On Sunday, a new book chronicling the 100 year history of Trinity Lutheran Church will be released as a part of the Trinity100 Festival Worship service. Let Us All Be Builders, written by Marla Holt, tells the story of the determined group of people who founded what was then knows as “Trinity English Lutheran Church.”
Here is a short excerpt, from the chapter entitled “The Women of Trinity”
“Trinity’s Ladies Aid is more than anything else responsible for the strong condition of the church at the present time.”
The Daily People’s Press praising Trinity’s women in 1944 at the
time of Trinity’s 25th anniversary.
“Women have played key roles in Trinity’s history from its very first days, when they provided the impetus for the church’s founding: Their desire to have services and Christian instruction conducted in English for the benefit of their children. They’ve provided funds for Trinity’s facilities, organized countless efforts to aid women and children locally, nationally and globally, and served in leadership roles as laypersons and pastors.
Beginning in 1919, Trinity women were members of the Trinity English Lutheran Ladies Aid, which was founded by the same small group of women who first pushed for starting an English-speaking Lutheran church in Owatonna. Essentially, Trinity had a Ladies Aid before it was a church. The Aid was open to “all women of good Christian character” who wished to promote the Kingdom of God through service and fellowship. The group’s first meetings were held in women’s homes, and then in the church parlors of the Universalist Church building that Trinity purchased as its first home.
In the first few years of Trinity’s existence, the Ladies Aid set the example that would be followed for years to come of financing many of Trinity’s needs. It purchased chairs, songbooks, and Bibles for Sunday School and a communion set, tablecloths, and dishes for the church.
The Aid also paid the organist’s salary, the parsonage rent, and Trinity’s electric light and gas bills. The women faithfully contributed to the reduction of the debt Trinity incurred with the purchase of the Universalist Church building. They served the community through such activities as collecting, mending, and distributing clothing for the needy and giving Christmas gifts to the elderly and to servicemen and women.
The Ladies Aid raised money by hosting dinners, ice cream socials, and bake sales. The first record of charitable giving outside Trinity was recorded in 1922, with a donation of $50 going to synod charities. Each member was encouraged to have a “mission” or offering box in her home, and such mission boxes became the centerpiece of giving among Trinity’s women for many years, with monies used to support both local and worldwide Christian missions, such as women’s and children’s homes and missionary efforts abroad.”
Let Us All Be Builders will be available on Sunday at the Festival Worship, or following that in the church office. The cost of the book is $20.