Council President

Holy Trinity’s Council President will update our congregation on the past, present, and future of our church, as well as discussing matters from the Church Council’s monthly meeting.

Our 2018 Council President is David Smith.

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July 2018: VBS, New Carpet, and AmazonSmile

Posted by Mark Donahue on Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:43 PM

Greetings everyone!

Well, we’re now into those lazy, hazy crazy days of Summer, but there’s still stuff going on at church … especially on Sunday’s where the single service has been having good size crowds and the energy and spirituality is in high gear.

VBS is right around the corner (a week from Sunday, actually, the 29th) and everything is looking good. Heidi is getting everything in ship shape for the “Shipwrecked” theme (try saying that rapidly three times), and as she has mentioned, it’s never too late to get involved so come on down!

As you probably noticed last Sunday, the parking lot sealing project that was approved at the June Congregation meeting has been completed. The other approved project, re-carpeting the Gathering Area, hallway, and two classrooms is scheduled for the first week in August (7th thru 11th).

Being in the ‘Summer slow” season, with not much else to write about, I want to take a moment to remind everyone of the AmazonSmile program Holy Trinity is now registered for. Everything you might buy on Amazon is also available on AmazonSmile, at the same price. But when you register with, and purchase thru, AmazonSmile, HT will receive 0.5% of the purchase price/s. So far, the program hasn’t gained much traction. Hopefully it’s because registering is one of those things that you just haven’t gotten around to. Mark Donahue in the office has a pretty easy to read / easy to follow sheet on how to register. Believe me, if I could follow the instructions and register, anyone can!! Please sign up and if purchasing from Amazon, use AmazonSmile.

One other thing I’d like to mention ….. if you’re interested in what’s been discussed or decided upon at Council meetings, the minutes are posted on the kiosk, usually within a week or so after the meeting. These are the ‘official’ minutes, as Council reviews and approves them electronically well before the meeting the following month. So if you’re ever curious as to what’s going on, the kiosk in the Gathering Area is the place to read and find out.

Enjoy the great outdoor weather, stay safe, and don’t forget to wear that Hawaiian shirt or tropical themed outfit to church on the 29th to help kick off VBS later that day.


Dave Smith

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June 2018: Summertime

Posted by Mark Donahue on Thursday, June 14, 2018 @ 2:05 PM

Hey everybody!!!!  It’s summertime summertime sum sum summertime ** ….. Schools are closing, folks are making vacation plans, and for many it’s a time to relax, take some time off, and “recreate”.

We at Holy Trinity entered the summertime phase last Sunday, going to the single service format, holding our Semi-Annual Congregation Meeting, and following that with a gigantic picnic. The service was very uplifting with over 165 in attendance. The congregation approved the Property Team’s request for funds to re-carpet two classrooms, the Sacristy, hallway, and gathering area, and to seal/re-stripe the parking lot.  The picnic included our Indonesian brothers and sisters, and almost two dozen bike riders who use Holy Trinity as their starting point for a cross country Bike and Build trek (check out….. its pretty impressive).  At one point right after the meeting I had to walk out to my car and when I looked back at the church and saw all those tables under the tent with people eating, laughing, and yakking, and a lot of little kids running around, and all those bike people working on their equipment…. I thought Wow! This is so great. How blessed are we? Wow!!

 A big THANK YOU to Tom and Michelle Bernth for organizing the picnic, and THANK YOU to all those many others who contributed and worked, from bringing food to helping to set-up, cook, serve, clean-up, etc. And another THANK YOU to Dave Mercer and his Property Team for putting together the well laid-out proposals for both of those projects that the congregation agreed to. I recently saw an article which read TEAM can be an acronym for Together Everyone Achieves More ….. I don’t know who to credit that to, but it certainly was borne out Sunday.

Looking ahead, planning for VBS is starting in earnest this evening (Thursday) with its first meeting with those who have signed up to help work the program, slated for July 29 – Aug.1. It’s never too late to join, so if you’re interested in participating please let the church office or Heidi Morrison or Pastor Tim know. Also active this summer will be the Faith Formation Team, which will be working with the  Coordinator and Pastor Tim in putting together the education program for the coming ‘academic year’.

Lastly, Council will begin shifting into more of a visioning mode as opposed to having been more focused on “now” issues over the past couple of years of transitioning to our called Pastor. This move is recommended in the Synod’s transition manual, which suggests that after getting to know one another over the first six months, it’s a good time to assess the present ministry of the congregation and to think and pray about where God is leading us as we go forward in our ministry with Pastor Tim.

