Weekly e-newsletter of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
November 18, 2022
There's Still Time

By Karen Taylor, Communications Manager

A quick glance at Dot and it's hard to miss that New Prague has some very competitive and successful High School athletes. Her bright images flashing every seven seconds display a different team accomplishing their goal of making it to the state tournament. Girls Cross Country, Girls Swim & Dive Team, Holy Trinity's own Ella Schmiesing, and the New Prague Bowling Teams - all top athletes in the region and worthy of a trip to the State Meet!

Each October, Holy Trinity, like all churches, focuses on Stewardship -  a call for members to pledge their giving for the upcoming year. The fall sermon series "Faithful In..." led to various topics each week, and it wrapped up with an inspirational call to be Faithful In Giving. It's a sticky subject all churches face every year. At the bare minimum, your offering keeps the lights on and warms the sanctuary. But being Faithful in Giving goes far beyond lights and heat.

Sharing God's love for all people from one generation to the next. 

Ministries programs, materials and staff for those ministries, and volunteers to glue everything together - Holy Trinity is certainly blessed with the right people in the right places to drive its Vision, Mission, and Values. Your ability to be Faithful In Giving will provide the gas to keep the church moving forward.

There's still time to submit your Estimate of Giving card! Last year, 124 cards were submitted. This year, 97 cards have been returned. In the spirit of competitiveness, like a high school athlete trying to make it to the State Meet, Holy Trinity has a goal. 124 or more Estimate of Giving cards. If you've misplaced your card, pick one up at the Welcome Center or Cross Wall before/after worship. Or complete the updated (glitch-free) digital Estimate of Giving card

Thank you for being Faithful in Giving! Keep reading for a message from Brian Gieseke, HTLC Council Treasurer.

Hello Holy Trinity,

Several months ago I wrote a letter speaking of our financial strength but, knowing of our aspirations for the future, asking you to consider an increase in giving. I’m not changing that message, but it will take all of us, working together, to balance our budget by year-end and prepare for a successful 2023. I’m also writing from a place of understanding…the cost of living, economic unknowns, holiday expenses, and, of course, other charitable causes…Your finances are being pulled and stretched in many directions.

I also want to include a brief thank you to our Pastors, Ben and Alicia. We should all be grateful for their mindfulness in helping to manage expenses. I have been very impressed this year while consistently seeing our expense reports come in, under budget. They have huge dreams for where this congregation can go and, I believe, they are mostly responsible for the energy and passion that can be seen in every aspect of this church and its ministries.

Of course, much of the recent excitement, thanks to the recent vote, is due to us moving ahead with hiring Station 19 as our architect. I’m excited to see their vision for the future of our facility. However, we all know this is only the first step in what will be a significant process. As many of you are looking at your year-end finances, looking towards 2023 and beyond, I ask that you help us be as prepared as possible for whatever future expenses may come. If you haven’t already, we would greatly appreciate you submitting your pledge for 2023. I would also invite you to start considering the role you want to play in our future projects, whether facility related or otherwise, with your time, talents, and resources.

I wish you all a blessed holiday season and a very Merry Christmas!

Your Council Treasurer,

Brian Gieseke

Jeremiah 23:1-6
Psalm 46
Luke 23:33-43
King of Kings and Lord of Lords, bring healing and wellbeing for Ken H., Liz N., Elaine B., Luke N., Diann A., and Anne Z. Strengthen those who care for others. Be with those who serve and have served in the armed forces. Encourage their families. Walk with those who grieve. Help us to make Your Kingdom come and Your will to be done on earth, as in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

This week, the Radio Ministry is sponsored by Allen and Donna Gulbransen, in honor of their 62nd wedding anniversary. Thank you for your gift of ministry to KCHK radio listeners! 

Thanks to you, all of the 2022 slots have been filled!  If you like to reserve a special date in 2023, please contact Jamie or call 952-758-3513. The cost is $60 per week. Thank you for considering this important gift!
HTLC Sanctuary
Sunday @ 9 am, Sunday @ 6 pm (Compline)

Livestream  -  WebsiteYouTube
Sunday @ 9am

Cable TV - Bevcomm Ch. 991
Sunday @ 10 am, Wednesday @ 6 pm

Radio - KCHK 95.5 FM & 1350 AM
Sunday @ 9 am

Wednesday Schedule Change!

Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday and Community Dinner, there will be no Wednesday dinner, worship, or Faith Formation classes on Wednesday, November 23. 

They broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.
- Acts 2:46-47

The church office will be closed on Thanksgiving and Friday, Nov. 25.
Blessings for a glad and generous Thanksgiving from the Holy Trinity Staff!

