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  • The First Shall Be Last and Servant of All

    Dear Friends, With the recent beautiful weather, have you had an opportunity to be outdoors to watch a sporting event or pull over to behold the white pelicans dwelling at the reservoir? Maybe you have been taking a stroll on one of the many trails or sidewalks or sitting on your patio in your favorite chair. Maybe you have been dining outside with family or friends nearby and connecting and chatting about a variety of topics! Hold that thought for a moment and envision this… Jesus was walking with his disciple into a city called Capernaum. Along the way they had chatted about many things. Jesus overheard them and asked, “What were you arguing about on the way?” (Mark 9:33) According to the scriptures, the disciples were silent because what they had been arguing about was who of them was the greatest. Jesus once again scratched his head, sat down, looked at them, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) I think Jesus could have simply scolded the disciples and possibly even turned them away. Instead, he invited them once again into a mission to be a compassionate servant by using the example of inviting a child into his loving arms of mercy. He said then and still says today, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcome me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9:36-37) Jesus invited the disciples to take on the role of a servant, not for their sake, but for the sake of one another, like that of a child. What would you do if Jesus was right here, right now, asking you to love all the children of God with your hands, your feet, and your voice? This is Week 2 of our series, God’s Work, Our Hands. Together, we consider the many ways we are invited to stand up and step into a servant-hearted role here inside the walls of the church known as Holy Trinity and the Church that has no walls at all! The invitation is clear; the time is now! You are invited into a God-size opportunity to serve in ways that may seem unfamiliar but are so needed for the sake of God’s children. Please, check out the many ways to serve on this link. WE NEED YOU! We pray for you, your household, our medical professionals, our educational teams, co-workers, family, neighbors, strangers, and friends. We pray for healing and compassion for all who are ill and those who have yet to join in the miracle to prevent the spread of COVID in our homes and communities. Lord, in your mercy, hear our Prayers. Blessings to you always, Pastor Katie

  • “Following Jesus is for Losers”

    How is that for the title of a provocative marketing campaign?! While one may understandably doubt its effectiveness, that’s the nature of what Jesus shares with his disciples in this Sunday’s gospel lesson - “…those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” (Mark 8:35) There are places and seasons, of course, where individual disciples have been asked to pay such a price on a literal level. Thankfully, most of us today, I suspect, may not be faced that kind of choice. Yet it begs us to ask ourselves about the choices we are called to make. “Who do you say that I am?”, Jesus asks, then and now. Our answer is shaped not just by our words, but by our lifestyle and willingness to “die” to our own comfort and self-preservation. Let’s explore this theme together on Sunday! We kick off a new “God’s Work / Our Hands” sermon series in a new fall worship schedule - 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. this week. The hope is that each of us will be willing to ask ourselves how our witness is being challenged to move between “head” and “heart” and “hands” in coming days and weeks, such that all of us embrace an opportunity to “get our hands dirty” for Jesus and perhaps even “lose” a bit of ourselves in the process! Hope to see you in person or at least on-line this Sunday! I look forward to sharing some additional reflections from my sabbatical during our first Adult Forum of the year at 9:30 a.m. in Room 1. Pastor Tim

  • For Our Sake, Every Good Gift Is from Above

    Finally! After returning to worship and the office last week, I was immediately hit with a case of vertigo which left me unable to stand, balance, focus, or read for much of last week. Thankfully, a discipline of some physical therapy has since done wonders; I feeling at least 95% back and incredibly thankful for the healing that has occurred. It’s a fresh Sunday and we’re continuing our “For Our Sake” theme with a two-week focus on the Letter of James. As many of you may recognize, James was not among Luther’s favorite Scriptures, as it didn’t have enough emphasis on grace for his taste. While James’s urging of “good works” may have little to do with our justification in God’s eyes, it has plenty of application in regards to how we respond to being “saved” and what we believe. ‘Be doers of the Word, and not only hearers,” is the way that the letter puts it. I certainly appreciate the author’s focus on integrity when it comes to living the gospel. Yet, as we’ll explore further this Sunday, it’s not just what we do, but how we do it that characterizes our witness. We’ve all been around others who may take a stand for what they feel is right, yet do so in a way that is more off-putting than encouraging. Our task, if James were to speak to us afresh today, is to not only respond to the grace in which we stand, but to do so as “grace-fully” as possible. Let’s see if we can explore how that might happen together this Sunday! See you in worship at 8:30 or 9:45! Meanwhile, our need for worship assistants remains great at this time. If you haven’t already visited the Sign-up Genius link below to offer your assistance, please do so today! Liturgy is indeed “the work of the people.” Let’s make that evident in our service this Sunday! Sharing the Mission, Pastor Tim

