Serving in Christ's Love and Sharing the Good News

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With guidance from the Holy Spirit, Trinity’s vision for the pastoral succession process is a collaborative, inclusive one in which the congregation feels confident and secure that our mission of "Serving in Christ’s Love and Sharing the Good News” and the ministries of Trinity will continue with a new lead pastor whose gifts enliven, complement, challenge and encourage our growth in faith, service and outreach to the community. 

Transition Update ~ 2017

Update for Call & Hiring Process
As of March 17, 2017

The Call Process for the Pastor of Care and Concern is moving forward with three candidates. Interviews will happen on March 23, April 3, and April 18. After the interviews are complete, the committee will review all three candidates, and then: choose one to put forward to the Council, ask candidates for more information or another interview, or turn down all three candidates and begin again. The Call Committee is committed to selecting the right candidate for Trinity. When one candidate is chosen, the name will be passed on to the Council for approval and then the congregation for a vote. Finally, a letter of call is issued from the Bishop’s office.

The Coordinator of Community Connections position has been adjusted and is now advertised internally and externally on our website, Facebook page, has been sent to the Synod office, and is posted in paper form around Trinity. The description will also be posted on local outlets to broaden the reach beyond typical church outlets.
The committee met recently and discussed the job description. They decided that the best way forward for Trinity is to make the position one-half time, significantly reduce the technological responsibilities, and seek an individual who can be completely devoted to the personal interaction and relationship-building that is necessary for a successful ministry in making and sustaining connections. I endorse this plan, and have shared the plan with Staff, the Executive Committee, and the Church Council. They endorse the plan as well.
The technological support necessary to better connect our congregation and community will be accomplished by partnering with a local firm, Stokes & Herzog ( The principals of the company, Chris Herzog and Sarah Stokes, are Trinity members and understand the specific needs and wishes of our congregation. You will know their work from recent video creation for the Noah's Ark preschool and the 2016 Lent video series. Their expertise will guide us in areas such as video creation, social media content, and research into the interests and expectations of people seeking a church home. That relationship will begin on April 1, 2017.
As candidates come forward for the Coordinator position, the committee will review their qualifications, invite them for an interview if they are qualified, interview, and hire the best candidate. In each position, we continue to work within the same budget since the beginning of this process, based on previous personnel expenses. If you have any questions, please contact Anne Lindahl for the Pastor position, and Cindy Beck for the Coordinator position. You may contact Pastor Peter as well.
Thank you all for your patience with these processes. In the end, we will have two excellent partners in the Gospel and colleagues in ministry to help us live and practice our mission statement – Serving in Christ’s Love and Sharing the Good News.

March 1, 2017

The call process for the Pastor of Care and Concern is continuing with three names submitted from our Synod office. The Call Committee met on March 7 to discuss the candidates and interviews, and we plan to begin interviews near the end of March.

The hiring process for the Coordinator of Community Connections is moving forward. The hiring committee met on February 27 to discuss the position, the job description, and the position posting. The committee is revising the original structure of the position and will present the details on Sunday, March 19, immediately following the first two worship services. The original vision of the position is intact, and the technology aspects will continue to be supported by Cindy Beck. Hope to see you on March 19.

February 3, 2017

The search for the Pastor of Care and Concern did not move a candidate forward in the first round of interviewing. Our Synod has been contacted about providing at least one other name that can be interviewed in the coming weeks. We are assured that this process is happening, and the congregation will be notified when the next candidate(s) is ready for interview. 

The search for the Coordinator of Community Connections has not moved a candidate forward beyond the interview process. The staff and interview team are reviewing the job description and will post it soon on a variety of platforms, including congregation media and local and regional outlets. 

Thank you for your patience. Both teams are committed to finding the person that best fits Trinity's needs, and we will do so. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Pastor Peter at, call the office, or visit in person. 

January 2017
A first interview with the candidate for the pastoral position was conducted the week of January 15th. The candidate spent significant time with Trinity staff members, the associate pastors, executive council leadership, and then took part in a formal dinner and interview with the call committee. Feedback was received from the staff, and the call committee met for deliberation on Sunday January 22nd. They will discern next steps with this candidate, and updates on the process will be posted as they come. 