Sharing Tree

70 tags = 70 children that will have presents under their Christmas tree. This year, the Sharing Tree is supporting Le Sueur County Santa Anonymous!

Directions are simple.

1.  Pick a tag from the Sharing Tree in the Fellowship Hall.

2.  Write your name and phone number on the designated tag and place it in the box (next to the tree). Keep the other tag.

3.  Purchase the item on the tag.

4.  Return your UNWRAPPED gift to the Sharing Tree by Sunday, December 4.

Thank you for sharing God's love for all people from one generation to the next this Christmas!

Christmas Worship Services

The most wonderful time of the year is right around the corner! Yep, the biggest birthday party for the most important baby ever born. You're invited to be a part of these worship services as a Worship Assistant. 

Blue Christmas
Sunday, December 18 @ 7 pm

Christmas Eve 
2 pm
4 pm
10 pm

Christmas Day
9 am

Worship Assistants are an important asset in making visitors feel welcomed! Training is provided and it's a great way to meet new people or be together as a family. Sign up here or call Jamie in the church office, 952-758-3513.

Thank you for sharing God's love for all people from one generation to the next!

Love Thy Neighbor Signs

This phrase is one that many have heard before, especially those who participated in the Embracing Diversity book study this past summer. It is a call to action!

In response to the call, the Racial Justice Committee, with the help of a Thrivent donation, ordered 50 signs for anyone to display at their home. Signs are available to pick up after each service in the Narthex or in the main office during business hours.

Share God's love for all people, with no exceptions. All are welcome to get a sign before the ground freezes! 

Tickets are still available for the musical performance of Black Nativity at the Penumbra Theater on Sunday, Dec. 4. HTLC group reservations have already been made, but there seats open near the group. Racial Justice Team members will be available before/after worship to answer any questions about this activity.

You may also purchase tickets on your own and meet HTLC members at the Theater!

Thanksgiving Dinner

Back in its full glory. Spread the word about this FREE Community Thanksgiving Dinner!

Thursday, Nov. 24
11 am - 1 pm

Fellowship Hall

Congregational Meeting
138 people attended the hybrid Congregational Meeting held on Sunday, November 13 - including two recently Confirmed high school students! Members approved hiring Station 19 Architects, Inc. to draw up schematic designs to meet facility needs determined in the Strategic Plan 2.0.

Watch the meeting in the video link above. Read the meeting minutes here.

November CYF Newsletter

Don't miss out! Click on the newsletter image to get all of the details for kids in the cradle to their graduation cap!

THIS SUNDAY! Play Date for all children, birth - age 3 and their families. Join in the fun after worship in the Fellowship Hall!


Music + Worship + Time for Stillness = A fresh start to the week. Geared toward high school youth and adults. Come, check it out!

Sunday, Nov. 20
6 pm - Social hour
7 pm - Worship


PFLAG Support Group

PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. Join us

Tuesday, Nov. 22
7 pm
Fireside Room

Questions? Contact Pat Remfert or call/text 952-393-6143.

Fleece Blankets

FINGERS WANTED for tying fleece blankets for Le Sueur Co. Adopt-a-Family program this Christmas. Join in after worship on

Sunday, Nov. 20
Fellowship Hall

Blankets are prepared and ready for knot-tying. If you can tie your shoes, you can create a blanket and be a part of a Thrivent Action Team. All ages are welcome!

Suicide Grief Support Group

Family, friends and anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide are invited to attend the monthly meeting of the Suicide Grief Support Group. 
Tuesday, Nov. 22
7 - 8:30 pm

The meeting will be at the Duck Cup Memorial Fund building at 105 Central Avenue South in New Prague, (immediately behind the Consignment Lodge). Parking is available behind the Duck Cup building. No registration or fee is required. Please contact Tom Handrich at (952) 913-3994 for additional information and a Zoom link.

CYF Happenings!

Confirmation Giving Challenge

In response to God's call to be responsible stewards of spiritual and material gifts, Holy Trinity gives away 10% of its annual income. The Mission Outreach Team determines how the 10% congregational tithe is gifted to support local, state, national, and international communities. For the first two weeks in November, the Mission Outreach Team listened to the Confirmation students "compete" for $1000 to give to their chosen charity. The list of non-profit organizations include:

Duck Cup Memorial - two groups
Feed My Starving Children
New Prague Peace Center
Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans 
People Serving People - two groups

Mission Outreach team members used a rubric to judge the presentations.
  1. Does the organization align with HTLC's Mission Statement?
  2. Does the organization have a valuable impact for individuals?
  3. Is the proposal a "common-sense" idea? Is it doable?
  4. Is the presentation clear? Were the students able to present the value of the charity?
According to Mission Outreach member and Giving Challenge judge, Sharon Steinhoff Smith, "the students did a terrific job, and all the organizations they presented were more than worthy. This is a great exercise to get the students thinking about sharing God’s love (financially)". 

