TRINITARIAN | DECEMBER 2017
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one
and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Flying miniature reindeer, elves working feverishly at the North Pole, a jolly old fat man in a red suit who can fit down the chimneys of the world’s children and bring them all the toys and goodies they could want – these are the unbelievable fairytales of Christmas. Yet, do these fairytales even hold a candle to the truths of Christmas?
At Mt. Sinai, as the Children of Israel were being led up from their bondage to slavery in Egypt toward the promised land, the LORD told his people he was going to come down to them. “Cordon off the Mountain,” said the LORD. “Not even your animals can touch it and live because you are a sinful nation, and nothing unholy can approach me,” came the Lord’s decree. Smoke and thunder and lightning terrified the people as the mountain quaked and roared. “Moses, don’t let the LORD speak to us! You do it for us.” Such was the fear of the people as they faced the terrifying specter of coming face-to-face with a Holy God.
The same fear would strike us if the LORD came down to any mountain on earth today in his great power and glory. But that is not the way the LORD came down to earth at Christmas. Instead, the Word came to us as a child; he was a helpless, tiny baby. In his great mercy the LORD did not come down to us in terrors but in the most meek and mild manner possible. He came down as one of us. He came down to us as one of us in the most non-intimidating state conceivable.
He came to assure us that as one of us – with exceptions - he can relate to us in every way. The exceptions? That those temptations that keep conquering us, he overcame, every time. Those worries that touch our minds and make our sleep fleeting and our hearts troubled, he defeated with complete trust in the One who sent him. The opportunities to serve the LORD that he created for us in advance (Ephesians 2:10) and make him pleased that we ignore – at times on purpose – he grabbed hold of and accomplished what his Father desired.
In his grace, when he came down to this earth and found his creation hostile to him and not receptive to his message, instead of condemning us and removing us from his presence, he withstood his Father’s judgment and willfully accepted the punishment we deserved. That is truly undeserved love – that is grace.
As we observe the truths of Christmas again this year – the eternal God taking on the flesh of his creation, God incarnate - may the LORD increase our faith to believe and receive his indescribable love. May those incredible truths of Christmas give you insurmountable peace here on earth and the certain hope of seeing his full glory in eternity.
As I wrote above, can the fantasies of Christmas hold a candle to its reality? Not a chance.
PRE CALL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING RESULTS
The congregation opted to hold a call meeting on Dec. 3 at 9:30 A.M. The District President has been asked to provide a list of candidates with five to ten years of experience and with gifts for outreach and family ministry. Ethan Fett and Jim Wichman were elected as Trustees.
APPLE VALLEY FOOD PANTRY
Please consider helping a family in need by providing something from the list below. Monetary donations are also accepted. Checks should be made payable to Apple Valley Food Pantry.
Items needed for the Month of December: Shampoo & conditioner, hamburger helper, chunky soup, pasta-in-a-can, all canned meats, canned fruits, cake mix & frosting, cookies, rice & paper toweling.
Please save your Meditations and Forward in Christ for the Food Pantry. You can place your used devotionals in the food pantry boxes.
The Food Pantry is always in need of brown paper bags with handles.
YEAR END CONTRIBUTIONS
In order to have your offerings credited to the 2017 tax year, they must be delivered to the church or postmarked in 2017. The law stipulates that offerings received in the new year cannot be credited to the prior year even if the check is backdated or placed in a prior year envelope. Please keep this in mind if you are planning a yearend contribution.
WELS CHURCH EXTENSION FUND
The WELS Church Extension Fund (CEF) exists to help WELS congregations, new and established, to build, purchase or update their properties. The CEF presents a ministry opportunity and an investment vehicle for those looking to do more than just make money with their money. Check out interest rates and ministry opportunities presented by the CEF at cef.wels.net or call 1-866-511-7793.
LWMS MISSIONARY TREE
The LWMS Missionary Tree is located in the west entryway. Please take a star from the tree and send a card or letter to a missionary. Please address the outer envelope as stated on the label and for safety purposes do not include any religious references on the envelope.
SHUT IN BASKETS
This Christmas season we will again be sending Christmas packages to our members who are “Shut Ins.” We will assemble the baskets on Saturday, December 9th after the 6:00 pm worship service. To help with this busy time of the year, you are able to make monetary donations and we’ll do the shopping. Donations can be brought to the church office or put in the offering plate. Please make sure to label the donation envelope “For Shut-Ins”. If you would prefer to donate items, we are looking for: facial tissue, snack packs of cookies, peanuts, crackers and pretzels, mints, homemade cookies and candy, lotion, fruit (cutie oranges), large print word find books. Thank you in advance for your contributions.
CHRISTMAS AT THE SEMINARY
December 10, 2017
3 and 7 p.m.
