We will not be holding regular worship services this month. We will be doing a live stream of our worship services on Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm and Sunday mornings at 9:00 am until further notice.
Dear friends, we are here for you, and we are here for each other, and Jesus Christ is present in the midst of everything we go through! God’s goodness and mercy and love and sorry and joy are with us now and always!
Al Jenkins has built a great resource box which is located right outside of the front door of the building. Inside you will find printed worship bulletins, some devotional material, some bibles, and other information that we hope will be of help. Please, help yourself!
(Make sure you wash your hands!)
HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONAL
Leading up to Easter
An evening prayer: Keep watch, dear Lord with those who work or watch or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, comfort the afflicted, shield the joyous; all for your love's sake. Amen.
STAFF & RESOURCES AVAILABLE
Our building is now closed,
and our staff will be working from home.
If there is a pastoral emergency, Pastor Mark is available through his cell phone (608.487.2030).
You can also reach any staff by email.
Our work continues, and so does the need for your generosity in giving. Please mail in your offering, or contact Myrt -email@example.com or learn the instructions on how to set up electronic giving.
Update: April 6, 2020
Hello Trinity, God’s peace and love to you as we are now beginning Holy Week!
Here are a few updates for us on this Monday.
- Lisa Engh and her family. Lisa’s mom, Karen Guggenbuehl, passed away unexpectedly yesterday.
-For John, the son of a pastor in our synod, who is a funeral director in Chicago, who had to pick up the bodies of three people in one day who had died as a result of the corona virus. Prayers for safety for all those who tend to our loved ones, and all who work to keep us safe.
If you have any prayer concerns, please contact Pastor Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 608.487.2030.
Morning Prayer: We gather via ZOOM on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for a time of prayer, reading of Scripture, and discussion at 8 am. If you would like to join us, please email Pastor Mark (email@example.com) and he will send you an invitation.
Speaking of Zoom: Zoom is a technology that allows groups to meet together at once using the computer or a phone. If you would like to use Trinity’s zoom account for a bible study, a committee or time meeting, a time of prayer, or even just the chance to see some friendly faces, please let Pastor Mark know and he can help arrange a zoom meeting.
Hey Trinity! How about we share some photos from Home; of worship, meals, anything. Maybe videos of your family proclaiming: “Alleluia, Christ is Risen! Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia! Pastor Mark will be working on a short film with your images. Shoot him an email with whatever you would like to share.
Holy Week at Trinity
Maundy Thursday, April 9
This Thursday will be a Dinner Church Worship! Instead of gathering downstairs in the fellowship hall, we will be worshiping from our dinner tables. On Wednesday morning, an order of worship as well as an accompanying video will be available to assist you in this worship.
Good Friday, April 10
We will have two opportunities for worship on Friday;
11:00 am: Sparta Ministerial Association; ‘Stations of the Cross’; this worship will be streamed live on You Tube (a link will be made available on Thursday) and will be recorded for latter viewing.
7:00 pm: Come, Mourn with Me Awhile: This worship will be a meditative worship that will be pre-recorded and the link will be made available on Thursday.
Vigil of Easter, April 11
On this Saturday Evening, we worship God and mark Christ’s Passover from death to life. This worship will be pre-recorded and the link made available on Facebook, and our website.
Easter Sunday, April 12, 9:00 am
We celebrate Christ’s Resurrection on this coming Sunday, Easter Sunday. Our worship will be streamed live on Facebook and recorded for sharing a little later in the morning.
Dear Friends, here is a prayer for us, shared by the Sisters of Mercy. Let us pray . . .
God of mercy, in the midst of our growing awareness that all life on Earth is connected, we ask for the heart to respect and cherish all life. We pray that all peoples recognize that we are all your children. We trust in you and your power working in us, hear our prayer! In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In the love of Christ,
Update: April 3, 2020
Pastor Mark Kvale
Hello Dear Members of Trinity,
God’s love and peace to you today and always!
I know that sometimes, well, all the time, I have this habit of stating the obvious. So, here is something obvious: I, we, have never experienced a Holy Week like the one coming up. This week for me, has always been at the heart of what it means to be a follower of Christ. We walk with Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, shouting Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord! We gather on Maundy Thursday, hearing of Jesus’ love for his disciples and for us. We stand at the foot of the cross on Good Friday. We mark Jesus’ Passover from death to life at the Vigil of Easter. And we proclaim on Easter morning,
Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
We are living a new reality for all of us right now, scattered, sheltering in our homes as the covid-19 virus is something we face. And while our following Jesus will not lead us to worship in a building at 612 N. Water St. in Sparta, we are still Trinity Lutheran Church, called to follow where Jesus leads, called to worship, called to love all in Jesus name, called to be loved by Christ, who gives everything for us and for the world!
