Upcoming Worship Schedule
November & December bring some schedule changes in our worship services and
faith formation classes. Please mark your calendar!
Wednesday, Nov. 24 – No Worship or Faith Formation
Early Family Christmas Wednesday, Dec. 15
Meal @ 5 pm
Worship @ 6 pm (in-person & livestreamed on HTLC YouTube channel)
Blue Christmas – Wednesday, Dec. 22, 6 pm (No Faith Formation)
Christmas Eve Services
2 pm, 4 pm, 10 pm (in-person only)
6 pm – Online only
Sunday, Dec. 26 & Wednesday, Dec. 29 – Online worship only (No Faith Formation)
Advent Magazine
Download the HTLC Advent Magazine for inspirational hymns, daily devotionals and weekly prayers.
Advent Logs
We’re gearing up for the biggest birthday party of the year! Advent logs and tea lights are available:
  • Welcome Center before/after worship
  • HTLC Office during the office hours
  • Outside Door 5 during non-office hours.
Sharing Tree
Thank you, Holy Trinity, for your support of the Le Sueur County Santa Anonymous program through the HTLC Sharing Tree. All of the tags  have been claimed!
If you took a tag from the tree, please return your gifts by December 5th.
We’re Hiring!
Individuals with experience in leading children, youth or family ministries are invited to apply. Please email cover letter and resume to Jamie
Calling all Amazon shoppers! Here’s a great way to give back to HTLC.

Click “Start Here” button below, click “Get Started,” and type “Holy Trinity Lutheran Church New Prague” in the search bar.

Follow the directions and voila! Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to HTLC!



Hidden Blessing of Online Worship

Barb Warner knows her favorite service (so far). “I loved the confirmation videos! We got to see each kid and got to know them more than if we’d been in church,” she said. “And the kids can keep those videos forever.”

A few days before Sunday, March 15, Pastors Alicia and Ben made the announcement: We were switching to virtual worship for a few weeks until the coronavirus settled down and we could return to normal. That Sunday, Pastor Ben spoke to an oddly still sanctuary, the musicians played for a congregation on the other side of the screen, and Ministry Coordinator Karen Taylor streamed it on her phone, using a music stand to keep it steady. The global pandemic that was about to upend all of our lives had arrived in Minnesota. 

At the time, most of us thought we would be back to “normal” soon. But we have a new normal now: an online worship that began with a small, humbled team has grown to many more. And that new normal has revealed many hidden blessings.


Worth the Wait for Our Kids

For twenty-one kids and their families, First Communion was supposed to happen in the spring. And then COVID hit. It was rescheduled for a lakeside service this summer, but Cedar Lake canceled all group activities. Holy Trinity polled the families and decided on a Drive-In First Communion in the parking lot on Sunday, October 11.

“These families were determined to have First Communion,” Pastor Ben tells me. “In a collective Zoom meeting, we asked them, ‘If it rains, do we still do it?’ They all said, ‘You bet!’ I was prepared to be standing outside under an umbrella by myself, with Rita playing music from inside if we needed to!”

Sunday, October 11 was the second outdoor Drive-in Communion service for Holy Trinity, this time combined with First Communion. There was considerably less sneezing for Pastor Ben (Click HERE to see that video), and more bread and wine involved.



“I’m excited!” Kate Kienow told me before the service. “I was skeptical about the meaningfulness of the first one, but some friends really recommended them! It made me feel so excited about this.” Her son Aydan was one of the communicants.

“This was beautiful! A really nice Plan B,” says mother Christie Will who celebrated daughter Parker’s day by baking the communion bread using Hospitality Coordinator Donna Galvin’s recipe. (Click HERE for the recipe and Donna’s tutorial.) “I loved making the bread,” says Parker, smiling.

“We did what we could to make it special,” says mom Jamie Sticha. “We dressed up. We made bread.”

“Our bread turned out kinda gross.” Nolan Sticha mutters quietly, probably hoping I didn’t hear him. (Sorry, Nolan. It was funny.)



“I know this is certainly not what anyone expected when they thought about what their Child’s First Communion would be like,” Children, Youth and Family Director Casey Fremstad says, “but I know the Lord is present today and will continue to be present in the lives of these families. It is a great day to witness so much beauty at work in all of the chaos.”

“It’s weird,” admits first communicant Levin Wong. His father, Jamie Wong, smiles at him. “We’re glad to be back, even if it is weird,” he admits.

“It’s nice to be able to run around!” says another first communicant, Garrett Balk. His mother, Carrie Balk, agrees. “This is memorable. We won’t forget it, that’s for sure!” She says laughing as she runs after him.


For many HTLC members and guests, this was the first time they had been at the church in over 6 months. Pastor Ben’s sermon spoke of potentially having a range of feelings by being “in church” for the first time in a while. Some admitted that was exactly how they felt.

“I’m really emotional,” says Council President Karla Klingfus as she gestures to her husband, Tom. “He was hoping for another Communion service for a while, but I didn’t know how much I missed Communion until now. This is even better than I expected.” Her voice catches as Worship Leader Rita Sapp begins to play.

“What our church has done [with the online services] is amazing, but we miss this,” Tonya Jacobson says tearfully, gesturing to the twenty cars full of Holy Trinity members and guests. “It’s great that we can watch online, but it’s nice to come here. It’s not just a place. It’s everybody. And we miss it.”


On behalf of the entire Holy Trinity team, WE MISS YOU ALL, TOO!


