Liz Fitzgerald

Welcome to the second installation of our new section in Connection…the Servant Spotlight! This will highlight a Trinity member who gives selflessly to others, using his or her talents to do God’s work.

This month’s Servant Spotlight focuses on a Trinity member who is a volunteer extraordinaire. Meet Liz Fitzgerald, currently the church council liaison representing the Generosity Committee. Liz also has taught Sunday School for many years and can be seen ushering at our Saturday evening church services.

How did she become so involved at Trinity? It all started when she was born into the Trinity family. She was baptized and confirmed here and has felt at home ever since. Her ushering habit began when her mother, Donna Henaman, asked her to fill in for another usher. Liz thought it was just on a temporary basis…but she’s been ushering ever since. “It’s become a 3-generation thing,” she explained. Many Saturday services will find Liz ushering with her mother and her youngest daughter, Sophia. A long-standing volunteer with Sunday School, Liz has most recently been teaching at the middle/high school level. “We’re really fortunate here. We have good kids at Trinity,” she said. “We give them a safe space to talk and share good things with each other.”

Liz said, “we do some fun things in Sunday School.” She and Marty Greder, Director of Education at Trinity, brainstormed and came up with “IGNITE” for the older youth, which is based on a Bible verse from the book of Matthew and both younger and older kids cover the same scripture/lesson each week…but in different ways. For example, there is a rotation for the older kids which consists of theatre and games. Liz covers the theatre side while Tom Kirby partners with the games. Activities that correlate with the lesson have included Jumbo Jenga as well as science experiments. Scripture is tied to popular movies, and there is always time for discussion.

“Middle schoolers want to be cool and we’ve created a space where they feel safe enough to share,” Liz pointed out. “They don’t have to if they don’t want to,” she added. She tries to stress that the kids can just be themselves and come as they are. With her encouragement and facilitation of a caring space, most kids have grown comfortable with her and with the safe atmosphere at Trinity. “The Trinity kids are so smart and thoughtful. I see my relationship with God in a whole new light when those kids are talking to me.” She continued, “You get to see faith through the eyes of the kids. They ask me hard questions! Being able to help them form a relationship with the church and God is a great thing.”

Liz is obviously a huge fan of her role with the older kids in Sunday School as she speaks about them with almost as much pride as she has about her own children, Haley, Holden, Hudson, and Sophia…who have helped her throughout the years in many aspects of her volunteer work at Trinity. “If I want my kids to be a part of this, they need to see ME being a part of it,” she explained. “Any time you work with kids, it reframes your perspectives and helps you see what’s important,” she said. She stopped to think for a minute and her excitement got the best of her. When looking ahead to this new year of Sunday School, she simply emanated happiness and announced, “I can’t WAIT!” There is a need for more Sunday School help, and Liz is a walking advertisement for the benefits of volunteering in this special ministry. “For parents, it’s a great way to MODEL the behavior and having more adults around to help is always a good thing,” she said.

Her willingness to help with Trinity’s youth also included her being a chaperone on the Youth Gathering trip to Texas a few years ago. Her most treasured memories of that experience included going to worship in the stadium with 30,000 people…the majority of whom were kids…and having the time to connect with her own high-school-aged son, Hudson, in the process. Volunteering at Trinity is second nature to Liz. She said, “This is a way I can give back and be connected to giving back. For me, the connection is more than just dollars. I get more out of it than I put into it…every time.” One of the greatest things about Trinity in her eyes is the inter-generational connections that members have. Where else can you talk as easily with a middle school student as a retired person, for example? Liz is proud of her church family and her involvement here. “I think you can get something out of everything you put yourself into,” she said. “I’ve never felt like any of my time has been wasted here.”