At the annual meeting, I answered a question about numbers at Trinity and framed my answer by speaking about the various communities present here. I did this because I don’t think we see the full number of people at Trinity if we measure by worship attendance (which is approximately 220 weekly). I suggested that the various communities of Trinity may need to work on seeing each other.
To do this, we need to tell our stories well. Our communities fill various needs for us personally. For example, 10 women faithfully attend the Ruth Bible study that meets monthly. Roughly 35 families bring their children (about 60 kids) to Sunday School every week because they’re committed to their child’s faith formation. About 24 people meet to sing sacred music every Wednesday night. Anywhere from 15 to 40 high school students attend LIFT to talk about their faith in light of current events. 31 students (and 7 mentors!) come to confirmation for an intense two-year program of Lutheran thinking and Christian learning. *THIS IS NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST
For people keeping track, that means around 81 families with children (a demographic people at the annual meeting asked about) come to Trinity – on a slow week! This is a lot of people! The good news is that there exists a LOT of opportunity to connect our communities, to meet people where they’re at within the community they frequent, to listen to their story of why they’re part of this community.
Jesus Christ is the center of all our communities at Trinity. Not the numbers. Not the pledges. Not the frequency. Not the projects or the changes or the past or the future.
Not my favorite hymn or yours. It’s all about Jesus. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior is the heart of everything we do, everything we are in this community.
Ask yourself, why are we engaging in this counter-cultural spiritual practice of worship? An hour of non-entertainment, where we listen, rest, slow our breathing to be restored? Because of Jesus Christ.
Why are we sending our children here every week to be taught lessons from an ancient book? Because Jesus Christ is living in this place, among us and not confined to pages of the Bible! Why do high school students think of Trinity as home? Because they practice the non-judgement of Jesus here, just the love. Why do you give your money to this church? Because you want these programs that teach about Jesus to continue. Why do you come to study God’s Word and find ways to serve God in the world? Because Jesus calls us to discipleship.
Now, numbers are interesting. For example, we officially have 1,741 members. But what does that mean for us in our daily walk of discipleship? Do numbers affect how we invite people to know Jesus? Does it change how we serve? Love? Forgive? Give an offering? Might our numbers change if we look around at the various communities within Trinity?
Our theme this year is community. This month, dear Trinity, I pray that each of us will look around at various communities here and seek the opportunity to see one another, count each other, and tell our stories of Jesus Christ.
Midweek Lent Thursdays
5:00 p.m. Soup Supper in Fellowship Hall
(served until 6:15 p.m.—come anytime)
6:30 p.m. Worship in Sanctuary
Lent theme is Wilderness.
Wilderness “state of the wild”
Lent begins in the wilderness. The Spirit guides Jesus into the wilderness where he comes face to face with temptation and struggle. Yet, in his forty days of fasting, resisting, and wandering, Jesus is shaped and formed for ministry. Similarly, through the wilderness of Lent, we are invited to surrender to the wild leadings of the Spirit. We rarely enter the wilderness willingly, but hopefully through our wandering we remember who we are and whose we are. The wilderness can become sacred even if it remains dangerous. There is no wilderness space too harsh or threatening for God’s love.
In the wilderness our faith is born, nurtured, challenged, and resurrected. May it be so for you this season.
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The Christian Education Ministry Team encourages Trinity members to see themselves as lifelong learners! For the season of Lent we are offering a small daily devotional titled “Wondrous Love.” The readings begin on Ash Wednesday and continue through Lent. These devotionals will be available on the table near the church office, beginning Sunday, Feb. 16.
“May God’s wondrous love be with you during this Lenten season as you walk with Jesus and live into your baptism.” Quote from devotional.
Sunday School / Christian Education
God’s Amazing Love
“God is love.” 1 John 4:16b. During the month of February, we see windows, bulletin boards and cards decorated with hearts. It is a fun, colorful
reminder of showing love.
God’s love is very different from the love we think of on Valentine’s Day. It is not based on feelings. God’s love is sanctifying, redeeming and freeing. As followers of Christ, we are called to open ourselves to God’s boundless love, and then allow God’s love to overflow into our ordinary lives. May we be God’s hands for a hurting world.
