ithout a doubt, one of the best things that has sprouted up at Trinity amid the challenges of the past year and a half is our memorial garden. It’s the result of generosity, energy, and effort from many members of our congregation in their planning, planting, and provision of meaningful monuments.
It’s a beautiful sight, and it’s also a downright biblical vision of what God allows us to cultivate together. I’ll be honest—until recently, I couldn’t tell you precisely what that word meant. Now I understand that cultivating involves both preparing and developing, and that’s exactly what has taken place in our garden space in 2021.
In 2022, we will cultivate even more—most especially the care and connection that so many of us long for in these difficult days. By now you’ve hopefully heard about Trinity’s new stewardship appeal: Cultivate, Care, Connect. With the help of your giving in the coming year, we will develop the ministries we have and prepare for the next season of our life as a church.
You’ll hear more about Cultivate, Care, Connect in the weeks ahead, just as we’re delighted to hear more immediately from you. Our Stewardship Team has invited you to write things you love about Trinity on paper leaves and to write things you hope for in the future on paper acorns, all of which can then be placed on special trees inside our church building. We’re grateful for your input, and we’re taking your thoughts into careful account as we look to prepare and develop ministries through which God can better connect us and help us to care for one another in 2022.
We thank God for the gift that Pastor Erin Coutts has already become to our congregation, and we eagerly await the coming year in which we’ll be further blessed by her many abilities—so many of which are tied to connection and care. We also give glory to God for the many new members who are joining us this fall. They remind us what a growing effort our life as a church community needs to be—an undertaking that involves all of us as stewards of God’s garden.
In the opening pages of the Bible, brokenness broke into the harmony of the original garden. In this pivotal chapter, let us break into today’s broken world by cultivating connection and care through Christ!
Read the Draft; Learn What's Behind the Changes
For decades, Trinity Lutheran Church operated with three pastors. This made Trinity a very pastorally driven church with members relying on pastors for administration and decision-making. Trinity has gone through several recent years of struggle and transformation. Our goal became finding and developing a better way to structure Trinity for the future.
Recently, our congregation pivoted from the three-pastor model to a structure with two pastors, a full-time administrator, and a full-time youth coordinator. With the help of consultant Cathy Cowling and insights from Pastor Mark Ziemer, we began using the model of Governance and Ministry outlined by author Dan Hotchkiss. Governance produces minutes, policies, mission statements, goals, and strategic-planning documents. Ministry brings into being worship services, study groups, mission trips, service projects, well-maintained buildings, thriving families, and renewed hope.
A Governance Task Force took shape, and we began to use the Hotchkiss model—first in our Church Council meetings, then as Council connected ministry leaders while adopting policies to guide their work, and finally to begin to update our constitution (last revised in 2016) using the ELCA Model constitution as a guide. Our goal for Trinity is to have more clarity for establishing vision, rationale, and priorities with the help of the congregation.
A proposed revision to Trinity's constitution is now available in print and at tiny.cc/TLC21Draft, with the existing constitution printed alongside the new draft as well as notes explaining the differences. Governance Task Force members have offered temple talks at worship services to explain the proposed changes—most notably a smaller Church Council with 12 voting members instead of the current 17, with officers selected from within the Council instead of being elected by the larger congregation.
The Governance Task Force has offered immediate answers to common questions available in print along with the draft constitution and online at tiny.cc/TLC21FAQ.
Thank you for the gifts to our ministries in memory of your loved ones!
After 18 months of working toward our new electronic sign, it is finally going to happen! Good things come to those who wait, and it will be so good because we have waited for SO long. You can start looking for the sign to be installed the week of Oct. 25.
Trinity’s next blood drive is 8 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 24. I hope you will consider donating and saving up to three lives. We only have two blood drives left for the year. It has been so fulfilling knowing how many lives we have saved.
The Finance Committee will be approving the 2022 budget in October, which will then go to Council for approval in November. We’ve been able to identify some cost savings while also maintaining our current programs.
Be sure to watch for the Cultivate, Care, Connect mailers and brochure to see what’s in store for next year.
