20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good,
22 reject every kind of evil. (I Thessalonians 5)
With a new year often comes a renewed interest in reading labels. New diets require checking the contents of our foods for fat, sugar, and calorie counts. Getting serious about digestive health may require checking for gluten or preservatives. A new exercise regimen may even find you counting grams of protein for proper muscle growth and recovery. If you want to fuel your body correctly to match up with your New Year’s resolutions, you will find yourself checking the labels; and then you will find yourself accepting some foods but rejecting others.
What is true for our bodies needs to be doubly true for our souls. That’s why Paul wrote what he did to the Christians at Thessalonica. Prophecies, words claiming to carry the authority of God and his will for our lives, are to be neither ignored by us, nor acted contrary to by us. If and when God speaks, we want to listen and act accordingly because God only speaks what is good for our soul’s salvation. In Paul’s day, God’s revelation to mankind was still incomplete. There were Scriptures that had yet to be inspired. So, Paul commanded the people to test words that claimed to be from God. Did they pass muster? Was this God’s life-giving truth, or a lie perpetrated by the one whose only goal is to destroy souls? How should this new prophecy be labeled?
To determine what was truth took testing. Did the message comport with what God had already revealed in the Old Testament Scriptures? Did this new prophecy fall in line with the things Jesus had already said and done? Did these new words fall in line with the law of love? If it passed the test it was to be labeled truth – and then it was to be followed. If not, it was to be labeled as falsehood and dismissed out of hand immediately.
In our day, the revelation of God is complete. God has spoken to us by his Son who has in turn spoken to us through the prophets recorded in Scripture. But that does not mean the testing and labeling is complete. That does not mean we can lay our labeling machine aside. Quite the opposite is true. Now that we have God’s will written for us, we have a very good measure by which to gauge whether or not anything should be labeled truth or lie. Judging, labeling, testing – these things continue in earnest as we guard the faith we have been given and seek to spread the truth of God’s love in Jesus to others.
That is quite the opposite message of the world we live in today. Judging, labeling, testing – these things are detestable to the world because the world follows its own prince, the Father of Lies. So, that which God has labeled “sin,” the world wants labeled as love. That which God has labeled “good,” the world labels loveless. That which God has labeled perversion, the world has labeled the “authentic self.” That which God has labeled beneficial, the world labels “hate speech.” That which God commands we put out of our lives for our soul’s good, the world demands that we embrace as beneficial. Even as it decries labels, the world labels God’s truth a lie and rejects it.
How can we tell the difference between truth and lie? Only by reading the label.
The Annual Congregational Voters’ Meeting will be held on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 10:15 am in the sanctuary. All congregational members are encouraged to attend.
INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS
The newly elected officers of Trinity Lutheran Church will be installed during the 9:00 a.m. worship service on January 26, 2020. Installed will be new Trustees Randy Popp and Gary Kuehn along with re?elected Trustee Jim Sawyer. Our thanks to outgoing Trustees Ken Simington and Robert Gunz.
2020 OFFERING ENVELOPES
2020 Offering Envelopes are available for pick up in the lower level hallway. If you participate in electronic giving you will still receive a box of envelopes. If your envelope number has changed then your mailbox number will change as of January 1, 2020. If your envelope number has changed and you participate in electronic giving the church office will make the necessary changes needed.
WEDNESDAY EVENING BIBLE STUDY
We all worship. We all worship something or someone every day. Functionally, these are our gods. We may not realize it but an idol is created when we take a good thing and make it the ultimate thing in our life. As we begin a new year, join us for our Gather & Grow Bible study on Wednesday evenings at 7:15pm. The topic of our January study will be "Idols We Never Knew We Had".
IT’S A CHILI COOK-OFF
Do you have your Mom’s award winning chili recipe? Why not share it with all of us and see how it stands up to the competition?
