The Trinitarian
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made
you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought
with his own blood.
(Acts 20:28)
Certain things in life are mysteries to most of us. How does a seed know which way to send the roots and which way to send the stem? And how does it know when to send them? How does an automatic transmission know when to shift and how exactly is the stall speed of a torque converter determined? Some of you know the answer to one or all of these questions, or know something about these topics but aren’t completely sure how to answer them completely.

I’m guessing the same is true when it comes to understanding the “call” practice in our church body. In the interest of full-disclosure I won’t pretend to have all the answers either, but hopefully this will help you understand the process a little better.

To begin, we need to see the above passage as setting down for us the principle understanding we want to have regarding those who serve us with the Word of God. Just as God determines who should govern the nations (Romans 13) the Holy Spirit brings people to us who teach the Word of God among us. In Scripture we see that he does this in different ways in the New Testament era. At times the Apostles who were hand-picked by Jesus appointed overseers of a congregation (I Timothy 1:3). At other times the believers gathered to set the criteria for those who would serve and then “cast lots” to determine who the Lord wanted to serve them (Acts 1:15-26).

In order to emulate this latter type of process, our church body employs congregational leadership, a synodical training system, District Presidents, Principals, Circuit Pastors, and an office in Milwaukee, all underneath the invisible guiding hand of the Holy Spirit, to bring workers to us. First, young people from our congregations place themselves in our training system to learn God’s Word and the principles of preaching and teaching ministry. Our training schools then present these trained individuals to our church body as ready to serve in congregational ministry. Congregations gather in meetings to determine the work they need to have done in their midst and elicit the help of District Presidents in determining candidates who have the requisite gifts and training to carry out these tasks. Circuit pastors and Principals regularly evaluate the pastors and teachers of our Synod so our District Presidents know the gifts and talents of the workers who are available. Congregations then receive a list of qualified candidates, either fresh from school or already serving in the field, from their District President and by vote determine which of the qualifying candidates seems most likely to fill the need. A “call” is then issued to the candidate who, if it is a student, goes and serves the calling congregation, or, if it is a pastor or teacher already serving in a call, determines whether to take the new call, or remain in the call in which he or she already serves.

Even though human agents are at work in determining governance of nations, and leadership in congregations, we understand that God still ultimately determines who serves us as he works in all things for the good of those for whom he was willing to shed even his own son’s blood (Romans 8).

Pastor M

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 February - Cereal, all canned meats, canned fruit, jam, cookies, all crackers, hamburger helpers, rice, canned and boxed potatoes and chunky soups.

The food pantry is not accepting brown bags at this time because they have a large surplus of them. Thank you! Please save your Meditations and Forward in Christ for the Food Pantry. You can place your used devotionals in the food pantry boxes.

The LifeTouch Pictorial Church Directories are available for pick up in the narthex. For all those members who participated, you will receive a free copy of the directory. If you did not participate but would still like a directory or received a free directory but need additional copies, they may be purchased for $5.00 per book. Copies for purchase are available on the card table near the bulletin board in the narthex.

Jason Gibson has accepted the call to Holy Trinity Lutheran School in Des Moines, Washington. He will remain at Trinity through this school year. Please keep Mr. Gibson and his family in your prayers. Our congregation will call a pastor and principal at the Voters’ meeting on January 29th.

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 for the first 650 men ($50 by February 11th; $60 from February 12th - 18th).

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. Please join us for a day of fellowship in God’s Word that you will not soon forget!


  • Brooke Marie Dorschner, child of BJ & Angie Dorschner| January 13, 2018
  • Carol Jean Kahler | January 8, 2018
  • Zachary, Renee, Nevaeh & Livian Price | December 31, 2017

Sisters in Christ, please join us for the 18th 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:

YPS is planning to go snowshoeing Sunday, February 25th at the Greenville Y. The cost is $3 for snowshoe rental. We will meet at church at 1:00 and return at 4:30. Please wear your boots and dress appropriately in layers. If anyone is able to drive, please contact Shawn or Debbie Kienert at 727-1818.