December 2016
In December, the Trinity Council formally approved the proposal for the two positions, and applications for the Coordinator of Community connections were accepted through the month.  Trinity also received from the Synod the profile of an ordained rostered leader seeking part time call.  Interviews for candidates in both positions were coordinated with the Interview Team and Call Committee, to take place in the new year.

November 2016
On November 17th, Trinity’s personnel committee met to review the proposal of the two positions. November 20th, a second congregational forum was held,  at which the proposal for the two positions were shared and feedback was again received.
Also in November, a Call Committee made up of six Trinity members was formed for the Pastor of Care and Concern position. Those agreeing to serve as the call committee included: Nathan Nybroten, Anne Lindahl, Jack Running, Hanna Messer, Pat Garber, and Phyllis Grohn.  At the same time, in keeping with ELCA protocol for the call process of an ordained and rostered pastor, the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin  was notified of the half-time pastoral position.  In order for the Synod to be of aid in finding qualified candidates, a document called the Ministry Site Profile was updated.* For the transition process of 2015-2016 in the Lead Pastor role, this document had been thoughtfully produced by a team of Trinity members and needed only updating for this new associate position.

For the Coordinator of Community Connections position, an interview team, made up of six Trinity members was assembled. They are Lori Juneau, Katie Kuenkel, Cindy Beck, Toby Moszer, Sharry Hebert, and Sheila Running.

October 2016
On Sunday October 2nd, a Congregational Forum was held after both main Sunday services, soliciting ideas about the staff vacancy from Trinity members. Approximately 75 Trinity members took advantage of this opportunity. Notes from the conversations are here:  Read it here

In cooperation with the congregation’s council, a task force was created to address the vacancy, made up of four Trinity members, along with Pastor Peter. On the task force were Tom Fiedler, Deb Tackmann, Matt Olson, and Tami Satre. Over the course of three meetings, the task force worked to assimilate all gathered information into a proposal for the staffing vacancy. After much discernment, this task force put forth a proposal that Trinity look to hire two positions instead of one: a half-time Pastor of Care and Concern, and a full time lay coordinator of Community Connections. For a full description of each job:  Read it here

September 2016
Pastor Peter worked to research and review the current vision and mission of the congregation along with the staffing configuration. As part of his review he became very familiar with recent congregational documents and assessments (The Strategic Plan from 2010, The CAT survey from 2015, Annual Reports, etc), held conversations with Trinity lay leadership, and garnered individual input from staff members.

Transitions: Phase II – Addressing the Associate Pastor Vacancy

In March of 2016, Associate Pastor Jim Page accepted a call to a new congregation in Florida. After nine years of faithful service on staff, Trinity’s prayers and gratitude are with him! In order to help with pastoral duties in this time of transition, bridge pastor, Rev. David Whelan, was brought onto staff in July of 2016. After Pastor Kurt Jacobson’s retirement (also in July), and with Pastor Peter Bredlau in place as Trinity’s new lead pastor by August-- the time came to address the associate pastor vacancy as a congregation.


Transition Update - August 1, 2016

Pastor Peter’s Installation
You are invited to the installation of Pastor Peter Bredlau into the ministry of Trinity on Sunday, August 7, at 8:15 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. worship. Pastor Laurie Skow-Anderson of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin will preside at the rite of installation. A reception in the Trinity Room to welcome Pastor Peter and his family will follow each worship service.


Transition Update - July 11, 2016

On Sunday, July 10 we celebrated Pastor Kurt's 28 years of service to God through Trinity. Pastor Kurt shared words of wisdom in his final sermon, The Unmeasured Neighbor. You can watch it and/or read it here. We presented him with special gifts from the congregation:  a St. John's Bible and a beautiful stained glass window for his new home.  A reception filled with fond memories and good wishes followed each service.  

On Monday, July 11 we welcomed Pastor Dave Whelan to Trinity. Pastor Dave will serve as our Bridge Pastor during this time of transition. Please be sure to welcome and get to know him when you see him.  

Our new Lead Pastor, Peter Bredlau, begins at Trinity on August 1.  


Transition Update: June 28, 2016

Welcome Pastor Peter Bredlau! 
On Sunday, June 26, our congregation voted to extend a call to Pastor Peter Bredlau to serve as our next Lead Pastor. Excitement abounds both within our congregation and from Pastor Peter and his family. 