Join the Seminary Chorus on December 10 at 3 and 7 p.m. for their annual concert, “Christmas at the Seminary.” Over 50 voices will share the story of Jesus’ birth in songs, carols, and hymns. They will be accompanied by multiple instrumentalists. The 3 p.m. (central) service will be streamed live at www.wels.net/streams. Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary is located at 11831 N Seminary Dr, Mequon WI 53092. This concert will be held in the auditorium and a free-will offering will be gathered. Open seating is available on a first come, first-seated basis. Founded in 1931, the Chorus proclaims the Word of God in song and represents the ministry of the seminary. These men are excited to talk about the work they do to prepare to serve as pastors and are eager to meet the people who support them with prayers and gifts. They would be honored if you came to hear them sing the story of the one who loved us all, Jesus our Lord.
THANK YOU FROM PASTOR BARTHEL & FAMILY
We really appreciated the farewell reception you gave us before we headed to Arizona. Thank you to everyone for your friendship and love. Thank you also for all the cards, encouragement, and gifts. We were glad to be able to get to know you all. Thank you for your willingness to share your lives with us while we were at Trinity. We will miss you. God bless!
Ladies Aid will meet on December 6, 2017 at the Ground Round in Neenah at 11:00 a.m. for their Christmas luncheon. All Trinity ladies are invited to attend.
2018 MEN OF HIS WORD CONFERENCE
Have you seen the news lately? It’s crazy out there. The world attacks our Christian values from every direction on a daily basis. To counter these attacks, the MOHW Conference provides opportunities and resources for men to grow spiritually, using God’s Word to empower and equip men to carry out their God-given mission in their homes, churches, communities and the world. This year’s theme is “GET OUT OF THE BOAT.”
Whether you attend for the keynote speaker (Pastor Jared Oldenburg from Eternal Rock in Castle Rock, Colorado), the relevant, thought-provoking breakout sessions (19 to choose from), or the worship experience with 600 other men (with Koine’, the worship band), God’s Word will speak to you.
The 9th annual MOHW Conference will be held at the Best Western Premier Waterfront Convention Center in Oshkosh on Saturday, February 24, 2018. Additional details and online registration are available at www.menofhisword.org for the first 650 men ($50 by February 11th; $60 from February12th - 18th). Please join us for a day of fellowship in God’s Word that you will not soon forget!
PATHWAYS TO CHRIST RETREAT FOR WOMEN
Sisters in Christ, please join us for the 18th annual Pathways to Christ Retreat on March 9-11 at LaSure’s Hall in Oshkosh. The 2018 theme is “Speak O Lord”. On Friday night we will begin the retreat with a presentation by Melanie Marine on the “Art of Communication”. On Saturday our three speakers; Natosha Cole, Colleen Oldenburg and Pastor Brad Wright, will each focus on one of the verses of “Speak O Lord”. On Sunday Pastor Leon Ehlert will share with us a Bible Study and then lead us in worship. Sound intriguing? Additional information, along with registration forms, can be downloaded from our website: http://pathwaystochrist.org.
Martin Luther Church, Oshkosh is presenting a Live Nativity on Saturday, December 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. This is an exciting opportunity for us to reach out and share the true meaning of Christmas with our community. Enter our town of Bethlehem on Algoma Blvd., and drive through our displays where Roman Centurions will greet you and direct you to the Inn. Over the voices of the town’s people, you will hear the angel choir. Shepherds are busy in their fields, and then you can see them hurry off to the manger where the real Christmas story begins. There is no charge to come to the Live Nativity as this is our gift to you. We’d love to have you join our town and share in the joy of the Christmas message.
CHURCH WEBSITE - TRINITYNEENAH.NET
Looking for information on our church and school? Then check out our website! You’ll find up to date information including the monthly newsletter, devotion calendar, school & church calendars, information regarding bible study opportunities, worship times, special service times and more!
FOX VALLEY LUTHERAN NEWS
FVL’s Fox Folk Marionettes will be presenting “Baboushka & the Surprise Visitors” at the Apple Creek YMCA on Sat. 12/2 at 11 am & 1 pm. They will be sharing the same program at St. Matthew-Appleton for their Christmas for Kids event at 1:15 p.m. on Sat., 12/9. Come and enjoy this great family-friendly Christmas tradition!
FVL Musicfest 2018, will be held 1/28 with performances beginning at noon. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. Musicfest is currently seeking items or basket donations for the Silent Auction. Interested in helping? Find out more at http://www.fvlhs.org/fvl-musicfest/or call Megan Beyer at 920-560-5122. Please bring donations to the FVL School Office by 1/5.
The FVL Choirs invite you to attend their annual Christmas concert on 12/17 at 4 pm. The concert is free and open to the public; a free-will offering will be taken.