YPS YOUTH GROUP
YPS will be sponsoring the 5th annual CHILI COOK-OFF. Anyone interested in entering a pot of chili in this contest, please sign up on the sheet in the fellowship hall. There will be awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. YPS will provide the toppings. Everyone in the congregation is welcome to come help us eat some chili. The cook-off will be held in the kitchen dining area on Jan. 5th from 12:00 to 1:00. Contestants may bring their chili to the kitchen dining room that morning. A free will offering will be collected. All proceeds will be used towards youth events. Please join us in supporting our church’s youth, enjoying Christian fellowship and fun and sampling all kinds of chili.
Just a reminder the YPS chili cook-off will be Sunday, January 5th following Bible class. All youth that are able to help, please meet in the church fellowship hall at 11:30 to help set up. We’ll kick things off at noon! Also, if you could, please bring along a dessert to share. We hope to see you there!
We will be taking down the Christmas decorations on Sunday, January 5th after the worship service (approximately 10:15 am). All help is appreciated. Contact Rob Pagel at (920) 475?1274 for more information.
FAMILY GAME NIGHT
Attention Cribbage Players - January's game night is for you! January 18th from 7:15 (after Saturday night church) – 9:00, we are going to have tables set for cribbage matches. If you know how to play or want to learn, come out to game night and make some fun memories. We will also have other games too for those who don't play cribbage. Let's get out and enjoy a night of fun and fellowship. Please contact Deb Kienert @ 460-1818 or Rita Braun @ 479-5932 with questions.
BARGAIN GARDEN THRIFT STORE
A KNIGHT OUT REGISTRATION
Bargain Garden Thrift Shop, 2725 N. Meade St. (832?8822), appreciates your donations of housewares, home decor, jewelry, furniture (no upholstered items), novelties, new greeting cards, and toys. Clean and gently used items only. Your donations and purchases help provide funds for the teen ministry at FVL. Visit the store online at www.bargaingardenthrift.com
OPEN GYM DATES
Join us on Friday, March 6th
at Bridgewood Resort in Neenah for a night of fun, fellowship, delicious food, and fundraising for Neenah Lutheran School’s tuition assistance fund. Guarantee your spot by registering online at www.aknightout.org
the cost is $50 per person. Other ways to purchase your tickets are at Trinity and Martin Luther school offices or find forms and a secure lockbox in the Trinity and Martin Luther church narthex. Registration questions can be directed to Tammy Huza at 716-0295.
Trinity Lutheran School is hosting open gyms for anyone that is of high school age or older. This is a great opportunity to get exercise and grow in fellowship with one other! People of all skill levels are welcome! Basketball open gyms will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday evenings during the month of January.
MONTHLY DATE KNIGHT - BUFFALO WILD WINGS
The next Date Knight is on Wednesday, January 8th at Buffalo Wild Wings 3201 E. Calumet St. in Appleton all operating hours. They will be giving 10% to the school! Tickets will need to be presented - either a paper copy (located in the narthex) or on your phone in order to receive the credit.
The TLS kitchen will need a temporary assistant cook for March, April, and May. Please contact Principal Weinrich or the hot lunch administrator Brooke Overton at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in applying.
MORNINGS WITH MOMMY
The new January registration is now OPEN on neenahlutheran.net/mwm! Starting with January sessions, sign up will be on a month to month basis. More info and dates for January-May are posted on the website. Our limit has bumped up to 24 children for each session. Let your friends know and bring them along next time!
AN OPPORTUNITY TO HELP ? TUITION ASSISTANCE FUND
You'll have first dibs on registration if you've signed up for Mornings with Mommy updates. Contact Jackie Paustian or email email@example.com to get added to that list.
Move and Groove dates have been set for January 16th & 30th. Gym play time with coffee and treats! It's for ages 0-4 with caregivers from 8:30-9:30 on the Thursdays posted on the website. Registration is also required (for safety purposes) and now OPEN. There will be no limit, so have your friends register too!
Can you serve coffee, have extra hands to help, or be welcoming to young families? I'm always grateful for any help, big or small. Contact Jackie at the email listed above.