Meet Pastor Peter: Pastor Peter is a Wisconsin native, born in Fond Du Lac. He was raised in Beaver Dam where he graduated from Wayland Academy. He received a BA in 1989 from Lawrence University in Appleton with a double major in History and Philosophy. After Lawrence he moved east to work at a Lutheran camp in New York State. He thought that he would stay in the east for a year or two–that was 26 years ago. After camp, he felt drawn to the seminary. He received a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

Peter and Joanna were married in December of 1994 while he was serving his internship in Reading, PA. He was called to Christ (Yocom’s) Lutheran Church, on the edge of Reading, on January 1, 1997. In 1999 he was called to be the Chaplain and Church Relations Director at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, one of the 26 colleges related to the ELCA. During this time, Peter and Joanna had two children, Lauryn and Will, and Joanna finished her BA in Psychology. Peter feels the experiences and learning in a large environment like Muhlenberg have been invaluable. Muhlenberg also afforded the opportunity to teach first-year and senior students and to coach men’s lacrosse and men’s ice hockey. Peter was called to St. Mark’s in Bethlehem, PA, in the fall of 2012, being drawn by their very solid youth program, the opportunity to be back in a congregation, and the possibility of working with people to grow something good.

Pastor Peter likes to play hockey, to walk, and to read. His favorite books are nonfiction, especially history and philosophy. His theological interests are vocation, theology of the cross, and how Jesus is more like us than not. He loves all sorts of music–late 60s, late 70s, and almost anything 80s. Bob Dylan tops the list. Pastor Peter is an energetic leader and a team player. He is passionate about helping people succeed and in continuing to build upon Trinity’s strengths. During his time at St. Marks, the congregation experienced record growth in membership, worship attendance, and stewardship. 

From Pastor Peter: “Our family is very excited about joining the Trinity and Eau Claire communities. I am thrilled to lead a congregation with such a rich tradition of worship and service and to add my strengths to build on what is happening and to see where God will call us in the future in the name of Jesus Christ.”

Pastor Peter and his family are busily preparing to move. His first day at Trinity will be August 1. We look forward to welcoming Pastor Peter, Joanna, Lauryn, and Will Bredlau to Trinity and Eau Claire!


Transition Update: June 8, 2016

From Council President, Mary Jo Hanson
It is with much excitement and gratitude for months of work, prayer and guidance from God that I announce a meeting of the Trinity Lutheran Congregation on Sunday, June 26, beginning at 10:45 a.m. for the purpose of calling a Lead Pastor.

At this congregational meeting, the Call Committee will present information about the candidate that they are recommending to be our next Lead Pastor. Following the presentation, discussion, and questions, we will seek approval from the Congregation for calling this candidate. No other business will be transacted at this meeting. Please plan to be present at this important meeting. 


Transition Update: June 3, 2016

Call Committee Update
After having on-site interviews with two candidates and after much deliberation, we have decided upon a candidate to recommend as our next Lead pastor. We feel this candidate has the talents and vision to carry on the Trinity tradition.

At the June 14 Council meeting, we will present our recommendation for their approval. If approved by the council, a meeting of the congregation will follow where information about the candidate will be presented and a vote taken to call this pastor.

Thank you for your support and prayers for the process.

Trinity Call Committee
James Fedie
Deb Gilbertson
Mary Shoenknecht
Mary Pomerening
Stan Hillestad
Tony Benedict


Transition Update: May 29, 2016

Call Committee Update
We have conducted on site visits with our lead pastor candidates. Candidate visits included tours of Trinity and the community, visits with staff and council members, and extensive discussion with the Call Committee. The Call Committee will now review to determine if we have a pastor to move on to the final steps.

Review of Call Committee timeline:

  • February and March: Initial search, contacts, screening of Rostered Leader Profiles
  • March 30–31: First round Skype interviews
  • April 13 and 15: Second round Skype interviews
  • April 17 to present: Reference checks
  • May 16–27: On site visits and interviews

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Call Committee, council, or Transition Team members on the process. Please pray for the process, the candidates, and the congregation of Trinity.


Transition Update: May 10, 2016

Succession Planning Teams Reconvened
Members of the Trinity Council, Call Committee, Transition Team, Start-Up Team, Pastors and Ministry Directors reconvened on Tuesday, May 10. The purpose of this meeting was:  

  • to bring renewed focus to some of the findings, evidence and organization intelligence gained through the C.A.T.

