In an ongoing effort to respond to current conditions, make wise decisions on behalf of the congregation, and because as Christ’s people we are called to love our neighbor, at the August 17 meeting of the Council the following was proposed and passed:
It is moved that ORLC follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines regarding Covid recommendations.
The current recommendations from the CDC are that if you live in an area of substantial or high transmission (Lewis and Clark County is currently an area of HIGH transmission), both vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear masks when indoors.
The way this will impact our life together is that as of Sunday, August 22, we ask that masks be worn in worship and at all meetings and activities held in the ORLC building, and that when possible a six-foot distance be maintained between those not living in the same household. We will also be discontinuing food and coffee fellowship for the time being since that encourages the removal of masks.
In making this decision, Council was advised by members of the congregation who are medical and public health professionals, consulted with the Lewis and Clark County Public Health Department, and checked to see what policy was in place at other similar congregations in Helena. There was lengthy discussion and a wide variety of opinions, but in the end the decision was made that as Christ’s people we set an example to the world when we stand with the most vulnerable among us, in this case the children who cannot yet get the vaccine and others who due to health issues are at risk from serious complications should they be infected. We also took into consideration the current capacity of local hospitals.
Council and the pastoral staff will be closely monitoring what comes from the CDC and local public health officials, and as the situation changes will be updating the ORLC Covid-19 Plan accordingly. Ongoing updates will be in the weekly Thursday Messenger (e-news) and on the ORLC website. If you have any questions, Jan Martin (Council president), Pastor Kendra and Pastor Trina are available.
This Sunday, July 25th following worship (meeting at 10:45am) .
During this coffee hour, the planning team that has been hired to work with ORLC and our community partners on the planning project for our land will be here to introduce themselves and to talk about what the planning process will look like, a general schedule for planning, how the congregation will approach decisions, and how you can be involved in all of it.
The CDBG planning grant we have received has given us this golden opportunity to pursue planning for our land development at very minimal cost to the congregation and to encourage the development of community ministries that coincide with ORLC’s mission. We hope you are excited to come hear more about our community partners and the planning process!
We thank you for all the wonderful ministry and administrative work you did for the church! We wish you well in retirement and pray you will find it refreshing and fruitful. You will always be a part of the Our Redeemer’s family!
Tuesday, May 18, the Church Council voted to enter into an agreement with Pastor Trina Johnsten.
The Reverend Trina Johnsten was born and raised in Great Falls, Montana, graduating from Great Falls High School in 1985. She attended St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN), majoring in English and Religion, and then spent nine years serving in the areas of Admissions and Financial Aid at several colleges, including her alma mater.
In 1998 she married Dennis Trotter and began an M.Div. at Wartburg Theological Seminary (Dubuque, IA), two really good decisions in one year! Since graduating, she has served parishes in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, California, and Montana, garnering experience in both rural and urban ministry and doing work as a chaplain and interim pastor. In all her calls, Rev. Johnsten has been a strong advocate for Lutheran Outdoor Ministry, serving on the board for El Camino Pines in southern California and as an advisor at Christikon in Montana, where she worked as a counselor during college.
Her most recent call was as the Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment at United Lutheran Seminary (Philadelphia, PA), where Dennis also served as the Chief Operating Officer. Since returning to Montana in the summer of 2019, Rev. Johnsten finished out Bishop Jungling’s interim ministry at Gold Hill in Butte, just completed an interim year with Bethel in Great Falls, and is now looking forward to her time at Our Redeemer’s. She and Dennis enjoy biking, lifting weights, fishing, hiking, reading, music, and time with family, particularly their two nieces in Great Falls and their four grandchildren in Bellingham, Washington.
Rev. Johnsten will be starting at Our Redeemer’s on August 9.