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.
 HTLChronicles

The Cobbled Path Forward

HTLC’s Racial Justice Team Has Big Plans for Fall

 
 
Your life experience in the United States, even in Minnesota, is dependent upon the color of your skin.  

“Minnesota has one of the biggest gaps between white kids and people of color [in the school system]. The darker the skin, the worse it gets. Why are we not talking about this?” asks Melissa Horejsi, Racial Justice Team (RJT) Facilitator and Holy Trinity member. 

A teacher of the visually-impaired in the Apple Valley school district, Horejsi felt called to join the group from the beginning. “I joined because I’m white. I don’t know what I don’t know. As a teacher and someone who loves kids, and I love all kids, I have found it has been so incredibly difficult to see the level of hatred and not being comfortable with people because of how they look.”
 
 

Truth in Minnesota

The percentage of people of color who live below the poverty level in Minneapolis is four times higher than the rate for white people, according to the Census Bureau. And, despite our ‘Minnesota Nice,’ we have one of the worst achievement gaps in the country. 

 
After the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA asked all churches to form a Racial Justice Team if they did not already have one. To support those churches, they published a guide for helping congregations to become more racially-aware. Team members Jen Sayler, Linnea Hautman, Liz Nelson, Sande Schoenecker, Meg Schoenbauer, Casey Fremstad, Wendy Mathiowetz, and Jon Bergquist now meet once a month.
 
 

Called to Serve

 
The team spent the year intentionally learning and determining their plan. “The goal of this team is to educate ourselves and our church community about racial justice,” says member Meg Schoenbauer. An upcoming sophomore in college, Shoenbauer joined the team because she felt she could no longer be silent. “I spent much of high school biting my tongue to hold back sharing my opinion, but I have found a community at Holy Trinity where I feel like I can share my beliefs and be respected and listened to.” Other members of the RJT shared their motivation for joining in the January 17 online service. (Their segment begins at 22:30.)
 
 
 

Defining ‘Systemic Racism’

 
The term ‘systemic racism’ can be a lot to grasp and Horejsi knows some people may not understand. “It means the system, whatever system it is, has done things historically that we do not pay attention to because we don’t have to. When you learn those things, you realize there’s a lot of work to do to figure out why people are feeling this way.” She says the way forward will be difficult. “It’s uncomfortable. I hate uncomfortable conversations, but sometimes it has to be uncomfortable.”
 
 

Plans for the Fall

Like everyone, the team’s goals were delayed by COVID, but they have a full agenda for the fall. “Oh, we are just getting started!” says Horejsi, laughing. “This past year we have been working on the team, to see how we can best grow for the church. But we are planning on activities, book studies, podcasts, teaching sessions… lots of things!!”

One book study, done last summer, was Lenny Duncan’s Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the United States. A thoughtful and honest book, the author details how difficult it is to be a person of color in the ELCA. The staff and members of council read the book and participated in a series of online discussions, facilitated by Horejsi.

Team member Shoenbauer also looks forward to the fall and hopes to include more outreach. “I would like us as a community to be able to have difficult conversations and to listen to stories that have too often gone unheard. I know that there are great people in this community who want to be a part of the solution, so I’m hoping to do more with the congregation as a whole.”

Shoenbauer has also been instrumental in creating and maintaining the Little Free Library of Anti-Racist Books, located by the Little Free Pantries near Door 2. This library functions more as a traditional library with a lending system and a faith that people will return the books. A list of these books is available on our website, along with a synopsis of every book. 
 
 

So, What Have You Been Doing?

The group has been deliberate about taking the year to educate themselves in order to be ready for HTLC’s reopening. “This isn’t an outside-the-church group, this is a church group. We want to make sure that what we’re doing isn’t our personal agenda, it’s what works best for HTLC at this time,” says Horejsi. 
 
The Racial Justice Team meets on the second Monday of every month, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Email Melissa Horejsi with questions or to join the Racial Justice Team. 
 
Written by Rose Fife, HTLC Communications Specialist

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The Father’s Calling


Tim Price feels he is finally heeding God’s plan for his life.
 