  • to assemble collective wisdom, hear updates on the succession process and inform the next steps with a new Lead Pastor.

Read the full report here.


Transition Update: May 2, 2016

Call Committee Update from James Fedie, Chairperson
In mid-April we completed our second round of candidate interviews via Skype. We are fortunate to have three qualified candidates, and each brings great experience and skills. While some of the members of the Call Committee may lean toward one particular candidate or another, we are all in agreement at this stage that we could see any of the three candidates possibly becoming Trinity’s next lead pastor. We have made reference checks over the last few weeks and only received positive results. 

After much deliberation, we have decided to bring all three candidates on site to interview and get a face to face perspective. We will have the schedules firmed up by weeks’ end. 

The Call Committee will recap each candidate immediately after departure. Following the final visit, we will deliberate on the candidates and determine if we have a pastor to move on to the final steps.

Review of Call Committee Timeline:
February and March: Initial search, contacts, screening of Rostered Leader Profiles
March 30-31: First round Skype interviews
April 13 and 15: Second round Skype interviews
April 17 to present: Reference checks
May 16-27: On site visits and interviews


Transition Update: April 13, 2016

Letter from Mary Jo Hanson, Council President
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

As we continue our journey together through this season of transition at Trinity, I am writing to keep you updated about current and upcoming happenings in our church.

The Call Process

As you know, the search for our new Lead Pastor, with guidance from Dr. Jim Pence of Walkalong Consulting, has been in process for some time.

The Transition Team used information collected from three retreats, the CAT and other surveys, and interviews with staff to complete Trinity’s Ministry Site Profile (MSP) in January. The MSP is an information rich document that is provided by the Synod to potential candidates.

The Call Committee completed first round interviews with candidates via Skype on March 30 and 31 and are pleased with the results of these initial interviews. Second interviews via Skype will take place this week. Onsite interviews will be the next step. Once a candidate is recommended by the Call Committee and approved by the Council to be our new Lead Pastor, a meeting of the Congregation will be scheduled for a vote.

The Start-Up Team has been busy compiling information about the Chippewa Valley for candidates and will facilitate welcoming and acclimating our new Lead Pastor once he or she has been hired. As always, please continue to hold the process in your prayers.

Regarding our pastoral needs, at this time our sole focus is the process of calling a new Lead Pastor. Beyond this, future staffing plans will be on hold until we, together with our new Lead Pastor, determine a path for best meeting the needs of our mission. 

I am pleased to introduce Pastor Dave Whelan to you. Pastor Dave will serve as our Bridge Pastor beginning in late June until our new Lead Pastor is called and our more permanent pastoral needs are met. Please find some introductory information about Pastor Dave at the end of this letter.

Attached here, please find a copy of the Agreement between Congregation and Outgoing Pastors. It is with utmost respect for Pastor Kurt and the 28 years that he tirelessly served our congregation and in anticipation of fully engaging with our new Lead Pastor that the Trinity Council recently adopted these ethical guidelines. I ask you to read and abide by this policy which applies anytime a Pastor transitions from Trinity. 

Mark Your Calendars

Please plan to join us on Sunday, May 1, to honor Jeanne Cooper for 31 years of service upon her retirement as Director of Noah’s Ark Preschool. Worship with us, and then greet Jeanne and enjoy coffee and snacks at 9:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. in the Trinity Room. Enjoy special VBS music at the 9:45 a.m. worship service.

You are invited to join us on Thursday, June 23, from 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. at the Coffee Grounds/K-Point Brewery to celebrate with Pastor Kurt prior to his retirement from Trinity. Hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be provided, and a cash bar will be available. Please also join us for worship and a retirement reception for Pastor Kurt on his final Sunday at Trinity on July 10. Watch for more information as the time gets closer.

We have much to celebrate as we bring closure to Pastor Kurt’s ministry and as we wait to welcome his successor. As we continue to walk together through this transition process, I am confident in the trust, health, and vitality of our congregation. Join me in continuing to trust in the God we know who provides and has inspired Trinity and its ministries for 62 years. Keeping faith in God’s guidance and providing through transition is important as we move forward “serving in Christ’s love and sharing the Good News.”

I encourage you to continue to visit the this webpage for current vital information and to contact me with questions or concerns: or 715-456-8543.
May the peace of the risen Christ be with you.