Long time Mission Outreach member, Julie Popple reports that the Confirmation Giving Challenge started in 2018 with the Ronald McDonald House as the winning charity. Duck Cup Memorial Fund was the chosen charity in 2019. The challenge was paused in 2020 and 20201 due to the pandemic, so the Mission Outreach Team was excited to bring it back this year.

After much deliberation, the Mission Outreach team choose 7th grade Group 3 (mentors Jamie Sticha and Ron Solheim) as the winner of $1000 for their charity, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). The Mission Outreach Team was impressed with the student's commitment to hand-deliver the $1000 donation and volunteer at FMSC to pack meal kits. FMSC also offers matching funds to double the Holy Trinity donation to provide 8000 meals! 

Look for more pictures featuring the Confirmation Giving Challenge winners in an upcoming HTLConnections! In the meantime, check out the photos of the students giving their presentations.

(Photo credit: Gina Fadden)
Agape's Amazing Race

Seventeen high school students in five teams competing in seven challenges equals one Amazing Race!

If you're not familiar with the popular TV show "Amazing Race", contestants work in teams to solve puzzles. Each puzzle gives a clue about where to find the next clue. Last week, Holy Trinity was turned into one giant Amazing Race battlefield. Director of Children, Youth & Family Ministry Lauren Petersen explains, "the challenges consisted of knowing/learning about church history, decorating cupcakes, completing puzzles of all kinds, taking photos, and working as a team to find Pastor Ben at the finish line [hiding in the Apage Room closet]. It was so much fun to see all the high schoolers running around, completing the challenges. I can’t wait to do another event like this in the future!"

Lauren also reports that this fun event was the brainchild of Jen Sayler! Jen replies, "The purpose of 'Amazing Race' was to get the kids working together as a team in a fun, friendly, and competitive challenge. Lauren and I planned the challenges with the goal of having a variety of things the teams would be asked to do."

According to the students, Lauren's station was the hardest as they had to instruct their teammates to complete a maze without verbal instructions. In the end, all teams finished in their allotted timeframe and enjoyed not only eating their beautifully decorated cupcakes (one of the challenges), everyone had their pickings from a large bowl of candy.  It appears Lauren and Jen have the secret sauce for creating fun events for High School students!

Thank you to Jen & Greg Sayler, Joe Bisek, Crystal Blank, Tracey Romero, and Jackie Lee for being station leaders and making this event a huge success!

(Photo credit: Gina Fadden)

Holy Land Recap

Holy Land Trip Recap

It was a busy day at Holy Trinity, but over forty people attended the Holy Land Forum by Pastor Ben and his dad, Jonathan on Sunday, Nov. 20. Hospitality Coordinator, Donna Galvin, outdid herself with custom cookies that highlighted the Hildings' journey. (Minnesota to Paris on an airplane, camera for documenting their trip, Star of David and Israel, and custom luggage tags for all three Hildings). Check out the photos below and a link to the slideshow presented at the forum.

Calendar of Events

Sunday, November 20
  • 8 am - Choir Practice, Paul's Place
  • 9 am - Worship, Sanctuary & Livestream
    • Crew Time during worship
  • 10 am - Coffee & Donuts, Fellowship Hall
  • 10 am - Fleece Blanket Tying, Fellowship Hall
  • 10 am - Play Date (children birth - age 3 & families), Fellowship Hall
  • 11 am - Worship with Pastor Diane, Mala Strana
  • 6 pm - Compline, Sanctuary
Monday, November 21
  • 6:30 pm - Church Council Meeting
  • 7 pm - Al-Anon, Room 304
  • 8 pm - AA 
Tuesday, November 22
  • 3 pm - 8 pm - Station 19 Architects Workshop
  • 7 pm - PFLAG Support Group, Fireside Room
Wednesday, November 23
  • 7:30 am - Men's Study Group, Paul's Place
  • 9 am - Amazing Grays Coffee Hour, Fireside Room
  • 9 am - 3 pm - Community Thanksgiving Dinner Prep, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, November 24
  • HTLC Office Closed due to Thanksgiving Holiday
  • 8 am - 3 pm - Community Thanksgiving Prep, Dinner, and Clean-up,  Fellowship Hall
Friday, November 25
  • HTLC Office Closed due to Thanksgiving Holiday
  • 9 am - AA, Paul's Place
  • 9 am - Sewing Group, Room 205
Questions? Contact Jamie in the church office or call 952-758-3513.
To view the entire HTLC calendar, click here. For support group information, click here.
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1300 E. Main Street
New Prague, MN 56071  

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