ELCA Sanctuary denomination

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And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’  Matthew 25:40

On August 7 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), through its Churchwide Assembly, voted to become a sanctuary body. 

The ELCA has a long history of advocating for immigrants and working to welcome and resettle refugees. In fact, several congregations in our synod sponsored refugees in the years after World War II and again after the Vietnam War. In line with our historic understanding and action responding to the needs of immigrants and those seeking asylum within our nation’s borders, the ELCA has declared itself to be a sanctuary body.

This is a declaration of our continued commitment to “welcome the stranger.”  As a sanctuary church, the ELCA is committed to serving and supporting migrant children and families in communities across the country (

How each congregation lives into this commitment will vary. Some members will volunteer or donate to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), others may wish to host our synod’s AMMPARO team to learn more about immigration (more information can be found at, still others may find ways to support immigrant families in their own communities.

As a denomination, we are still living into what this designation means. Part of the action the Churchwide Assembly took was to direct the ELCA Church Council to provide guidance and resources related to the question what does it mean to be a sanctuary body?.

To be clear, this action does not require congregations or individual members to engage in any particular activity and nothing in this action binds synods or congregations.

It is our hope that as individuals and congregations you will thoughtfully engage in prayer, discernment and conversation in light of this declaration. As you do so, a centering question might be: how can we best live into our identity as the people of God in this place?

May peace and courage be yours, 
Bishop Steven H. Delzer and Bishop-Elect Regina Hassanally

Links to more information about what this means:

Talking points from the ELCA
Letter from Bishop Suarez of the Florida-Bahamas Synod
Biblical texts on being a sanctuary church


Relay for Life



Houston County’s Relay for Life this year is August 2 at La Crescent High School beginning at 5:00p.m. This is the 25th year of the relay in Houston County. Trinity has had a team participate nearly every year and is looking for members to be a part of the Trinity Treaders team! Would you like to be on the team? If yes — AWESOME! Contact Stewart Storlie, (507) 450-2851 or or to get info about being a part of the team.

The funds raised through Relay For Life not only honor survivors and remember loved ones, but also help give cancer patients and their families the resources and support they need, including a 24/7 helpline for answers and support.

Summer Surge Budget Booster

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It’s summertime! A time of vacations and lazy days. This time of year, we tend to fall behind in our budget. Instead of waiting until the end of the year to play catch-up, the Finance Team is bringing back the successful Summer Surge Budget Booster.

For the Budget Booster, we are asking each family unit to give an extra dollar a day plus five for the month of July. That’s a total of 36 extra dollars. We think we can raise around $7,000 extra with this budget booster! Special envelopes are available at sanctuary entrances and in the office. Simply return the envelope with the extra $36 (or more if you’d like) any time during the month of July. Thank you so much for your generous support of Trinity!

Congregational Meeting

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We will be having a Congregational Meeting on Sunday, July 14 immediately following worship, where we will have a time to discuss concerns about how our existing space (fellowship area, education area, offices) may be limiting us from performing our ministries to their fullest.

Please plan to attend the meeting so we can discuss this in more detail and begin to discern a way forward to make changes to our existing church building so that we can do what God is calling us to do without limits.


Helping Hands Drive for School Supplies and Hygiene Items

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Trinity is working with Caledonia United Methodist Church to conduct a Free Garage Sale & Back to School Event where Houston County families in need can find gently used clothing, school supplies, backpacks, shoes, and hygiene supplies.

The greatest need is for donations of backpacks and general school supplies (including dry erase markers, Clorox wipes, notebooks, and folders) as well as hygiene items (shampoo, soap, feminine products, toothpaste, etc.).

Donations can be dropped off in the Gathering Room through August 4. Contact Jessi Strinmoen, (507) 923-5587, for more information.

Summer Ushers

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WE ARE LOOKING FOR USHERS FOR THE SUMMER  Would you be willing to help  greet people as they come to worship? It’s an important part of our ministry and a fun way to see our Trinity family through the summer months! Four ushers are needed each week. Gather your family and friends and find a week that works for you. We appreciate your willingness to help! Click here to access a sign-up form or contact the office, 498-5291. Thank you!


