Sharing God’s love with all people from one generation to the next. In gratitude to God’s grace, we cannot help but courageously and generously respond to the evolving needs of our greater community. 
Annual Summit Celebration
Help us celebrate THIS SUNDAY!
Sunday, Jan. 23, 10 am
Sanctuary & Online (Zoom)
2021 Review with recap video and Annual Meeting.
If you’re joining the meeting online, please use the “Join Zoom Meeting” button.
Congregational Survey
To aid us in our Strategic Plan 2.0 process, we are utilizing same the survey that was a part of our 2015 Strategic Plan. All answers are anonymous so tell us the good, the bad and the ugly – we want to hear it! Deadline is January 23.
Radio Sponsors
Thank you for considering this important gift of ministry to our radio listeners! We have openings for Radio Ministry sponsors at a cost of $60 per week.

If you’d like to help support this ministry, please contact Jamie in the church office or call 952-758-3513.

Superheroes Will be Masked This Year

“My dear, I think we need to open early.” I hear the urgency in her words before Jamie, Holy Trinity’s incredible office manager, reaches my office door. It is the first day of the first annual School Supplies Giveaway (2019) and she has been fielding calls all day from desperate people asking if they could pick up early.

I glance at the entrance outside and see the cars filing into the parking lot. We walk quickly (Jamie only has one speed: Fast.) to the far south entrance and see the line of people through the glass. Nearing the door, we realize the line stretches down to the sidewalk. And into the parking lot full of cars. We still have 45 minutes until our stated opening time.

“We don’t have enough stuff.” I whisper to Jamie. But beyond praying for a loaves-and-fishes-type of miracle, there is nothing more we can do.

Walking into the rooms covered in neat piles of notebooks, backpacks, pencils, Crayons, Clorox wipes, and Expo markers, I ask the School Supplies Team, “Everyone OK if we open early?” They nod nonchalantly. Most of them are retired teachers and have stared down the crush of incoming parents and students for years. Of course they are ready, they were ready last week. We open early.

Crowds of parents, guardians, and children come flooding in. The kids run first to the table full of backpacks to pick the most colorful or the one with their favorite superhero. They are gleeful and excited, their eyes lighting up with what they will get to use all year. The parents and guardians work their way methodically through the school supplies list (handed out by the volunteers because, you know…they rock).

A parishioner, Hal Bass, stops by to drop off more materials. Seeing we have very little left, he offers to run to a store for us, returning with bags of supplies. “I took all the wipes and Kleenex I could find!” he announces.

A woman with three children in tow comes up to me. “Thank you so much for this help,” she says, her voice wobbling with emotion. “My husband just lost his job.”

“Can’t thank you enough,” an older man later tells me quietly. “We were just given custody of our grandchildren and we couldn’t have afforded this….” he trails off, gesturing to the backpacks full of needed items.

“It was either school stuff or rent. Thanks to this, we can pay the rent!”

“We’ve just had a really hard year.”

“My wife got hurt and the medical bills put us back a lot.”

Forty-five minutes later it is 5 pm, our original starting time, the backpacks are gone, Clorox wipes are gone, even the crayons are gone. A few piles of loose-leaf paper and some pencils are all that remain as people continue to file in the door. We didn’t have enough supplies, but perhaps “enough” is not an attainable goal. Perhaps just doing the best we can was enough for the first year.

A month later, September 2019, the Missions Team and the volunteers wrote plans for 2020. We vowed to allocate more money from our budget, lengthen the school supplies drive, and get VBS involved. We promised to be even more prepared in 2020.

But in September 2019, who could have predicted the upheaval of COVID-19?

A few months ago, the Missions Team began asking ourselves: How do we help this community and others without endangering them and transmitting the virus throughout multiple communities? How could we fill a room with people when crowds are dangerous? How do we collect supplies from the congregation when contact makes them vulnerable?

Three members knew the answer. Liz Nelson, Linnea Hautman, and Sande Schoenecker proposed a Drive-by plan with bags of pre-packed school supplies, based on grades, to be handed out. When we decided it was unsafe to accept supplies from the congregation, Tim Miller helped to allocate more money from our budget and the Endowment Team was gracious enough to give us a grant. Julie Popple helped me with the orders and Amber Kahnke created mental health resource handouts to be included in the bags.

