WELCOME

 

Welcome to the Trinity Lutheran Church of Birchwood website.  We’re glad you stopped by, and we look forward to welcoming you at one of our worship services or community events.  We are a “family” of believers in Christ who gather together to share in the Good News and help each other along life’s journey.

 

WORSHIP

We gather and meet at 501 E. Chetac Ave in Birchwood, WI.  Come and worship with us Sundays @ 10 am (year-round), plus @ 8:30 am (Memorial Day – Labor Day). 

Sunday School is held during school year months of September – May at 10 am for children age 3 through 2nd grade.  During our half-hour session together, children will learn about God’s creation, the importance of following directions, and examples of families throughout the Old Testament.  The stories include Adam and Eve, Jacob and Esau, Noah, Moses, and the Ten Commandments!  Sunday School sessions conclude around 10:30 for children to join families for the remainder of the worship service.

You’ll find more about our activities, our missions, and our services on this website.  Check it out!  If you really want to learn more about Trinity though, it takes a visit in person to see how the Holy Spirit works within us, touches our lives and the lives of others.  

Our congregation has been walking with Christ for over 114 years . . . we welcome you along the journey!

 
 

BELIEFS

At Trinity we rejoice in the grace of God, ever active in our lives and in the world.  We are a family of sinners who confess that we are not worthy of this gift.  We are not perfect – we make mistakes – we mess up.  But God’s Grace is bigger than our sins, so God works forgiveness and new life within us.  God calls us His children and calls us as partners in His action in the world.  We are always on the lookout for where and how God is at work, seeking to bear witness to this action and join in partnership with God in this work.  Powered by the Holy Spirit we endeavor to embody and to live out God’s remarkable grace.

 

We believe, teach, and confess the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We believe, teach, and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe in him.

 

·       Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through whom everything was made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God fashions a new creation.

·       The proclamation of God's message to us as both law and gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy in the person and work of Jesus Christ through whom God was pleased to reconcile all things to himself.

·       The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.

·       We believe, teach, and accept the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the sole authoritative source and norm of our proclamation, faith, and life.

 

We believe, teach, and confess the gospel, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the priesthood of all believers for God's mission in the world.

 
 
 

MISSION STATEMENT

We are a community brought together through God’s grace and love, which seeks to grow in knowledge and faith in Jesus Christ, and reaches out in word and action to our community and beyond with the Good News of Jesus’ love.

 
 

HISTORY

Trinity Lutheran Church traces its history back to 1902, when the first Birchwood religious services were held in the train depot’s ladies waiting area.  The first building (which still exists) was dedicated in 1904 and, at the first congregational meeting, members voted to name the congregation “Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church.”  Around 1920, the name was changed to “Zion Lutheran Church.”

 

In 1942, the congregation voted to change its name to “Trinity Lutheran Church” and voted to join the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America, which became part of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) in 1960.  In 1946, Trinity joined with Long Lake Lutheran Church as a two-point parish with one pastor.  [The American Lutheran Church merged into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1988.]

 

During 1939-1940, the original building was enlarged and remodeled.  A parsonage was built next door in 1950-1951, the current 9-acre church site was purchased in 1967, and a new church building was completed on that site in July 1974.

 

The Birchwood community had grown throughout the decades, and by 1995, the “new” church was very cramped.  Members decided the only way to afford any building was to do it themselves.  A “faith-based” ground breaking took place on August 2, 1998, and fund raising surpassed its initial goal by over 200%.  Young and old, men and women, members and non-members helped with the new addition – either working on the building or cooking meals for the workers.  Dedication of the new structure was held in April 1999.


With the addition of the new 240-seat sanctuary, narthex, multi-purpose room, nursery, handicapped-accessible bathrooms, and offices for the pastor and secretary, the “old” sanctuary became the Fellowship Hall, and in 2000, the kitchen was remodeled and enlarged.

 

 
HIGHLIGHTS OF PAST 16 YEARS

Trinity Lutheran Church members have been challenged throughout their history, and the past 15 years were no exception.  Life’s “hills and valleys” have united TLC members to face those challenges, relying on their faith to guide and sustain them.

 

The year 2002 was one of joy and sorrow, as the congregation celebrated its centennial anniversary, but “unyoked” from Long Lake Lutheran Church (at LLLC’s request).  As a result, various transition events occurred with this move to a solo ministry in Birchwood:  hiring new staff, calling a full-time pastor, developing new ministry plans, etc.

 

In 2003, Trinity called her first full-time pastor in over 50 years, Pastor Paul Oman – a testament to its growing membership.  Other staff changes also occurred:  a change from a Music Minister to a Choir Director, supported by volunteers; increased duties/hours and title change for Parish Administrator; and the addition of a Youth & Family Coordinator staff position.  In 2008, Trinity tackled another challenge with their faith-based approval of a one-year internship position for a third-year seminary intern.  During 2009-2010, intern Theresa Riewestahl and the members of Trinity shared in a memorable growth experience.  Pastor Theresa’s ordination was attended by many Trinity members in July 2011.

 

With the departure Pastor Oman in May 2011, to follow God’s call to serve as an artist-pastor, sharing the Gospel and teaching the Biblical story through his painting to congregations throughout the country.  Since then, the Trinity congregation has been pastored by several supply pastors, interim pastors, and two called clergy.
 

  • July 2012 – September 2012: Interim Pastor Roger Kastelle
  • February 2013 – July 2014:  Pastor Chris Conner 
  • September 2014 – April 2015:  Interim Pastor Joan Scheffler
  • September 2015 – October 2016:  Pastor Jon Paquette
  • November 2016 – September 2017:  Interim Pastor Joan Scheffler
  • November 2017-January 2018:  Interim Pastor Lauren Ley
  • February 2018 – Pastor Jack Jorgensen