“God got real tired of me ghosting his phone calls,” he told me during a recent interview. “I think we all have callings and I think we all have opportunities to do things God wants us to do. I’m very fortunate that this has become a no-brainer for me.”
 
Guitarist Tim Price announced his resignation from the Holy Trinity staff to work full-time with his nonprofit ministry, Faith, Recovery & Music. “The idea is to be a presentation ministry where we go to different churches, teen centers, treatment facilities, prisons…wherever we can bring our testimony. It’s all based on the faith and forgiveness of Christ. We share our personal stories and we do that through words and a whole lotta music.”
 
A recovering addict with 27 years of sobriety, Tim first envisioned the ministry in January 2019. The first presentation, “Duct Tape and Grace,” was held at HTLC the following August and on June 9, 2020, Faith, Recovery & Music (FRM) became an official nonprofit.
 
 

Turning Fear Into a Challenge

 
Tim, wife Alyce, and their sons Jeffrey and Daniel moved from Atlanta, GA to New Prague in June 2015 and joined HTLC in August. Tim credits co-Pastor Ben’s encouragement with helping him to overcome his fears of singing, telling his story, and leading Wednesday Night Summer Worship. 
 
“In order for this ministry to work, I had to get over a lot of fear,” Tim said. “But the thing that’s made it less fearful is I truly feel it’s a calling. That has turned every fear into a challenge and an obstacle not to be stopped, but to endure and overcome through the grace and strength of Christ.”
 
Tim admits he did not feel comfortable at first. “I feel God has really blessed me by asking me to do this…which wasn’t really the feeling at first.” Formerly a partner in a music ministry in Atlanta, GA, Tim didn’t feel ready. “I didn’t feel I was the person to do it because of how broken I was. I realized that’s why God calls on us: because we’re broken. Because we can share our flaws. In recovery, there are a lot of things we keep in our head and it becomes a tremendous weight. You gotta get it out!”
 
 

 

Sometimes You Just Gotta Play…

 
Faith, Recovery & Music also includes a lot of music in their presentations. “For me personally, and I know for a lot of people, music can touch the soul when words fail,” Tim said.
 
FRM was just getting started when COVID hit and, like most churches and organizations, they had to adjust. “God showed us how to create an online presence. Now we have a website and a private Facebook group with a big group of supporters. The biggest response we’ve had online is our podcast.” 
 
 

His Father’s Legacy

Tim’s father plays a large role in his story. Also a recovering addict, he had 32 years of sobriety when he passed away. He frequently attended Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous meetings and handed out cards he’d had printed that read: “I’m not yet the person I want to be, but I’m not the person I used to be.” Tim inherited a large box of those cards and now does the same, handing them out at meetings and recovery presentations. 
 
 

Leap of Faith

 
 
Leaving Holy Trinity’s staff was a Leap of Faith, Tim will always have memories of favorite services. “Hands down, Christmas Eve every year was my favorite service to play! I love the services when we could all be there. You have that warm, Christmas-y feeling. Late night Christmas Eve services have always been a favorite, but even more so at Holy Trinity. I get a little va-klempt.” he says, laughing.
 
Tim has also enjoyed getting to know the people of HTLC through their musical preferences.
 
“My favorite thing about HTLC is hands-down the people. What I’ve loved about being in the band is getting to hear what all the people really love in terms of the music. I’ve learned a lot about people by the music they like. I gravitate to that. But the greatest thing about that was the band was always able to accommodate those requests! Holy Trinity changed my life. I’ve learned so much.”
 
 

Time is a Valuable Asset

 
More than ever, Tim feels now is the right time to move forward with his plan. “I’m 55 years old and time for this ministry to flourish has become my most valuable asset. I look at my life… I look at the years I toured, my faith, my recovery and what I’ve done my entire life and it just becomes a no-brainer: Faith, Recovery, and Music.”
 
Tim’s last service will be Wednesday, May 26, 6 pm, in the HTLC parking lot where he will be joined with the rest of the HTLC Band for the first time since our last in-person service on March 15, 2020. 
 
Written by Rose M. Fife, HTLC Communications Specialist
May 19, 2021

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Your Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper

Vaccination Volunteer Shares His Story

Pastor Alicia and Pastor Ben receive the COVID-19
vaccine from Dr. Tim Miller under supervision of their daughters.