So enjoy the summer, whether you go in the back yard pool, or go swim in a lake or the ocean, or go hiking, or sit in the shade reading a book…. whatever it is you do to relax, recreate, and re-charge your batteries, Enjoy!! And keep Holy Trinity in mind, think about where you’d like to see our church go (what direction, trying to do what, yada yada yada) and what part you might want to have in it all. Tell one of the Council members what you think. And remember that corny (?) but true acronym for TEAM …. Together Everyone Achieves More.

The Peace of the Lord be with you all,

Dave Smith

** The Jamies, a Boston Group, released 1958, re-released 1962, mentioned because for those that can remember back that far, you can bring back memories of old car days a week from Sunday, on June 24th when we have the summer car show in the church parking lot from 9:30 till 1:00 in the afternoon. 

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May 2018: Ice Cream, Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Beer and Wine

Posted by Mark Donahue on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 @ 1:59 PM

Greetings Everyone!

Well, Spring has sprung, so-to-speak. The trees are leafing out and the grass is greening up. Hopefully, some consistently warm sunny spring temperatures will be coming along, although based on the last few years we’ll probably just jump right into the three “H’s” …, humid, and hazy. No sense complaining though.

Pastor Tim’s Installation Service two Sunday’s ago was awesome …. we had a full house including a dozen guest Pastor’s, among them Pastor Roser, Associate to the Bishop, Pastor Don Blume, who administered the installation, and Pastor Geoff Sinibaldo, Tim’s very close friend, who preached. Martha Balenger, Welcoming Team leader and her team and other volunteers, hosted a reception afterward, and all of us extend a big THANK YOU to everyone who worked, brought in food, helped set up, helped serve, and helped clean-up. It might have been pouring cats ‘n dogs outside but who cared? Inside it was a wonderful, fabulous afternoon of high energy, high enthusiasm, and warm feelings.

You probably noticed the bright colored Volunteer Sign-up brochure in the Sunday bulletin last week….. it’ll be there for a few more weeks ….. please give a lot of thought and consideration to signing up for something, either as a new task to get involved with, or a renewal of something you’re currently doing. It’s amazing how many tasks there are to be done toi help Holy Trinity be a well-functioning church, from conducting the worship services to carrying out the teaching of the word, to maintaining our physical plant. How many Lutherans does it take to conduct one of our services? No joke…. 14 plus Pastor Tim!!!! From greeters to counters to ushers to Alter Guild etc. etc.. That’s 28 on a two-service Sunday! There’s also what I call the “internal teams” (e.g. Faith Formation, Stewardship, Worship, Library, Property, and more) that help make the church work. But what we’re really all about is the outside work we want to do, what I’d call the ‘external teams” ……. Lots of help is needed on The Caring Team and the Social Ministry Team.  Lots of opportunities to get involved doing good things that help folks and show them the love of Christ through good works.

Also please note that as a thank you to all who have volunteered throughout the year, the Stewardship Team will again be hosting Sundae Sunday this Sunday (May 20th) between services. Always a good time.

While on the subject of socializing, elsewhere in this issue of Tidings you’ll see a note about another adult fellowship gathering, this one at Bad Lab Beer Co. in Somersworth on June 8th. The format will be similar to the gathering last fall …… everyone just relaxing and yakking for a couple of hours, noshing (grazing) and sipping a beer or glass of wine or soft drink or whatever.

The Mid-Year Congregational Meeting will take place on June 10th following the 9:30 church service. This will be the day we start single services, running through Labor Day weekend. We’ll go back to the two-service format Sept. 9th. At this point in time, there is not much on the meeting agenda. We’ll have the mid-year Treasurer report, a few comments from Pastor, even fewer from me, and an opportunity for anyone to ask questions. Of course that’s all three weeks or so away….. you never know if something might come up before then, but as it looks now, short-and-sweet is the order of the day. And then we’ll go have our picnic!!!

Peace and Blessings to all.

Dave Smith

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April 2018: Youth Gathering Update, Summer Schedule & Pastor Krick's Installation

Posted by Mark Donahue on Thursday, April 12, 2018 @ 1:03 PM

Ahhh…. it’s getting lighter earlier and earlier in the morning and staying light until later and later into the evening. Although it still feels a little like winter, the calendar reads that it’s Spring, I know that warmer Spring temps are right around the corner. It just seems like it’s been an awfully long walk down to the end of the block to get to that corner!!