So this is our COVID-19 School Supplies Giveaway Drive-by Plan: Tim Miller will direct traffic in the parking lot while Dennis Tietz makes sure we don’t hold up traffic on Highway 19. Marge Larsen, Amber Kahnke, Lydia Popple, and Pastor Diane Goulson and I will be masked and handing out bright blue bags of pencils, papers, Expo markers, and highlighters. Please share with anyone who may need this info.

Please send up your prayers on Monday, August 17, 5- 7 pm! We pray for the safety of our volunteers, for the health and well-being of our guests, that we have enough stuff, and please, please don’t let it rain!

To be continued….


HUGE THANKS to the School Supplies Superheroes Team of 2019: Audrey Austin, Mary Hanson Busch, Mary Eagan, Linnea Hautman, Liz Nelson, Sande Schoenecker, and Laurie Thorpe. Your work was inspirational..

Thank you to the Missions Team Superheroes: Audrey Austin, Pam Edel, Linnea Hautman, Amber Kahnke, Marge Larsen, Timothy Miller, Liz Nelson, Julie Popple, Sande Schoenecker, Dennis Tietz, and George Winn

Thank you to the Endowment Committee for the grant and being another team behind the missions of HTLC.

Finally, Thank You Always to the congregation and staff for your donations and continued support of Holy Trinity’s missions!

Now, seriously…. send up those prayers.
Written by Rose M. Fife, HTLC Communications Specialist
August 12, 2020


Meet Angela Schoenbauer

1. What is your official role at HTLC? I am the Video Production Intern so I help edit the [online] services for Sunday. I collect videos from people who are doing the readings and sometimes I do the songs and other special projects. For VBS, I wrote the scripts for the skits, contacted all the actors, and edited their videos. That was a ton of fun.
2. So… no pressure…. are you enjoying the position? Yes! I love it so much! It’s so fun. Especially when I get to edit the music. One week I edited the children’s song and it was SO cute! They sang “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman. There were 20 involved so it’s AWESOME to see that involvement! I loved to sing when I was a kid and I wish I had done it more, so I’m really happy to see them doing it at their age!
3. Where do you find fun in your life? I’m in the Swing Dancing Club at college. We meet every Monday night. We learn a new move every week and then on Thursday nights we go dance at the community center with people of all ages. I’m also in theater club and choir.
4. When did you first become interested in theater? I was in my first musical, Fiddler on the Roof, in the 6th grade. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t do it before then. I was always watching the musicals in town, but I’d never considered doing it. But in 6th grade, Toby Thietje, who was my music teacher at St. Wenceslaus School, told me about the auditions and I knew then I wanted to do it. It was so much fun even though I was super nervous. Ever since then I’ve been doing theatre every single year.
5. Were you in one of the grades that had all of the Thietje teachers? My 6th grade year was Mrs. Addie Thietje’s last year [to direct the musical]. She was super nice and welcoming. Even when there were a lot of people in the cast, she always gave everyone attention and made them feel special. Then, we had Nicole Thietje for middle school choir and when I came to high school, she became the high school choir director. She was so kind and inclusive. You can tell she really cares about everyone; she’s very talented. And Ben Thietje was my theater director in middle school and then switched to the high school when I was a junior. So the Thietjes have basically run my entire theater and choir career! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to have Ms. (Rita) Sapp.
6. What other productions were you in? I’ve been in 19 shows total. I was in Beauty and the Beast last summer, a production with Generations Theater Company. That was my favorite musical I’ve ever been in. Such a fun experience and the cast was amazing! It’s so fun to see the whole town involved. I’ve been in Generations for 5 summers. Then COVID-19 hit and the theater company closed down. I’m really missing that creative outlet part of my life. We’ve been posting older clips on Facebook and it’s been fun to relive those memories.
7. What is your favorite musical? Beauty and the Beast really is my favorite. It was so exciting to finally be in it. I really love Wicked, too. I wrote a paper on it in high school, totally geeked out on that. It’s very fun to dig into the details and messages and story lines. I love to see the story lines where they explain [the roots of] the villain. If people choose to see [the villain] that way and persist that way, that is what you will become. It’s so much about the environment you are in.
8. What else is really important to you? My family! My close family (parents and 2 sisters), are all very close and get along really well. Everyone is so surprised when I tell them I don’t really fight with my sisters and I’m really thankful for that. We’re good at problem solving; they’re my best friends… my parents, too. And during this quarantine time, it’s been really fun to get to spend a lot of time with them. We’ve played lots of games and watched lots of movies. I’m also close with my extended family. The entire Schoenbauer side is so fun because there are 19 of us cousins and lots of aunts and uncles. It’s been great to get to grow up with them because we’re all close in age. My mom’s side lives all over the world, so we don’t see them as much, but it’s always so fun when we get to see them. We get to see the entire side every three years in Colorado and that’s always super fun!
9. Introvert or Extrovert? It really depends on the situation. With new people, I consider myself an introvert, but with close friends I’m more outgoing.
10. What role does faith play in your life? I went to St. Wenc[eslaus Catholic School] so we talked about faith a lot growing up. Faith is a grounding thing I can always come back to. I realize everything in my life eventually circles back to that. All of my beliefs stem back to that. You are raised that to love your neighbor is the “Golden Rule,” so I realize that is where all of my beliefs come back to.
11. Why did you decide to attend HTLC? I went once with (sister) Meg and my mom and it was so welcoming. I loved the music, obviously music is a huge draw for me, and I loved how there was a full band. Everyone made me feel very welcome. I appreciated the focus on inclusion. I like that about the Lutheran faith, the focus on being inclusive to everyone. To me, Lutheranism is always pushing you to be a better person in all areas of life. Sometimes people use religion as an excuse to not be a good person, even though that’s the opposite of how it’s supposed to be. I never felt that way about the Lutheran faith. I felt like it was always pushing you to grow in your faith and to become the best person you can be.
12. You seem have a theme of inclusion. As a New Prague native, why is this important to you? It’s always been important to me because I’ve been very lucky to have different communities where I’ve felt I belonged. I think that’s important for everyone to have. That’s how I grew to become who I am. All of those communities contributed a different part to me, so it’s really important for everyone to find their own places so they can grow into who they are meant to be. There have been places where I don’t feel I belong and times when I knew I was in the right place.
13. How can you tell you are in the right place? It’s a feeling…. It’s where I can be my true self. In many situations, I felt like I was putting on a shell, morphing myself to fit into a situation. But in theater, anytime throughout those times, I felt I could be my truest self.
14. How do you know when you were in the wrong place? If I feel I’m not being authentic.