Dr. Timothy Miller is making people cry.

After administering the COVID-19 vaccine, he turns to every person receiving the dose and says, “I’d like to say something very personal to you. I’d like to thank you for what you have done for yourself, for your family, and for somebody you haven’t even met yet.” Inevitably, people tear up.

“I’ve seen both men and women with tears of joy,” he says. “These are not sad tears. They say, ‘Now I can go see my grandma I haven’t been able to see.’ They tell me their uncle or dad has died of COVID and they realize this is the path forward.”

Dr. Miller volunteers twice a week, 10-11 hours each day, administering COVID-19 vaccines at the Canterbury Park in Shakopee for Scott County Health. After he and his wife Deb received the Moderna vaccines, he signed up to volunteer at the beginning of February, wanting to return the responsibility of care.

“With my wife and myself, vaccination was emotionally very freeing. We still have to be careful because a lot of the population hasn’t been immunized,” he says. And he wants to protect that population. Recently retired, Dr. Miller maintains his medical license and is double-boarded in both family medicine and emergency medicine. In practice for 40 years, he worked at Mayo Clinic in New Prague. He and wife Deb, are longtime and active members of Holy Trinity.
 
 
Can you still transmit the virus after you have been vaccinated?
 

Medical opinions differ, but Dr. Miller believes the vaccinated can still transmit the virus to those who have not yet received it. “The vaccinations do not preclude having the virus in you, but it makes you less likely to experience the effects of the virus. Most of it can be dealt with by your own antibody production, but the data in terms of how much you are spreading is very inconclusive.” He advocates continuing to wear a mask indoors if in a large group, not able to social distance, or when a private business requires it.

To date, 41% of adults in the US have received the first dose of the vaccine with 26.7% reporting full vaccination. But the coronavirus has been a hotspot for discussion in the US. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 has been politicized and weaponized,” says Dr. Miller. COVID does not respect race, gender, creed, age, or any other factor. It’s just a virus and it does what viruses do very well. And yet, it is so subject to misuse for anxiety and control.”
 
Dr. Miller has other advice for those receiving the vaccine. On the day of your appointment, “wear a shirt where you can expose the top of your arm, preferably loose-fitting clothing. Then, you’ll get a vaccine card from the CDC. This is a government document. Hold on to this and bring it back for the second vaccine. Keep it with your travel documents. Do not laminate it because you will likely need to add to it. And I would not post [a picture of your vaccine card] on Facebook or anywhere else.” (So just aim for that band-aid or your glowingly happy face.)
 
 
Any advice on dealing with the side effects?
 
“Do not be afraid to use Tylenol or Advil. But the main thing is fluids. The brain is 70% water, so if your brain gets dry, one of the things it will do is tell you you’re nauseated, you have a headache, and you’re achy.”
 
Dr. Miller recommends 100-120 ounces of water (12.5-15 8 oz. glasses) over a 24-hour period and taking Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve as directed on the container. “My advice: Don’t wait to find out how you’re going to feel. Drink like a fish. And I mean water!” he laughs.
 
Other side effects can include low-grade fever, nausea, headache, and fatigue. “Some have more symptoms the first time, some have more the second. But few are really laid low. It depends on age and whether or not you’ve had COVID.” The CDC recommends calling your doctor if symptoms do not stop after a few days.
 
What about the COVID variants?

Reports of the coronavirus variants, particularly the B.1.1.7 as it travels across the US, are also worrying for many. Dr. Miller still believes vaccination is the key to getting ahead of the pandemic. “[The variant] is not a problem if you’ve been vaccinated. The likelihood of COVID being a really terrible disease is 2.5%, but for those people, it’s 100% [terrible]. And if they survive, they are weak, ill, and coughing for months.” 

In the meantime, Dr. Miller will continue volunteering and giving out the vaccine.

“One woman asked me why I signed up to give vaccinations. I told her: ‘We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper. This is not just about you. There are other people. And this is why I recommend the vaccination.’ Let’s care about one another.'”
 

To register for the vaccination waiting list, follow these links:

 

Written by Rose M. Fife, HTLC Communications Specialist

April 22, 2021


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