Are you looking for something to do in this cold weather? Would you like to get to know some of the members of our church better? Then, why not join us for a night of fun and fellowship. On February 17th from 7:15 – 9:00 pm (after Saturday night church), we will have games and snacks in the alcove at school for the adults. We’ll also have games available in the gym for the children. We are hoping to make this a monthly event. Come out and join us! If you have any questions, please talk to Rita Braun – 920-479-5932 or Deb Kienert – 920-727-1818.

This adult Bible class meets Sunday mornings at 9:15 am in the lower level fellowship hall and is led by Pastor Engelbrecht. Join the group for the Word, coffee, light refreshments and lively discussion. Glean precious truths from each study and renew your love and appreciation for Jesus. Current Series - Herman Neutics

Who/What is Herman Neutics? Hermeneutics (spelled with an “e” not an “a”) is not a “who”, it’s a “what”! Hermeneutics is the technical name for Biblical interpretation. In this study, we will take a look at several basic principles of hermeneutics that need to be employed in order to properly render a sentence from the original language of the Bible into good, understandable English and to understand what the author is trying to tell us.

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society will meet on February 18th at 11:30 am in the church fellowship hall.


Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?
Find out how you can help your child succeed at this community event hosted by Trinity Lutheran School. We’ll have fun activities for children who will be kindergarten age in fall, and parents can get helpful kindergarten readiness tips and learn about kindergarten at TLS.
Who: All kindergarten-age students for 2018-2019 (whether they’re enrolling at TLS or not) and their parents
When: February 7, 6:00 pm

Important Updates to School Choice Program
Two exciting changes are coming for the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program for next school year. First, the number of available vouchers is increasing by about 50%. Second, the income limits have been raised. Together, these changes mean more families might be able to receive a voucher for their child to attend TLS for free. See below for more information.

Attend TLS for Free through School Choice
Do you know someone who wants a Christ-centered education for their child, but finds the cost of a private school out-of-reach? Trinity will continue to participate in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. Through this program, parents who meet certain income requirements can receive a voucher to attend a Trinity Lutheran School for free. See the income eligibility chart below.

*As determined by Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on the federal income tax return for the prior calendar year (2017 for the 2018-2019 school year).

To be eligible, students must meet one of the flowing prior-year attendance criteria:
  • Enrolled in a public school in the district where the student lives in the prior year;
  • Not enrolled in school in the prior year;
  • Participated in the choice program in the prior year;
  • Is applying to K (4K or 5K), 1st or 9th grade for the 2018-2019 school year.

Current TLS students with vouchers are automatically eligible and are guaranteed a voucher but must still reapply. Students not yet enrolled in school, students currently enrolled in TLS’s Pre-K or kindergarten classes, or students currently in any grade in a public school could be eligible. The application period begins February 1. Parents must apply online. We will post link to the application at when the application window opens.

East Central Tournament
The ECW Tournament is in the books and went extremely well. Thank you to everyone who donated their time, money, and/or food items for the tournament. We would not have been able to run the tournament without all of your help. Thank you also to those who put in extra hours or donated more than asked. Your joyful service made for a fun, enjoyable weekend.

We would like to give a special thank you to Rhonda Brantmeier for coordinating all of the food for the tournament. Thank you to Tammy Huza, who serves as our athletic treasurer, for her work with the financial side of the tournament. Also, thank you to Ben Christian for being our liaison with Neenah High School and ensuring we had everything we needed. Thank you to Steve Drews for the extra hours he put in each night cleaning Trinity and getting it ready for the next day.

Congratulations to our A-team cheerleaders for taking 3rd place in the competition this weekend! We will publish our final profits once we finish counting and depositing everything.

Since the tournament went so well, we have signed up to host again in 2029. While a majority of you will no longer have student-athletes 11 years from now, you are always welcome to come back and help!