Although Easter is almost two weeks in the rear-view mirror, I want to repeat the note that was in last weeks Tidings, thanking everyone that was involved in organizing and carrying out the worship services and activities during Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. I attempted to make a list of all the groups, and individuals within each group, that were part of all of the events, and gave up!! There were just too many of you. So, a simple, big, from-the-Council shout out of thanks to all of you will have to suffice. THANK YOU ALL!!!

Elsewhere in today’s Tidings is an article with the Social Ministry Team budget for 2018, showing the various organizations that we support through our donations of time, talents and treasures. Take a look…. A good number of organizations both here and abroad.

On somewhat of a disappointing note, our efforts to have a few of our young members attend the Youth Gathering this summer in Houston have not panned out as the logistics and arrangements could not be pulled together. After speaking to the parents, Pastor and our Children & Youth Coordinator decided we would not be sending anyone this year. As an alternative, ideas to possibly put together a mission service project trip during the summer are being considered. A part of the funding will come from the generous donations made at the Lenten Supers which originally was for the Houston trip.  Thank you to all who contributed at the four supers (should have been five but one was postponed due to snow) ….. those gifts will be used for the youth, although for a different cause.

You know how sometimes you’ll receive a “save-the-date” notice? For a wedding? Or a shower? Sometimes it’s nine months or even a year out. We won’t go that far out, but here’s one to put on your calendar that’s in two months….. June 10th. That’ll be the first Sunday we go to a single service at 9:30, followed by the Semi-Annual Congregation Meeting. And, being the good Lutheran’s that we are, we’ll eat!! The meeting will be followed by the picnic, with lots to eat and drink. More info to come later, but for now…..heads up! Save The Date! (And if you’re wondering, we’ll go back to the two-service format the Sunday after Labor Day, Sept. 9th).

And last, but certainly not least, we have Pastor Tim’s Installation Service scheduled for May 6th, at 4:00 PM. I, and I’m sure of all you, have felt “he’s our Pastor” from the moment he walked thru the door in February. At the installation we’ll be making it “official”. We’ll tie the knot, so-to-speak.  It’ll be a very special day for all of us, representing the culmination of a journey on a road down which our Savior has led both Pastor and our congregation.  Praise be to God as we go on a new journey together. 

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March 2018: We're heading in a good direction

Posted by Mark Donahue on Thursday, March 15, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Greetings to all my fellow Holy Tinity-ites…. Happy Spring!?!?! Here we are, less than a week away from the first day of spring (March 20) and we’ve just finished our third major snow event in the last 10-11 days!!  Enough already!!  No Mas!!!

But we are heading in a good direction as we begin moving towards the end of Lenten season.  In another week we start with Palm Sunday (the 25th), then go into the time of trial and tribulations leading to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday (29th and 30th), and then culminate with the celebration of our risen Lord on April 1.  Alleluia!! He is risen indeed!!!

Michelle and Tom Bernth have agreed to lead the Easter Breakfast between our two Easter Services, for which we are most appreciative. They’re planning on a “less complicated” breakfast than in past years, more along the lines of what was done last year so that all those helping to set up and serve can also attend and enjoy the complete church service. Please don’t be bashful about signing up when they post the sign-up sheets on the kiosk.

And while I’m in kind of a “Want Ad” mode……As part of Council’s on-going evaluation of the Wiggle Room and it’s staffing, we’re looking to add some people to our staff of attendants. Each week we need to have two people in the room from 8:00 AM until the end of the 11:00 AM service (normally noon), and we pay $15.00 / hour. One attendant needs to be over 18 years old. Our Safe Church Policy allows anyone who has attained the age of 13 to act as a monitor while working with a qualified adult, (defined as 18 or over) and no unrelated teenager may be left alone with a child at any time (An adult may be within earshot). The adult will have a background check completed. If anyone in the congregation might be interested in this job, or knows of anyone that might be interested, please let Scott Carson or any other Council member know or leave word in the office and you will be contacted.

How time flies…. Our “new” Pastor Tim has been with us for six weeks now, so he’s not quiet “new” anymore, but he’s still busy getting to know everyone. He’s been attending various Team meetings to learn of the involvements of each, and branching out into the community, meeting with the Portsmouth Area Clergy Group, and a small Weekly Text Study group of Pastors. 

And that’s all I have this time around …. Our Tuesday Council meeting was postponed until tonight (or last night if you’re not reading this until Friday the 16th) due to the snow so as this is written, I have no idea of what might come out of that meeting, but if there is anything, it’ll give me something to write about next month.

I wish each and every one of you and your family members a very Blessed Easter …. if you’re travelling during the Easter weekend may your trip be safe and as free of traffic hassles as possible.


