Trinity Connections
Your Weekly Update - November 17, 2021
The Work of God through the Ages
As [Jesus] came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!" Then Jesus asked him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down." (Mark 13:1-2)
 
Most of us crave stability and admire things that seem made to last, whether those things are relationships, institutions, or buildings. Sunday’s Gospel reading opened with a disciple remarking on the impressive architecture and construction of the Temple building. Jesus did not respond as the disciple expected. Instead of joining in the admiration, Christ asks: "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down."
 
The scene is one of many in the Bible where Jesus strives to help his followers see beyond what their eyes are observing. In predicting the fall of the impressive temple, Jesus is helping his followers understand that no building lasts forever, and nothing stays the same forever. That can be upsetting to realize, until we recognize the presence of God through and in loss and change.
 
Key Points from Sunday’s sermon
  • Jesus was right about the fate of the Temple. In about 70 AD, it was demolished by the Romans as they put down an uprising. The destruction marked the end of the world as the Jews knew it, but the sun did rise on the ruins, and Judaism did survive. It adapteddifferent from what it had been and honoring its past as it looked to its future.
  • We all know what it’s like for our world as we know it to end, and yet to see the sun rise again. We are filled with uncertainty, and often find it hard to see God in any of it.
  • It is why we read Scripture together when we gather, because Scripture reminds us that our God creates, redeems, and sustains us. When our world ends, it can feel impossible that new life could come of it. We need to be reminded of the divine spark, the Holy Spirit, the gift of our baptism within us, and the promise of hope and new beginnings.
  • Our hope is kindled when we recall that the God who is at work among us here and now is the same God who created everything out of nothing just by speaking; who delivered the Israelites from the cruelty of slavery in Egypt; who comes to us as a tiny, defenseless baby in an insignificant, backwater town of a great empire; whose message of radical love and acceptance so threatened the powers that be that Jesus was put to death; and whom death could not holdwho rose from the dead, bringing with him out of the grave a new creation, new hope, and new life.
  • This is the God we worship and follow, whose steadfast love and faithfulness we remember every time we gather together. As a faith community, we have been caught up in this story, in God’s story, in God’s work to make all things new.
  • Over this next year, we will create new and different opportunities for us to connect with one another and with God, tend to much-loved ministries that have been cornerstones of Trinity for so many years, and build connections in our wider community.
 
Popular Christian author Rachel Held Evans’ final book was released last week, the book she was working on when she died suddenly in 2019. In it, she writes that “There are seasons when we hold our faith and seasons when our faith holds us.” This is the work of the church, the work of our community here at Trinityto hold onto the promises of God and to let those promises hold us.

For Your Reflection
  • Recall a time when your world as you knew it came to and end … and yet the sun still rose the next day. Recall the feelings of that uncertain time.
  • Looking back, are you able to see how God was at work in the midst of the chaos and pain that surrounded your world-changing experience? How, specifically, was God at work? Was the church there for you when you needed it? Who, specifically, helped you, and how did they help?
  • How might God be asking you to be a part of God’s creative and redeeming work in the world, in our area, and here at Trinity?

May we have the courage to listen to the still, small voice of God, to follow where the Spirit prompts us, and to always remember that no matter where we find ourselves, the presence of God never leaves us. Amen.
The New Sign Is Here!

If you've driven past Trinity on Badger Street this past week, you've likely noticed that our new electronic sign is up and running! This new sign is one more way for us to reach people in our community with word of all the wonderful ministry opportunities and events that take place at Trinity and beyond our walls.

Work has begun on the stone base for the sign that will match the beautiful stonework of our building, and landscaping around the sign will take shape in the spring.

Abundant thanks to all who generously gave to make this new sign possible!

'Evicted' Book Study Continues Sunday
Are you interested in learning more about poverty and the complex issues surrounding it in Wisconsin? Join us as we dive into Matthew Desmond’s book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning book centers on nearby Milwaukee as the author follows eight families struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
 
This book discussion takes place over six sessions with both in-person and Zoom options to participate. The next meeting at Trinity will be this coming Sunday, Nov. 21, at 11 a.m., with the subsequent session scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 5, at 11 a.m. You can join each conversation from home at tiny.cc/EvictedTLC. We hope to see you as we learn and discuss together.
Trinity Hosts 10th Annual Thanksgiving Eve Service
Members of other area churches will gather with our community at Trinity next Wednesday, Nov. 24, at 6 p.m. for the Waupaca area's 10th annual ecumenical Thanksgiving Eve worship service. Leaders from St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, the Waupaca Area Regional Ministry of the United Methodist Church, Foundations for Living, and Trinity will co-officiate the service, which will also stream live on Trinity's YouTube channel. The Chain O’ Lakes Ministerial Association has held an ecumenical service each Thanksgiving Eve since 2012. Please worship with us! If you are planning to attend and willing to assist with the service, please sign up directly at tiny.cc/TLCWorship asap! Thank you in advance.
Thanksgiving Office Hours

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the church office and building will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 25 and 26. Happy Thanksgiving to you, our Trinity family!
It's Not Too Late To Share Your Giving Intentions!
Stewardship Week is in the books, but there's still time to submit your intention card for 2022 giving if you haven't already. As soon as possible, please drop off your completed intention card in the box outside the church office, mail it, or place it in the offering plate as you go into worship. If you don't have your card, we have more available. You can also fill out an online intention form right away!