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  • Youth | Holy Trinity

    youth ministry A faith community created especially with youth and their families in mind so everyone may ask real life questions trusting the commitment to build authentic relationships with God and with one another. youth registration Volunteer registration Wednesday Youth Night is the focus of Youth Ministry throughout the school year. Grades 5-12 are invited to participate in this special night. Please note masks are required inside the church and we will be meeting outside for many small groups as long as weather permits. Here's how the schedule looks: 6:30 Opening Worship in the Sanctuary 6:45 Separate into groups by age: Club 56, Confirmation, and High School 8:00 Closing Worship 8:15 Dismissal ​ Confirmation Ministry for 7th and 8th Graders | Wednesday Evenings 6:30 p.m. September through May. Simply - this is the best two hours of every week! ​ We practice safe distancing and masking as we limit our exposure time to one another. We will be meeting in the Sanctuary or outdoors safely distanced and masks required. We will honor all students who wish to participate via Zoom only. This year, confirmation students will be learning about the treasure trove of stories in the Bible. Adult Small Group Leaders are needed. Please contact Pastor Katie (katie@holytrinitynl.org ). Currently, we have around 30 students. Our Confirmation Ministry is vibrant! We teach using a variety of techniques to reach students where they are! In our world, we believe every student is gifted by God! Our focus is on building a personal relationship with God and with others while stirring our hearts to respond with love! We rotate our two-year program with 7-8th grade students learning all together. Lutheran Year Teachings of Doctor and Pastor Martin Luther Lutheran History and the ELCA Sacraments, Creeds and Commandments Year of the Bible General Bible overview so everyone has their own Bible and knows how to find things in it. Specific study from the Hebrew Texts (Old Testament) and the Greek Text (New Testament) ​ High School Youth Group - WYN | is the highlight of our week for High School Students. Students from multiple area high schools along with adult small group leaders gather to connect, share highs and lows, and talk about current topics as well as revisit topics from Confirmation Ministry. All are welcome with always room for a newcomer or guest. ​ Registration in Planning Center is required so that current information can be used to contact you in event of cancellations or other activities arise. Contact the church office to update data. ​ VBS and Day Camp Leadership Development | Typically the 3rd week of July, M-F 8:30-4:30 p.m. Our dates for 2021 were July 12-16. 5-12th grade students are part of the VBS/Day Camp Staff! We are all in for a week of faith formation and leadership development for and with our youth leaders. We have a one-of-a-kind Hybrid VBS/Day Camp model. We typically have 30 youth students join us for their own special week of being part of the group and leading within the group! Being “on-staff” as a youth leader is a BIG DEAL, so much so that we hire college-age mentors to work with our youth leaders providing all youth staff the opportunity to grow in their own faith walk as well as being a leader for elementary students and peers. We go off campus for servant projects and the youth lead on-site projects after being in their own Bible study small group. Camp EWALU | We are mutual ministry partners with Camp EWALU in Strawberry Point, Iowa http://ewalu.org/ Confirmation Camp | Check back for the announcement of our 2022 week! We believe that time dedicated to being unplugged from the daily activities and surrounded by nature is a wonderful way to experience God in new ways. As pastors, we believe attending camp is a huge part of a student’s personal discovery about God. We strongly encourage all confirmation students to attend confirmation camp when going into 7th grade. Financial assistance is available for all students. Youth Summer Mission Trips | Students 12-18 years of age; annually in June or July Each year middle and high school students build a team for the Summer Youth Mission Trip. We've recently returned from the 2021 Youth Mission Trip to Lincoln, Illinois. The trip is for youth going into 7th grade through High School as well as adult chaperones. We would love to have you! Questions or comments? Please contact Pastor Katie at katie@holytrinitynl.org . ​ In past years we have traveled to Princeton, Illinois, Breckenridge, Minnesota, and Chillicothe, Ohio. Once there, we join with youth from around the country and Japan to complete home improvement and handicap accessible projects for local residents. We are mutual partners with local churches and agencies serving the needs of residents in their towns and region. Visit our Mission Trips page for more information on how to sign-up. We are grateful to the “Thrift and Gift” team for designating their proceeds to help offset our costs! ELCA National Youth Gathering | Gather with 30-40,000 ELCA Students in 9th through 12th Grades, Gathering is every 3 years with a new location determined by the ELCA Youth Leadership Team. Holy Trinity teams up with other local ELCA youth ministries. ELCA Youth Gathering 2022 is in Minneapolis. Youth Leadership & Development | At Holy Trinity, we believe that youth are not the future of the church we believe they are the church in the here and now! So we want to encourage each student to discover their spiritual gifting as well as develop their very own leadership style. 1) Students are invited to participate in Alpha for Youth to encourage conversation. 2) As they grow in their faith they are invited to take a youth-friendly course on spiritual gifting. What is that? It is discovering how your unique - you - is part of building up, serving, and encouraging others. 3) Serve joyfully at church and beyond. ​ VBS/Day Camp Teen Leader, 30+ hours in one week of intentional leadership development, youth leading youth! This happens all in one week at church guiding elementary students to grow in their relationship with God and with others. Join a Youth Mission Team, 40+ hours in one week serving in a regionally sponsored Youth Mission Trip (home repairs!) Join a ministry team, 1-10 hours a month serving as an usher, greeter, tech team, or one of the many other teams.