Dave Smith

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February 2018: A Huge Uptick of Energy and Enthusiasm in our Congregation

Posted by Mark Donahue on Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 2:37 PM

At last Tuesday’s Church Council meeting, a strange feeling came upon me as we heard a final report under the agenda item “Call and Transition Update”. The Call Committee and Transition Team’s work is complete!!! A journey that began a little over two years ago, starting with the congregation’s involvement with the CAT survey, Ray Masse leading  the Transition Team to develop the Ministry Site Profile, Mark Beliveau leading the Call Committee, and Council President Martha Belanger leading the Council and being an active member of both the Transition Team and Call Committee …. is at an end. With such a long road Holy Trinity was truly blessed to have those leaders and their team members giving so much of their time and talents. Thank You Thank You Thank You!!

We do need to remember, however, a number of important points that were given to us by Pastor Diane at a forum back on December 3rd. I highly recommend you watch her presentation on our website (go to HTELC.Com, hover your mouse over the “Our Congregation” tab, and click on “In Transition” in the drop-down menu) or read her presentation, which is also on the web site. In her presentation, she talks about a number of very valid points in accepting and working with our new Pastor. All were very good thoughts, and in my opinion all seven were number 1’s. One that I would repeat here is “….to expect your new pastor is to forget about taking a break! The tendency in congregations when the new pastor arrives is to sit back, breathe a sigh of relief and think, ‘we’re in good hands; I can rest awhile.’ Absolutely not!!” And so the Call Committee will become the Mutual Ministry Team, meeting with Pastor Tim on occasion to ‘see how things are going”, and at the six month mark of his time with us, the Associate to the Bishop will be meeting with the MMT, Church Council and Pastor Tim. Out of the Transition Team has come the Optimized Hospitality (OH!) initiative. And there will be many opportunities for all of our church family to be involved in activities at church from helping out at functions to answering the call for specific team involvement. Watch for the announcements and requests in the Tidings and Sunday Bulletin’s.

Thanks to our Welcoming Committee, lots of items have been gathered and given to the Krick’s to help them feel welcomed into our church community…. A gift basket with a local hiking book, pamphlets and brochures of local entertainment destinations, gift cards featuring local places, snacks etc. A kitchen basket which also included gift cards, lots of snack foods, goodies from Stone Wall Kitchen, and other items.  Many have contributed pre-cooked meals for the Krick’s first few weeks here, all intended to lessen the hassle of having to cook meals while at the same time trying to find a new house, get the kids into the new school groove, and all the other tasks involved in the re-location process. Phew!!! Thank you everyone for being part of this welcoming process.

After only a couple of weeks into his new congregation, Pastor Tim will be leading us through the Lenten Season. This is a very somber time in our church year, spent in reflection as we prepare to celebrate the pinnacle of our belief …. The Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which is the core of what makes us what we’re all about. As we focus on the Season of Lent, we began with Ash Wednesday services yesterday, and for the next five Wednesday’s, we’ll have a Monastery Meal from 5:15 to 5:45, followed by Holden Vespers at 6:00 PM. I hope as many as possible can join in these vesper services, as to me they are very meaningful and moving, and give a great mid-week boost in reminding me about this Lenten time.

I’m running out of space, so that’s it for now. Thank you all for allowing me to serve as your Congregational Council President … I’m looking forward to the next few years, and man-oh-man will it be nice not having that item on the agenda anymore!!

Blessings to All

Dave Smith

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January 2018: Saying our Farewells to our interim Pastors

Posted by Mark Donahue on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 @ 11:10 AM

This weekend our church will begin saying good-bye to our interim pastors. It is hard to say good-bye but let us not think of it as good bye. Let’s think of it as another part of our transition and a new beginning for our congregation. This is a new path that God has chosen for us. Our journey has been long and sometimes it seems hard. Don’t think of the good-byes as a sad thing, think of it as something good. God sent us some new friends and although it may hurt to see them leave aren’t we better off that we got to know them and have friends for life.  Transition is hard just like life is hard. We have been through a lot in the past two years but just imagine where we would be if it wasn’t for the guidance of our interim pastors.

From the beginning Pastor George has reminded me many times that although he will miss us he always thinks about the job that he came to do. He came with the intention to leave. He and Grace knew that they would be saying good-bye and they also knew that when they said it they had done their job. When they finish up as an interim pastors they knew their job was done. They have lead Holy Trinity down the path to a new pastor and got the congregation ready for the new pastor. That has been their jobs and now it is our job to celebrate with them as they have accomplished what they came to do. That’s one of the advantages of the interim relationship. They come with one goal in mind. They aren’t trying to keep a job, they already know this job is temporary. They came to make a difference to help Holy Trinity where it needed guidance.