Mary Jo Hanson
Congregational President


Transition Update: April 13, 2016

Meet Pastor Dave Whelan
Pastor Dave Whelan was born and raised in Mondovi and currently lives in Menomonie with his wife, Amy. Dave and Amy have been married for fifty years and have two sons, Sean and Mark, and eight grandchildren.

Dave served as an Associate and then as Senior Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Menomonie for seventeen years. Since retiring from pastoral work, Dave has worked as a Bridge Pastor at Central Lutheran in Chippewa Falls, at Immanuel Lutheran in Eau Claire, at Dovre Lutheran in New Auburn, and at English Lutheran in Ellsworth.

Prior to earning a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary, Dave practiced general law with Whelan, Morey and Ricci. He was Family Court Commissioner in Buffalo County and City Attorney in Mondovi. Dave piloted a US Navy helicopter from 1965–1970.

Dave was Vice President of the Northwest Synod of WI from 1987–1992 and currently serves as chaplain for the Menomonie Police Department.

Pastor Dave is excited to work with the congregation and staff at Trinity. We look forward to welcoming him!


Transition Update: April 1, 2016

Call Committee Update
The Call Committee just completed first round interviews with candidates on March 30 and March 31. We are excited to get into the process and pleased about the results of these initial interviews. We look forward to continuing the process. As always, please continue to hold the process in your prayers.


Transition Update: April 1, 2016

From Council President Mary Jo Hanson
Watch for a letter from Mary Jo Hanson to arrive in April sharing information about:

  • A May 1 celebration honoring Jeanne Cooper upon her retirement as Director of Noah’s Ark Preschool.

  • Bridge Lead Pastor Dave Whelan from Menominee who will arrive in late June.

  • Information about the progress of the Call Committee.

  • An “Agreement with Departing Pastors” that Council recently adopted.

  • A retirement celebration  in honor of Pastor Kurt Jacobson’s retirement on Thursday evening, June 23. This event will be held at The Coffee Grounds/K-Point Brewery


Transition Update: March 31, 2016

Pastor Kurt Announces His Last Sunday

Dear Trinity Lutheran Church Family,

The privilege of being part of Trinity’s mission of “Serving in Christ’s Love and Sharing the Good News” will come to a close as I retire as your Lead Pastor. My final Sunday with you will be July 10.

For 28 years you’ve been supportive, encouraging, and generous to me so that together we could grow and make an indelible difference for the kingdom of God. It’s been a great run. Thank you!

As partners, we have done much for the mission of Christ through Trinity including:

  • Growing many new ministries that inspire faith in kids, youth, and adults.
  • Expanding facilities to serve more people and acquiring adjacent properties for future expansion.
  • Developing varied and vibrant worship services.
  • Growing the Endowment Trust Fund as a way to leave a legacy of faith through our estate plans.

Thank you for all the ways the Spirit of God has been at work through us as the people of Trinity!

It’s been a delight to see how Trinity shares God’s grace, mercy, and love here and afar through:

  • Our food pantry and helping to develop and support two homeless shelters and The Community Table.
  • Mission Jamaica in two locales building homes and schools in areas of abject poverty.
  • Partnering with the Lutheran Church in Malawi and building churches in the Blantyre Parish.
  • Providing the students of Flynn Elementary with food, books, and supplies to address their needs.
  • Developing a Health Ministry to serve people and teach us to be good stewards of our lives.

In so many ways we love our neighbors and make a difference in our community and our world. Thank you!

As I depart, I’m grateful for the talented and dedicated staff that serve this mission. Pray for them. Pastor Brahm and Pastor Sarah will carry the pastoral ministry forward and be joined by interim Bridge Lead Pastor Dave Whelan.

Finally, I want to say “carry on!” God is at work, providing, guiding, and calling you forward in the mission that trumps any anxiety or worry. Pray daily for your church and for the Call Committee. Keep the faith; continue to worship, serve and give! Focus on the mission and rely on the assets that mark this wonderful congregation!

Know that my prayers include you as I go into my next stage of life. My love and gratitude for you and our years together will remain with me always.

Peace and joy be with you,

Kurt Jacobson, Lead Pastor

A Personal Note

My plans for the first portion of “retirement” are in formulation. My first goal is to support my elderly parents who live in Rice Lake. They are a primary mission. Additionally, I feel called to continue serving in ways which might benefit the mission of the Church and utilize the experiences you provided me. Thus, I am in conversation with synod staff and others to explore possibilities of how I might be helpful as an interim pastor or transition pastor.