Outdoor Worship Service


June is a five-Sunday month; which means June 30 is  Servant Sunday! Weather permitting, we will have worship in Viking Memorial Park beginning with the Hymn Sing at 9:00 a.m. and Worship at 9:15 a.m. After worship, we will have a picnic. Stay and enjoy fellowship and delicious food! We'll be serving
Red's pork burgers, assorted chips, calico beans, dessert, and lemonade -- all for a freewill donation. The freewill offering this month will go to the boiler/AC fundraiser. Come join us for a picnic and good fellowship after worship! If it rains, we'll have worship in the sanctuary and the picnic in the Fellowship Hall.


Relay for Life


Houston County’s Relay for Life is August 2 at La Crescent High School. This is the 25th year of the relay in Houston County. Trinity has had a team participate nearly every year and would like to again this year for this 25th anniversary. Are you interested in being a part of a Trinity team? The funds raised through Relay For Life not only honor survivors and remember loved ones, but also help give cancer patients and their families the resources and support they need, including a 24/7 helpline for answers and support. If you’re interested in being a part of a Trinity team, contact Judy Bratland, 498-5147.

Bonfires for youth completing grades 6-8


Youth completing grades 6-8 are invited to Bonfires at Bekah's beginning Sunday, June 16 at 8:30 p.m. Bonfires will be most Sunday nights throughout the summer (check dates below) at Bekah's house (231 1st Ave SW). Come for s'mores, stay for fun fellowship with friends! Bring your friends -- you don't have to be a Trinity member to attend.

Bonfire dates: June 16, 23, 30; July 7, 14, 21; August 4, 11, 18, 25.


3:16 outings this summer


3:16s, Trinity's high school youth group, will meet once a month during the summer before it goes back to weekly meetings in September. On Thursday, June 20, 3:16s will head to Jump Start Adventure Park (trampoline park) in La Crosse. We will leave from the church at 6:00 p.m. and return about 9:45 p.m. Cost is $15 and includes grip socks.

3:16s will go canoeing on the Upper Iowa River on Friday July 19. We will leave from church at 8:30 a.m. and return about 3:00 p.m. Pack a lunch and sunscreen! Limited spots available, so RSVP to save a spot!

On August 28, 3:16s will be back at Bekah's at 8:00 p.m.

3:16 events are for you who just completed 9th-12th grades. All are welcome — invite a friend! Please RSVP for trampoline park and/or canoeing with a text to Bekah, (701) 552-2918, by Monday, June 17.


Thirst Day in June

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Thirst Day is June 27 at 8:30 p.m.
“Searching for Sunday,” by Rachel Held Evans
People are still mourning the death of Rachel Held Evans, who passed away in April at age 37 leaving behind a husband, a young child, and many readers who’ve found renewed faith in faith communities because of her writing.

Like millions of her peers, Held Evans didn't want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the building budgets, the scandals -- church culture seemed far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it.

Centered on seven sacraments, we’ll go through a liturgical year with her stories about baptism, communion, confirmation, confession, marriage, vocation, and death that are funny, heartbreaking, and sharply honest.

Eight copies of the book have been ordered and will be available to check out in the church office.

June is a very busy month, so once again, Thirst Day will move to the FOURTH Thursday of the month, June 27 and an hour later to accommodate the VBS program in the park. Just walk on over to the parsonage after it’s done! We’ll begin about 8:30 p.m.

Syttende Mai Meatball Dinner

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Our Syttende Mai Meatball Dinner is Sunday, May 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be carry-outs only for $10 per meal. The menu includes meatballs in gravy, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, rommegrot, lefse, a roll, and a brownie for dessert. Proceeds will go toward the furthering of youth ministry at Trinity. Please join us for the Syttende Mai Meatball Dinner!

Community Baccalaureate Service

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This service is for all graduating seniors, families, and friends. Area pastors will be participating in the service. Join us for this meaningful service for all our local graduates on Wednesday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m. here at Trinity.


Senior Recognition Sunday

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On Sunday, May 26 we will honor our graduating seniors with a special blessing during worship followed by a special Fellowship Time. Please hold these seniors in your prayers as they complete their high school career and begin a new chapter in their lives.

Farmer Roundtable


What Do Houston County Farmers Need?