15. Despite your freshman year being during COVID, are you enjoying college? I love college! I am so happy with my decision. It has been the perfect fit, great all around. I’ve met a lot of really great people, my classes were great. I loved choir; singing in a college choir is so exciting.
16. What are you majoring in? Marketing. My older sister is a marketing major and I loved hearing everything about what she does. Everything about the major was really interesting to me. It felt like a good fit. This year I’ll be a sophomore at St. Thomas.
17. What is it about marketing that called to you? I really love data and analytics, but I also like the creative and design side of it. It’s the perfect combination. I always wanted something I could be creative with, but I’m also a big numbers person.
18. What are you doing to stay sane during COVID? Lots of FaceTime with my friends! We found some online games we could play together. I also spend a lot of time with my family. We had a quarantine prom for [recent high school graduate] Megan. My family dressed up, had a fancy dinner, and danced on the porch, just the five of us, blaring music. We also had a quarantine graduation for Megan, too. She’s missing out a lot and I feel really bad. I’ve been really lucky because this happened at the best time for me.
19. What are some of your favorite memories? I sang in a quartet with my friends. We sang at every choir event, solo/ensemble contest, variety shows in the summer… We sang and won at the county fair so we got to perform at the State Fair.
20. HTLC staff loves Enneagram. What is your number? I’m a 2. The description fit me pretty well.
Written by Rose M. Fife, HTLC Communications Specialist
July 29, 2020