In Christ's Service,
Justin Vanderhoof and Colin Paustian, Neenah Knights athletic directors

Geography Bee
Congratulations to all the finalists who competed in last the school Geography Bee. Taking third place was 7th grader Kendra Page, the runner-up was 8th grader Gabe Kramer, and the school champion was 7th grader Lindsey Miller.

Visit to view lists of current hymns planned to be cut from the new hymnal set to be published in 2024. On the site you can provide your feedback on which of the cut hymns you’d like to see kept. A new section of the hymnal is covered each month, and you can suggest 10 hymns from each list to be kept. 7 of the 9 monthly lists are currently available.

The 2018 Youth Rally will be held in Bowling Green, Ohio, next summer from June 26-29. This is an opportunity for confirmed teens to connect with other WELS teens from around the world for worship, topical discussions, and fun. More information is available at

The date for the fifth annual WELS Night at Miller Park has been determined. Mark your calendars and plan to join thousands of WELS
members for the Milwaukee Brewers’ game against the Colorado Rockies on Fri., Aug. 3, 2018. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

The MLC College Choir will be presenting their concert entitled “The Way, the Truth, the Life” at First German in Manitowoc on Saturday, February 17th at 7pm. They will also be participating in the 10:30am service at St. Peter in Appleton on Sunday, February 18th. A free will offering will be gathered at these events to support the ministry of MLC. Come and meet some of our future called workers and enjoy the music they bring with them.

How is your marriage? Would you like it to be healthier? God designed marriage and only he can improve the health of your marriage. Join us in La Crosse for a marriage enrichment weekend March 9-11, 2018. The cost is $325 per couple and includes lodging, breakfast both days and lunch on Saturday. Spend your weekend learning how to know each other better, appreciate each other more, gain trust, manage conflict, nurture intimacy and connect with each other intentionally – all in the light of God’s grace. The result? A healthier marriage. Space is limited, so register early. Visit for more information and to register.

  • FVL needs a girls’ JV soccer coach for this spring. Email if interested.
  • FVL 8th Grade Course Scheduling - Families who missed the December scheduling nights should complete the online registration/enrollment application. Then you will receive an email with instructions for scheduling classes. Questions? Contact FVL’s Guidance Office at (920) 739-4441.
  • FVL Schools, public, and homeschool students are invited to register for spring and summer Youth Sports activities. Links are under “Breaking News” on the home page. Check back often to see the latest options!
  • FVL will host a married couple as student teachers from late February- May 4. If you have a furnished basement or separate living space that could accommodate them, please email
  • The Wisconsin Parental Choice Program offers families the opportunity to have their FVL tuition fully funded. The application period runs from 2/1-4/20! Under the 2018-19 guidelines, only incoming 9th graders or students transferring from a public high school are eligible. Visit for details. Email or with questions.
  • FVL will be holding a complimentary college planning overview on 2/7 at 6:30 pm. Featured speaker Jim Fischer--an advisor with Thrivent Financial—will offer strategies to help save money on college. Space is limited! Students are encouraged to attend with their parents. Email by 2/5 to reserve your spot.

