Vision of Small Group Grows into a Thriving Church

BAKE SALE: The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League’s (LWML) annual bake sale earned approximately $2,000. The LWML was joined in their efforts by other members of the congregation including some of the male members to make the sale a success. Proceeds from the sale go to missions, people in the church with needs, national programs and seminarian programs. LWML ladies assisting with the sale from left are Christine Brown, Christian growth;Shannan Reid, treasurer; Lesli Meyers, secretary;Charlotte Roberts, vice president; and Vera Kaspar. Not pictured is Sherry Miller, bake sale director.

GTR Newspapers photo

Assistant Editor

Trinity Lutheran Church in Broken Arrow began with 27 people meeting in a home on May 1, 1983. In October of that year the first service was held under the leadership of the Rev. Lawrence Boye and was formally recognized and chartered by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Oklahoma District. From that small beginning, the church grew from a congregation of 27 to 750. The church built the first sanctuary in 1986 and in 1996 a new sanctuary was added along with classrooms. The old sanctuary is now used for a fellowship hall, with plans to add more classrooms and a larger kitchen area. A second building, formerly the parsonage, is used by the youth.

“We would like to build more classrooms and a larger kitchen.” Says the Rev. David Cloeter, who became pastor of Trinity in December, 2000. “The church serves dinner on Wednesday nights for $1 so the congregation can come and have fellowship over a good meal so larger kitchen facilities would be a blessing.”

“God blessed us with a wonderful staff and congregation,” says Cloeter, “and it’s a privilege to be here.”

Trinity has many opportunities for members of all ages to get involved. Recently, the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) held their annual bake sale along with two craft circles and others in the congregation who helped including some of the men who are the official apple peelers. The proceeds from the sale go to missions, people in the church with needs, national programs and seminarian programs, according to church secretary Beverly Dyer.

“The first day, we made about $1,500,” says Christine Brown, a member of the LWML, “ but we also had outside sales and we sold some on Sunday, so we probably made around $2,000. That is usually around what we make.”

According to Cloeter, the two special seasons the church celebrates are the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas, known as Advent, and the Easter season.

“The seasons give us the opportunity to highlight those special times in the life of Christ,” says Cloeter, “Although we celebrate the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus at every service.”

This Christmas season, Cloeter has planned a series on Zechariah, John the Baptist, and Simeon.

“Each of the ministers will be one of the biblical characters and will tell the congregation what they believe the person would say about the birth of Jesus,” says Cloeter. “I would like for us to dress for the part to make it more realistic. Each time we try to do something a little different. Last year, we had a Living Last Supper and the disciples, played by members, shared their thoughts about Christ.”

Trinity Lutheran belongs to the Missouri Synod. Synod, according to Cloeter, means to walk together. The two largest synods in the United States are the Missouri Synod with about 6,000 congregations, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

“Originally, synods were broken down by geography, language, and theology,” says Cloeter, “but the geographical and language barriers were broken down in the United States by the World Wars and mass communication. Now the only differences are theological.”

The Lutheran Church began when Martin Luther discovered that the Bible said the only way to be saved was through Christ alone, according to Cloeter.

“Luther believed that scripture alone is the authority, we are saved by grace alone, which excludes goodness or merit on our part, and we are saved by faith in Christ alone,” says Cloeter. “It’s sad, but the truth is that we are all sinners, and haven’t kept the moral law of God; but the wonderful truth is that Jesus came to Earth to lead a holy life for us, die on the cross, and rise again so we can have peace with God. The purpose of our church is to share this good news with others.”

Updated 11-24-2004

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