I welcome your prayers as God unfolds the path ahead for my life.


Transition Update: March 16, 2016

Final Report from Dr. Jim Pence
Dr. Jim Pence of Walkalong Consulting has submitted his final report on his work with Trinity. You can read the full report here.


Transition Update: March 11, 2016

Call Committee Update
The Call Committee met this past week to review the profiles of several candidates for the Lead Pastor position which will be open when Pastor Kurt Jacobson retires in July. They intend to screen these candidates in the near future.


Transition Update: February 23, 2016

Call Committee Update
The Call Committee met on Thursday, February 18 to discuss and write interview questions. They hope to have these refined within the next 10 days and to set up practice interviews during the month of March – hopefully before Holy Week. In the meantime, our NWSWI Synod bishop and staff continue to receive and review possible candidates. Congregational members still have the opportunity to submit names of pastors who they believe are qualified using this link. Thank you for your encouragement and continued prayers for this process – we do appreciate it.


Transition Update: February 4, 2016

Call Committee Update
Members of the Call Committee met on Thursday, January 28, 2016. James Fedie, chair of the committee, distributed copies of the Ministry Site Profile (MSP) and Potential Interview Questions (from the Call Process Booklet for the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin) for review and discussion. Based on our study of these documents, we are starting to prepare and select possible interview questions. We continue to ask the congregation to remember us in your prayers as we proceed through this process.


Transition Update: February 3, 2016

Nominations for Lead Pastor
The NW Synod of WI bishop and staff are working with our Ministry Site Profile to match qualified candidates for the position of Lead Pastor. The Call Committee invites you to suggest names of pastors you believe are qualified and a match for this position by completing the Nomination Form.

You are asked to pray about any nomination you submit. Please do not contact the pastor or speak with others about your nomination.

Simply print and send the completed form to the chair of the Call Committee who will compile all nominations and give them to the NW Synod of WI staff. It is the responsibility of the Bishop and his staff to review nominations and conduct their vetting process in a confidential matter.  

Your prayers for the Call Committee, the synod staff and the pastors that will be considered for call to Trinity are very important. Thank you for praying daily for our congregation during this time.


Transition Update: January 25, 2016

Pastor Jim Announces a New Call 
God calls pastors to serve congregations and for the past 9 years Pastor Jim Page has faithfully served in his call to Trinity. But now God is calling him anew to be pastor of Apostles Lutheran Church in Brandon, FL. 

Read Pastor Jim's letter to the congregation


Transition Update: January 25, 2016

The Ministry Site Profile (MSP) is a key document that profiles our congregation and details the skills and experience desired in a new Lead Pastor. The MSP was approved by the Council on January 19 and has been submitted to the Bishop who will use it to match qualified candidates for the Call Committee to consider.

A summary of Trinity's MSP reads:

We seek a lead pastor who will whole-heartedly join us as we continue “Serving in Christ’s Love and Share the Good News” with a preaching ability to connect everyone to God’s Word; possession of strong administrative skills; leadership abilities in planning, stewardship and team-building; creative ideas to strengthen interpersonal relationships; and a desire to help us grow spiritually, individually and collectively.


Transition Update: January 10, 2016

The Transition Team hosted two forums today for the congregation with 35-40 people attending each one. Assistant to the Bishop, Rev. Greg Kaufmann was also present.

Transition Team chairperson Brandon Thorsness shared an overview of the process to date. Rev. Kaufmann explained how the steps of the call process work and the effort he undertakes to match candidates to Trinity’s Ministry Site Profile.

Call Committee chairperson James Fedie shared information about the first meeting of the Call Committee in December. Questions were asked about how long the process takes. Generally, the work beginning now until a new pastor arrives is 6 months if everything goes smoothly.

The congregation was asked to pray regularly for the Call Committee and our congregation in this transition.


Transition Update: January 8-9, 2016

The three Succession Planning Teams met with consultant Jim Pence. The teams, along with the Council and several staff members reviewed the draft of the Ministry Site Profile (MSP). The Transition Team will be incorporating changes and providing a final draft for the staff to review and the Council will meet in a special session to approve it on January 19 at 5:30 PM. After the MSP is approved, it will be submitted to the synod office. Then the work of matching qualified pastoral candidates that fit the MSP will begin. When the synod staff has vetted candidates, profiles on each will be presented to the Call Committee. This step will likely take several weeks to conduct.


