Trinity Tidings January 10, 2021

Posted on: January 10th, 2021 by Brad Peterson

TRINITY TIDINGS

January 10th, 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Confirmation is online January 13 (8th grade).  Confirmation moves to in person starting on January 20th (7th grade)

ALL reports for the ‘Annual Report’ are due Wed., January 13th so the ‘Report’ can be distributed two weeks before the Annual Meeting which is Sunday, February 7, 2021. The annual meeting will take place in the parking lot following worship.

First Communion Class will be offered in-person on Sunday, January 31st at 6pm for youth in 3rd grade and above. If you are uncomfortable attending class or you can’t make that day, please contact Pastor Brad at 715-702-2755 to schedule an individual class. 

First Communion Sunday is Sunday, February 21st at 9am worship.

Volunteers needed to remove snow from the church sidewalks. A snowblower is provided by the church. Sign up sheet in the Narthex or follow the link below to sign up.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080E49AEA62FA2FB6-snow

Don’t forget that you can support Trinity through the GivePlus app OR using the donate form on our website.  Download the free app, search for Trinity Lutheran Boyceville, and go from there! 

2021 Offering Envelopes are available. You can pick them up on the table in the Narthex or have an usher grab them for you. 

MUSINGS FROM PASTOR BRAD

  On Wednesday, January 6th, as blood gushed from my nose due to a nosebleed, I saw the news of the United States Capitol under siege.  As I tried to stop the bleeding in my nose, I watched video of people scaling walls, smashing windows, overrunning police and trashing the seat of our democracy.  As I watched the violence and destruction, my heart hurt, just as it had earlier in the year as I watched the destruction of businesses and the looting during the George Floyd riots.  But, I must admit, as tears came down my cheeks, that this was something more.  This was the center of our democracy.  This was happening while our elected leaders were doing their constitutional duty.  At that moment, I felt like I was watching the death of our nation and the democracy we all hold dear.  And so I wept.  And I grieved.

   I’m used to grief.  As a pastor, I have to deal with grief on a very regular basis, not only being there for people in the midst of their loss but also having to deal with that same loss for myself.  I’ve grieved the loss of my Dad at 16 and my mother at 30.  I’ve grieved the loss of relationships and personal disappointments.  And I’ve learned one thing for all of it: grief doesn’t ever really end.  The losses in life, the profound ones, stay with you for the rest of your life.  It has been 26 years since my Dad died, yet I still find times where I grieve that loss.  The pain of grief stays with you.  One of the fallacy’s we tell ourselves, and sometimes others, is that we will “eventually get over it.”  When you love something with everything you have and it goes away, you don’t “get over it.”  Rather, you learn to live with it, to cope with it, to understand it, at least in my opinion.  Frankly, to me, the feeling of grief that sticks around even years or decades later reminds me of how important that thing was in my life and that it meant something.  I have a feeling that the events of January 6th, 2021, are going to stay with me forever.

   But the other thing I have learned is that what, in the end, is most important is what you do with your grief.  Do you allow it to consume you to the point where you are in a black hole of despair and never get out of it?  Does it make you look at your life and the world differently?  Does it change your perspective on what is important?  Does it move you in a new direction that makes a positive difference in your life or the lives of others?  When my Dad died, it showed me the importance of appreciating things in life and drove me to see that there is nothing more important than the love of God in Jesus Christ.  Other losses have helped me to make positive changes in my life and to see the simple pleasures of life.  And in every case, while I grieved I ended up seeing that I was not alone.  God was there.  My friends and family were there.  I never would have recovered from the loss of my Mom if it hadn’t been for Amy’s love and support.  The losses in life often show us just how much we are loved and how much we have in life. 

   As I woke up on January 7th, I had the same feeling in my heart as I did on September 12th, 2001.  I had the feeling that our country will never be the same.  The question now is what we do.  Will we continue to look at each other with such hatred?  Will we continue to not listen to each other? Will we continue to work so hard to prove our side is “right” that we keep our eyes closed to what is happening around us?  Will we work so hard to “win” that we destroy the very fiber of this country?  Or ourselves? 