CAMP PHILLIP WINTER TEEN RETREAT
Teen retreats at Camp Phillip are a great experience for teens who register on their own and also a "no-planning" youth group event for teen ministry leaders to bring a group of students. Crazy games, praise and worship campfires, teen-focused Bible studies and great food are all part of a fantastic experience for the teens. The next retreat is Jan. 5th-7th, 2018. Learn more at campphillip.com/teenretreats.
TRINITY LUTHERAN SCHOOL NEWS
Trunk or Treat
Thank you to everyone who came to our Trunk or Treat and especially to everyone who helped by decorating and hosting trunks. We had a great turnout that included many members of our community!
Thank you to everyone who ordered pizzas and to those who helped to make pizzas for our Pizza Pros fundraiser. We made over 1100 pizzas. The proceeds of our pizza sale will go toward our athletic program.
East Central Tournament
For many years, our basketball and cheer teams have competed in the East Central Wisconsin Tournament. This January 19-21, we get to host it. Sixteen teams will be coming to Neenah for three days of basketball, a cheer competition, and a three-point contest. We’ll need your help putting on a great tournament and showcasing our beautifully updated school entrance and gymnasium. Watch for more information in the coming months.
TLC MEMBERSHIP CHANGES | NOVEMBER 2017
- Lydia Kang, child of Seok-cheol Kang & Soo-Jung Eum | November 1, 2017
- Marlene Schubring | October 27, 2017
LOSS OF MEMBER BY PEACEFUL RELEASE
- Orville Zwicky | November 14, 2017
- Stephanie Klegin | November 26, 2017
APPLE VALLEY FOOD PANTRY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
On January 21, it will be Trinity’s turn to work at the Apple Valley Food Pantry (at St. Matthews 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.
SPECIAL CHOIR CONCERT
Please join us on Sunday, December 10th for a special choir concert directed by former Trinity choir director, Robert Potratz, during the 10:30 am worship service. Come and enjoy this special worship opportunity.
DECEMBER SINGING SCHEDULE
- December 3 (Sunday) - Senior Choir
- December 6 (Midweek Advent 6:00) - Faculty / Staff
- December 10 (10:30) - TLS Grades 5-8
- December 13 (Midweek Advent 6:00) - Junior Choir
- December 17 (Prelude to Christmas / Sunday) - Junior & Senior Choir
- December 24 (Christmas Eve / 5:00) - TLS PreK - 8 & Sunday School
Special Worship Schedule
Midweek Advent Worship 10AM & 6PM
Nov. 29, Dec. 6, Dec. 13
(Fellowship Meal Served from 4:45 - 5:45 pm)
Sr. Choir Prelude to Christmas Worship
Children’s Christmas Program
Dec. 24 at 5PM
Christmas Candlelight Worship
Dec. 24 at 10PM
Christmas Day Worship
Dec. 25 at 9AM
New Year’s Worship w/Communion
Dec. 30 at 6PM, Dec. 31 at 8AM & 10:30AM
No evening worship on December 25th or January 1, 2018
MIDWEEK ADVENT FELLOWSHIP MEALS
Before each midweek Advent service we will again have a fellowship meal available. The meal will be served from 4:45 pm – 5:45 pm each Wednesday during the three weeks of Advent. Bring the family! There is a signup sheet in the school office and church narthex for donations of various food items. Check the list and see what you might be able to bring to help out, and sign up. There is no cost for the meals, but a free-will offering basket will be there to help defray some of the expenses. This is a great way to get to know other members / families of the congregation (and maybe not have to prepare a meal for the family before coming to church). Thanks in advance for being willing to help out.
December 6th - Beef Stew & Salad Bar
December 13th - Soup & Salad Bar
USHERS FOR DECEMBER
- SUNDAY | 8:00 am - Charles Boyle, Randy Sedo, David Zenker, Tom, Matthew & Stephen Baehman
- SUNDAY | 10:30 am - Robert Pagel, Michael Pheifer, Clint Tesch, Ralph & Jordan Bauman
- SATURDAY | Verlyn Joch, Jon Joch, Marv Pues
- DECEMBER 3 | 8:00 am - Pam Piechocki & Judy Kuchenbecker / 10:30 am - Steve & Annette Zoromski
- DECEMBER 10 | 8:00 am - Dennis & Cynthia Beyersdorf / 10:30 am - Ryan & Kara Mathison
- DECEMBER 17 | 8:00 am - Tom & Barb Wilde / 10:30 am - Doug & Sharon Strand
- DECEMBER 31 | 8:00 am - Gail Ashbeck & Lori Rhode / 10:30 am - Ken & Janet Maves
- DECEMBER 2 | In Memory of Russ & Shirley Wilke by: Family
- DECEMBER 2 | In Memory of Eleanora & Arnold Breaker by: Diane Breaker and Erich & Grace Schmall
- DECEMBER 9 - 31 | Poinsettias by Ladies Aid & Christian Women’s Circle
- DECEMBER 25 | In Memory of Rev. Floyd Mattek by: Marcella Matteck & Family