Our Purpose: To be a reflection of Christ’s love, his hands and feet, in service to our neighbors in the community and the world.
Outreach Team News
“Viking Vittles” Community Food Backpack Program
Approximately 30% of students in North Branch Area Schools and Phoenix Academy are on free or reduced lunch. Many more are low income but do not meet the guidelines to qualify for free or reduced lunches.
Unlike all of the surrounding districts North Branch has not had a food backpack program. Trinity Lutheran Church wants to change that and is leading a weekend food backpack program for any student in need. Working with Family Pathways we will be filling bags every week to send home with students for the weekend. Each bag will contain 2 breakfast items, 2 lunch items and 2 snacks. This will help to fill the food gap when they are not in school.
Viking Vittles has also started a new Care Closet at the middle school during the school year. Students will be able to shop for food to bring home to assist families that are food insecure. In addition to the food there will be personal care products as well as school supplies available.
This program is too big for any one organization and so we are asking the community to join us in this project. All donations are greatly appreciated. Donations should be sent to Family Pathways 6413 Oak St. North Branch, MN 55056. Be sure to include a note indicating that the money is for the Viking Vittles Program. If you already donate please direct it to Viking Vittles. In addition, Family Pathways has agreed to contribute $1 for every pound of food that is donated. So, bring your excess garden produce to the food shelf or hold a food drive and tell them it is for Viking Vittles. You may also make a check payable to Trinity Lutheran Church and note Viking Vittles in the memo line.
We’re using SignUp.com to organize our upcoming Viking Vittles volunteer opportunities.
Sign Up Now to help pack bags of food at Trinity. We normally pack on Wednesdays at 10:00. We ask that volunteers wear masks when they pack.
Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
1) Click this link to see our SignUp on SignUp.com or copy the following link into your browser: https://signup.com/go/CPhKcVP
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like. When signing up for packing food bags, you sign up for a table and can have up to 4 people from the same household helping.
3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.
Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact Mary Twitchell at 320-630-5040 and she can sign you up manually.
If you would like to have someone come and speak to your organization about this program please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Path Program
The Path Program offers shelter, meals, and hospitality for families with children who have transitional housing needs. We partner in this service with 12 other local congregations annually through the New Pathways organization in Cambridge, MN. Trinity Lutheran Church provides private rooms and meals. Guests use the day center at New Pathways during the day. Trinity members have opportunities to be involved and share their time and gifts by providing three meals a day, setting up and taking down beds, washing laundry, playing games with the children, helping with homework, and interacting with guests. For more information, see www.newpathwaysmn.org. The Path Program is ready to start the new year with a big change! We will be hosting 2 weeks at a time this year but will only host 2 times.
Our 2021 hosting dates are:
- May 30th – June 6th
- June 20th – June 27th
- December 12th – December 26th
In 2020 and 2021, due to Covid-19 families are continuing to stay in hotels rather than moving from church to church. Because of the costs of the hotels, they currently have a maximum of 3 families. The hotel costs are approximately $500/week/family. Trinity is hosting for two weeks in the summer , so there are $3000 in hotel expenses, plus $500-600 in meal expenses for those two weeks. If you would like to contribute towards the hotel and food costs, please note Path Program on the memo portion of your check, or in the “other” section if giving online. Thank you for your continued support of this ministry!
Non-Covid19 New Pathways process: Our average one week hosting period takes about 34 volunteers with 250 volunteer hours. Thank you to all those dedicated volunteers!! A 2 week hosting period will be a challenge but we believe Trinity is up to it. Please mark your calendars and prayerfully consider helping with this wonderful program. We will have sign up sheets out a few weeks before hosting. If you would be interested in helping or want to learn more about the program please call Shari Denny at 651-214-5578 or Teri Goebel at 612-209-1814.
Do you have extra plastic grocery bags? We have a group that will put them to good use by turning them into sleeping mats for the homeless. We have found that the thinner bags (Walmart, County Market type bags) are best for this project. Thicker bags (Target type bags) don’t work for crocheting. Drop off any extras in the church office! To help out, join them when they meet in the Genesis Room. No experience necessary! Please join us!
Due to the overwhelming response we have received from donating Blessing Bags we have decided to make a few more for summer needs and also make some for children of homeless people. Items can be dropped off in the church office or the box in the Narthex. Needs and ideas for children include small packs of Kleenex, chap stick, shampoo, soaps, toothpaste and brushes, notebooks, colored pencils, juice or drink boxes, hair accessories, combs, small toys or card games. Needs for adults remain the same as previously posted and include rain ponchos, small flash lights, tooth brushes and paste, hand wipes, snack packs (no chocolate due to melting in summer), socks, soaps, razors, feminine hygiene products, Band-Aids, beef jerky, sunscreen, chap stick.
Do you love worship? Do you like helping others? Have you always wanted to help in some way? Join us on the 1st Sunday of the Month at Ecumen for worship.
- Reading scripture
- Assisting with communion Maybe you would like to provide special music.
- Play the piano
- Perhaps you would like to provide a homily to share how much God loves us.
The service is at 2 PM the first Sunday of each month. Come and check it out and see if it is a ministry you would like to be part of it. The residents are SO appreciative and they love to sing. There are 3 other churches that each take a Sunday. As far as we know, Trinity is the only one that brings communion. It is a joy to serve in this way. Come and check it out.. Contact Ann Tanko (email@example.com) or call the church office for more information. 651-674-7047.
Trinity works along side the Crisis Nursery and Chisago County Human Services during the Christmas Season to provide ‘Christmas Presents’ for children and families in need. A Christmas Tree is present in the Narthex area of the church with ornaments for families to take and buy the necessary item listed.
Partnering with Pawaga
Trinity Lutheran Church has been part of the Bega Kwa Bega (Shoulder to Shoulder) program between the Saint Paul Area Synod and the Iringa Diocese in Tanzania since 2001. We have been blessed to have been paired up with the Pawaga congregation and have found many ways to partner with them in ministry.
If you are interested in more information about the partnership between Pawaga and Trinity please contact the church office at 651-674-7047.
ELCA Good Gifts
ELCA Good Gifts provides more than 50 different gift-giving options that grow the church, fight hunger and transform lives. These gifts, starting at just $10, provide direct support for the churchwide ministries of the ELCA. The resources below – from catalogs to coin banks, bulletin inserts to planning guides – make it easy (and fun!) for your family, your congregation and your community say “goodbye” to traditional gift-giving and “hello” to meaningful gifts that really make a difference in the world. Ready to shop now? Visit the ELCA Good Gifts Store and print or order cards to tell loved ones about gifts given in their honor.