   It starts with us.  It doesn’t start with our elected leaders or the leaders of the various political parties.  It doesn’t start with news networks, social media platforms, or celebrities.  It starts with you.  It starts with me.  It starts with us remembering the commandment to love one another.  It starts with small things, like conversations with those that we disagree with.  It starts with thinking before posting and looking with compassion upon all we meet.  It starts with reminding each other that we all suffer loss in life, loss that devastates us, loss that changes us, loss that can threaten to consume us in anger and hatred and pain.  It starts with us being there for each other and lifting the other up. 

   Though I have grieved mightily in my life, I have never given up hope, even in the worst of times.  I have hope because Jesus is with me.  I have hope because I have seen in other people the incredible capacity to lift me up when I couldn’t lift myself up.  I have hope because I believe in love over hate, compassion over anger, and mercy over judgement.  I have hope in you.  I have hope that our country will rise above what occurred on January 6th, 2021.  And I have hope because the light of the world, Jesus Christ, shines even in the blackest of darkness.  We grief, but we do not give up.  May the Lord be with us, with our country, and with the entire world. Amen.

Website: www.trinityboyceville.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/TrinityBoycevilleWI

Facebook: www.facebook.com/trinityboyceville

Trinity Tidings January 6, 2021

Posted on: January 6th, 2021 by Brad Peterson

TRINITY TIDINGS

January 6th, 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Confirmation is online January 6 (7th grade) & 13 (8th grade). Please check your email and the TLC Confirmation Facebook page for updates on classes after that.

All January Wednesday worship services will be on Facebook at 6pm.

ALL reports for the ‘Annual Report’ are due Wed., January 13th so the ‘Report’ can be distributed two weeks before the Annual Meeting which is Sunday, February 7, 2021. The annual meeting will take place in the parking lot following worship.

First Communion Class will be offered in-person on Sunday, January 31st at 6pm for youth in 3rd grade and above. If you are uncomfortable attending class or you can’t make that day, please contact Pastor Brad at 715-702-2755 to schedule an individual class. 

First Communion Sunday is Sunday, February 21st at 9am worship.

Volunteers needed to remove snow from the church sidewalks. A snow blower is provided by the church. Sign up sheet in the Narthex or follow the link below to sign up.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080E49AEA62FA2FB6-snow

Don’t forget that you can support Trinity through the GivePlus app OR using the donate form on our website.  Download the free app, search for Trinity Lutheran Boyceville, and go from there! 

2021 Offering Envelopes are available. You can pick them up on the table in the Narthex or have an usher grab them for you. 

MUSINGS FROM PASTOR BRAD

  A few years ago, Amy and I went to Lucette’s in Menomonie to get some pizza.  There was one hiccup: I couldn’t eat our normal pizza order.  I was in the midst of one of our Mission Madness challenges and couldn’t eat meat, which took out our normal pizza order.  So we decided to try their meatless pizza, the Bianca.  Let’s just say I wasn’t excited about eating a “no meat” pizza.  Yet, as I took that first bite, it was a revelation.  My senses exploded in joy as I tasted that absolutely delicious pizza.  It was so good!  My eyes were opened to something new and wonderful. I had experienced something amazing and since then, the Bianca is on the top of our order list.

   Today is Epiphany, the day in which Jesus is revealed to the nations through the visit of the Magi who arrive from the East bringing gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The divine is made manifest in Jesus and the wise men witness as they come to worship and give gifts to this newborn king.  For us, Jesus is made manifest to us, is made known to us, through the preaching and hearing of the Word, whether that be in worship, devotion, study, or through the means of grace of baptism and communion.  At the same time, the Holy Spirit makes Christ known in our daily lives, showing us that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is with us always.

   We often think that we can only see Christ in church or in “churchy” things.  We think like me, that I could only enjoy a pizza with meat on it.  We often keep our eyes closed to the ways in which the Lord is being made manifest in front of us.  The Lord shows us in every part of our lives and when we let ourselves be open, to be willing to experience something new, we might see the Lord in the strangest of places but also in places that will inspire us.  I know that I’ve seen the Lord in all sorts of places and situations and I bet that many of you have as well. 

