A Message from Pastor Amy
Back when I was a kid, my Dad would put a star on top of our house for Advent. Not a real star, but ‘the’ star in our family. As in, ‘Did you plug in The Star?’ Dad made a frame out of 8-foot 1x2s and attached Christmas lights to it with a staple gun. He climbed on the roof of our home in rural Dresser, Wisconsin and tied it around the chimney. We could see it from a mile away! Literally! On dark winter nights the lights shone bright, guiding our drive home, and growing bigger and brighter the closer we got.
After moving away for college, The Star was a beacon, a warm welcome, a signal that someone in the house was ready and waiting for me to arrive. I always looked for The Star first when visiting my parents.
But as is natural, things keep changing. This year my Mom and Dad moved to Whitewater (and have joined Trinity). They’re living in Prairie Village in a home without a chimney or another suitable spot to hang an 8-foot star, but they did have room for a smaller one. So Dad cut up and reconfigured The Star, leaving him with two Stars. And now I have one hanging at my house!
This simple shape is, for people of faith, a symbol of the nativity because The Wise Men follow The Star to find Jesus after he’s born. The Star shone as a welcome to them, announcing that God was ready for them to arrive. Even today our holiday decorations can announce the Savior of the World.
May you see The Star shining bright and know that God welcomes you, is ready for you to come home.
In His Light,
Christmas Eve Schedule
*You will be given a candle and copy of Silent Night at Drive Thru Communion to carry our Trinity tradition into your homes.
“I want to personally thank each and everyone of you for your service and commitment to helping this past month at the Fort Atkinson Food Pantry. These are not easy times.
I’m certain that signing up for shifts and for taking extra shifts, when the need arose, was not an easy decision to make. But it was so appreciated.
In November we served a total of 661 individuals in 230 households. While the number of total people served in November was down slightly from last year, the number of households served was up. The need is great.
Again thank you for your time, you all help to make this work lighter and, might I add,enjoyable.
God’s blessings to each of you and Merry Christmas to you and your families.”
– Gary Thom
Thank you to Jim Rinden and Russ Nord for coming to do a walk through with windows and doors consultants on Monday and Wednesday morning.
Thank you to those who decorated for Christmas at the church.
Thank you to the Church Chicks and everyone else who made cookies for the Christmas Cookie event!
Church Chicks will be handing out bags of homemade Christmas cookies at Drive Thru Communion on Thursday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 18.
Joseph and Mary traveled a long way before Jesus was born. As your family enjoys holiday adventures together, bring your flat Nativity along on your travels and take pictures of family members holding it. You can post pictures on the church’s social media sites using #FlatNativity.
Where will you go with #FlatNativity? Here are some ideas for pictures:
- on the dashboard of your car
- under your Christmas tree
- next to another nativity set
- by a plat of cookies
- by your bible
Use the link below for a digital copy of the flat Nativity or pick one up at drive-thru communion.
Community Christmas Day Free Dinner
Sponsored by Fort Atkinson Community Dinner Committee and hosted by St. Joseph’s Church in Fort.
This is a FREE dinner for anyone in the community who may be alone on Christmas Day or who can’t prepare a meal.
Reservations: Please call St. Joe’s office at 563-3029. Carside pickup and carry-outs ONLY. Pickup is from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. For home delivery, call Tom at 920-988-1280.
** Anyone interested in volunteering call Don & Olive at 920-563-4773. Donated cash for pies are needed for the dinner. No homemade pies will be accepted. **
Hiking/Fellowship Social Distancing Event
Saturday, Dec 19, 2020 at 10:00 am, meet at the Dorothy Carnes Park East parking lot on Jones Lane just off of Banker Road, north of Fort Atkinson.
At the entrance, visitors will notice a log cabin restoration project in progress along with multiple farmstead buildings. Hearty Gardens, a community garden, makes its home here too. Visitors will find beautiful, groomed trails with restroom facilities. This is also the trail head for two walk-in, rustic camping sites. Existing Facilities -Parking lot, trails, shelter, electricity, hand pump, picnic tables, restrooms, benches, observation deck, woods,prairie, grassland and wetland. 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, winter jacket, hat, gloves and/or sunglasses. If you are more comfortable, you may also wear a face mask.