Transition Update: December 16, 2015

Members of the Call Committee

L-R: Mary Pomerening, Tony Benedict, Stan Hillestad, Deb Gilbertson, Mary Schoenknecht, James Fedie (Council liaison)

The Call Committee met with Assistant to the Bishop of the NW Synod of WI, Rev. Greg Kaufmann. This was the first meeting of the committee. Rev. Kaufmann provided an orientation to the call process. The committee will meet with consultant Jim Pence on January 9.


Transition Update: December 14, 2015

Final Succession Planning Retreat Coming     

The third and final retreat with Dr. Jim Pence of Walkalong Consulting will be January 8-9, 2016. Following up on the Findings Retreat in November, Dr. Pence will meet with all three planning teams, the Council and staff at this retreat.

A major component of this final retreat will be the presentation of the Transition Team’s draft of the evidence-based Ministry Site Profile (MSP). The MSP is an extensive document of the ELCA that congregations use to describe their mission and their search for a pastor. The Transition Team is using data from the CAT (Church Assessment Tool) taken by over 600 members of Trinity in October 2015. In addition they have interviewed the staff and pastors to gain insights.

Please remember to pray for this holy and important work being done among the congregation. Your trust in God and trust in this process is key to moving forward in faithfulness.


Transition Update: December 9, 2015

Pastor Jim Page Makes New Declaration of Intent    

Pastor Jim Page announced to the Trinity Council on December 8, and in a letter to all members, that he senses God calling him away from Trinity to a new congregation, so he has removed himself from consideration for the Lead Pastor of Trinity.

Pastor Jim was called from Faith Lutheran Church, Balsam Lake, WI to Trinity in February 2007. In announcing this sense of a new calling, he expressed to the Council:

  • this is something he's been thinking on for well over a year;

  • he has great respect and appreciation for the succession planning process Trinity is engaging in; 

  • how helpful consultant Jim Pence and Bishop Hoyme have been to him in his discernment;

  • appreciation for the many ways he's been given opportunity to grow as a pastor in the context of Trinity, a congregation he holds in very high regard.

Pastor Jim is excited about how God will call and use him in the future, even as he knows he will miss the people of Trinity and the mission that energizes our congregation.

Meanwhile, he has made himself available for calling in all the synods of the ELCA and has received contacts from 11 synods so far. He promised to keep the Council informed as to any proceedings that will define the time when he will say goodbye to Trinity.

The succession planning process will now continue with no current Trinity pastors being candidates. The staff of the NW Synod of WI will receive the Ministry Site Profile from us in early January after it's finalized by the Transition Team, reviewed at the January 8-9 retreat, and approved by the Council on January 12. The synod staff will then begin matching qualified pastors who fit the skills, experience, and expectations defined in the MSP.


Transition Update: December 6, 2015

The pastoral succession planning process has entered the phase of using the C.A.T. (Church Assessment Tool) data from the 600 surveys to develop the evidence-based Ministry Site Profile (MSP). The MSP is the key document that ELCA Bishops use to match pastoral candidates to congregations. The Transition Team has the responsibility of presenting a draft to the Council and other leadership teams in early January. Last week they interviewed Pastor Kurt to gain first-hand insight into the responsibilities of the Lead Pastor position. 

You can view the MSP posted in the Trinity Room (on the yellow wall) or online at Please remember to pray daily for all members to trust this process and for God's guidance through it. 


Transition Update: November 20, 2015

Second Succession Planning Retreat Held

The “Findings Retreat,” the second of the three succession planning retreats, was held with Dr. Jim Pence of Walkalong Consulting on November 13–14.

Attending the retreat were forty-eight people including:

  • Call Committee
  • Transition Team
  • Start-Up Team
  • Council
  • Staff (pastors, ministry directors, two preschool teachers)
  • Bishop Rick Hoyme – NW Synod of Wisconsin ELCA

The primary focus of the retreat was to receive the data from the congregation-wide survey (C.A.T.), hear the interpretation of the results, and begin to apply them to the evidence-based Ministry Site Profile (M.S.P.) which will be used in the search for a new Lead Pastor. Small groupings of the above personnel discussed together parts of the M.S.P. as Dr. Pence directed. Using their perspective of the evidence from the survey, each grouping posted their M.S.P. pages on a yellow banner in the Trinity Room. This information will be used by the Transition Team in drafting the M.S.P.