   On this Epiphany day, we give thanks for the ways the Lord is made manifest to us.  We give thanks for the unexpected and unpredictable joys of life.  And we give thanks that God in Jesus Christ shows up for us, saving us from our sins and bringing us to eternal life.  For that we can say, “Thanks be to God!”  Amen

Website: www.trinityboyceville.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/TrinityBoycevilleWI

Facebook: www.facebook.com/trinityboyceville

TRINITY TIDINGS FOR DEC 29, 2020

Posted on: December 29th, 2020 by Brad Peterson

ANNOUNCEMENTS

If you would like to pick up your poinsettia, please contact Pastor Brad to arrange for a pick up time.

We will be taking down Christmas decorations after church  Sunday, January 3rd.

There is a ‘Blood Drive’ on Tuesday, January 5thfrom Noon-6pm at Trinity.

Confirmation is online January 6 (7th grade) & 13 (8th grade). Please check your email and the TLC Confirmation Facebook page for updates on classes after that.

All January Wednesday worship services will be on Facebook at 6pm.

ALL reports for the ‘Annual Report’ are due Wed., January 13th so the ‘Report’ can be distributed two weeks before the Annual Meeting which is Sunday, February 7, 2021. The annual meeting will take place in the parking lot following worship.

First Communion Class will be offered in-person on Sunday, January 31st at 6pm for youth in 3rd grade and above. If you are uncomfortable attending class or you can’t make that day, please contact Pastor Brad at 715-702-2755 to schedule an individual class. 

First Communion Sunday is Sunday, February 21st at 9am worship.

Volunteers needed to remove snow from the church sidewalks. A snow blower is provided by the church. Sign up sheet in the Narthex or follow the link below to sign up.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080E49AEA62FA2FB6-snow

Don’t forget that you can support Trinity through the GivePlus app OR using the donate form on our website.  Download the free app, search for Trinity Lutheran Boyceville, and go from there! 

2021 Offering Envelopes are available. You can pick them up on the table in the Narthex or have an usher grab them for you. 

MUSINGS FROM PASTOR BRAD

  As I was going through some papers, I found the following quote from Charles Swindoll.  As we prepare for a new year, we place our faith in Jesus.  But we must also think about how we will look upon the new year and all that may come with it.  May God bless you this coming year.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or so or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company . . a church . . a home.”

“The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past . . we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude.  I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”

                                                          By: Charles Swindoll.

Trinity Tidings December 20th

Posted on: December 20th, 2020 by Brad Peterson

Trinity Tidings

December 20, 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Christmas Eve Worship will be held at the following times: 9 am, 2 pm, 4:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 9:00 pm.  Reservations are required.  To make one, click on this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080E49AEA62FA2FB6-christmas  The 4:30 pm and 9:00 pm services will be live streamed on our Facebook page. You can also call the church office to make a reservation.2 PM AND 4:30 PM SERVICES ARE CURRENTLY FULL

Christmas Day Worship will be at 9 am.  Reservations are not required.

Worship on December 27th will be online only.

No Wednesday worship on December 23rd and December 30th.

Support the Women of Trinity! Help the Women of Trinity, who lost all their fundraisers this year, by donating to them.  You can make your donation in honor or memory of your favorite baker.  As a bonus, if we raise $500 by December 27th, PB will put “PB says Go Pack Go” on the electronic sign on January 3rd, the next Bears-Packers game! 

2021 Offering Envelopes are available for pick-up.

Sign-up for Snow Removal!  Follow this link to sign-up to keep our doors and sidewalks free from snow!  Snowblower available for use!  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080E49AEA62FA2FB6-snow

Don’t forget that you can support Trinity through the GivePlus app OR using the donate form on our website.  Download the free app, search for Trinity Lutheran Boyceville, and go from there! 

Go to www.trinityboyceville.com for links for the newsletter, worship services, bulletins, children’s sermons, and more. 