The first roundtable generated some good discussion and brainstorming. Farmers and community members are invited to attend a second discussion on Wednesday, May 29 at 10 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall at Trinity. The goal is to identify issues in the farming community and bring regional resources to help address challenges and opportunities. The event will be hosted by the University of Minnesota Extension and the Houston County Economic Development Authority in partnership with the Spring Grove Economic Development Authority. Treats and coffee will be provided. For more information on the event and a list of agricultural resources, visit

Thirst Day in May

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The book for May is “Love Big Be Well: Letters to a Small-Town Church,” by Winn Collier.

Could this be us? ….. A pastor without a congregation trapped in a dead-end job meets a congregation without a pastor. The congregation is overwhelmed by the prospect of finding someone who actually wants to be a pastor, but they connect through letters, and after accepting the call, the pastor continues to write letters to his congregation on everything from fly-fishing to the Nicene Creed. The letters reveal the earthy spirituality woven into the joys and sorrows of the community, the church, and the pastor. We’ll discover what it means for a pastor and a church to do the slow work of ministry in community—anchored by a common place and buoyed by a life of faith that is meaningful, rooted, and true.

Eight copies of the book have been ordered and are available to check out in the office.

May is a very busy month, so Thirst Day will move to the FIFTH Thursday of the month — May 30.

If you’re thirsty for conversation about the Bible and topics of faith, we hope to see you at “Thirst Day” in May. (You don’t have to read the book. Just show up for great fellowship!)

See you at the parsonage (or maybe on the back deck!) on May 30 at 7:30 p.m.!

Flat Jesus project

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This summer, all of Trinity's members (especially youth) are invited to take part in our Flat Jesus Project!

Flat Jesus is inspired by a national school project called Flat Stanley, based off of a book written by Jeff Brown. Just as Flat Stanley has helped children with literacy and geography, Flat Jesus helps children stay plugged into the biblical message we've been sharing with them during the school year.

The Flat Jesus Project is simple: each person gets their own paper cutout of Jesus to take with them on their summer adventures. We encourage you to take pictures of your Jesus as he walks with you through your summer adventures! Please share your pictures on Trinity's Facebook page (Trinity Lutheran Church Spring Grove), Instagram page (trinitylutheransg), or send your pictures to

Trinity's Flat Jesus Project is a part of a national project through Sparkhouse. Throughout the month of June, post your photos on Sparkhouse's Facebook page (@wearesparkhouse) with the hashtag #FlatJesus. One church will win a gift card toward Sparkhouse products and resources.

Trinity will be holding our own contest as well! Whoever posts the most with their Flat Jesus will win a gift card to the Spring Grove Cinema. The cutouts of Flat Jesus will be given to youth on their last days of Sunday School and Confirmation. For other members who want to participate, cutouts will be available at the back of the sanctuary in mid-May.

Part-time Custodian position

Our custodian has retired and we will be hiring a replacement. The part-time custodian position is approximately 20-25 hours/week (flexible hours; may be a shared position). Responsibilities include basic facility cleaning duties, assisting with event setup and maintaining a safe environment for ministry. The ideal candidates will have janitorial skills, ability to lift without physical duress, good communication skills, and ability to work well with others. Applicants need a boiler’s license or be willing to obtain one after hire. Must be 21 or older and submit a background check upon hire. Wage is commensurate with experience. Download and print an application below or pick up an application at the church office. Below is also a link to an application form that can be filled out online. Position is open until filled.

Detailed job description

Job application to print

Online application

Trinity Choir Christmas Concert


Sunday, December 16, the Trinity Choir will present their Annual Christmas Concert. This year’s theme is, “Let Him In.” The concert will also include music from Thankful Brass and the Trinity Handbell Choir.

All are invited to attend the concert! Following, there will be a candlelight reception with festive refreshments! We hope to see you there!

If you are unable to attend, this year the concert will be broadcast live on KVIK 104.7 FM!! It will also be streamed on their website, Thank you to these sponsors for making this possible: Spring Grove Communications, Jeff Ellingson Agency/American Family Insurance, Kraus Oil Company, Ivy Grove Cafe, Lee Auto Body, and Lee Auto Sales.