Our congregation has a Tuition Assistance Fund which helps families who have a hard time paying the tuition and fees at Trinity Lutheran School. If you would like to help a student who otherwise might not be able to attend our school you can designate an offering to Trinity’s Tuition Assistance Fund. Offerings may be given in any amount, large or small. Assistance for next school year will be awarded by the Education Committee sometime around May. Offerings given any time before May will be available to help students with expenses for the fall term of 2020.
THRIVENT CHOICE DOLLARS®
During this special time of year, we pause to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Family, friends, faith … One way eligible Thrivent Financial members can show their thanks is by directing Choice Dollars® to Trinity Lutheran School. If you’re a Thrivent member who has been designated Choice Dollars®, take this opportunity to recommend where Thrivent distributes some of its charitable grant funds by directing them to Trinity Lutheran School.
JUST A REMINDER WHEN HOSPITALIZED
When members of our Trinity family are hospitalized, your pastors desire to visit with you and share the comforting promises found in our Savior’s Word. Please don’t assume that we will be contacted promptly by the hospital staff or that we are aware of the medical issues you may be facing. Help us to serve you with God’s Word and Sacrament by calling the Church Office (or have a loved one call) @ 722?6712. Thank you for helping us in our ministry to you!
NOTES OF THANKS
SHUT IN BASKETS
Thank you to everyone who donated to the “Shut?In” baskets. Gift baskets were given to 29 of our shut?in’s. Thank you also to the Thursday morning bible class for delivering the basket to the shut?ins. Please know that your generous donations of money, food items, hygiene products, snacks, word find books and homemade items made by talented ladies were greatly appreciated. The gift baskets let our shut?ins know that their church family is thinking about them and wishing them a Merry Christmas.
DESSERT SOCIAL AND BAKE SALE
W.I.N.G.S. wishes to thank everyone who donated to, purchased from, and helped with, the Trinity Bake Sale. Besides the great fellowship, as more than 150 people came down to enjoy a dessert and christian conversation this festive time of year, over $600 was raised for women's ministry. Thank you!
COLLEGE STUDENT CARE PACKAGE
The Trinity Youth Group mailed care packages to our college age members who are living away from home. The packages arrived before final exams to give the students a little pick me up while they were studying. We received the following notes of appreciate from some of the students:
Thank you for remembering me again this year with a care package. The treats were great, especially during finals week! It’s a comfort to know my church family supports me while I am away from home. Thanks again and Merry Christmas! Michaela Koepp - St. Norbert College
Trinity Lutheran Church,
Thank you so much for the finals snack package! It has truly been so wonderful to open it up each year! I’m so blessed to be a part of Trinity and I truly appreciate the support over the years! Hannah Drewek - Bethany Lutheran College
LADIES CRAFT NIGHT
Kick off your weekend with fellowship & fun while working on those unfinished projects! Ladies craft night will be held on the following Friday evenings, January 17, February 21, and March 13 and April 17 from 5 pm to 9 pm at the school. Just bring your projects & invite a friend or neighbor as well – no RSVP necessary.
WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY
Women’s Bible Study will resume on Thursday, January 23rd at 6:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church. All ladies are welcome to join us in our study of the reassurance we receive in the forgiveness and promise of hope though our Savior. If you have questions please contact Krista McKenzie.
APPLE VALLEY FOOD PANTRY
Your generous donations in the form of non-perishable groceries and cash to the WELS Apple Valley Food Pantry is very much appreciated! We would like to share major accomplishments in 2019 with you:
- We served 75 families every month
- 2,100 bags of non-perishable groceries and 800 bags of sundry items distributed. That is nearly 40,000 pounds or 20 tons!
- $27,000 in scrip provided to families to purchase fresh foods such as meat, dairy and produce
Our pantry hopes to continue its role in our mission of helping to supplement the grocery needs of our congregation members and neighbors. And the need continues.
APPLE VALLEY FOOD PANTRY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
For collection in January, the following items are needed: Dish and laundry soap, canned fruit, all crackers, cookies, jam, rice, rice and pasta side dishes, boxed and canned potatoes, canned meats, beef stews and canned meals.