Go to www.youtube.com/TrinityBoycevilleWI for all our videos!  Worship services, songs, children’s sermons. 

MUSINGS FROM PASTOR BRAD

“Now to God who is able to strengthen you . . .” Romans 16:25

   Christmas is almost here and for many, it will look very different.  I could tell you all about how different it may be, from worship to family gatherings to more.  But frankly, you know all that.  It is pretty obvious.

  Rather, I’d like to take a moment to talk about the gift that you are receiving this Christmas. And yes, Jesus is a gift you are receiving this Christmas, the gift of salvation and hope and love.  But I want to talk about a gift you have had, maybe a gift that you didn’t realize.  The gift of strength.

  I’m not talking about physical strength, the kind you grow in your muscles through exercise and weight lifting.  I’m talking about strength of the spirit.  Frankly, it is a gift that I have seen in so many of you these past months. 

   You have endured much.  We have endured much.  The pandemic.  Social upheaval.  Vicious politics.  The inability to gather with family and friends.  So many things cancelled, rescheduled, and postponed.  Add to that the normal difficulties of life.  Death of a loved one.  Health issues.  Concerns regarding financial stability.  Stress.  Worry.  More.

   You have endured much.  But you have survived.  You have.  You are here because you have been given the gift of strength from your loving and gracious God.  God has strengthened you in your spirit.  You are have survived.  You are here.  I have seen it.  I have felt it.  My friends, you are strong.  You are strong because the Lord is strengthening you. 

   And because of this, you can and have survived anything.  You can keep going, no matter how long the pandemic goes, no matter what life throws at you, you can keep going because God in Jesus Christ gives you strength.  You are stronger than you think because your strength doesn’t come from you alone.  It comes from the Lord. 

   No matter what happens in the next weeks, month, or year, you can handle anything.  You are strong.  You will survive.  Take a moment this Christmas to give thanks for your Savior Jesus Christ and the strength of spirit that you have been given.  May God bless you and be with you this day and always!

Trinity is on Instagram at tlcboyceville

Trinity has a Facebook page!  Just search for Trinity Lutheran Boyceville

Check out sermons and more at www.youtube.com/TrinityBoycevilleWI

Website: www.trinityboyceville.com

Trinity Tidings December 13

Posted on: December 13th, 2020 by Brad Peterson

Trinity Tidings

December 13, 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Sunday Worship: 8 am in person, 9 am Parking Lot worship.  Wednesday worship at 6 pm is Facebook only.  All services are live streamed and also posted on our website.

Christmas Eve Worship will be held at the following times: 9 am, 2 pm, 4:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 9:00 pm.  Reservations are required.  To make one, click on this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080E49AEA62FA2FB6-christmas  The 4:30 pm and 9:00 pm services will be live streamed on our Facebook page. You can also call the church office to make a reservation.

ALL SERVICES, EXCEPT 9 AM, ARE CURRENTLY FULL

Christmas Day Worship will be at 9 am.  Reservations are not required.

There is NO drive thru communion on December 20th.   

Support the Women of Trinity! Help the Women of Trinity, who lost all their fundraisers this year, by donating to them.  You can make your donation in honor or memory of your favorite baker.  As a bonus, if we raise $500 by December 27th, PB will put “PB says Go Pack Go” on the electronic sign on January 3rd, the next Bears-Packers game! 

2021 Offering Envelopes are available for pick-up.

The Lefse & Bake Sale has been cancelled for this year.

The Mission Trip Silent Auction has been moved to 2021.

All confirmation classes will be online only until January 2021

Sign-up for Snow Removal!  Follow this link to sign-up to keep our doors and sidewalks free from snow!  Snowblower available for use!  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080E49AEA62FA2FB6-snow

Don’t forget that you can support Trinity through the GivePlus app OR using the donate form on our website.  Download the free app, search for Trinity Lutheran Boyceville, and go from there! 

Go to www.trinityboyceville.com for links for the newsletter, worship services, bulletins, children’s sermons, and more. 

