January 2020 Trinity Tidings

Print/view the January 2020 Tidings in PDF format

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.
John 1:5

Pastor Amy Waelchli
Pastor Amy Waelchli

Dear Trinity,

This verse is read during our first worship together of the new year. When the calendar is new and darkness occupies more hours than daylight, God speaks of the strength that is the light of Jesus. What a tremendous way to mark the beginning of our year in community together. Community is Trinity’s focus, theme, our collective resolution for 2020.

In keeping with tradition, many people set new year’s resolutions. Lose weight. Go to the gym. Start a new hobby. Resolutions become stale and abandoned as the year wears on and our fervor wears off. Might I suggest that instead of adding something new to your full schedule, you consider going deeper into something you already find meaning in? Please consider exploring your faith practice here at Trinity in deeper ways. Within this living community of Christ, there are ways that each of us (me too!) can grow in our faith. It’s better if we’re in it together.

Here are just some of the projects happening in the life of this community in the first few months of 2020. Won’t you consider joining us? And feel free to bring someone with you!

  • Worship: Worship is our central activity where God gathers and feeds us as a community. Worship is our spiritual practice together that strengthens us to be God’s people in this world.
  • Education: Beginning in 2020, Sunday School + Adult Ed will come together occasionally for some new learning opportunities called AACE (All Ages Christian Ed) featuring special speakers and activities. As an all ages community we’ll learn together!
  • Discipleship: During Lent we’ll focus on different ways we can serve our community together by prayer partnerships and service projects. We’re going to have a baby shower for Trudy’s Room, among other things! More information will be ready for Lent.
  • Spiritual Practice: Join me in reading through the Bible this year. What? The whole Bible? Yes! We can do it if we do it together as a community. Sign up and get the reading plan. It’ll be fun! (Except for 2nd Chronicles, I’m not lying to you about that one!)
  • Spiritual Growth: On January 11, we’re hosting a Forgiveness and Reconciliation Workshop with Christian speaker and life coach, Stacy Whetlow. As individuals, we’ll explore ways to move past old hurts that still keep us stuck so that we can work toward forgiveness as Jesus teaches. It’s hard work, but worthwhile.

As you can see, we’re taking the theme of community to heart. I really believe that God has called us together to be a living community of Christ and that it is Jesus Christ who shines among us, lighting our path, calling us into God’s future. Please know that at any time, you are welcome and wanted within this community.

In the hope of the Christ Child,
Pastor Amy

Let’s read the whole Bible together

Pastor Amy would like to invite the ENTIRE congregation to join her in reading through the Bible in 2020 as a community activity.
The 2020 Reading Plan is listed on pages 3-6 of the PDF version of the January Tidings. 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 or by clicking this link.

Thursday Worship

Prayers requested for . . .

Judy Almquist, Marsha Anderson, Sandy Anderson, Andrew Campbell, Linda Doerr, Kim Hannan, Renee Jensen, Bob Kyle, Jami Miller, Dan Morrow, Debbie Pierce, Tom Pomraning, Chris Rattray, Jeremy Schepp, Denny Stark, Shelley Scheurm, Ruth Smithback, Karen Weber, Donna Weeks, Donald Zuehlke and those we name silently in our hearts.

Forgiveness & Reconciliation Workshop

**** DATE CHANGE ****

Sign up here for the Forgiveness & Reconciliation Workshop, Saturday, Jan. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon.

School kids

Christian Education

As we flow through the seasons of the church year, it is interesting to understand the focus of each season. We are entering the church season of Epiphany. It is often called the season of light. Epiphany begins with the Magi following a star to worship Jesus, we then are drawn to Jesus’ Baptism and the following Sundays focus on Jesus ministry. Jesus brings light to the world. He prays, preaches and heals. We are invited to reflect his light to those around us! May the Light of Christ light our way.

Sunday school dates to keep in mind
Jan. 5 – Birthday Party for Jesus, students please gather in the Sanctuary at 9:30 as usual. We will then go down to Fellowship Hall and celebrate Jesus’ birthday.
Jan. 12 – Trinity’s first AACE (All Ages Christian Education) It is requested that Sunday school students attend this with their parents. We will gather in the Sanctuary at 9:30.
Jan. 19 – We do have Sunday school! Gather in the Sanctuary at 9:30
Jan. 26 – NO Sunday school – Trinity’s Annual Meeting will be held in between services.

Looking slightly ahead
Feb. 2 – Souper Bowl Sunday – Food Pantry Collection!

Coming Soon

Pastor Amy will be offering a book discussion which focuses on the Sermon on the Mount. The book is titled Contrast Community written by James L. Bailey, who is a professor of Biblical Theology at Wartburg Theological Seminary. From the back cover, “This book invites groups and individuals into a transformative engagement with these remarkable teachings of Jesus”.

Watch for further details in upcoming communications.

Youth and Families January 2020

Summer Service Trip Info Meeting


Monday, January 20th at 6:30

The summer trip is open to all students at the end of their 8th grade year. We are going to Nashville this year! If you cannot make the meeting but would like a spot reserved, please contact Kitty.

