From the Pastor’s Desk December 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear friends in Christ,

Snowstorms are no strangers to folks in Minnesota.  Some snow falls gain an almost legendary
status.  For children of Minnesota my age, the Halloween blizzard of 1991 was a major event of our formative years.  The Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940 is still spoken of now, over 80 years
later.  Many of us remember the image of the “Domebuster,” the storm in 2010 that compromised the roof of the Metrodome and covered the field with an avalanche of snow.  We probably all carry the story of some snowstorm that made an impression upon us.

Many among us here at Trinity may well remember a snowstorm that hit the region in 1988.  A small amount of online research suggests that this storm hit Thanksgiving weekend all across the state of Minnesota.  The storm brought very high winds, as much as 63 miles per hour, with large drifts and snowfall ranging from 7 to 15 inches.  Nothing about that sounds all that unique,
however.  There have been dozens of snowfalls that fit that bill.

But this one was unique in one particular way.  The snowstorm caused impassable conditions and the closing of the interstate.  As a result, a multitude of people were stranded here in Fergus Falls. On account of the deluge of snow and the deluge of people, the hotels in town were filled up.  The Salvation Army was full.  Where could hundreds of weary travelers be housed?

The answer for nearly 150 people was “Trinity Lutheran Church.”  The people of Trinity had the privilege of being the hands and feet of Jesus to care for a large number of stranded travelers.
People from the church stepped forward to prepare food for these guests and to remain in the church overnight to help in case of any need.  It sounds like nearly every nook and cranny was opened up to find room for these travelers, with people sleeping wherever they could find room to rest.

There were all sorts of people who wound up in Fergus Falls that weekend: young, old, from not too far as well as places as far flung as Florida and British Columbia.  On account of the storm, their plans were upended and they came to be in need.  And God provided for them, and blessed our congregation, by allowing the people of Trinity to help fill that need.

Pastor Domke wrote about this event in his letter for the 1988 annual report.  He remarked that he and Mr. Straub (who was the principal of the day school at that time) both found the event to be quite fun as they ran for food, videos for children, and the like.  And we know that it can be quite enjoyable to care for others and know you are making a difference.  The people of Trinity made a difference that weekend for scores of stranded folks, a difference that was appreciated.
Apparently in the months that followed a bulletin board displayed cards and notes that the
received from those who spent the night as guest of Trinity.

I’ve asked a few people if they remember this time when the folks at Trinity stepped forward to love and serve their neighbor.  What do you remember from the night that Trinity stepped forward because there was no room in the inn?  I’d love to hear your memories of this event.

In December we celebrate Advent and Christmas.  Don’t miss any of our special midweek services throughout the month on Wednesdays at 11 am and 6 pm.  We will also gather to celebrate the birth of the Savior on Christmas Eve at 4 pm and Christmas Day at 9 am.  God bless you as you prepare to celebrate the coming of the King!


Peace in Christ,
Pastor Lieske