Monthly Newsletter

February Monthly Newsletter

Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.  So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!  (Matthew 24:32-33).

There are several different ways of marking the four seasons.  The most common is “astronomical reckoning.”  That marks the seasons based on the position of the earth to the sun.  Spring and fall, for example, begins on the day when the sun appears to be directly overhead the equator.

Perhaps the second most common way is called “meteorological reckoning.”  Using this method, winter is the three calendar months with the lowest average temperatures. Thus, in the Northern Hemisphere, the months of December, January and February are the winter months.

Hang in there.  Winter is almost over.  There will be a day when the snow will be gone.  You can go outside without a coat.  You will feel the warmth of the sun on your face.  There will more hours of sunshine.

Jesus used such examples as budding trees and changing weather to help His disciples remain faithful.  Life as a believer would not be easy.  There would be temptations and persecutions—some mild and some intense.  Even if being a disciple became more challenging, it was worth it to hang in there.  February sometimes brings us the worst of winter weather.  Jesus told them that the worse things got, the closer they were to Jesus’ return.

A perfect world, in which we will forever live in the light and warmth of Jesus, awaits.  It is guaranteed to us by His death and resurrection.  Hang in there.  This fallen world is almost at an end.
Pastor Klein

  A Day To Be Remembered!

 What has been the most IMPORTANT event in your life---a day to be remembered and treasured???  Most of us don’t even remember this day; the day we became a member of God’s Kingdom, THE DAY OF OUR BAPTISM!!

In an effort to help Trinity members reflect and “remember,”  Trinity is honoring the baptismal birthdays of our members.  On the last Sunday of each month, members, young and old, who were baptized during that month can sit together, enjoy a treat and, perhaps, share stories during the fellowship hour.

We do have the dates of baptism for most of our members; but, if we missed yours, please let us know so we don’t miss it again. Any questions and/or dates, please contact the church office:  645-4438.

Arise and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.  Acts 2:16

Baptism doth also now save us.  I Peter 3:21

February Baptisms Anniversaries

Becky Grieser        Betty Habermas
Amos Hovland        Brenda Niebuhr
Ray Ozmun        Susan Roberts
Bobbi Schmidtke    Sherry Schwaab
Morgan Voigt        Dan Wett


December Home Fund Budget Status Report
Home Fund Balance on December 1, 2023            $13,789.82
December Home Fund Contributions                    $34,969.19
                  Designated Giving*        $33,000.42
                  Loose Plate Giving**        $768.77
Rental Property Fund        $1,200.00
December Home Fund Expenses                    $20,020.63
Home Fund Balance on December 31, 2023            $28,738.38
* Includes giving by people who use offering envelopes and e-giving
**Includes giving by people without offering envelopes
Home Fund Balance
Trinity began 2023 with a surplus of $15,621.90 in the Home Fund. The 2023 budget adopted by the voters included $247,782.14 in Home Fund Contributions and $255,722.64 in Home Fund Expenses, a difference of $7,940.50. In December of 2023, Trinity did not need to transfer money from other funds to the Home Fund to cover expenses.
Trinity Fund Report
The voters established a Trinity Fund for money given to memorialize a person or occasion.  Money in the Trinity Fund is spent at the discretion of the Council unless it is designated for a specific purpose by the donor(s).  In December of 2023, the Trinity Fund received $70.00 given in memory of Arnie Bunch; and spent $1,450.66 for technology improvements, in memory of Goldie Halvorson, Marv Witt, and Paul Witt.



Trinity Lutheran Church


January 4, 2024


Members Present: Pastor Klein, Pastor Boehme, DCE Lisa, John Greenfield, Barb and Kurt Anderson

Opening Prayer - 8:05 pm

Review of Minutes – Approved as printed

Financial Statement
Very generous giving in December will help us end the year with a surplus. Praise the Lord. Thank all the boards for careful spending and thanks to the people of Trinity for their generosity.

Increase in Pastor conference expenses was due to additional expenses for the synod convention. The next convention will be in 2026 so we will need to budget for that in 2025.