Sunday School dates to keep in mind
Feb. 2 – Souper Bowl Sunday, bring in food or monetary donations. Food donations will go to the Fort Food Pantry. Monetary donations will go to the ELCA World Hunger. Please make your check out to Trinity Lutheran, and mark it World Hunger.
Feb. 16 – Sunday school students in grades 4K-6 will be singing at the 10:45 service.
Feb. 23 – AACE (All Ages Christian Education) Parents are encouraged to attend this special gathering with their children. Members of all ages are welcome to participate. We will gather in the Sanctuary at 9:30.
Feb. 26 – Ash Wednesday worship at 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 22 – No Sunday school
Mar. 29 – No Sunday school
Book discussion with Julie
During the season of Lent, we will be exploring the book The God We Can Know, Exploring the “I AM” saying of Jesus, written by Rob Fuquay a Methodist minister and author. Our discussions will be on Thursday afternoons beginning February 20 and continuing through April 2. We will
gather in the church library at 1:00.
This book explores and offers commentary on the images Jesus uses in the “I Am” statements found in the Gospel of John. This study includes a DVD component that takes us to different locations in the Holy Land.
The books are on their way. They will be available in the church office. The cost is $10.00. Please have exact amount or write a check to Trinity and mark it book discussion. If the cost of the book prevents you from attending, please speak with Julie.
Questions? Contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-4145 ex. 4.
Youth and Families
We have several Ministry teams working hard to provide activities and opportunities to participate at Trinity.
The Property Team is working on keeping our church and grounds in tip top condition.
The Fellowship Team is working on providing several different types of opportunities to participate in.
The Discipleship Team is working on service projects and being in the community.
The Education Team is working on educational opportunities for adults and kids.
The Youth Team is working on mapping out experiences for our youth.
Each team is looking to add new members. The time commitment is minimal and it’s fun!
If you are interested in joining a team, please see Kitty.
WOW—Walking on Water
A discussion group for young people 18-28. The schedule for this group moves around according to work schedules.
If you are interested, please contact Kitty at email@example.com.
LIFT—6:30 p.m. All high schoolers welcome!!
LIFT Wednesday—February 5th
LIFT Wednesday— February 19th
UPLIFT Wednesday –February 12th
Friday, February 21, 6:30 p.m.
Come join our new Women’s group at Trinity. It is open to all women of all ages. Each month we explore a new topic pertinent to our lives.
Worship with the Youth Director
February 26, Ash Wednesday
Let me know if you are coming so I can order enough pizza!
Property Ministry Team Updates
- Received bid to have Council approval to replace lights in the Sanctuary with LED bulbs and to have the Exit sign in the Narthex replaced. We are working to fix all issues to be in compliance with fire inspection.
- Planning to replace the two toilets in the bathrooms across from the office area to be ADA height and for better flushing capability. We will have water shut off valves in all the toilets in the building inspected and replaced as needed.
- The small area of tile in the downstairs boys bathroom by the urinal that was repaired will be replaced.
- The Kitchen Committee is getting bids on the metal work table, cupboards, countertops and are waiting for approval to move ahead.
- We have bids for a security system that would include a doorbell camera/desk stations for access to the building during the work week.
- We are securing signage for better visualization to the elevator.
- We are looking at securing parking blocks to put next to the new fence for protection of the fence.
- We are looking for members to help clean the house on Adams Street. Items need to be removed and general cleaning needs to be done.
Fellowship Ministry Team
The Fellowship Ministry Team works to build relationships within the church community. This is done in a variety of ways: Rally Day, Tables of 8, hiking group, coffee fellowship, sporting events, hosting workshops, hospitality hosts at key worship services, i.e., Christmas, Lent; funerals and weddings.
The “Forgiveness and Reconciliation” workshop was postponed by bad weather on consecutive Saturdays in January. We are working to reschedule with the presenter, Stacy Whetlow, probably in April. In addition, these activities are coming up:
First one is planned for Saturday, Feb. 8, hosted by Ron & Marla Michaelis. We are limiting this to 12 adults only. A signup sheet is in the hallway across from the Hearth Room if you’d like to join us. Come for the cards, stay for the fun!
Family Game Night
First one is planned for Sunday Feb. 23 at Trinity. We’ll put up a signup sheet and/or use online “Signup Genius” for this. Snacks, pizza, etc. are planned. Details to come.
Fun for the whole family!
Lori Godfrey is leading this activity. Dates and details to come.