On Friday evening, the comprehensive results of the C.A.T. (Congregation Assessment Tool) survey were presented. Interpretation was provided by Emily Swanson, President of Holy Cow Consulting, via a video link. Dr. Pence provided additional interpretation utilizing the evidence and his experience from working in dozens of churches involved in succession planning.  

The survey report indicates a high-level of strength, satisfaction, energy, and agreement with the direction of the congregation. Dr. Pence says the evidence shows Trinity is in an elite category of churches because of its high level of energy-satisfaction.

Primary Evidence Gained from the Interpretation of the Survey:

1. Trinity is considered a “transformational” church because the evidence is clear that the congregation is energized, satisfaction is high, people are transformed by participation in the congregation, and we possess an ability to be out in the world with a mission.

2. The evidence shows the top three priorities members wish to see advanced are:

  • develop ministries that work toward healing those broken by life circumstances.

  • create more opportunities for people to form meaningful relationships.

  • develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church.

3. The survey shows that Trinity is an adaptable church with a theological stance that is just left of center in the progressive category.

4. The evidence on “Performance” of the congregation in all areas the survey included is very high. Ratings on the following are (with 100 being the top):

  • Engagement in Education 99
  • Readiness for Ministry 95
  • Morale 95
  • Governance 93
  • Conflict Management 81

5. The evidence shows the congregation sees the critical abilities for the next Lead Pastor to include (in rank of priority):

  • Preaching
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Administration

Dr. Pence noted that Administration is unusually high in Trinity’s ranking.

6. On Saturday morning, the three Associate Pastors stood before the group to declare their intentions regarding their interest in being considered for the Lead Pastor position and their intent regarding their continued calling to Trinity. Please see the other report of this weekend “Declaration of Intent” which documents the statements shared by the three pastors.

Next Steps:

The Transition Team and Council will be at work in the next six weeks in preparation for the final retreat with Dr. Pence, January 8-9, 2016. At that retreat, the M.S.P. will be presented, discussed, and edited. Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Greg Kaufmann, who will work with the Call Committee, will be present. The M.S.P. will then go to the Council for their approval on January 10.

In advance of this retreat, several steps will occur in the coming weeks.

The Transition Team will:

  • Begin preparing a draft of the Ministry Site Profile based on the evidence in the survey and the perspectives of retreat participants (as seen on the yellow banner in the Trinity Room).

  • Interview staff to hear their insights and concerns about the transition.

  • Interview Pastor Kurt to gain insight into the work he’s done.

The Council will:

Meet on December 8 to determine how to handle interviewing a potential “in-house” pastor (a pastor currently under call to Trinity). The synod typically advises that congregations interview an in-house pastor first and decide whether or not to recommend for call, prior to considering other candidates. It is the prerogative of the Council to determine this procedure.

The Start-Up Team will:

Engage with Dr. Pence in a video-linked training session.


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Upcoming Events

March 29 - Get to Know Pastor Peter, 7:15 P.M., Fireside Room

March 29 - April 5, Wednesday Lenten Worship, 12:15 P.M. & 6:30 P.M., Worship Center

March 29 - April 5, Lenten Soup Lunch, 1:00 P.M., Trinity Room

March 30, Love in the Midst of Dementia, 4:00 - 5:00 P.M., Fireside Room

March 31, Trinity Serves the Community Table, 3:00 P.M.

April 1 - 30, Diaper Drive, Lobby

April 3 & 10, Lenten Evening Book Study, 6:00 P.M., Fireside Room

April 5, Prayer Friend Gathering, 8:00 P.M., Trinity Room

April 12, Food Pantry Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, 11:30 A.M., Trinity Room

April 12, Friendship Group, 10:00 A.M., Chapel

April 13, Maundy Thursday Worship, 6:30 P.M., Worship Center

April 14, Good Friday Worship, 12:15 P.M. & 6:30 P.M., Worship Center

April 16, Easter Worship, 6:30, 8:00, 9:30 & 10:45 A.M., Worship Center

April 16, Easter Breakfast, 7:00 A.M. - 9:30 A.M., Trinity Room





Northwest Synod of Wisconsin