Go to www.youtube.com/TrinityBoycevilleWI for all our videos!  Worship services, songs, children’s sermons. 

MUSINGS FROM PASTOR BRAD

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:” Luke 2:10

This past Thursday, as Amy and I were finishing dinner, it was like the angel, from the Christmas story referenced above, had shown up in my life, bringing good news.  What was this good news?  It was a whole bunch of Star Wars news!  New movie!  Disney+ series all over the place!  The announcements came so fast and furious my head was spinning.  I was grinning from ear to ear.  I might have even teared up a little.

  Now, I know, it seems kind of dumb to get excited about Star Wars and the announcement of new movies and tv shows.  But frankly, in a year like this, any good news I get is something to rejoice about.  For an hour, as I scoured the internet for details and happily texted my friends, it was a time of joy and relief.  No talk about viruses, political instability and insanity, nothing about murders or floods or fires or anything else.  For a little while, the good news I heard about Star Wars was a balm to my troubled heart and soul.

   But frankly, it is still far short of the way the good news of Jesus Christ makes me feel.  For it is that good news of great joy, that Jesus Christ has died for my sins and brings me to eternal life, that keeps me going through all the darkness.  At the same time, I was reminded that we do receive good news in our life, news that brings us great joy.  News like the birth of a child, or an engagement, or a new job, or an achievement at school.  There is a lot of joy in the world, lots of good news, if we just take a moment to look for it.

   It can be so easy to focus only on the darkness, only on the hard things that are going on in our lives.  And we shouldn’t ignore them.  We shouldn’t put our head in the sand.  Yet, it can’t be our sole focus.  There is good news being proclaimed all around us, most especially the Good News of Jesus Christ.  There is good news in your life today and it can be anything, anything that brings you joy.  Most especially, feel the joy knowing that you are loved, strengthened, forgiven, and redeemed by your Savior Jesus Christ. 

Trinity is on Instagram at tlcboyceville

Trinity has a Facebook page!  Just search for Trinity Lutheran Boyceville

Check out sermons and more at www.youtube.com/TrinityBoycevilleWI

Website: www.trinityboyceville.com

A Little Strange

Posted on: December 7th, 2020 by Brad Peterson

  It feels a little strange.  Now, 2020 has been the strangest year ever so everything feels strange.  But for some reason, as I sit here on December 6th and I look at my to-do list and my calendar, it is really strange.  It is empty.  Sure, there is a worship here and a confirmation class to tape there and some devotions to record and upload.  But it isn’t what it normally would be.  In normal times, this week, December 6th-12th, is the busiest week of my year.  Not Holy Week.  This week.  Because normally this is lefse week.  Normally this is Spirit of Christmas week.  But nothing is normal.  Not this year.

   In a normal year, during this week I would average twelve hour days for every day this week, with Friday and Saturday being 14-16 hours.  I’m peeling and ricing potatoes and then serving as a runner, taking lefse from griddle to table.  Last year, on Thursday of lefse week, I put on 11 miles of walking and I never left the building.  I’m moving tables and setting up for Silent Auction and then spending all day Friday putting together packages, typing up bid sheets, and figuring out how we are going to fit in all the last second items that come in.  I’m organizing the soup lunch and calling my colleagues in ministry about the people in their church who will be in the Live Nativity.  I’m barely home throughout the week and I think the dog forgets who I am. Every night I go to sleep smelling like potatoes and dream of Silent Auction items.  It is a crazy, busy, insane week.  Like I said, the busiest week of the year.  But it is also my favorite work week of the year.