Please save your Meditations and Forward in Christ for the Food Pantry. You can place your used devotionals in the food pantry boxes. We ask that you keep the pantry in your prayers as they continue to minister to those in need. Thank you for supporting the pantry. Your help is greatly appreciated!
On January 12th, it will be Trinity’s turn to work at the Apple Valley Food Pantry (at St. Matthew Church, 129 S. Mason Street, Appleton). We are in need of 8?10 volunteers, high school age or older, who are willing to help in the dock area as well as sort the incoming donations. If interested, please contact Randy & Sandy Popp at 920?740?4333 or Tom & Barb Wilde at 920?725?0014 for details.
MEN OF HIS WORD CONFERENCE
PATHWAYS TO CHRIST ? WOMEN’S RETREAT
annual Men of His Word Conference (Theme: GOD’S 20/20 VISION FOR YOUR FUTURE) will be held at the Best Western Premier Waterfront Convention Center in Oshkosh on Saturday, February 8, 2020. Please go online at www.menofhisword.org
to register and get details about schedule, breakout sessions, keynote speaker, cost, etc. Hope to see you there!
TRINITY LUTHERAN SCHOOL
Sisters in Christ, please join us for the 20th Pathways to Christ Retreat on March 13?15 at LaSure’s Hall in Oshkosh. The 2020 theme is “A Friend Loves At All Times”, Prov. 17:17a. Friday evening will consist of a guided round?table discussion and Bible study on friendship followed by Thirsty Soul
– Praise Band. On Saturday our three speakers; Rachel Fritz, Linda Gumm and Jenni Schubring will focus on our friendship with Jesus, on journey of life and friendship and on our calling as Christ’s disciples. His Witness
will then share their gift of music with us. On Sunday we will share in a Bible Study and worship. Additional information, along with registration forms, may be downloaded from our website: http://pathwaystochrist.org
or found on the back table in the narthex.
During the month of December, Trinity participated in a drive to provide supplies and items needed by the Hope Center in Appleton. The Hope Center is a compassion ministry of WELS United located on the campus of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in downtown Appleton. It is a non-profit, volunteer agency financially supported by WELS members. Each month the Hope Center assists more than 60 family units in the Fox Valley.
Neenah Lutheran Call Extended
The Neenah Lutheran School Board voted to call Mrs. Michelle Korth to teach grade 6 and Spanish. She teaches now at Trinity Lutheran School in Marshfield, WI. Please keep her in your prayers as she deliberates the call she has to Neenah Lutheran!
A Knight Out Help
Parents’ Forum Meeting
Last year A Knight Out was a huge success, but we are looking to make this year even bigger, as the event raises much needed funds for tuition assistance at both campuses. Martin Luther and Trinity have so many hidden talents that we are looking to tap into! You can contact Jamie Palau with any questions about volunteering on a committee at (920) 428-4485 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. Thank you all in advance for your time and talents—an event like this takes a great team of people! Your help is greatly appreciated. “It takes a Christian community to raise and educate a child of God!”
The next parents’ forum meeting will take place on Monday, February 3 from 7:00 PM-7:30 PM in the atrium at Trinity.
PRO-LIFE EVENT AT FOX VALLEY TECHNICAL COLLEGE
The Politically Incorrect Club (a student organization at FVTC) will be sponsoring a Pro-Life event at FVTC on January 22 – National Sanctity of Life Day – starting at 2:30 in Conference Room A170. Jane Frantz, a local Pro-Life speaker, will be giving a presentation entitled “In Defense of Life: Envisioning a World Without Abortion” from 2:30 – 3:30. This will be followed at 4:00 by a showing of the powerful movie “Unplanned” which follows the true story of Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned Pro-Life activist. There will also be a collection for Mother & Unborn Baby Care of Appleton. We are asking that attendees bring an item to donate; cash and checks will be accepted.
COMMUNITY GIVING EVENT FOR BILL RUMSEY
Bill has been diagnosed with cancer and underwent several surgeries. He has had a long hospital stay and also spent two and a half weeks in a rehabilitation center. On Saturday, January 25th from 4:00 - 9:00 pm at Tanner’s Grill and Bar in Kimberly, you can show your support of the Rumsey family by attending a fundraising event in his honor to assist the family with medical and living expenses. Please see the postcard in the narthex for more information or visit the Team Bill webpage at www.communitybenefittree.org.