Meet Casey Fremstad

It’s Christmas at Holy Trinity!  Well, not really.  We’ve just been waiting since Christmas to meet our new Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry, Casey Fremstad.  After months of searching through a global pandemic, Casey was the cream that rose to the top.  Keep reading to learn about Casey and discover what brought her to Holy Trinity.
I am from a very small town in Wisconsin called De Soto. I grew up out in the country on one of the beautiful bluffs along the Mississippi. My family has 1 horse, 2 dogs, chickens, and various outdoor cats (despite the fact that I am allergic to pet dander,  love animals). I have two brothers (one is three years older, Jordan, and the other is my twin, Jason), and while they know how to push my buttons sometimes, I love them both dearly. Jordan currently works as a news reporter for a local station in La Crosse, WI and is engaged. My twin brother is currently working part-time in Viroqua, WI and is living on his own. My mom (Mary) works part-time at a floral shop in La Crosse, WI and my dad (Arne) works full-time as a financial planner for Thrivent Financial in Viroqua, WI. I graduated from Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Theology and a double minor in Arts Management and Theatre. I love hammocking in parks with friends, exploring new local coffee shops (I used to be a barista), singing, playing bags/cornhole, journaling, and game nights with friends! My family used to go on roadtrips every summer so I have been to most national parks and love the outdoors. I also went to Italy for a study abroad trip my junior year of college. 
My first interest in youth ministry came from serving at Sugar Creek Bible Camp in Ferryville, WI the summer after my freshman year of college. I was pursuing my degree in Theatre at the time and thought that my future career would be deeply rooted within the arts. I was hired on as a middle school counselor and two weeks before staff training received a call from the director asking if I would temporarily step into the role as a wrangler (works with the horses leads trail rides, horse camp, etc.) as one of the other wranglers was no longer able to serve at camp that summer. Serving as a wrangler in a support staff role for the summer was absolutely life-changing and it showed me what it meant to be a servant leader and not get recognition for everything. I returned the next summer as a high school counselor and I also served on the praise team as a singer both summers. After that I changed my major to Religious Studies and Theology and decided to pursue ministry full-time. The summer after my junior year I accepted an internship in Ocean Grove, New Jersey as a youth intern and spent the summer on the beach helping youth invest in a relationship with Jesus. This was a dynamic ministry experience with a parachurch organization and I was with kids every day of the week for various programming, small groups, and unstructured time. Both of these experiences have deeply impacted my life and passion for working with youth and serving in ministry. 
I am so unbelievably excited to be a part of the HTLC community and also to be a key member of the HTLC CYF program! I am incredibly passionate about relational ministry and cannot wait to cultivate space and time for children and youth of all ages to experience the love of Jesus Christ through programming, friendships, service trips, small groups, bible study, event nights, worship, and unstructured hang time! I see so much potential for growth within HTLC’s CYF programming and am excited to work with a team that believes in that programming and potential for growth as well. HTLC is a special place and I am excited for youth to see that and call the HTLC community home. 

 23 Questions with Casey

Starting a new job is hard enough, but beginning your first professional job virtually, in the middle of a pandemic is tricky. Read on to enjoy the thoughtful and hilarious responses of HTLC’s new Director of Youth and Family, Casey Fremstad.
2. Do you like to travel?  I love to travel! I love to go different places. I grew up in a road trip family, so we love to go camping, different cabins, the national parks. As far as the U.S. goes, we’ve been to quite a few places in the States.

