Servant Church in the of Mason City, IA

Trinity at 150

Trinity at 150 – For Generations to Come

“We will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord,  and God’s might, and the wonders that God has done.” Psalm 78:4


GENERATIONS PAST – Trinity’s Legacy of Faith and Courage

Nearly 70 years ago, our congregation set out to build a new space for worship, gathering and service. Trinity was at a crossroads. Having lost its original white-board church to a fire, the congregation was worshipping in a downtown theater. The children were gathering for Sunday School in a nearby school. Called to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, not just with those who were there but those yet to come, Trinity’s people gave sacrificially and built our beautiful gothic sanctuary.

Ray E. Kellar, a member who oversaw the construction in 1950, wrote these words in his project scrapbook:

Why This Temple?
Our dollars purchased materials
to put in the hands of mechanics
who in turn mold it into a pattern
designed by God’s grace as an invitation
to an unborn generation to make Trinity their home.

The people of Trinity built a church for generations to come. Their faithful response left a legacy that has served God’s mission for decades. Trinity is now a leader in mission and outreach, a Servant Church that continues to welcome and bless people near and far with the healing love of Christ.


GENERATIONS TODAY

In recent years, Trinity has experienced significant growth in its ministries and activities. Our beautiful building, once used just a few hours a week, is now utilized throughout the week. Due to this growth, we often have trouble finding enough spaces for church and community groups to gather, especially larger groups. The Fellowship Hall is in particularly high demand as confirmation, Wednesday Night Alive classes, funerals, seminars, exercise groups, youth activities, health ministries, and other special events all compete for the space.

At the same time, the upper floors of the Education Wing are underutilized because they are not accessible. Children who are unable to climb stairs cannot attend our Sunday School. Even for those who are able to reach these spaces, the lack of air conditioning and an outdated heating system limits their use during much of the year.

Wednesday Night Alive, our midweek learning and service night, now welcomes over 125 people a week. But the lack of accessible rooms for classes and small groups is limiting our offerings. A popular outreach program, Financial Peace University, has even been forced to meet in the narthex. Adding an elevator and an updated HVAC system in the education wing would provide much-needed space for people to learn, connect, and deepen faith.

Trinity is a welcoming congregation, blessed with a vibrant mission and a growing membership that spans the generations. However, our congregational listening process revealed that many members find the East Entrance and main hallway unwelcoming and crowded on Sundays. Visitors are sometimes intimidated by the pathway to the sanctuary. A main floor gathering space would provide a place where all generations – children, seniors, teenagers, young adults, and retirees – could welcome, connect with, and care for one another.  


SO GENERATIONS WILL COME 

As I look around at Trinity’s ministry today and see people’s lives being changed by Christ, I think back to the bold, visionary decisions and faithful sacrifices of past generations that helped make all of this possible. Then I wonder, in the midst of a changing culture that desperately needs to experience God’s love, how will the decisions and sacrifices that we make today be a blessing for those to come?


FOR GENERATIONS TO COME – PROJECT LIST

As we near Trinity’s 150th Anniversary, we give thanks for God’s unfailing mercy and faithfulness across the generations. After all the different chapters in our history, we celebrate where God has brought us and seek to prepare for the generations to come.

Project Budget: $4,000,000

Building Renovations – Re-imagining our building to meet current and future ministry needs

  • an elevator to provide full accessibility to the education wing and front of the sanctuary
  • a welcoming/gathering space on the main level for large group gatherings and connecting before and after worship
  • additional small group spaces for circles, bibles studies, and community groups
  • an effective HVAC system in the education wing
  • a larger youth room and a more accessible choir/music room
  • a sheltered drop-off space along the east side of the building
  • completion of the last tuck-pointing phase

Sanctuary Technology – Improving sound and video in the sanctuary while preserving the beauty of the space

  • replace outdated sound equipment and personal listening devices
  • improve video projection and integrate equipment to be less visually obtrusive
  • install video streaming equipment to simulcast services for broader outreach, the homebound and those wintering away

Bihar Project – Hunger relief in Bihar, India, through Lutheran World Relief

  • a partnership among 10 large ELCA churches and Lutheran World Relief to end hunger in the region of Bihar, India
  • empowering local women through advanced farming techniques, high-yield seeds, and community “self-help” groups
  • will move 20,000 people from extreme poverty to sustainability for generations to come
  • a $100,000 commitment
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