A Message from Pastor Amy
“For we have observed His Star at its rising, and have come to pay Him homage.” Matthew 2: 2
The Wise men speak these words inscribed in Matthew’s Gospel. They left their home and country to investigate the bright star in the night sky. After travel, they sought and received an audience with a foreign head of state. They named the existence of one with more power than any king and shared their intent to honor Him. These were Bold, Brave, Determined, Wise men.
Unlike the Wise men, we’re not traveling from afar these days. Right now, my family and I don’t leave our home with any frequency. Picking up groceries has gone from necessity to event. Our home is now our primary workplace, school, theater, and restaurant. (In our case the service at this eatery has gone downhill and we have to do the dishes!) For each of us, our home – be it an apartment, room, house, cabin, trailer – is now transformed into a multi-use hub thanks to this pandemic.
So it is time, even overdue, that we take a moment to bless our dwellings. One of the things (among many) I treasure doing as a Pastor is home blessings when people move. I bring a candle and we walk from room to room saying farewell to the space and packing the memories to come to the new dwelling. When you’re settled in your new place, we use the same candle to bless the rooms and the future that you will live into there.
We bless homes and rooms not because God would be a no-show if we didn’t, but because it orients us to God’s ready presence in every room and every aspect of our lives. This makes us much like the Wise men, especially in this moment in the world. We are bold, brave, and determined to ask, name, and recall God’s presence.
This week at Drive Thru Communion, by pick up, or drop off to home bound members by arrangement with Julie, you will receive your home blessing kit. It’s very simple and includes: a piece of chalk, instructions, and prayers. You use the chalk on the door frame of a room or main door of a house to inscribe 20 + CMB + 21. This is the year plus the initials of the (legendary) names of the Wise men. The chalk will easily wear off but the prayers, the presence, the act of faithfulness will remain.
I look forward to seeing you this week to get your home blessing kits at communion!
Worship Volunteer Opportunities
Are you interested in serving in worship in some way? We are looking for additional volunteers! Contact the office if you are interested in learning more about either of the following:
- Singing for online worship
- Serving as assisting minister for online worship
A Message from Julie
I will soon be serving Trinity in a new way. When Pastor Dan Dibbert’s retirement became official, Trinity’s Personnel Group met (through Zoom) to discuss the staffing needs at Trinity.
The Personnel Group presented me with the opportunity of stepping into the Visitation Ministry. I was surprised, but intrigued by this. Following time in prayer and further discussion, I accepted the position.
I joined the staff at Trinity in 1999 as the Director of Sunday School. Serving Trinity in that capacity has been a joy-filled blessing. During this time of transition, a team of four Sunday school teachers will be overseeing the Sunday School programming.
I look forward to this new opportunity. Working with the Visitation Ministry will open up new joys and relationships. It is an honor to continue to serve Trinity.
Led by Steve Larson on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., meet at the Lake La Grange Loop Trail parking lot on County Hwy. 12, https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/wisconsin/lake-la-grange-loop-trail? mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map&ref=sidebar-view-full-map
Lake La Grange Loop Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Whitewater, Wisconsin that features beautiful wild flowers (snow-covered now and no flowers) and is rated as moderate. Bring your face mask for using the toilets. Bring a water bottle, grippers or yak tracks for your hiking boots, trekking poles or walking stick if you have/want them, snacks in case you need an energy pickup, hat and/or sunglasses. Dress in layers. You may bring and wear your snowshoes but the path may be narrow in some areas. Expect the trail to be snow or ice-covered. If you are more comfortable, you may also wear a face mask. We’ll be hiking the 2.7 mile moderately trafficked loop. It has an Elevation gain of 160 ft.
Any questions, please contact Aurelio at callopeAnD86@gmail.com or 262-490-4923
The Gospel of Mark Study
Starting on Jan. 11, there will be a book study on the Gospel of Mark. Books are $8. You will be notified once the books are in. The study can be done on your own, or you can join an online class. Classes will meet on Mondays at noon and 6:30 p.m. This is an especially great book study to do if you’ve never done one before, but all are welcome! There are book scholarships available if needed. Contact the office to sign up!
House Blessing Kits
Epiphany is the season after Christmas that begins when the Wise Men arrive to see baby Jesus 12 days after Christmas. That’s January 6, if you’re looking at your calendar. Because we’ve all been home so much and because 2021 is a new year (thanks be to God!), we’re going to continue in the European tradition of blessing our homes with a visual blessing inscribed with white chalk above the main door of our houses.
The house blessing kits will include instructions, chalk, and a blessing.
Come to Drive Thru Communion on Jan. 7 and 10 to get your home blessing kit. Or, call the office to make arrangements.
The offering envelopes for January-June should be arriving at your homes shortly. Keep your eye out for the package! Many thanks for your patience as we work to get the envelopes ordered and sent.
A Note from the Treasurer
This year has been challenging in many ways, but Trinity Lutheran church has been able to help serve our community, contributing to the food pantry, our little free pantry, and the Good Samaritan fund. Looking ahead to 2021, we are working to budget for serving our local church body as well as the greater church.
If you have submitted your 2021 pledge, thank you. If you haven’t, prayerfully consider your gift for God’s work.
Keep your eye out for a pledge form and letter in the mail with further directions.
On behalf of the Finance Committee, God’s peace and rich blessings to you and yours.
Schools are returning. Now what?
The Fort Atkinson School District voted to return students to school in a modified format. (Hybrid for older students and in-person for younger ones.) Trinity’s Council will discuss our return to in-person worship at our next council meeting on Jan. 26.
At the end of 2020, we sent just about $1,200 from our quarter bank to UPAVIM, the women’s cooperative in Guatemala we support. We got a huge THANK YOU from them, saying that they have met their scholarship goal for 2021!
They also have received funds from other generous donors to enable them to help provide work and assistance for the women for a while. Their craft sales are way down, so the foundation board has been supplementing the women’s income to enable them to feed their families until this pandemic eases and life returns to more normal status.
Your donations and purchases of craft items really do make a huge difference in people’s lives.
ELCA World Hunger Drive
We were able to raise $1,140.00 for the ELCA World Hunger Drive! That money will be matched by a generous donor through the ELCA. We thank God that you are such a giving and generous church family!
Reading the Bible in a Year
There is a reading guide available for those interested in reading the Bible in a year. Please contact the office if you are interested in receiving a digital or paper copy of the reading guide.
Prayers Requested For . . .
Marsha Anderson, Sandy Anderson, Sharon Armstrong, Terry Badura, Wayne Behselich, Chris Griffin, Bob Kyle, Phyllis Lang, Diane Luebke, Barb Manwaring, Dan Morrow, Carol Mueller, Debbie Pierce, Violet Prust, Paul Reed, Harold Rumppe, Shelley Scheurm, Verne Sell, Ruth Smithback, Roger Strege, Hannah Teubert, Donald Zuehlke.
Do you have a prayer concern? Email the prayer force at firstname.lastname@example.org. People will gladly pray for you or your loved one with their whole hearts!