   I won’t miss all the hours that I put in and the feeling of overwhelming exhaustion that encompasses it.  However, I’m already really missing all the people who I get the pleasure to work beside, who put in just as much work as I do or more.  I’ll miss the leadership of Peggy Danovsky and Deb Holmlund as they lead the lefse crew and see their dedication and love of passing on this new tradition, they way they get new people right into it and take what seems to be chaos into a ballet of lefse production.  I’ll miss Paul Davnosky asking me AGAIN to play “Snoopy’s Christmas” and all the other song requests.  I’ll miss playing around with Wendell Andrews and watching him screw up a piece of lefse on purpose so he can eat it.  I’ll miss when a Mom or Grandma brings in a grandkid to give them a taste of this time honored tradition.  I’ll miss watching Howard Edlin examine each piece like a diamond and carrying lefse from Marlys’ and Marlene’s and Vicki’s and Carla’s and Sandy’s griddles.  I’ll miss seeing the guys making dough balls and seeing everyone sitting around the table having a coffee break.  I’ll miss the counting down of the bins in the fridge and the counting of packages.  I’ll miss the stories, the laughter, the jokes (even those at my expense), and the feeling of teamwork, camaraderie, and togetherness that comes with this week.  I’ll miss laughing with our high school kids who are helping with the bid sheets and the fun of hanging out in the kitchen on Saturday with our awesome youth and the dedication of the parents who take care of everything when I leave for Live Nativity.  I’ll miss seeing the community come out to see the birth of Christ acted out. I’ll miss seeing the bake sale tables dwindle down until there is none left.  I’ll miss all of it.

   Life is not normal right now and it won’t be for awhile.  And though I will miss everything I just listed, it doesn’t mean I’m sad.  During lefse week, I often saw the best of our congregation and our community.  I saw Jesus at work.  I’m not sad because not only do I have the memories of previous years, but I know that we will do it all again next year.  I’m not sad because I still see Jesus at work.  Jesus is just working in a different way then in years past.  I see it in the way people are checking in on each other, the comments during the worship services online, the way people wave to each other through their cars.  I see it in the emails and calls I get.  I see it in the way we lift up each other.  I will see Jesus at work when I’m actually home for dinner this week and get time with dog and a chance to go for a walk with Amy because I’m not so tired I can barely stand. 

   Life is not normal right now.  But the love of Christ is still there. Hope is still there. Jesus is still at work.  There is still a Spirit of Christmas. It just looks different this year. And when I turn on my Christmas music and hear “Snoopy’s Christmas,” I will still think of Paul, of Deb and Peggy, of our kids, of all of it.  And I won’t be sad.  I’ll be glad for the memories, the people, the stories, the time, and the privilege.  And I’ll see Jesus in my smile, memories, and heart.  I hope that you will too. 

A Reminder

Posted on: July 20th, 2020 by Brad Peterson

 “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:12

   It is easy to forget.  I’m always setting alarms and reminders on my phone so I don’t forget stuff.  It might be things I have to pick up at the store, a meeting, a deadline, when something needs to be done.  This is especially true in these times when my calendar isn’t very full it is easy to forget to stuff that I normally never would have.  It is also easy to forget what is truly important in life when we get swallowed up with petty stuff that takes on a bigger meaning then it needs to. And it is easy to forget who God truly is for us.

   That is why I appreciate the following verse from Psalm 89.  It is a reminder of who God is.  God is gracious.  God is merciful.  God is abounding in steadfast love.  God is faithful.  So often we forget these important truths.  We look at God and think of only judgment, of disappointment in our actions, of falling short of our calling as people of God.  It reminded me of a coach I had in high school who never said anything good about anything.  Everyone was always falling short of their expectations, even when we won or played well . It got hard to be motivated to put it all out there for that coach and it was easy to forget why we were playing in the first place.  But we had an assistant coach that always walked around to us and told us when we did well, gave us encouragement, and motivated us to keep going. 

   Verses like this help us to do that.  They remind us of who God truly is and they give us hope.  Even more so, when we look to Jesus, the Son of God, we see that reminder of God’s love, faithfulness, and mercy towards us.  For God sends Jesus to save us and to remind us of God’s true nature.  We may sin but when we turn to the Lord, we have forgiveness and mercy.  We have a God who is faithful to the promises God has made to us, and we have a God whose steadfast love surrounds and fills us.