Old Business

· Cornerstone Academy update

· They have a good amount of money in their treasury and are being helped out by consultants to help fund.

· The Northfield Fire Chief was here and checked out the building and made a few minor recommendations to prepare the building for the school. The Board of Trustees are working on those recommendations. We do not need to add a sprinkler system.

· School - asked if youth room be used for mid week staff. Lisa is fine with that.

· Drinking fountain will be looked at to see if it can either be repaired or removed.

· Mural - they have self adhesive wallpaper that won’t damage the paint. This may be a good solution.

· Classroom painting is being done by a professional painter.

· Pew Bibles

· Looking to purchase 100 regular pew Bibles and 10 Large Print. Cost is just under $1100. tony will check with Christian Book to see if we can get them for a better cost.

· LCEF Account

· Stewardship Board and Barb Anderson discussed this. Recommending that we do not go forward with investing our funds in an LCEF account


New Business

· Carpeting - The old carpet will be removed the week of January 7. New carpet will be installed the week of January 22. Black stripping along the wall will also need to be replaced.

· Baptism Birthdays - Should we revisit how often it’s held or what we do at this celebration. There are some months when no one is there and other months when it is a larger celebration. Maybe include invitation or bulletin blurb. Put in weekly the list of people we are celebrating during that specific week and invite those to the monthly celebration.

· Nominating Committee - we only need 4 names to add to the ballot for 2024. Tony has consented to serve on Trustees again. Looking for current people to continue on Board of Education, Board of Elders, and to serve as President. Looks like we do have nominees to fill needed positions. We are still looking for a Congregation Secretary.

· Voters Agenda - Voters meeting at the end of January. Items need to be submitted by January 16, 2024. Agenda items will be:

Stephen Ministries Discussion

· Camp Omega does have scholarship funds available for anyone to attend our summer camp.



· Pastor(s)

· Pastor Klein: Internet is working better. This coming Saturday, January 6 we will be taking down Christmas Decorations. New phone system is up and working. If you call and it goes to voicemail, you will first get the emergency options to press 1 or 2 to reach the Pastors immediately.

· Pastor Boehme: Please let staff or council know if there is a problem with returning voice mail messages. 1/21 Worship Assistant; 2/18 will preach in Owatonna; 3?17 will preach in Owatonna. Also continuing to lead Wednesday Bible class and Der Lutheraner. (1/13)

· Lisa

· Mission Trips - 8 to costa Rica; 6 to Idaho. Plans are being made for travel and other logistics.

· Advent/Christmas Event - 304 sandwiches for ministry in the cities; fun party at Carboni’s and then Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army at Family Fare.


· Education

· Few openings remain for Sunday School teaching this spring. Terri Casmey has everything prepared for each lesson.

· Tech committee

· The technology committee worked with Sam Mastin Technologies during the week of December 18th and have installed a data/computer network on the incoming fiber internet line. The network upload and download speeds we are seeing for network are amazing.

· This will keep phone traffic on one network and computer traffic on a separate network. This will reduce any bottlenecks of data being “daisy-chained” through the new phones on staff’s desks.

· This new configuration is also setup for expansion (if required) for Cornerstone Academy, for internet connectivity.


· Fellowship
Will be meeting in January to get things going for the year.


· Trustees

· Fix ballast in rental house;

· Need to get new paper dispensers in the bathrooms. (Thanks to Larry & Joan Pralle for the work they have been doing on this for the past MANY years!)


· Stewardship

· Praying about different stewardship programs that we would do this fall - do we keep the same program or change it up a little?

· List of counters has been distributed.


· Missions

· End of year $3838.21 and are able to send $750 to each of 5 missions to leave a balance of $88.21.

· January 21 is Mission Sunday - invited representatives from our 2 new missions (Camp Omega; Ruth’s House) to talk during fellowship hour. Mission Board will serve snacks that day.

· Elders

· If people need rides to Worship on Sunday, please contact the church and we will have rides available.