So, this weekend as we enjoy cake and say our farewells let’s not dwell on the good-byes. Let us celebrate and know that each of our interim pastors came for a reason and purpose. They have done their job and now will move onto new adventures. Let’s send them on their new journey with lots of smiles and hugs and prayers that their new adventure will be as rewarding as the one they have just finished.

“The Lord himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 (GNTD)

Martha Belanger

Council president


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November 2017: Thanksgiving

Posted by Mark Donahue on Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 10:43 AM


For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)


This November has truly been a month of Thanksgiving for all of us at Holy Trinity.

We were blessed to have Mark Edwards share with us his wonderful story of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Then we were blessed to get together with 28 members of our Holy Trinity Church Family and have a great night of food, drinks and conversation at the Community Oven in Hampton. It was a fun time and all enjoyed themselves and we can’t wait to do it again. Then on Sunday, we had a great brunch put on by the Stewardship Committee. Just one blessing after another this month.

Now we are preparing for another blessing: The long awaited weekend with our candidate. Saturday, November 18th we can meet him and have an informal greeting and question and answer time. Then Sunday we will be able to worship with him and hear the good news in his sermon. I do hope that you will all be there to meet him and to worship together. Remember there will only be one service on the 19th at 9:30 a.m.

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving celebration, think of all the things at Holy Trinity that you are thankful for: Fellowship, friends, beautiful sanctuary and most of all the opportunity to worship. I know as I count my blessings all of these things will be counted but the most important one that I will say thanks for are all the wonderful people of Holy Trinity who have helped me so much during the past two years of transition. It might have been through prayer or your friendly smile or hug on Sunday morning.

You have all and will continue to be a blessing to me.

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Martha Belanger

Council President

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October 2017: Good News from the Call Committee

Posted by Mark Donahue on Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 2:12 PM

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

It is a new season. Fall has arrived and New Hampshire is full of color. As much as I hate to see summer end, fall is beautiful.  So, too let’s remember that God is good and loving to us in every season.

October is very busy. The call committee has just spent a wonderful weekend with a candidate and his wife. They loved the area and the church and we loved them. The call committee has recommended this pastor to the council. Council is now working with the candidate and I will keep you updated on the progress. Things are optimistic so keep those prayers coming.

Things have been hectic for a long time here at Holy Trinity. We haven’t really taken many breaks or time to relax. With that being said an Adult Fellowship is being planned for November 9th from 6:00-9:00. It will be held at the Community Oven in Hampton on Rte.1. It will include a buffet of salad, Caprese Bites and endless pizza) gluten free pizza will be offered to those who let us know ahead of time. Coffee and soft drinks will be supplied and a cash bar is available for those who want to try the freshly brewed beer. It will be a great time to just sit back, relax and talk to our friends. And the good part is the next day is a holiday so you don’t have to get up to go to work. Well at least those of us who still work. So see myself or Dave Smith for information and to reserve your spot. We are collecting the money ahead of time. We need 20 people at least to hold the event. The deadline is Nov. 2nd to reserve your spot and it is $25.00 a person.

You don’t need to be a couple to attend, this is for everyone. I sure hope you can all make it. It will be nice to do something fun and stress free.

I will keep you updated on the progress of the council and the new candidate.

Please as always keep us in your prayers and get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Blessings to all,

Martha Belanger

Council President

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Call Committee Update September 2017

Posted by Mark Donahue on Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 3:04 PM

The Call Committee has had two very good interviews via video conference with the most recent candidate presented to us by the Synod for our pastoral vacancy.  The candidate has accepted our invitation to take the next step and visit us in New Hampshire. As mentioned previously, the candidate is presently serving a congregation in the Midwest.  Fortunately, we were able to schedule his visit fairly quickly and he and his wife will travel to New Hampshire three weeks from now to meet with the Call Committee and explore the area.

In addition, the candidate will lead worship and preach on the Sunday he is here at an area Lutheran Church that has agreed to serve as host. It is no small feat to coordinate the schedules of a busy Pastor, all members of the Call Committee and find an area church to serve as host in a short amount of time. We are very thankful for the help and cooperation from many people to help schedule the visit. We will provide additional updates as we advance in the process with this new candidate. As always, please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for keeping Holy Trinity and the call process in your prayers.

Mark Beliveau

On behalf of the Call Committee 

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