   But this verse also gives us one more reminder.  And that is this: we should be striving to be like this in our own lives.  To be people of mercy and compassion.  To be slow to anger.  To be abounding in steadfast love. So often we are quick to anger, quick to attack, quick to punish, quick to judge and condemn.  We are called to a different way.  A better way.  A way that lifts up the other instead of tearing them down.  A way of grace and compassion, even towards those we disagree with.  I know that in my own life I often fail in this ideal but I keep trying because I have a Lord who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  Out of thankfulness for the grace and mercy I have been shown, I try to show that same grace and mercy to others.  My prayer is that you will too.  That you will remember that you have a God who is gracious, merciful, loving, and faithful and that you take what you have been given by your loving God and extend it to others. 

   May you never forget how God truly is and see that through the work of Jesus Christ for you.  And may you extend the grace, mercy, love, and faithfulness you have received to others.  Amen. 

The Impossible

Posted on: July 13th, 2020 by Brad Peterson

Something really weird happened to me on Friday.  I was what I call “The Club,” Sioux Creek Golf Course in Chetek, which isn’t weird for me at all, especially on my day off.  It wasn’t that I was actually playing fairly well.  It wasn’t that it was super early in the morning. As I was completing my 16th hole of the day, I thought to myself, “I bet I could easily play another 9.”  Here is the weird thing: I was walking.  That’s right.  I thought about playing another 9 holes, for a total of 27, all of them walking.  A year ago after walking nine I would need oxygen and a long break before even thinking about doing it again.  If it was hot?  Cart all the way.  On July 4th I voluntarily walked despite it being a thousand degrees and we would have gotten in a full 18 if it hadn’t been super busy and we had to be back at a certain time.

   A year ago I thought it would be impossible for me to walk 18 holes, let alone confidently think about doing 27.  As I churned that thought around in my brain and just how far I had come in a year and how something that seemed so impossible could now be a reality I thought of this well known verse from Philippians chapter 4: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

   We often believe that we can’t do a lot of things.  We might have dreams but they seem so impossible.  We find ourselves in the storms of life and it feels impossible that we will survive, let alone be successful.  We often measure what success is with unreasonable expectation and so we don’t try because it seems too hard.  I have thought all of these thoughts myself.  Felt I wasn’t good enough, that I couldn’t do it, that the storm will just continue to rage and I’ll never find the strength or the peace enough to get through it.

  But we are not alone.  Christ strengthens us.  Christ is with us.  Christ has freed us so that we can try even the impossible.  We can reach for the stars.  We can make through stuff that seems impossible.  Think about our present circumstances.  We are four months into a pandemic that seems like it may never abate yet we are surviving.  It isn’t always pretty and doesn’t always go according to plan, but we are getting through.  There is still laughter, love, and joy. 

   Because Jesus is with us, we can do the impossible.  And even if we try and fail, our Savior lifts us up, dusts us off, and reminds us that we are loved and cared for.  Don’t sell yourself short.  Don’t think you can’t do it.  You can.  You are not alone.  Who knows what might happen if you take a risk, take a leap, trust in the Lord and in yourself?  You might find yourself deciding to walk 27 holes.  For the strength, love, and forgiveness we have in Jesus Christ we can say, “Thanks be to God!” 

Update from Church Council June 2020

Posted on: June 27th, 2020 by Brad Peterson

Dear Trinity Members,

 The question that I get the most is, “When are we going to return to church?” Well, now I have an answer to that question for all of you. 

At the June 14th Church Council meeting, the Church Council approved a plan to return to in-person worship.  Here is the upcoming worship schedule for Sunday’s:

  • July 5: Facebook worship with drive-thru communion from 10:00 am – 11:30 am.
  • July 12-August 9: Parking Lot worship.
  • August 16: Facebook worship .
  • August 23: In-person worship.
  • Wednesday worship will be Facebook only until August 26th.

 The August 23 in-person worship service will only occur if the Dunn County Health Department guidelines for indoor gatherings have reached 50 people.  When we gather for in-person worship, the following procedures will be in place to ensure the safety and health of our members, worship leaders, and volunteers.