Some things of note for us at Trinity:
Our worship together;
This Sunday, April 5: Palm Sunday
-Worship will be at 9 am and will be streamed live on Facebook, and recorded for viewing shortly after. A link will be made available on our website (www.tlcsparta.org). You can also find the bulletin and announcements, as well as the sermon for Sunday on the website.
-Here are a few things to help us prepare for Sunday’s worship: first from Missy Erickson:
Hello Trinity Sunday School Families!
Drive-thru palm and/or Easter egg pick-up at Trinity
Saturday, April 4 from 10:00-12:00.
We will have Palms and bags with filled Easter eggs (12/child) for you to take home, along with other activities for your family to use during Holy Week. We are trying to get a rough estimate of how many bags to have ready, so if you could please let me know if you plan to drive through that would be greatly appreciated. Also PLEASE REMAIN IN YOUR VEHICLE; unless you need to open your trunk, as we will put the items in your trunk. Be mindful of keeping a safe distance at all times.
Hope to see you on Saturday!
And then, I have attached a palm branch coloring page. Please print this out, our make your own, color it, and then in worship, during the processional hymn, I invite you to wave your palm branch and join us in the joyful procession in your own homes!
The Three Days: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Vigil of Easter, Easter Sunday
April 9: Maundy Thursday: Worship at 7:00 pm
-Thursday Evening’s worship will be truly a ‘dinner church’ experience. We will be pre-recording worship for this evening and the worship will be designed to be done while you share a meal with your family,
or even if you are on your own. More information coming next week for how to access worship (video, bulletins, readings, etc.)
April 10: Good Friday: Community Stations of the Cross at 11am, Tenebrae at 7 pm
Community Stations of the Cross: We gather with our sisters and brothers in Christ from the community of Sparta. This worship will be streamed on YouTube. A link will be provide for accessing the worship. And the worship will be recorded for viewing later in the afternoon.
Come, Mourn with me awhile: A Service for Tenebrae, 7pm.
Tenebrae means ‘darkness.’ This worship revolves around this theme and the lengthening shadows of suffering that Jesus experiences from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday. This worship will be pre-recorded and links for viewing and participating in the worship, as well as information on where to find the bulletin will be shared by next Wednesday.
April 11: Vigil of Easter: Worship at 8:00 pm
This is the night! This is our Passover with Christ from darkness to light, from captivity to freedom, from death to life. The Easter Vigil is at the heart of our celebration of the Three Days and the pinnacle of the church's year. The resurrection of Christ is proclaimed in word and sign, and we gather around a pillar of fire, hear ancient stories of our faith, give thanks for the gift of baptism, and go forth into the world, aflame with the good news of the resurrection.
April 12: Easter Sunday: Worship at 9 am
Easter Sunday brings us the joyous opportunity to worship the risen Lord, Jesus Christ! This worship will be streamed live on Facebook and recorded for viewing later in the day. At 10 am, following the worship, the church bells at Trinity will be rung, and you are invited to step outside and proclaim as loud as you can, Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Prayer concerns: If you have any prayer concerns, that we can join in prayer with you and for you, please let Pastor Mark know (608.487.2030 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Finally, I would like to share some thoughts from a dear friend and colleague of mine, Pastor Melissa Johnson-Bills, on what Easter means for us this year: Jesus’s resurrection didn’t happen as a grand celebration in the midst of big crowds. He emerged from the tomb mostly alone. Appeared to just a couple of women in a near-empty garden. And the witness of these women went on to spread beyond themselves, to the disciples, to all the ends of the earth. Jesus will rise, even if we don’t have front-row seats for the event. Jesus will rise, and I will proclaim it inside a near-empty sanctuary, and I will channel the women in the gospel, and have every confidence that even one voice shouting “Alleluia” is enough for this news of hope to spread throughout the congregation, the community, and the world.
Jesus doesn’t need us to help him rise. He just needs us to proclaim the good news.
In the love of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Kvale
PREVIOUS INFORMATION FROM MARCH 15, 2020
From Pastor Mark
Dear Members and Friends of Trinity Lutheran Church,
Grace to you and peace, from God the Father, and our Lord, Jesus Christ!
Have you ever noticed that whenever the disciples encounter a scary situation, Jesus always responds with, “Do not fear!” Whether the disciples were in a boat in the midst of a storm, or ever encountering a situation that was fearful, Jesus first response seems to be to remind those around him that he is present, that he is got it under control. And, dear friends, no doubt about it, this is a fearful time for our world right now. COVID-19 has created a moment in time in which we need to remember Jesus’ promises that nothing can separate us from the love of God!
