Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Trinity Lutheran Church and School:
What is Trinity Lutheran Church like?
Trinity Lutheran Church is a traditional Lutheran congregation, belonging to the Wisconsin Evangelical Synod. As a traditional church, we use the historic liturgy of the church, passed down from the days of the early apostles. We believe in the literal truth of the Bible record. As a Lutheran congregation, we believe that the means of grace (the Bible, Baptism, and Holy Communion) are the means God uses to create and strengthen faith. We believe in the freedom of Christian conscience, and encourage the use of Christian freedom wisely. As a Wisconsin Synod congregation, we have a strong emphasis upon Christian education both in formal and informal settings, and seek to encourage diverse fellowship activities among members.
Most of the members of the congregation are life-long residents of Aberdeen or the surrounding area, although some have come to Aberdeen as new residents in recent years. Last year, we added a staff minister to improve communication, create more fellowship and Bible study opportunities, and to minister to our young families.
Can I come to worship at Trinity if I am not a member?
Absolutely. We believe and teach that God's Word is free of cost and useful for all people. Therefore we welcome and encourage members of the community to come and hear God's Word at Trinity, and to participate in our education and outreach programs. We do practice close communion, as we believe and teach the Scriptural mandate concerning preparation for the sacrament, and therefore we ask that only those who are in fellowship with us (WELS and ELS members) join us in Holy Communion.
What is the status of Trinity's building project?
Currently, Trinity Lutheran Church is considering a building project, to add office space, bathrooms, classrooms, and a Christian Life Center. The tentative plans for the project have been drawn and shared with the congregation. Although the project is currently on hold, there are ongoing discussion at Church Council about the project, and the best way to proceed.
Why does Trinity have a Lutheran Elementary School?
Trinity Lutheran Church operates and encourages a Lutheran elementary school for the spiritual and civic good of the congregational families, and as a service to the community. We believe that God's Word benefits those who study it, and we seek to integrate it into all that we do and teach. This means that we teach it as a subject, we use it in applications in other subjects, we base our discipline policy upon it, and we use it to guide our decisions and actions. Since the public school cannot by nature do this, we choose to operate a school where we can make God's Word the center of the educational process.
Where do Trinity's teachers come from?
As a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Trinity calls all of its teachers from the WELS worker-training system. This allows us to assure that the teachers are well-prepared to teach both secular and religious subjects. All of them have graduated from Martin Luther College, the WELS school of ministry.
Does a person have to be/become a member to enroll a child at Trinity Lutheran School?
No. We do not require membership to either join or continue enrollment at Trinity Lutheran School. We do ask (but not demand) that school parents take a course at Trinity that teaches them the essentials of the Lutheran faith as taught in the Wisconsin Synod. The reason for this class is primarily for understanding, so that parents can know and support the teaching and discipline used at Trinity Lutheran School.
Currently, about half of the students at Trinity are not members of the church. They come from various church backgrounds.
What does it cost to send a student to Trinity?
Generally, it can be pointed out that the cost of education has grown substantially in the recent decades. In 2005, the cost per child to educate at Trinity was approximately $4000. Of this, we ask non-member parents to share a part of the cost (about $1500 per child in grades 1-8), so that more children can come to Trinity and hear God's Word. The rest of the cost is provided through the regular offerings of the congregational members, as a way to provide this Christian education for those who want to use it.
Where do TLS students go to high school?
Trinity students have gone to high school at several different schools, including Aberdeen Central High School and Aberdeen Christian School. The majority, however, have gone to Great Plains Lutheran High School, a WELS boarding school in Watertown, South Dakota. GPLHS teaches and follows the same educational approaches as Trinity Lutheran School does.