· At our January Quarterly meeting we will discuss if there is interest in the congregation to begin a Stephen Ministries program. Talk with Kurt Anderson if you are interested or have questions.

· In Spring after Easter put together a prayer vigil where people would sign up for a certain time slot to pray for general and specific prayer requests.

· Looking for possibly initiate an email prayer line with members.

· Looking to have the Greeter Ministry reestablished by the end of January.

Adjourn 840pm

Respectively submitted by Lisa Martinson



Caring for Our Neighbors

If any of the Ten Commandments might tempt us to think that keeping the Law is easy, it would be the Fifth Commandment. After all, how hard is it to get through life without murdering somebody? The vast majority of people can handle that!

But Jesus famously blows up this notion by pointing out that the command, “you shall not murder,” goes much deeper — down to the heart.

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.” But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, “You fool!” will be liable to the hell of fire. (Matt. 5:21–22)

Hatred and disdain come from the same sort of crookedness of heart as murder. With both murder and hatred, you look down on another person and think them of little worth.

In the Small Catechism, Luther also points out that every “do not” in the commandments also includes a “do this:” “We should fear and love God so that we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body but help and support him in every physical need” (SC, Fifth Commandment, emphasis added).

We are not called merely to avoid evil; we must also do positive good.

So when Jesus drew near to us and became our neighbor by taking up our humanity, He came not only to avoid harming us, but He came to positively help us, bless us and serve us.

We are now called to show the love to our neighbors that Christ showed to us. Your neighbor is yet another gift that God has given you that requires your stewardship. We are called to show mercy, to be kind, to love and serve our neighbor. One aspect of this stewardship is financial: our neighbors need us to support the church’s work so that they can hear the Gospel and come to faith. Our neighbors need the church’s alms and mercy work. Our neighbors need our faithful service in all we do in the name of Christ.


LCMS Stewardship Ministry –



New pew Bibles have been ordered for the church.  If you would like to give one or more Bibles in honor or memory of a loved one, the cost is $10 per Bible and you can pay when you make your request.  A commemorative label will be permanently placed in the front of each Bible.  Please contact the church office or fill out the label included in this monthly newsletter and drop it off with payment at the church office.  Requests are due by March 1.

Trinity Book Club will continue to meet the first Monday morning of each month at 10 am.  All are welcome!  Here is a list of future books we will discuss:
“The Maid” by Nita Parose - Feb. 5, 2024
“The Island of Sea Women” by Lisa See - March 4, 2024

Our annual Valentine’s Day Banquet will be held on Saturday, February 10th, 5:30 - 8:30 pm.  Tickets will be sold Sunday, January 21st through February 4th during fellowship hour.  They are also available in the church office during the week.  Tickets are $16 per person.  Invite your family and friends for an evening of delicious food, musical entertainment, and fellowship.  The banquet committee is also looking for donations of door prizes, if you have any questions or would like to make a donation, please contact Bobbi Schmidtke 507-581-2155.  Thank You!

Registration is Open! Camp Omega promises to leave life-changing spiritual marks on the hearts of God’s people, as campers of all ages encounter creation, create community, and commune with Christ. Don’t let finances prevent your child from experiencing a Camp Omega program.  Both Trinity and Camp Omega have funds available to help attend Camp Omega this summer.  *Receive a $20 early registration discount if you register and pay your balance in full on or before March 1.  Choose from one of their many camp options:
· Ages 6—8:  Explorer Camp
· Ages 9-12: Art Camp, Horse Camp
· Ages 9-15: Youth Camp, Outpost Camp
· Ages 11-14: Confirmation Camp
· Ages 14-18: High School Camp
· Family Camp – for all ages
· Camp for People with Developmental Disabilities
Brochures are available in the Narthex, by contacting Lisa Martinson or by going to the camp website (  If you are interested in a Trinity Camp Scholarship, please contact Lisa Martinson.