The Leadership of Trinity Lutheran Church passed a plan of action for us to follow, as we weather this storm, and as we remember that we are still the church, the body of Christ.
This plan has different phases of response.
As of now, through this coming Wednesday, March 18, we are in phase one; which means that we will continue to gather for worship on Sunday and on Wednesday Evening. There will be changes to our worship practices which you can read about in our plan of action. The Wednesday Evening Lenten Meals are suspended. There will be Sunday School this Sunday but will be suspended after this. In this phase, we are asking our fellowship groups, circles, committees and teams to be in touch with each other in other ways than meeting in person. We have been in touch with the outside organizations that use our facility and have told them that the use of our space is suspended.
With Sparta Area Schools closing on Wednesday, we will be moving into phase two. We will continue, as of now, to worship on Sunday and Wednesday, but will be working very diligently to provide ways in which we can gather ‘online.’ If you are ill, or not feeling feel, or are worried about gathering for worship, please stay home, it is ok! All other activities will be suspended after Wednesday.
The situation is fluid, and our response will need to be as well. It could happen that the move from phase two to phase three could happen quickly.
Between worships this coming Sunday, we will have a time to pray and think hard about ways in which we can still be the great congregation we are, albeit in different ways than which we have been. Please come with your great ideas. The leadership and staff of Trinity will be working very hard on ways in which we can be in touch with each other, and provide devotional, worship, and learning opportunities for all of us.
At the end of the gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples to remember that he is with them always. Sisters and brother, Jesus is with us always!!
Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone the Glory)
Pastor Mark Kvale
View Trinity's COVID-19 Plan of Action
Update: April 8, 2020
From Pastor Mark Kvale
We are in the midst of Holy Week. We are walking with Jesus in Jerusalem as he heads to the cross, to death, and then to life, not only for himself but for all of us! This is a Holy Week unlike any other any of us has experienced. But one thing does not change; that we proclaim Christ crucified and risen, and we know that the living Christ is with us!
Here are some items for our Wednesday update:
Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday and we have some resources to share. You are invited to take part in our Maundy Thursday Dinner Church. Tomorrow night, we gather for worship at our dinner tables! You can find a link to the video Pastor Mark and Ann have made for tomorrow evening, as well as the order of worship on Trinity’s website: www.tlcsparta.org.
Morning Prayer: We have been gathering for Morning Prayer on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8am on Trinity’s Zoom Meeting. If you would like to join us, please email Pastor Mark (email@example.com) and he will send you an invitation. We would love to see you!
Good Friday: There are two opportunities for worship on Good Friday.
First, the Sparta Ministerial Association is leading a ‘Stations of the Cross’ at 11 am. This worship will be streamed live on You Tube. Here is the link to that live stream:
If this link doesn’t work, we will send out an email with the correct link at about 10:30 am.
We will also be recording this worship and will make it available sometime Friday afternoon.
Second, we are recorded a Tennebrae worship for Good Friday Evening called, “Come, Mourn with me Awhile.” This worship, along with an order of worship, will be available Friday afternoon, for use Friday Evening.
Vigil of Easter: The Vigil of Easter has become a tradition for us at Trinity. We are in the process of recorded this special worship of light, word, water, and praise to be available by Saturday afternoon. Information on how to participate will be shared on Trinity’s website and in the Facebook Group.
Easter Sunday: Please join us for a live-stream of the Easter celebration at 9 am on Trinity’s Facebook group page or on You Tube. If we stream on YouTube, we will place a link to the worship on the Facebook page. If we stream on Facebook, a recording of the worship will be made available on our website as soon as we can.
Please look for more details and updates on this weekend’s worship opportunities in our Friday update.
Today, we continue to pray for Lisa Engh and family at the death of Lisa’s mother.
We pray for all those who provide medical care.
We pray for those who are ill, both with Covid-19 and with other illnesses.
We pray for those who are lonely and having a hard time.
We pray for those who have been laid off, furloughed, or who have lost jobs.
If you have any prayer concerns, please contact Pastor Mark (608.487.2030 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
A family in our congregation feels called to help people in our congregation financially. If you, or someone you know, is having a difficult time right now, please contact Pastor Mark and we will see how we can get help to those who need it.
Here is a prayer for us today and tomorrow:
We thank you, Lord Jesus, for the privilege of walking through this Holy Week with you. As we approach this time of darkness, keep us by your side in Gethsemane—awake and praying in your name. Amen.
In the love of Jesus,