Director of Music Ministries
Music is often considered a window into the soul. Martin Luther used music 500-plus years ago to calm fears during a pandemic and unite people. The Reformation took place during this period of polarization within the church. Music was a key means of communicating the passion and significance of God’s grace that was at the heart of the Reformation.|
As previously announced, Pastor Mark Ziemer is offering to serve as host and guide for a Trinity bus trip to visit several ELCA churches and colleges in the Twin Cities area. These colleges are known worldwide for the quality and beauty of their Christmas concerts.
As of this writing, we are still hoping to proceed with this trip; however, due to the recent surge in the pandemic, our plans are temporarily on hold until mid-October. The colleges on our itinerary are still considering their options regarding whether to have in-person Advent/Christmas concerts this December due to the pandemic.
Trip costs will be for meals, lodging, and tickets for the Gustavus Adolphus concert on Saturday night.
Trinity has reserved a block of rooms at Hometown Inn & Suites in Belle Plaine, Minn. You can reserve a room using Trinity’s group reservation that includes two queen beds for $99. You may also opt to upgrade your room, if desired.
We have openings available! Please call the church office to reserve a seat on the Trinity bus.
Thank you for your patience as we await the college’s final decisions. We’ll keep you posted!
Bus Trip Itinerary
Dec. 4, Saturday
8 a.m.: Depart on the bus from Trinity.
Lunch: Twin Cities area.
Afternoon: Guided tour of Central Lutheran Church’s “Community Ministry,” Minneapolis.
Afternoon: Check in at Hometown Inn & Suites, Belle Plaine.
Dinner: Cafeteria at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter.
Evening: “Christmas in Christ Chapel Concert,” Gustavus Adolphus College.
Dec. 5, Sunday
Morning: Advent worship featuring the St. Olaf Concert Band, St. Olaf’s Boe Memorial Chapel, Northfield.
Lunch: Northfield area.
After lunch: Depart for Trinity, Waupaca.
Sunday School Coordinator
Sunday school is off to a great start! The Ministry Fair was fun, and we had several fabulous prizes. Bibles were presented to Trinity’s new 3-year-old students and to third- and eighth-grade students. Those with a backpack had the opportunity to have them blessed and receive a tag.
Just a friendly reminder: Sunday school classes are held in person. Students and families begin the 9:30 a.m. worship service together, and students are dismissed to classrooms after the children’s sermon.
If you have questions or concerns about the Sunday school year, I’m available to contact on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
Adults, families, and youth are welcome to sign up for the annual Pancake Supper that will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9. The proceeds from this fun event go toward Bibles. To sign up to help out, visit http://tiny.cc/tlcpancakes.
Confirmation 2021-2022 has started off GREAT, but it is still not too late to get involved if your family or friends missed the kickoff of the season! Contact the church office if you hope to get started or have questions on scheduling.
We are so thankful to all the volunteers and families who make our educational system here at Trinity possible!
Thank you to all our Trinity ministry leaders and those who attended the Ministry Fair Sunday, Sept. 12. We so appreciate your labor of love in decorating, setting up, and promoting your ministry! Trinity offers so many wonderful ways for members to serve within our weekly worship services, as well as within our community. If you missed the Ministry Fair, watch your weekly emails for ways you can serve this Fall, and you can always go to tiny.cc/TLCWorship to find opportunities as well.
The church office is OPEN 8-4:30 Monday-Thursday; CLOSED Friday—calls received will be returned on Monday. Immediate-need calls, see below.
Please mail monetary donations/items to:
206 E. Badger St., Waupaca, WI 54981.
Rev. Andy Behrendt
Rev. Erin Coutts
For an immediate need, contact a pastor by calling the church office, at (715) 258-7688, and leaving a voice message in the pastor’s individual voice mailbox. The pastor will return urgent-need calls as soon as possible.
Save the Dates!
Nov. 7, Sunday
The Fall Hayride at the Sondrols’ is the perfect outing to breathe in the crisp fall air and take in God’s autumn colors. Join us!
Nov. 9, Tuesday
It’s pancake time! We will have our second Drive-thru Pancake Supper from 4 to 7 p.m. at Trinity. Volunteers are needed to make this event a success. Watch for upcoming postings to see how you can help out.