We’ll be hiking about 2-3 miles in the 514 acre conservation park. It consists of 198 acres of prairie, 108 acres of Oak Savanah, 76 acres of agricultural land and 90 acres of wetland. The park surrounds Rose Lake marsh, one of the most diverse bird areas in the county. 480 of the 514 acres is also designated as the Rose Lake State Natural Area, due to its outstanding examples of native natural communities, significant geological formations and archaeological sites.Any questions, please contact Aurelio at callopeAnD86@gmail.com or 262-490-4923.
Advent and Christmas Devotions
Our Hope and Expectation will be available during Drive Thru Communion while supplies last. You may also come pick one up M-Th, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. This devotional provides daily devotions for the first Sunday of Advent (Nov. 29, 2020) through Epiphany (Jan. 6. 2021). Each devotion includes a scripture reading, photo, a reflection and a prayer. The devotional also offers additional prayers and blessings to be used throughout the season of Advent.
This year, money collected for Operation Christmas will benefit the Fort Atkinson Food Pantry. Money will be collected at Drive Thru Communion for the rest of December starting on Dec. 13.
Any questions can go to Stephanie Beran at (920) 563-2156 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sale of the Adams Street Property
The sale of the Adams Street Property is final! On Nov. 20 all paperwork was signed. Pastor Amy met the buyer, Richard, who plans to rehab the home for a rental or an adult group home for those with disabilities. After all was said and done, the church received $131,037.60. The council voted to add the money to our Money Market account so that it can earn interest while we decide what to do with it. The property committee previously brought up the need for new windows and doors. We’ve also had concern about our outdoor lighting. These are just some ideas. Thank you to Sharon Stade for all the showings, getting the zoning changed to residential with the city, and all the other ways you represented us.
Just like every year, Trinity will be sponsoring 13 families for Christmas. It will look a little different this year, but our hearts will still be in the same place.
There are still gifts for kids, hams and turkeys that need to be purchased! Contact Kitty for details.
Please return your unwrapped gifts to church by Thursday, Dec. 17. They can be returned any day during office hours or during any Drive Thru Communion.
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.
On behalf of the Finance Committee, God’s peace and rich blessings to you and yours.
Christine Cluver, Treasurer
You do make a difference!
Keeping young minds in school is not only important for them as individuals, but it’s an important investment into the future of their families and their community. This is especially true in La Esperanza, Guatemala. Most students there stop their schooling at the end of 6th grade. UPAVIM wants to change that, and your help is still needed.
UPAVIM’s scholarship program provides hundreds of children with the life-changing power of education each year. It’s entirely funded by donations. Just $63 provides one primary or junior high student with the supplies he/she needs to stay in school, materials for a tutoring center and a portion of the center’s coordinator.
COVID-19 has caused additional financial challenges around the world. Scholarships are so vital! That’s why we’ve been collecting quarters and more for the past few years. As of the end of October, we’ve gathered about $650. Well done! But to help as much as possible, we’re collecting through December. Please continue to bring your donations to Drive-Thru Communion.
ELCA World Hunger Drive
Now through Dec. 31, every donation to ELCA World Hunger will be matched dollar for dollar until they reach $265,000. Your offering must be post marked by December 31. Give today and your offering will be doubled!
Send a check to the church and your donation will be given by Trinity Lutheran Church.
As the world copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, your gifts to ELCA World Hunger are even more urgently needed. Our partners and companions around the globe are working urgently to adapt their programs to ensure that people can stay healthy, feed themselves and their families, and make it through the economic challenges brought on by the pandemic. Today, the ELCA asks you to answer Christ’s call to walk alongside our neighbors around the world as they work through this difficult time.
Prayers requested for . . .
Delight Albrecht, Marsha Anderson, Sandy Anderson, Sharon Armstrong, Terry Badura, Wayne Behselich, Linda Doerr, Wendy Falk, Chris Griffin, Naomi, Bob Kyle, Phyllis Lang, Barb Manwaring, Dan Morrow, Pam Nicholas, Joanne Nordeen, Debbie Pierce, Tom Pomraning, Violet Prust, Paul Reed, Harold Rumppe, Shelley Scheurm, Ruth Smithback, Roger Strege, Darin Wiebe, Donna Weeks, Donald Zuehlke.
Do you have a prayer concern? Email the prayer force at email@example.com. People will gladly pray for you or your loved one with their whole hearts!