  • Masks are to be worn by all.  You will be provided a mask if you do not have one.
  • Maintain social distance of six feet at all times.
  • Places where you can sit will be clearly marked.  People living in the same household may sit together in one pew.  Otherwise, two people may sit together on each end of the pew. 
  • Bulletins will be placed at the places where you can sit and we ask that you take them with you.
  • Doors will be propped open (other than the bathroom doors) so that you will not need to touch them.
  • Offering plates will be placed by the doors to the sanctuary for you to place your offering.
  • There will be no passing of the peace or communal singing.  Songs will be led by a song leader. 
  • Communion will be different or may not occur.
  • Doors will open 15 minutes prior to worship. 
  • There will be no coffee fellowship before or after worship.
  • We ask that you exit immediately following the service.
  • Capacity is limited but we will do our best to make sure everyone can worship, even if we have to extend social distanced seating into the fellowship hall. 
  • Hand sanitizer will be available and placed in multiple locations for your use.
  • All hymnals, pencils, and directories have been removed from the sanctuary so that we will not have to sanitize them after worship. 
  • If you are sick, have a fever, or are high-risk, we ask that you stay home.
  • All services will continue to be live streamed on Facebook.

  If this schedule needs to change, we will make announcements through the Trinity Facebook page, the Trinity website, and through email.  At this time, all other Trinity activities remain postponed or cancelled, including the Pie & Ice Cream Social.  We hope, if conditions allow, to resume many of our activities in September. 

   We appreciate your patience as we work towards coming together again in person.  We give thanks for the ways in which you have been the church throughout these difficult times.  You have shared the Gospel, encouraged each other, been generous in your giving, and kept each other in prayer.  You have taken to heart that being the church is more than being inside a building; it is about the mutual love and encouragement of each other as disciples of Jesus Christ. 

   Thank you for your love and commitment to Trinity and its ministry and may the Lord bless you and fill you with love and faith every day.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Brad and the Trinity Lutheran Church Council

Joy & Sorrow

Posted on: June 7th, 2020 by Brad Peterson

The other night Amy and I decided to watch an old Disney movie celebrating its 60th anniversary, a movie that I hadn’t seen named “Pollyanna.”  Now, I didn’t really care about watching the movie, if I’m being honest, but since I had forced her to watch one of my favorites in “The Princess Bride” I figured I could watch one of hers.  And as the movie played across our TV screen, I found it nice and sweet and uplifting.  I enjoyed the message of living and hope that came from Pollyanna’s interactions with the people in the town.  And then, BOOM.  It took a dark turn.

  SPOILER WARNING IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT AND IF YOU HAVEN’T IT HAS BEEN 60 YEARS SO THAT IS YOUR FAULT.  😊 All the sudden, Pollyanna falls from a tree and is paralyzed.  I was flummoxed.  I was beside myself.  This feel good movie had turned dark and turned dark fast.  Quickly.  I was upset.  I felt the movie had betrayed me. I was in disbelief.  I think Amy enjoyed my reaction.

   But as I thought about it later, what was this very Disney, very happy movie with a lightening quick dark turn, reminded me of life.  Life doesn’t always go like a happy movie.  Sometimes life takes a hard and difficult turn.  I thought about what it felt like when I was told my Dad had cancer and the times in my ministry when I’ve sat with people after like turn a hard turn.  There is disbelief.  There is sadness.  There is anger.  And there is pain, suffering, and hurt.

   Yet, life isn’t exclusively one or the other.  There are times of hurt when things are good and times of joy when things are bad.  In the midst of it all is hope.  In “Pollyanna,” the town that received hope from Pollyanna rally around her and help to restore her hope after her accident. For us, our hope is restored through our Savior Jesus Christ.  Jesus is with us, in the good and the bad, and through it all we have hope knowing that we are not alone.  No matter what happens, our loving shepherd is there for you and for all of us.

   Life is not like a movie. But sometimes movies open a window into life.  Life is full of joy.  Life is full of sorrow.  It seems to see-saw from one to another in an instant.  But in the midst of it all is our Savior.  Who weeps with us.  Who celebrates with us.  Who loves us.  And who always gives us hope.  Hold onto that hope every day and share that hope with others.