3. What else do you love?  Game Nights with friends. I definitely get a little competitive with them. I strategize.
4. Favorite Game?  I just picked up Spicy Uno. It’s super fun and easy to pick up. Now I cannot play Normal UNO!
5. Coffee or Tea?  Absolutely coffee always. I like tea, but given the choice, I will pick coffee regardless of the time of day.
6. What is the root of your addiction to coffee?  I think it started with the aesthetic of it. I loved the coffee shop vibe and the “hipster journaling, sipping their latte” kind of thing and I wanted to be a part of that scene. And then I started to loooove coffee. So now I’m stuck with it.
7. We know you like music and to sing. What are some of your favorite bands?  I do love to sing! My all-time favorite group, which was also my first concert, is Lake Street Dive. I saw them in St. Paul. They are super cool. I don’t think there’s a song they have that I don’t like. I always like to listen to them, in any mood.
8. Are you outdoorsy?  I love the water. I love water activities and being on the water. I’ve never jet skied, but I love kayaking, canoeing, swimming…and just being in the water.
9. Do you have a favorite book?  Growing up my favorite book was The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews. It reads like a storybook, but it’s a chapter book. The first time I heard it was in the 3rd grade. It challenges you to have an open imagination for these characters, so if I needed a book to refocus myself or relearn the joy of reading, that was one I used to turn to. I still have a copy on my bookshelf.
10. Do you have a favorite book now?  I really liked The Book Thief. The storytelling is so unique and I love that the perspective of the narrator is Death. It talks about a lot of hard topics in a way that’s engaging and helps you reflect.
11. You initially pursued a Theater degree at the beginning of college. Why did you choose that?  I didn’t start singing or do anything arts-related until middle school. I was inspired by my choir director to pursue it and that led to drama and acting, in school and 4H. I found out I was passionate about performing and theater seemed the best route. That seemed like a general arts degree and I thought being multi-disciplinary would be a good route. 
I loved performing. I wasn’t always a fan of the most technical part of performing, but I liked the creative part of it.
12. In the middle of your sophomore year of college, you changed your degree to Religious Studies. What happened to help you make that choice?  The summer after my freshman year at college, I served at Sugar Creek Bible Camp, hired as a middle school counselor. A few weeks before, I was asked to change to horse wrangler. This meant getting the horses and the barn ready for the campers. It was a lot of behind the scenes work, really hard work, very difficult. It was hot and we didn’t always get to participate in the camp activities and I noticed…. The Lord had to change my heart a little bit because I would be envious of some of the other staff members and think “That should be me doing these activities and games. That’s what I was hired for and instead I’m working my tail off, behind the scenes and not getting recognized for it.”
I had a heart-to-heart with some of the other staffers and I realized what a gift it is to serve as a support staff in my first summer. They helped me to understand what it looks like to be a servant leader in ministry. This is what true ministry is. We shouldn’t be looking for recognition for the ministry we’re doing. I had a big change of heart that summer.
The next summer I worked with kids more and I loved that. I remember thinking, “I want to pursue this full time ministry and I think I need to change my education track to do so.”
13. Is this the experience that made you want to work with kids?  Yes, I worked a lot with the kids the first summer and I knew then I wanted to make a change. The second summer solidified my decision to go into ministry.
[When I was younger], I served as a babysitter. I love the youthful energy kids bring, but I always saw [kids] as a “growing up job.” I knew I connected with kids, but I didn’t know what that looked like as a career.
Working with kids feels like home, it’s comfortable. I was able to step into roles at camp with a confidence I didn’t know I had. I love being a mentor, someone the kids can turn to, even just to be goofy when they are too cool to participate. I like being someone they can count on and connecting with them in so many ways, showing them what it looks like to have a healthy role model and have healthy friendships.
I loved to watch them build a healthy relationship with Christ. All I could think was “Wow! This is so important. This is everything. How can I continue to connect kids to Jesus because it’s so fundamental.”
14. Are you a foodie?  I love food! I love trying new things. Love going to trendy/unique bar and grill style restaurants that have their own signature menu. My favorite food is pizza. I could have it every night of the week.
15. Do you prefer sweet or savory?  I like both, preferably in combination, but if push comes to shove, I’ll say sweet.
16. Are you an animal lover?  I am. I’m allergic to pet dander so I take allergy meds to be around them, but I love dogs, cats, horses. Anything furry that moves…
17. What did you do during lock down for mental health?  I moved back home when the University shut down so I tried to stay connected with friends via Facetime. Spiritually, I did a lot of devotionals, journaling, and reflection on the devotional.
Finding a routine was really helpful. I tried making sure I wasn’t sleeping in too much and that I got outside regularly. The routine was a big part of it.
18. What did you do during lock down for fun?  I tried to stay connected with friends via FaceTime. We had movie nights with streaming parties where we used apps to watch the same movies. Other times, we just hit PLAY at the same time.
19. In your life so far, what accomplishment makes you the proudest?  Going to school for what I was passionate about and following that. Coming from a small, rural community with a tiny, almost non-existent arts program….. trying to go to these big schools and auditioning was super intimidating. I didn’t have the vocal background a lot of other students had so I knew I was going to be behind. An accomplishment for me was going, auditioning, applying, and sticking to it.
20. In your life so far, what do you regret?  I regret trying to please everyone through most of HS and freshman year of college. I wasn’t confident in my identity and who I was because I was so busy changing to fit the molds of how people saw me versus who I was… and am. I don’t want to say I wasted time, but I spent a lot of time trying to fit into the boxes people put me in. I created watered down friendships and associations that didn’t make it through to where I am today. I wish I had spent more time investing in genuine friendships with people who supported me for who I am, no matter what.
21. Are you an introvert or extrovert?  Before high school and the first part of college, I would have sworn I was an extrovert. But now, as I’m growing into myself and recognizing tendencies, I’d say introvert. I need to process and think before I speak. I love that alone time at the end of the day to relax and process. But then again, I love being around people and certain groups definitely energize me. I always have that “FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).” (Casey had to explain this to me.)
22. Some of the staff are slightly obsessed with Enneagram. What number are you?  I recently retook the test and it said I was a 6. My top 3 scores are 6, 9, and 3. So–Go, Enneagram 6!
23. Do you follow any sports teams? I’m a Packers fan!
HTLC is so lucky to have you on the team, Casey! We look forward to that Spicy Uno game!
Written by Rose M. Fife, HTLC Communications Specialist
June 25, 2020