Yes we need to be moving forward, but we also need to be reminded of what has been done, and live in the moment. A growth mentality is very difficult to embrace if we never allow ourselves to embrace to progress. So those of us connected on campus, and for those connected from a far, continue to push, continue to grow. But also step back, breathe, and admire the work that is being done here and in your own lives. If you are going to be your biggest critic you must also be your biggest fan. God will continue to be good, and we can and should live into that freedom.

 

I hope this post reaches you at a great place-

Grace and Peace,

Caleb Jonkman’18

Director of the Annual Fund

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Who Are We

Hello friends,

Hope this blog post reaches you at a great place on a Tuesday!

Our first visit day was last Friday. There is always a different energy that consumes campus whenever prospective students come, but it was at another level for me this time around. I had always seen it as a student, but it was much different as a staff member. I talked with a few prospective families and students about Trinity and the usual questions came through. Parents asked about Trinity, what it was like, what i enjoyed most about my time here, would i do it again. All those are valid and good questions but one question from a perspective student stood out to me in a way that the others didn’t. He didn’t ask about facilities, programs, or student life. Instead of asking me what is Trinity, he asked me who is Trinity, what is your identity. Not just what your mission statement is, but who makes up Trinity. Who are your people, what makes this community tick.

This question went a lot deeper for me then anything i had been asked. Because this wasn’t a simple answer. It wasn’t black and white. And I think what this high schooler was getting at was a question a lot of people are asking about us lately which is who are we? My answer wasn’t polished, in fact it was rather raw. But I think it is one that needs to be heard. Trinity is first of all home. Not just to me but many, no it hasn’t been great all the time, but what home ever is. This a place to grow, to be challenge, to be loved. And that is what I have experienced. Trinity is also changing, for the better. No we don’t have it all right, but I can confidently say that the directions we are moving from a spiritual, engagement, and organizational perspective are things to be incredibly excited about. Most importantly Trinity is God’s. I have only been here as a staff member 5 months, and over that span of time i have seen things on campus that can only have come from one source. He has been with us from the beginning and his plans for us will always be good. That i do know.

As the world we live in continues to shift to be less and less focused on authenticity, and more focused on appearance through the accessibility and promotion of outlets like social media and digital forums. The need to be rooted in a strong God centered identity has become essential. I don’t know what the future holds for that student i talked to, and i don’t know what God has in store for Trinity. But if we as a whole, faculty, staff, administration, students, alums, parents, and friends continue to fight every day for our identity. Our message and purpose will become increasingly pursued and known.

I hope this post encourages you today of what is happening with us. We appreciate you!

In Christ,

Caleb Jonkman ’18

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Great Opportunities

I have been around Trinity’s campus every summer since 2014, and about this time every year the campus environment changes. More cars occupy Tibstra Lot every day, the caf opens up its doors to the summer athletes, and of course the obvious turn of the tide is having students back. The first few weeks of summer are always relaxing for everyone. Once the honeymoon summer phase is over people do their own thing and go their separate ways. Some work, some stay relaxing, and some plan. But one thing that the middle of August always brings back to Trinity is a phase of preparation.

Students begin to prepare for new classes and living assignments.  Professors prepare to bring their knowledge to the classroom and the staff prepare to equip both students and professors with what they need to be excellent in all facets. I think in the hustle and bustle of life and excitement we tend to overlook this important part of who we need to be. One of my mentors graduate and alumni board Vice President Christian Perry reminds me frequently that success is met at the Crosspoint of preparation and opportunity. For Trinity, on many levels, this concept is glaringly true going into the 2018-19 school year.

As we prepare for what lies ahead I am extremely excited. I think Trinity has done a lot this summer through campus improvements, staff additions, and master planning that will allow our students to have their best year yet. Yes there will be challenges, but we have prepared for them. Opportunities to be special are going to arise throughout this year, and God willing we are going to see and hear some incredible stories about what our preparation has allowed us to do.

As we are about two weeks away from the start of classes pray for our students. Pray for our faculty. Pray for our staff. Prepare with us for what we will endeavor on this year as you are just as much a part of this as we are. For God For Good For the World.

 

– Caleb Jonkman Director of the Trinity Fund ’18

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A New Beginning

For God, For Good, For the World.

What intrigues me most about Trinity’s slogan, is how your worldview and life framework changes this phrase for you. A recent college graduate like myself sees the entire world in front of them. An opportunity or blank slate to be able use their newly developed skills to impact others through God, doing good work, in the world.

A current grandparent may have seen some of this work accomplished in his/her time already, and is potentially looking to instill the same mindset into his/her grandchildren at Trinity. Either way this place and this community is one focused on that mission. A mission that uses Trinity as an avenue to glorify God by preparing its students to do good work, furthermore impacting the world because of that stewardship.

As newly hired Director of the Trinity Fund I see the benefits of what gifts do for our college every day. But that information isn’t widely or consistently known. This is why I am introducing this blog. I want to keep you, our valued friends, parents, alums, and many others connected to what is happening at Trinity and share stories about God’s goodness through you. Your gifts directly help our students, faculty, and staff, in many different impactful and God honoring ways and staying connected to these success stories will hopefully provide you encouragement and pride for what is happening at Trinity.

The plan for this blog is to be published monthly and will be available for reading via email and our website. I hope and pray that you enjoy hearing about the many ways you are impacting Trinity in the months to come.

  • Grace and Peace, Caleb Jonkman ‘18