In July, the city began the removal of the ash tree in front of the church on the corner of Lincoln and Barrie to combat the effects of the pernicious emerald ash borer. The leafy branches were cut off, chipped and hauled away. The limbs were cut into manageable sizes and stacked on the terrace where they waited for their ride to the city compost site.
You can now plainly see the X which marked it for removal. The trunk still stands in the liminal space between viability and wood chips. It’s a harsh sight, seeing a tree without its branches. Branches are the signs of life and mark the passage of seasons with its leafy rhythm between spring buds and winter barren.
I pass this tree often as I walk around the church while making various
phone calls, visiting with people as I try to stay in touch. I was brought
up short the day I turned the corner and saw the remnants of the tree.
I’ve continued to walk by this tree while I’m on the phone and last week
I stopped again because, here, look:
Do you see? It’s started growing again. Can you see the leaves
sprouting from the fresh cut trunk?
I am amazed. Even with the intention to remove, life persists. Growth happens right from the wound.
When Jesus talks about pruning in the Bible, it sounds threatening to me. In John’s Gospel he says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. God removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit. He prunes to make it bear more fruit.” (John 15: 1-2) I’m left wondering what I’ll be going without when I get pruned; or, what happens if I or someone I love gets pruned altogether?!
Seeing this tree, however, reminded me of God’s continued story, which is to be in relationship with Creation and bring redemption to it. God’s story doesn’t stop because of pruning or tree removal or quarantine or protests.
God’s story continues among us in new ways – even after we experience pruning. New growth – physical, spiritual, emotional, communal – comes from pruning. The truth is: we are part of God’s story and God’s story is not over.
I know this season has been challenging for us, as individuals and as a community. I urge you to hang on to the fact that new growth is coming. We believe in the resurrection, after all! Keep your eyes open for signs of new life, of God’s continued story in your lives and in the world.
Even when the trunk is completely gone, the city plans to plant a new tree in its place. No, it won’t be the same, but it will be a kind of continuation. God’s story continues, dear ones, and you are a precious part of it.
Grace + Peace,
Hiking/Fellowship Social Distancing Event
Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020 at 10:00 am, meet at the Scuppernong Trails parking lot on County Highway ZZ just east of Highway 67 north of the Village of Eagle, www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/wisconsin/scuppernong-nature-trail?ref=sidebar-view-full-map
Caravaning is available for those who want to meet at Trinity Lutheran Church. It will take about 30 minutes to drive to the trailhead parking lot, so plan to be at the church parking lot no later than 9:15 a.m.
This is a fee area, so you’ll need a yearly Wisconsin state parks pass for your vehicle ($28) or you will have to purchase a day pass ($8) for your vehicle. The trail head has potable water and toilets. Bring your face mask for
using the toilets.
Bring a water bottle, trekking poles or walking stick if you have/want them, snacks in case you need an energy pickup, bug spray, hat and/or sunglasses. If you are more comfortable, you may also wear a face mask.
The Scuppernong Nature Trail (Orange Trail) is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail that features a river, rolling characteristic through hardwood forest and pine plantations, and kettle moraine terrain within the South Kettle Moraine State Forest. It is marked as an Easy to Moderate trail with 285 ft elevation change.
Any questions, please contact Aurelio at callopeAnD86@gmail.com or 262-490-4923.
Change in Tidings Frequency
Starting in September, Trinity Tidings will move to being published every other week.
Another way to view Trinity’s worship service: for those that have Spectrum cable TV, you can view the service on cable channel 987 Monday through Saturday at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
How to sign up for worship
Step 1: Pick a day!
Will you come Sunday at 9 a.m. or Thursday at 6:30 p.m?
Step 2: Call Trinity
Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Step 3: Speak with staff
Sarah will happily place you on the sign up list for worship when you call during the specified times. Please don’t leave a message.
Step 4: Come to worship!
Thanks for signing up! Church is open 15 minutes prior to worship. Bring your mask. If you forget, we will have one for you.
Little Free Pantry
We Still Need A Little Help!!
Due to the current economic events, we are noticing a higher demand for food items in our Little Pantry. (It is located on the east side of the church, off Adams St., on the lawn next to the driveway.)
We would like to make sure it has items in it every day, but we can’t do it alone. We have come up with an idea that would require a SMALL amount of time, but be a HUGE help!
We were wondering who would claim one (1) day per week or every other week (i.e.: 1st and 3rd Monday each month). Responsibilities would be to check on and add items to our Little Pantry. Items could be purchased by you, supplemented from collected food pantry items in the church or even
collected from work places.
The MORE people we have share in the responsibility, the FEWER days we all take per month!
Hello STAR members
We are going to have our gathering on Sept. 14 at 1:00 p.m. This gathering will include air hugs, social distancing, and Masks. But if you do not feel safe we will understand. The location will be called to you on Thursday Sept 10.
The agenda will not include our normal task, but will be filled with opportunities for discussion about a special project that Pastor Amy would like our assistance with. The other topic will be about our October collection of hats and mittens for the schools. Thank you to the current members for your help with the thank you cards and our ongoing projects. I will be calling you soon.
The STAR team is made of warm hearts, busy hands and caring for others. IF you don’t think you have a talent to share, we will help you find it. We would like to extend an invitation to anyone that would like to become a member of the STAR team. Please call Sharon Armstrong at (920) 650-4948.
Many hands make the Lords work better.
Sunday School in a Bag
Trinity Lutheran is offering families with students ages 4K-6th grade the opportunity to continue Sunday school lessons at home. We are calling it Sunday School in a Bag! Every 4 weeks a new Bible story will be featured, along with a bag of engaging activities to help families explore the story.
Go to trinityfort.org and look for “Register now for Sunday school in a bag!” A link will take you to the registration form. You will find several options to choose from; all options will be available simultaneously throughout this Sunday school season.
Families having questions about Sunday school are encouraged to contact Julie by calling Trinity, 920-563-4145.
We are once again taking sponsors for flowers each week. There are two floral arrangements that each cost $20. You may sponsor one or both of the arrangements.
Sign up for the week you would like to sponsor flowers on the bulletin board or by contacting the office. Please indicate what the flowers are for (in memory of ________ or in honor of ________).
You may pay for the flowers by putting the money into your offering for the week.
After the flowers are displayed during worship, please take your flowers with you at the end of the service.
Church open for prayer
Starting in September, the church will be open for those wishing to pray in the church during the week. You must sign in at the office before going into the sanctuary to pray. While in the church, you must follow social distancing guidelines, wear a mask, and sanitize your hands before you enter. If the sanctuary is at capacity at the time of your arrival, you may be asked to come another time. When you are finished praying, you must sign out at the church office and sanitize where you were praying. Wipes will be provided. Please do not come if you have had any symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently been exposed to COVID-19.
The church is open for prayer from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Monday-Thursday. Please call the office with any questions.
We will have drive-through communion on Sept. 6, 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Pastor Amy Out of Office
Pastor Amy will be out of the office Sept. 18-26.
In case of emergency, please contact Pastor Dan at (608) 444-1265.
Prayers Requested for…
Judy Almquist, Marsha Anderson, Sandy Anderson, Alberto Calderon Castro, Linda Doerr, Melissa Endl, Kim Hannan, Jill Fuller, Pat Kyle, Bob Kyle, Phyllis Lang, Steffani Liebel, Rick Liebel, Dan Morrow, Pam Nicholas, Debbie Pierce, Tom Pomraning, Violet Prust, Paul Reed, Shelley Scheurm, Ruth Smithback, Donna Weeks, Aryzone Zick, 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!