Fox Valley Lutheran High School 2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT
  • This 64th year in FVL’s history opened under the theme: Stand Firm in Jesus.
  • Opening enrollment was 620 students, up from 584 at the beginning of last year.
  • The school-wide 1-to-1 technology initiative entered its second year of providing laptops to each student as part of their tuition.
  • In September, the FVL General Board approved a building expansion project not to exceed $5.6 million dollars.
  • The addition will include a new science lab, a biomedical STEM lab, additional classrooms and offices plus a second art room and multi-purpose classroom in the fine arts wing.
  • The Groundbreaking Ceremony for FVL’s Let the Children Come building expansion was held on November 5 with representatives from every Federation congregation invited to participate.
  • The English curriculum began offering its Honors prep class for the sophomore level; new offerings have also been added in the Metals Shop.
  • FVL offered CNA training on campus for the first time in its history in a partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) to help prepare students for studies in the health and medical fields.
  • The Growing in Grace Mortgage Burning Ceremony is planned for the afternoon of Sunday, June 10 as the Federation celebrates retiring the debt on the new campus that opened in 2000.
Staffing News
  • Rev. Aaron Dolan, Mr. Greg Martin, Mr. Tim Fischer, and Miss Lauren Ewings were installed as full-time faculty members at the start of the school year.
  • Mr. Tyler Techlin was hired to become our new Facilities Manager in July.
  • Mrs. Allie Elmer has been hired part-time to work in the FVL Scrip Office; Miss Deanna Kolell began her work in
  • January as a Communications Office Assistant to provide additional support during the Let the Children Come building campaign.
  • Calls for the 2018-19 school year have been accepted by Mr. Jeff Uhlenbrauck (Assistant Principal), Mr. Phil Stern (Social Studies/Religion), Mrs. Kathy Stern (Math), Ryan Lemke (Science), Mrs. Monica Uhlenbrauck (International Program Coordinator), and Mr. Jeff Loberger (Director of Mission Advancement).
School Year Highlights
  • FVL’s composite ACT score continues to be among the highest in the Fox Valley area. This year 124 students were selected to receive vouchers in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program. We are excited to see that number grow as the cap expands from 2% to 3% next year. Currently, next year’s freshman class is at 150 students and we look to see that number grow yet this spring.
  • The fall sports season was exciting. Girls’ golf took the conference championship and competed at the WIAA state tourney for the sixth straight year. Erika Priebe golfed her way to the D2 State Championship. Olivia Verbeke qualified to run in the state cross country tournament; Football qualified for the playoffs for the third consecutive year; volleyball took the regional championship defeating cross-town rival Xavier for the title. Boys’ soccer made a run in the play-offs.
  • Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play came to the FVL stage in fall and had a very successful run.
Upcoming Events
  • FVL Schools Daddy-Daughter Dance – March 4 – 2-5 pm
  • Family Open House – March 6 - 4:30-6:30 (for all potential future students) Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest will be coming to the FVL stage March 9 & 10. Two elementary school shows are slated for March 8. Tickets will be available in mid-February.
  • Discover FVL! -- March 15 - 1-4 pm (for all 7th grade students interested in attending FVL)
  • More information can always be found at

  • SUNDAY | 8:00 am - Tim Pagel, Tom Wilde
  • SUNDAY | 10:30 am - Bob Blohm, Randy Alessandrini, Latham Linstedt, Eric Bucholtz, Greg Bucholtz
  • SATURDAY | Verlyn Joch, Jon Joch, Marv Pues
  • FEBRUARY 4 | 8:00 am - Ethan & Kristin Fett / 10:30 am - Steve & Annette Zoromski
  • FEBRUARY 11 | 8:00 am - Clint & Lisa Tesch / 10:30 am - Gary & Jean Reiter
  • FEBRUARY 18 | 8:00 am - Dennis & Cynthia Beyersdorf / 10:30 am - Brian & Lisa Laabs
  • FEBRUARY 25 | 8:00 am - Marilyn Borchardt & Mindy Pankow / 10:30 am - Debbie & Sara Schneide
  • FEBRUARY 4 | In Memory of Scotty, Esther, Duane & Terry Schroeder by Family
    • In Memory of Vernon Tesch by: Family
    • In Honor of their 40th Wedding Anniversary by: Jim & Kathy Ducharme
  • FEBRUARY 11 | In Memory of Arline & Edwin Brown by Family
    • In Memory of Pastor Gerald Free by: Steve & Annette Zoromski
  • FEBRUARY 18 | Open - Please contact the church office if you would like to place flowers on the altar this weekend.
  • FEBRUARY 25 | In Memory of Roy & Sophia Zuleger by Family