The congregation of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Middle Village was established in 1863 as the Deutsche Evangelische Lutherische Dreieinigskeits Gemeinde zum Ungeanderte Augsburgishe Konfession, (German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Congregation of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession).
Today, Trinity Lutheran Church is an inter-dependent member of the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Trinity Lutheran Church is self-governed by our Congregation Council consisting of the Pastor ex officio and twelve church members who are elected by the congregation at its annual meeting. Trinity Lutheran Church is entirely self-supporting. A portion of the tithes and offerings received at Trinity goes to support the work of our synod and our national church and to other charitable projects and benevolences.
The Role of the Pastor
In the Lutheran Church, as in most Christian churches, the basic principle of our common life as the body of Christ is “Pastor-and-People-together.” Neither is complete without the other; the body of Christ is not expressed without both. Therefore, one of the most important aspects of church membership is the relationship with the Pastor. It is the Pastor’s calling, responsibility and joy to serve and guide the congregation and individual members. It is the people’s responsibility to pray for and in love to support the Pastor and the pastoral ministries of the church. The Pastor is the first line of defense in any difficulty for members of the church.
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Though often used as a euphemism for money and fund-raising, stewardship, properly understood, is the Christian lifestyle. A steward is one responsible for caring for things not his own; Christians understand that as human beings we own precisely nothing: everything we have and everything that we are (including our bodies themselves) belongs to God. In this life, God calls us to dedicate ourselves, our time and our possessions to the care and redemption of all creation. This is the holy and joyful work we call stewardship. It is the Christian lifestyle, the way of spiritual health for ourselves, our families and our communities. Because our churches as institutions with buildings and budgets and staff depend entirely on the voluntary donations of members and friends, it is often necessary to speak directly about money. The difficult truth is that money has its own spiritual gravity that often obscures the truths that the Christian lifestyle embodies. Thus it has ever been. Generous giving is needed and expected from all members of the congregation according to their ability. The Bible specifies a tithe, 10% of one’s income, be set aside for the work of God’s house. But there is no minimum gift and all donations are treated as confidential. We live by faith, knowing that no church that is spiritually healthy ever lacks the money it needs to function.
Learn more about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America