Since last fall, Aurelio Callope has led a group of hiking enthusiasts, and will continue as long as there’s interest. Plans are also in the works for a Milwaukee Brewers game outing this summer.
Additional fellowship activities will be determined by the team, and input from Trinity members is always welcomed.
Our meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Trinity.
Our next meeting will be Feb. 11, 2020.
If you have questions or would like to join the Fellowship team, feel free to contact:
Fellowship Ministry Team Leader
Discipleship Ministry Team
Discipleship is the volunteering of our time to serve members within our congregation and beyond. Our congregation is blessed with many volunteers who practice this on a regular basis. We are actively involved with the Christmas Neighbors, Ronald McDonald House, the Fort Atkinson Food Pantry, Trudy’s Room, the Homeless Coalition, and Feed Your Soul.
There is a need to increase the number of volunteers for Feed Your Soul. Parents, this is a good opportunity for you and your child to volunteer together. Trinity Lutheran assists with this service five times each year, for about 2 ½ hours each night. We need 6-8 people each night from 4:30-7:00 p.m. on May 28, August 27, October 22, and December 17.
A signup sheet will be placed on the bulletin board 2 weeks prior to each night. Please pray fully consider helping with this opportunity to serve our community.
The Discipleship Ministry Team is still in need of volunteers. We meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. for one hour. Please consider becoming part of this wonderful opportunity.
Please call Vickie Steinke at 920-650-2729 if you have questions or interest in
AACE: Lenten Open House
Come learn about the season of Lent with us! We’ll have an open house of different practices, prayer stations, an art project for the sanctuary, and take-home actives for your 40 days leading up to Easter. ALL AGES CHRISTIAN EDUCATION welcomes everyone! Gather in the sanctuary at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 23!
Starting in March 2020 the Altar Flowers cost will be $20. Please contact Beatrice in church office with any questions.
Directories Are Here!!
All members, come get your directory from Beatrice in the church office, Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Addresses for Trinity’s College & Tech Students and Service Members
Did your young adult move to school or go into the service? The STAR group is looking for the addresses of current Trinity college and tech students and service members for their card ministry. Email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include their birthday too. Thank you!
Prayers are requested for: Judy Almquist, Marsha Anderson, Sandy Anderson, Andrew Campbell, Linda Doerr, Chuck Frandson, Kim Hannan, Renee Jensen, Bob Kyle, Dan Morrow, Debbie Pierce, Tom Pomraning, Chris Rattray, Stella Rattray, Jeremy Schepp, Denny Stark, Shelley Scheurm, Ruth Smithback, Karen Weber, Donna Weeks, Donald Zuehlke and those we name silently in our hearts.
Pastor Amy continuing ed
Pastor Amy will be out of town at continuing Education Feb. 11-16, 2020.
The below resources will have the most up-to-date information on Trinity’s closings due to the weather. WFAW, CHANNEL 3000, Trinity’s Facebook page, and Trinity’s Website @ trinityfort.org If school is cancelled, Thursday worship is cancelled.
Adult Sunday School: Catechism
Has it been a while since you’ve studied Luther’s Small Catechism? Maybe you became a Lutheran as an adult and haven’t had the opportunity
to study his teachings.
You’re invited to a refresher course with Pastor Amy. Sundays 9:45 a.m.-10:15 a.m.
Housekeeping Ministry Team
The Housekeeping Ministry Team will NOT meet in February. They will meet again on Friday, March 13, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Everyone is welcome!!
Conference spring gathering
You are invited to attend the:
2020 ELKHORN CONFERENCE SPRING GATHERING 2020 VISION
Saturday, April 25, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. through 1 p.m. luncheon
(Registration/ refreshments at 8:00 a.m.)
Host church: St John’s Lutheran Church, 304 N 6th Street #3812, Watertown, WI 53094
For lunch – A NEW TREAT – more information to follow
HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE
Bible reading plan
Pastor Amy would like to invite the ENTIRE congregation to join her in reading through the Bible in 2020 as a community activity.
There will be a gathering to have discussion, conversation and share questions about what we have read over the past month.
This will be held on the last Monday of the month at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
If you would like to commit to this plan, please sign up at Sign up Center.
Download the PDF version of the newsletter for a complete reading schedule, which can be found beginning on page of the February 2020 Trinity Tidings.