Worship with the Youth Director

January 23

Let me know if you are coming so I can order enough pizza!

LIFT— 6:30 p.m.

All high schoolers welcome!!

LIFT Wednesday—January 8

LIFT Wednesday—January 22

UPLIFT Wednesday–January 15

Jan. 8 LIFT is a special presentation with Dr. Chuppa and Dawn Sebranek.


Thursday, Jan. 16
3:30-5 p.m.

Young adult discussion group.

Church Chicks


Come join our new women’s group. Each month we have a new theme and share wonderful fellowship.

Open to all women.

Birthday Party for Jesus

Happy birthday Jesus!

All Sunday School Students are invited to attend a Birthday Party for Jesus (belated) on Sunday Jan. 5, 2020. This event will be held in the Fellowship Hall during the Sunday School Hour (9:30-10:30). Activities include:

  • Games
  • Tasting food that may have been served at a birthday party Jesus attended
  • Crafts
  • Cookie Decorating
  • Songs
  • Cake and ice cream
  • Photo booth
  • And much more!

Students are asked to bring new socks that will be donated to a local homeless shelter. Parents, this would be an excellent opportunity for your child to invite a friend! Volunteers are needed! Contact Sheryl Phillipson at 01sphillipson@gmail.com.

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 9:45-10:15

Congregational meeting

Operation Christmas

Thank you for your generous giving spirit: We received $1,583.50 in donations which were divided equally between the Fort Food Pantry and the ELCA Disaster Fund.

Thank you again.

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

Ruth Circle

Addresses for Trinity’s college & tech students and service members

Did your young adult move to school or go into the service? 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 officetlc314@gmail.com or fill out an index card in the Narthex.

Please include their birthday too. Thank you!

Ministry Teams

Trinity Ministry teams meet on the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. starting in January 2020

Undeck the halls

Undeck the halls

Sunday, Jan. 5 @ noon
(directly after the late worship)

It’s time to take down the trees!

Come help us take down the Christmas trees and decorations.

We’ll have lunch afterwards!

Weather cancellations

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.

Fort Atkinson Food Pantry – November Review

Trinity Lutheran Church was once again in charge of the food distribution at the Fort Food Pantry for the month of November. 691 people from 282 families were served in November on seven distribution days. These families were made up of 256 children, 354 adults and 81 seniors. We added 18 new families to the pantry, showing the need is still there for our local families.

We want to take just a moment to thank the Trinity volunteers that gave of their time this month to assemble the food for these families: Carolyn Nord, Kathy Gross, Karen Klokow, Candy Milan, Jim Kyle, Nick Kyle, Scott Bradley, Vicki Hayes, Barb Munro, Kay Falk, Ken Falk, Betty Fehly, Betty Strese, Roger Draeger, Linda Keene, Becky Tuttle and Mike Wendt. Many worked multiple shifts to make our jobs easier.

Trinity’s next month to serve is May 2020. Please consider adding this community service opportunity to your “To-Do List” for next year. Sign-up sheets are posted the month before our service time. Have questions? Ask anyone who served this month, they’ll share the joy of volunteering or for more details ask either of your Trinity Food Pantry representatives, Chuck Haugen or Gary Thom. We’d love to have you join us.

All Ages Christian Education


All Ages Christian Education

Jan. 12 – AACE: All Ages Sunday School
Care of Creation,
guest speaker Karen Albrecht

What is AACE?
AACE is a time for learners of all ages to gather and experience the joy of learning together. All members and guests of Trinity are invited to our first AACE event! For this experience we request that Sunday school students attend this with their families. Members of Adult Sunday
school, we look forward to you joining us.

AACE will begin at 9:30 in the Sanctuary. Sunday school students, please sit with your family. We will not be gathering into grade level groups for this event. As part of this event we will be planting milkweed seeds in milk jugs. Help us prepare for this event by saving plastic milk jugs, either ½ or 1 gallon. Please rinse out the jugs with a light bleach solution before bringing them to Trinity. We need these donations by Jan. 5.

Bishop Election Process

Town Hall Meetings

Your voice matters!

We encourage broad participation in Town Hall Meetings that will take place across our synod to prepare for the election of a new bishop. Attend the Town Hall Meeting in your conference. We will have conversations around two questions:

  1. What are the strengths and challenges of this synod and what makes this synod unique, what is it facing at this moment in history and from that snapshot . . .

2) What skills and characteristics would serve in the person of the next bishop?

A team will condense those comments into a profile of the synod and a profile of the bishop we seek.


Please try to attend the forum in your conference. Forums are 90 minutes in length. Click on the link below to find which conference your congregation is in. https://scsw-elca.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/2019-Synod-Conference-Group.pdf

Sunday, January 19 – 2:00 p.m. / Location: Faith Lutheran, 2116 Mineral Point Ave, Janesville, WI
S. Jefferson/Walworth/N. Rock/S. Rock