FOX VALLEY LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL
FVL Musicfest 2020
will be held 1/26 with performances beginning at noon. Doors open at 11:30 AM and the event will run till 4 PM. Musicfest is currently seeking items or basket donations for the Silent Auction. Find out more at fvlhs.org/fvl-musicfest
or call Megan Beyer at 920-560-5122. Please bring all donations to the FVL School Office prior to 1/6.
FVL PRINCIPAL’S REPORT TO THE FEDERATION
- FVL’s annual choral Christmas Concert shares the sacred songs of our Savior on December 15.
- FVL Musicfest is coming on Sunday, January 26. Plan to attend this celebration of musical talent from the high school and the Federation. Doors open at 11:30 AM. The event ends at 4 PM. Details at fvlhs.org.
- Senior Nick Kempf was recently named a National Merit Scholarship Semi-finalist. Best wishes to Nick as he continues in this prestigious competition!
- Student Council recently completed their annual Pizza Sale to raise money for Tuition Assistance.
- Nearly 100 5th-6th graders attended a pair of Fox Trek events this month.
- Mr. Joel Kramer returned a call to serve at Huron Valley Lutheran High School in Michigan. We are thankful for his continued ministry at FVL as a teacher and coach.
- Mr. Shawn Herkstroeter, who had been called in November by the FVL Board of Regents to serve as FVL’s Principal of Education, has returned that call. The plan is for the Regents to extend another call for this position at its December 17 meeting. Please keep FVL in your prayers as it seeks to fill this important leadership role.
- Winter sports teams—basketball, wrestling, cheer, dance and hockey—are all in action.
- FVL’s Fox Folk Marionette Troupe again had the privilege of sharing the Christmas message in a variety of settings with their unique ministry. Over 700 primary grade students attended their Twinkle! Twinkle! Christmas Star” performances on December 10.
- Math Club and our VEX Robotics teams have been active in early season competition.
- FVL’s newest club—our eSports team—has had a successful first campaign with teams qualifying for the State competition.
- The cast of FVL Theatre’s spring musical Fiddler on the Roof has been chosen; shows are set for March 6-8. Tickets go on sale in February.
With you, serving Jesus – Principal Alan Nolte
USHERS FOR JANUARY
- Thanks to all who helped FVL reach the $475K goal for meeting the first mortgage payment for the Let the Children Come building expansion by October 31. Currently $38K has been raised for next year’s goal of $475K by October 2020. Please keep this ongoing need in your prayers.
- Every FVL SCRIP purchase helps families with tuition assistance. Consider using SCRIP for holiday purchases and helping families provide a Christian high school education for their children.
- As of December 1, congregational support is $17K behind last year. Over $324K of the 2019-20 Federation church commitment of $980K has been given.
GREETERS FOR JANUARY
- SUNDAY | Dennis Beyersdorf, Jeff Zarling, Jim & Jordan Jensen, Ken Simington, Randy, Kyle & Brent Popp, Reed Becker
- SATURDAY | Verlyn Joch, Jon Joch, Marv Pues
ALTAR FLOWERS FOR JANUARY
- January 5 | Pam Piechocki & Judy Kuchenbecker
- January 12 | Doug & Sharon Strand
- January 19 | Steve & Annette Zoromski
- January 26 | Brian & Lisa Laabs
ALTAR GUILD FOR JANUARY
- January 5 | Open - If you would like to place flowers on the altar please contact the church office.
- January 12 | In Memory of Walter Tesch by Family
- January 19 | In Memory of Frank Flenz by: Eileen Flenz
- January 19 | In Memory of Harry & Ruth Heller by: James Heller
- January 26 | In Memory of Mr. & Mrs. Otto Mueller, Dennis, Lyle & Rachel by: Family
- Pat Hoogervorst & Cheryl Wichman