February 4 - The Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany
Isaiah 40:21-31
1 Corinthians 9:16-27
Mark 1:29-39


February 11 - The Transfiguration of Our Lord
2 Kings 2:1-12
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:6
Mark 9:2-9


February 14 – Ash Wednesday
Joel 2:12-19
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21


February 18 - The First Sunday in Lent
Genesis 22:1-18
James 1:12-18
Mark 1:9-15


February 25 - The Second Sunday in Lent
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Romans 5:1-11
Mark 8:27-38




Challenge for Youth: Memorize Bible Verses – we changed things up a little bit and will be learning verses alphabetically:

January 28-February 3 (D): Do not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6).

February 4-10 (E): Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17).

February 11-17 (F): For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith (Ephesians 2:8).

February 18-24 (G): God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

February 25-March 2 (H): He alone is my rock and my salvation (Psalm 62:2).

Signing up for Youth Events: If there is a signup deadline for youth events, the signup sheet will be on the youth bulletin board in the main entrance hallway. It’s always helpful to have people sign up ahead of time so that we can plan for any transportation, food, or supply needs.

Youth Sunday School Schedule – for students in grades 5 and up. We are discussing our way through the book of Genesis - its content, context, and mostly about the message it conveys to us today. Bring a beverage and treat from downstairs… and don’t forget your Bible.

Youth Teaching Children’s Sunday School We are scheduled to teach on the 2nd Sundays: February 11 and March 10. We will need some youth to teach and others to work on the Submarine Sandwich and Joyful Jars Sale in the Fellowship Hall. Please let Lisa know what you would prefer to do.

Bring the whole family – and your friends! All Church Sledding at Carleton – Sunday February 4; 3:00-6:00pm. Hopefully the snow will stay! We will meet at Carleton College from 3-5pm and then head back to church to warm up and have some pizza. A sign-up sheet is on the youth bulletin board so that we know how much pizza to order. Please sign up by noon that day.

Valentine’s Dinner Volunteering – we are again helping the Valentine’s Dinner committee with setup, serving, and cleanup for this annual event. Plan to be here on Saturday, February 10 from about 4:30 pm until the cleanup is done (usually around 8:30pm)–but come when you can and leave when you must.

Submarine Sandwich and Joyful Soup Jars Fundraiser Items:

· Youth are needed to hand out sub sandwich order forms on Sunday, January 28 and Sunday, February 4. We will also need someone to take orders in the Fellowship Hall after church on Sunday, February 4 (I will not be at church that morning). Contact Lisa if you can help.

· We will meet on Wednesday, February 7 from 6-8pm to make Joyful Jars of Soup.

· We will meet on Sunday, February 11 at 8:00am to get set up, practice a sandwich or two, and be ready to go after church.

February 14 Youth Night – at 6:30 we will have a 25 minute Ash Wednesday experiential lesson for our youth that will flow right into Ash Wednesday worship service at 7pm. Join me upstairs in the youth room

Church Bingo and Potluck Lunch – Sunday, February 25 from 11:30-2:00pm. Bring the whole family – and bring your favorite dish to share. Lisa will start calling Bingo at about 11:45 – you can eat and play at the same time! We’ll have prizes for Bingo game winners too! No need to sign up – just show up and you’ll have a fun time.

Mission Trip Notes:

For all Costa Rica and Idaho participants.

· Please purchase the book “Is That Really You God?” We will be discussing this during a portion of our meeting time.

· Finish your One Word activity sheet.

· Note the fundraising events in the newsletter (Joyful Jars, Sub Sandwich Sale, Mile of Pennies).

· Send out your sponsor letters (optional).

Costa Rica:

· February 4 – 10:30am Meeting – (Discuss Book chapters 1-3 and One Word activity)

· February 25 – 10:30am Meeting & $200 per person (No payment if you purchased your airline tickets on your own)

· *April 7 (note date change) – Meeting & $300 per person (No payment if you purchased your tickets on your own)


· February 25 – 10:30am Meeting and $75 per person. (Discuss chapters 1-3 and One Word activity, transportation, lodging, activities, and online registration logistics.)

· *April 7 (note date change) – 10:30am Meeting and $125 per person.

Calendar of Events (in addition to Sunday School):