Go in Peace.


Serve the Lord.


Thanks be to God.


For all First Communion Family photos, please CLICK HERE.

Written by Rose M. Fife, HTLC Communications Specialist
October 15, 2020


Meet Gina Fadden

16 questions with Holy Trinity’s new Graphic Designer

Gina Fadden joined the Holy Trinity staff this week as our new Graphic Designer. But her creativity has been all over HTLC for awhile. She sat down for a Zoom interview with me this week.

1.  Welcome, Gina! I know you’ve been helping with our graphic design for a while. What are some of the projects you worked on or created? I was the Vision Huddle communication coordinator, I did the 2019 Christmas ornament card design, designed the logo for “@Home with Jesus,” ran the Family Front Porch Project with 8 volunteers, collaborated with Karen Taylor and Pastor Ben on HTLC 2020 Logo design, created the HTLC clothing sale with Karen, Jamie Bisek, and Pastor Ben and collaborated with Pastor Ben on the final Vision Magazine.

Beautiful work! I especially like the new logo. Honestly, it was Pastor Ben and Karen just as much as me. I just put all their ideas together. We wanted to keep the cross and Karen thought of [incorporating] the stained glass windows.

2. When did you join Holy Trinity? We moved to New Prague in 2014 and a friend told us to try each church for four weeks. We tried Holy Trinity and we loved it, but we wanted to try others. When we came back, Pastor Ben and Alicia were there. We joined officially in November 2017.

3. What drew you to Holy Trinity? You know… “All Are Welcome.” There was no judgement. There were so many different kinds of people. The music was more upbeat and fun, so it was a very welcoming place to be.

4. What did you like to do in school? I loved basketball! I’m very outspoken and basketball can get very aggressive, so that was really my niche. I was in cross country, track, and basketball growing up. I made the high school varsity team in the 7th grade for track and cross country. My dad was a big advocate for that with my older sister, so she paved the way for younger kids to get into the programs if you are able to. I played AAU for the Minnesota Jaguars with [current University of Minnesota women’s basketball coach] Lindsey Whalen and we played nationals the last 3 years of my high school career.

5. Do you have siblings? I have a sister who is 7 years older and a brother who is 3 years older.       6. As the baby of the family, do you think you fit that stereotype? Yes, I’m creative. I was the most rebellious of all the kids. I wasn’t a bad kid, but I pushed the boundaries. I was the kid who had the door taken off the bedroom, my mouth was washed out with soap. We couldn’t say naughty words. “Stupid” was a word we couldn’t say, which I bring home now.

7. Are you close to your family? We are both VERY close to our families. Both sides are very involved. It’s a good thing!

8. Where did you go to college and what did you study? I went to UND (University of North Dakota) and played basketball, full ride scholarship. My freshman year we were National Championship Runner-ups, Division 2. I have a major in Parks and Rec with minors in Exercise Science and Sign Language.

9. That’s an interesting combination. Did it lead to some memorable career choices? I was a personal trainer at Lifetime Fitness. I worked for the Shakopee school system as a para, helping kids with math and spelling. I coached basketball and adaptive soccer for special needs kids. Then I got recruited from the high school to work with special needs kids. I worked with one student who was blind. He was a fun character! He learned who people were by songs, (he gave everyone a song). So if I saw him now and sang the song, he would get all giddy and know who I was. That was really cool! And now I am the National Production Manager for MVP Fundraising Cards.

10. How did you meet your husband? I met Joel at his [deployment] going away party on September 11, 2009, before his first tour to Afghanistan. I was picking up [a friend at the party] and Joel asked to meet me. We got a picture of one of the first moments we met. And ever since that night, we were together always. We met and we both knew within a few weeks. We knew each other for 2 months and then he was deployed for 7 months. He was on a deployment where he didn’t have access to computers, we couldn’t FaceTime, so we wrote–I have a ton of letters we wrote to each other. He could call, but they were random, so if I missed him, I wouldn’t hear from him for a month. I had to be on high alert. If I missed that phone call, I missed it for the month.

11. And you have Kids? Animals? We have three kids. Taylor is 9, Mattis is 3, and Andi is 7 months. We also have 2 dogs and a cat.


12. What is one hobby that no one knows about you? I like to be creative, so I do stained glass.

13. You have a long history in sports. What sports do you follow now? I don’t like to watch sports. It’s not interesting to me unless I can play it. I like to be hands-on, so I like to be in the game or know someone who is in the game. But I would watch college over NBA.

14. What do you love? I love traditions. I love antiques. I love bringing in and decorating with memories instead of new stuff. I try to incorporate things my kids can take and know it was in Great-Grandma’s house, and then Grandma’s house, and now it’s yours. I love recipes. I collected my family’s favorite recipes and made a book for everyone in my family. I love tomatoes…old-fashioned peppermint bonbon ice cream. Foxes are my favorite animal. Shutterfly, bonfires, cool fall days. But God and family are the most important parts of my life.

15. What do you dislike? I hate snapping turtles and I don’t like water where you can’t see the bottom.

16. Where did you find your faith? I’ve always had a very closer relationship with God, I’ve just never found the right home. Holy Trinity felt like the right place. I told Pastor Ben and Pastor Alicia, “You saw something in me and you let me roll with it, and now it’s turned into something I can continue doing.” Now I wouldn’t be anywhere else. Holy Trinity just feels like home.
Written by Rose M. Fife, Communications Specialist
September 24, 2020