5/28/20 Tidings

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Dear Trinity,

Pastor Amy Waelchli
Pastor Amy Waelchli

Council met again on Tuesday for our regularly scheduled meeting. (We meet as necessary in between our planned sessions too.) We prayed, talked, listened, and finally came to 2 true statements:
1. We long to gather in person to worship Jesus Christ.
2. We will not be gathering in person to worship at this time.

Together we will continue to monitor and assess what will be safest for our community.  Please keep us in prayer. While we don’t have a precise date as to when we will return to worship, we have ideas of what it will look like. As we consider returning to worship, here are some things we’re thinking about:

1. At Trinity, we love being together. Physical distancing of 6 feet apart will be a challenge we must meet. We love to talk with one another, welcome newcomers, and generally experience our community and we’ll learn to do so in a new way.

2. Several adjustments to our routine need to take place, such as suspending the practices of passing the peace, shaking hands/hugging to greet one another, passing an offering plate. We will begin using pre-packaged communion elements of juice & wafer. Coffee and community meals won’t be offered.

3. Singing needs to be suspended. Statistics say that people need to be 6 feet apart from one another because particles, potentially viral, are emitted when speaking and therefore easy for others to breathe if they are in near proximity. The risks of singing are much higher – officials vary in saying these particles can travel 16-30 feet. Singing is an important part of our worship experience and while we can, and will, have instrumental music, we don’t want to undervalue the choir and congregational signing.

4. People in at-risk age groups and categories will still be able to worship online.  Online worship is here to stay even when we return to in-person worship.

5. Our online ministries are having success in reaching people and will continue.  We’re looking forward to more possibilities all the time.

6. We need to carefully plan to sanitize the church almost constantly. We’re concerned about the possibility of people who clean also contracting the virus.

7. We’ve checked with our insurance company regarding liability if we should become a source of outbreak. Claims are “case specific” and they are noncommittal if we would be covered. This isn’t an issue of an individual suing the church. It’s about insurance companies working out who pays medical bills.

There are a lot of things we can do right now.

• Trust God: we worship a God who is present and traveling with us. God soothes the sick and inspires the essential worker. God calms our hearts and brings prayers to our lips. We can Trust God.

• Name our Grief:  our world won’t be the same and the speed with which its changing is scary. Yet, we’re resilient people to whom God gave strength. We can Name our Grief.

• Consider the Spirit: we’re blessed with a new take on the church. The power of the Holy Spirit unites us! We can Consider the Spirit.

• Share Jesus with others: We’re reaching people with our online ministry that we’ve never met! We can share Jesus with others.

Sunday is Pentecost, the day we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. In so many ways, I can see and sense the Spirit on the move among us right now. Yes, its certainly not what we’re accustomed to, but the Spirit still works!

Thanks be to God!
Grace + Peace,
Pastor Amy

Drive Through Communion: This Sunday, 5/31, 9 – 10 am at Trinity!

Communion is a sacred gift to us from God. Jesus commanded that we “do this to remember” him and still serves as the host of this meal. Come. Receive this gift, be strengthened by the love and sacrifice of Jesus, be renewed. To prepare yourself for receiving communion, please worship online with us at 8 am. Although the logistics of this feast are decidedly different, it is no less holy.
Pastor Amy and Pastor Dan will be stationed in the parking lot ready to distribute blessed elements of juice and wafer, the body and blood of Jesus. All you need to do is roll down your window!
• Even with mask and glove precautions, there is some element of risk to this. If you feel unwell or are hesitant in any way, please stay home. Jesus loves you!
• Enter the church parking lot of Lincoln Street and wrap around the building (arrows).
Parking lot attendants will direct you to stations where Pastor Amy and Pastor Dan will pass communion to you through your window.

Please note: the church will be closed and bathrooms unavailable.
Gluten Free Wafers available on request

Little Free Pantry – Now Open!

Current stock: Toothpaste + toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, towels, feminine hygiene products, other personal care items. Help yourself and spread the word. This is for anyone in need. Feel free to donate directly to the Little Free Pantry and spread the word!

Tune in to worship 6/7 for a sermon delivered by Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA.

Beginning Sunday, June 14, we start a new worship series called Unraveled: Seeking God when our Plans Fall Apart. Life doesn’t always go as planned—sometimes that’s good, and sometimes that’s painful.
Sometimes we need God to unravel us, for we long to be changed. This worship series explores 12 stories of unraveled shame, identity, fear, grief, dreams, and expectations. These are stories where God meets us in the spiraling, unraveling our plans—and us—into something new.  Study journals available at drive through communion and by appointment.
Please contact the office for yours!

Sunday school/Christian Education

A BIG Thank you to all of the volunteer Sunday school staff! As with many programs, we ended abruptly with several loose ends – one of them being giving Thanks to our volunteers. So, volunteers; Thank you for helping our students “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter. 3:18

PRAYERS REQUESTED FOR…..Judy Almquist, Marsha Anderson, Sandy Anderson, Nick Bee, Linda Doerr, Kim Hannan, Renee Jensen, Ron Kemmerling, Bob Kyle, Phyllis Lang, Steffani Liebel, Rick Liebel, Dan Morrow, Pam Nicholas, Debbie Pierce, Tom Pomraning, Violet Prust, Tim Sawyer, Denny Stark, Shelley Scheurm, Ruth Smithback, Karen Weber, Donna Weeks, Aryzone Zick, Donald Zuehlke and those we name silently in our hearts.

Youth, Families and Ministry Team News

LIFT—The summer service trip has sadly been cancelled for this year.
Deposits can be fully returned, be forwarded to the National Youth Gathering
next summer or be donated to LIFT for future projects. Please see me for more details.

The National Youth Gathering will be next summer the week of June 26th. We
will be scheduling a meeting sometime in September to pass out information on this trip.

VBS—Virtual VBS sign up will begin next week. We are calling it VBS in a bag! All of the materials that you will need will be in the bag as well as links to some activities. We anticipate late July for delivery of bags.

Ministry Teams—A Zoom meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 1st at 6:30pm for all ministry team members that are interested. We will be discussing ideas on moving forward.

Personal—Tim is home recovering from his triple bypass. Thanks so much to
everyone that reached out to us. Once again, our Trinity family blew us away
with their kindness and generosity.

Please join us in celebrating our Seniors here at Trinity. Please contact Beatrice at officetlc314@gmail.com to provided students addresses so you can send them notes or cards
of Congratulations.

Seth Draeger
Seth will be attending Western Technical College in LaCrosse for business.  He also is a member of their Cavaliers Baseball team.

Patrick Veenhius
He is not sure of his plans and wants to try working first for a trade opportunity.

Click here for the Daily Faith Practices Pentecost from ELCA.