Thank you to those who already offered your intentions! A generous member household will give $100 to our church for every intention card we receive, and intentions received so far have guaranteed Trinity nearly $14,000 in that challenge! No matter how much you intend to give in 2022, each intention will bless our congregation, just as giving benefits each of us as givers. Thank you for all you give in response to all that God gives us!
Join Nationwide Men's Bible Study Thursdays
Hey, guys! Did you know that Lutheran men from across the country gather for Bible study each Thursday night? Give it a try this Thursday at 7 p.m. via Zoom by clicking here. You can also join men from Trinity at the monthly gathering of our local Lutheran Men in Mission at 8 a.m. on the first Monday of each month in the Multipurpose Room.
Discuss Bible Readings on Zoom With Pastor Mark

Join Pastor Mark Ziemer for a deeper look into the Bible readings for the upcoming Sunday. You can join weekly on Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom from wherever you may be by going to tiny.cc/SundayReadings.
Meaningful Ways to Give This Christmas Season
Thank you in advance, Trinity, for your generosity toward all these wonderful opportunities during the holiday season. It is a joy to collaborate with so many who share the same heartfelt attitude that we are indeed blessed to be a blessing!

Lutheran Social Services' Homme Youth & Family Programs A new opportunity for Trinity this year! LSS has a long, rich history of serving the at-risk youth of Wisconsin through youth residential treatment centers featuring various programs that meet the needs of youth by way of residential treatment, including counseling and education. The organization is requesting gifts for 27 boys, ages 10-18. We will receive donations at Trinity until Thursday, Dec. 9.
  • Athletic shoes sizes 8-11
  • Snow boots sizes 8-11
  • Lego sets for ages 10+
  • Winter jackets/snow pants
  • Fishing gear
  • McDonald's gift cards
  • Sweatshirts
  • Remote-control cars
  • Watches
  • Nerf guns
  • PlayStation 4 games rated "E"

Miracle Tree The Miracle Tree is on display in the entryway and covered with stockings for ages of people in our area who currently have the greatest need. Monetary donations are being accepted as well. Please make checks payable to: Miracle Tree. You may drop donations by the church office entryway Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can brighten someone's Christmas this year! We will receive donations until Thursday, Dec. 2.

Trinity's Giving Tree The trees outside Trinity's Badger Street entrance will again be adorned with items provided by church members that may be useful to others. Granola and breakfast bars, gift cards, socks, mittens gloves, small blankets, microwave popcorn, snacks, masks, lip balm, lotions, etc. should be placed in zippered bags, and volunteers will attach them to the trees as donations come in from Dec. 1 until Christmas Day.

ELCA Good Gifts Our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America provides more than 50 different gift-giving options that grow the church, fight hunger, and transform lives. These gifts, starting at just $10, provide direct support for the churchwide ministries of the ELCA. You can go to go directly to the Good Gifts site and give today! 
Pressing on Amid the Pandemic
In the wake of a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Trinity continues to make adjustments that allow us to keep people safe while continuing to offer in-person worship, meetings, and other gatherings. Of particular concern is the safety those who are most vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19 infection. If you have not been vaccinated or if you have a compromised immune system, Trinity's Health Committee recommends that you consider attending worship and other indoor gatherings virtually. If you do decide to attend in person, the Health Committee recommends that you wear an N95 mask. Trinity now has N95 masks available—we thank those who have made donations to offset the cost.

Trinity's Church Council will once again consider the congregation's protective protocols at the Nov. 23 Council meeting.

With gratitude for your caring cooperation with Trinity's current policy of masking for those age 4 and up, the Health Committee offers this additional guidance for members of our faith community:
  • If you have yet to be vaccinated and are able to, please get the shot! The vaccine continues to be very effective in the battle against the virus, and everyone in Wisconsin age 5 and older is able to get the vaccine for free. Past infection with COVID-19 does not assure protection from the Delta variant, so people who have had past COVID-19 infection are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.
  • Please, please stay home if you do not feel well or have knowingly been exposed to the coronavirus.
  • Remember that Trinity continues to make worship available to you in the safety and comfort of your own home. Video worship services are live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on Trinity's YouTube channel. You can also listen to "Trinity Time" at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on Lakes 92.7 FM, WDUX.
Latest CDC Data for Waupaca County
Find Devotions and Other At-Home Resources
Trinity's website has a wealth of material, including links to devotion sites, on the At-Home Resources page.
Worship in Person or at Home
Join us for worship in person at Trinity, 206 E. Badger St., Sundays at 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. with Sunday School at 9:30 a.m.; Wednesdays at 6:15 p.m.; and at 6 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Our current policy is for those ages 4 and older to wear masks inside the church building.

Those at risk for serious illness from COVID-19 are encouraged to continue worshiping online or via our radio broadcast. 

  • Video worship services are LIVE on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on Trinity's YouTube channel.

  • You can listen to Trinity Time at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on Lakes 92.7 FM, WDUX.
Your Giving Matters
Please consider making your offerings to Trinity as follows:

  • In person: Offer your gifts as you enter the sanctuary for worship.

  • By mail: Send checks to Trinity Lutheran Church at 206 E. Badger St., Waupaca, WI 54981.

  • By drop-off: Deposit offerings in the secure box just inside the south door nearest the church office. The office is open Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

  • Online: Click the "Give Now" button below.
Trinity Lutheran Church, Waupaca, Wis.
715-258-7688