The Mountain That Moved

 
 
“What mountain does faith need to move for you to be engaged in vibrant ministry over the next 10 years?”
 
Guest speaker Bishop Mark Hanson asked this question at the fourth and final Vision Huddle, a series of gatherings to share the history of the church, determine the priorities, and decide the next steps in the upcoming years.
 
The surprise that followed seemed to answer that question. Long-time congregants George and Joan Winn are donating $511,000 to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, New Prague, for the construction of a new administration wing. This new wing, adjacent to where Holy Trinity hosts the families experiencing homelessness from Beacon Interfaith Housing Network, will include a shower and laundry facilities for their use.
 
Not only is this gift generous, it is also thoughtful and informed. As the church has grown and has opened its doors to the community, the Winns have noticed the increased need for more space. In fact, as the church council met to vote on the acceptance of this gift, the only room available to meet was in a pastor’s office.
 
“I know building an office wing is not glamorous, but it will help the leaders of the church for years to come and provide options for the visitors from Beacon.” George Winn commented.
 
Co-pastor Ben Hilding agrees. “This gift is a kickstart to the looking-forward process. It’s an investment in the leadership of this congregation for decades. The Winns are leaving a living legacy that invests in the local church.”
 
Co-pastor Alicia Hilding added, “I’m inspired and grateful to God for their sincere faith behind this generosity. It makes me ask how might our generous God be at work in my heart inviting me to put whatever I have into action and service to others. I pray I might be so open to share with others.”
 
When asked why the couple decided to donate the money to Holy Trinity, former council president Joan Winn answered, “This church has always been our home. It will be fun to watch as it grows.” George Winn smiles and answers, “We’re just giving back what God gave to us, and that has been tremendous.”
 
During the meeting, guest speaker Bishop Mark Hanson challenged the congregation. “Find ways to speak about faith in a way that is accessible to people who deserve to hear the good news…. Do not underestimate how people are dying for meaningful conversation.”
 
Thank you, George and Joan Winn, for moving the mountain and giving us more space!
 
-Rose Fife