  • Events | Holy Trinity

    EVENTS Tuesday mornings at 9 a.m. Agape Prayer Group Our Agape Prayer Group meets Tuesday mornings outside on the church patio or in the sanctuary. Everyone is invited to join in, but we'd appreciate knowing beforehand that you're interested in participating. We gather for conversation, prayer, and friendship! Please email the office for the zoom link or to express your interest. Contact Church Monthly Gatherings Quilts & Crafts At the Table You are invited to join our Quilting and Crafting group, which typically meets monthly. We have quilts hanging in the closet that are ready to be tied, and continue to work on projects for Lutheran World Relief. If you want to knit or crochet or do any other crafts at that time, you are welcome to bring your projects. Please join us for any amount of time that you have. We would love to see you! ​ We are gathering at church: ​ Saturday, September 11, from 9-12 Saturday, October 9, from 9-12 ​ Contact Kim Behr, Judy Taylor, or Andrea Henson if you are interested in attending or reach out to the office with questions. Contact Church Wednesdays at 9 a.m. Laughing Out Loud Small Group Ladies, BYOC (bring your own coffee!) for this lighthearted hour of fellowship on Wednesday mornings outside on the patio. There will be no formal lesson or schedule, but there will be laughter! In case of rain or inclement weather, this group will not meet. Contact Church Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. Men's Bible Study A new Men's Bible Study small group will meet at 7:00 on Thursday nights at the church. What do you really know about Thessaly? Join Pastor Ron Schardt for this study on a model church for its times. ​ All men are invited. No homework, no pressure; just great fellowship and discussion! Take the Holy Nudge and jump on in! In case of rain, this group will move indoors. Reach out to the office if you have questions. ​ I'm interested!

  • Children | Holy Trinity

    Children's ministry Our mission is to grow intentionally as children gifted by God’s gift of mercy and called into action to love others as we have loved. Our DNA is to be relational throughout all ages of ministry. Together we embrace the invitation to Love Christ, Live Christ, and Share Christ with the world. This fall, we plan to launch a Family Sunday School program in the sanctuary between worship services. Join us as we kick off on Sunday, September 26! Looking for something to do at home with your kids? You can still access our online lessons for the 2020-21 school year with Pastor Katie and Lyn Petersen below or on YouTube . ​ Vacation Bible School and Day Camp This is our best week of the entire year for children and all of our leaders! VBS & Day Camp was held July 12-16, 2021. We hope the week was a blessing for all of the children, youth, and volunteers! We are grateful to Camp EWALU for their leadership and to all of the individuals who offered their time to make this an incredible week. Check out the video of highlights below! Each year in July, we hold VBS and Day Camp for a week at church. Children going into preschool through 4th grade gather for fun, activities, and to learn about God's love! VBS is for all ages; Day Camp (the afternoons after VBS) is for students entering 1st grade and older. Our 5th grade-12th grade youth are encouraged to participate as volunteers and through leadership small groups. ​ Click here to see videos of Pastor Katie and Gus! Child Care | We cherish our littlest members with quality child care. Currently, as a safety precaution due to COVID-19, child care on-site at the church is not available. Sunday Mornings | We continue to make changes to our Sunday plans due to Covid precautions. For Fall 2021, we will not be breaking into classrooms of children's Sunday School, but will instead offer a Family Sunday School in the sanctuary between Worship services. The best way to get current information is to go to Church Center and register for children’s ministry! Resources, invitations, and connections will come through Church Center whenever they are available. ​ ​ ​ ​ NEW - CLUB 56 | Special Ministry to connect students who are transitioning from Elementary to Junior High ​​ This year we are calling out to all students entering into 5th and 6th Grade to join us on Wednesday Youth Night for worship, activities, and to help youth learn about their faith. Children’s Ministry Special Events ​ | Baptism Contact the church office to arrange a conversation with the pastors if you wish to have your child of any age baptized. Parent Conversations about the Sacraments In March and April, the pastors host a special conversation regarding the Sacraments for our children and parents. It is a special event for family faith leaders to talk with their young children about being a child of God, our Lutheran practices, and how to grow in our faith. Check out our newsletter in February of each year for more specific information. Register First Time Guests & Check-In When you arrive for an event, you will be asked to check-in at our welcome center. We will gladly assist you if you are joining us for the first time. All children must be registered for events and ministries. Some basic information will be recorded in our database to maintain the secure check-in system. We utilize the Church Center ap p to expedite our check-in process. You can use this weekly to check-in your children by selecting who you are checking in and then scanning the automated QR code at the welcome center. ​ Students in 4th grade and under will receive a new name tag every week that has a security code that corresponds with a ticket for the parent or guardian to keep and is requested upon pick-up. To ensure children's safety, we will make sure the security codes match at the time of pick-up. ​ If you are over 4th grade you will sign-in electronically on your own and receive a name tag that is expected to be worn on the front of your shirt throughout the event. ​ Policies: If you need to be contacted concerning your child, you will be contacted via the phone number you provided upon check-in or registration.

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