Trinity Lutheran Church at 217 Brackenridge SW celebrates in something known as Milestone Ministry. In the past year, they have had several “Milestones” to celebrate.

Trinity Lutheran Church at 217 Brackenridge SW celebrates in something known as Milestone Ministry. In the past year, they have had several "Milestones" to celebrate.

This coming Sunday (Sept. 9) the church will again celebrate another milestone. A Rally Day, Dedication and public open house will offer the community a look at their completed remodeling project and the changes a year can make.

At 8 and 10:30 a.m. Trinity Lutheran Church has organized Services of Worship featuring the Rite of Dedication for an almost year-long remodeling project that included a completely new front entrance and a handicap accessible elevator and restrooms that make all areas of the church accessible to everyone.

A Sunday School Rally will immediately follow the 8 a.m. service. A brunch will begin at 9:15 a.m. for those not attending the Sunday School Rally. The brunch will continue until 10:30 a.m. when the later service begins. From 2-4:30 p.m. a public open house will take place with assisted tours and refreshments in the church library for all.

The milestones began on January 30, 2011 when the Congregation Annual Meeting was held and the congregation passed the following resolution: "Resolved, that Trinity Lutheran Church is in need of having full handicapped accessibility to all levels of the building; therefore be it resolved that the Board of Stewardship be responsible to conduct a feasibility study in order to present to the congregation a financial plan to construct an elevator and determine an affordable option with which to proceed at a congregation meeting scheduled for May 1, 2011."

Sunday, May 22 was another "Milestone" as the congregation held a commitment Sunday to The Welcome Project, which the project to remodel the front entrance of church was coined. It was this day that the congregation committed to making all the facilities of the church accessible by remodeling the front entrance to include a handicap accessible elevator and restrooms.

On Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, a ground breaking ceremony was held that would forever change the face of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Included in the Welcome Project was a community serenity garden which features a fountain of bubbling rocks in honor and memory of the mothers in the church congregation as well as two sitting areas with benches that allow for conversation or a place to wait for a ride. The benches are in honor and memory of the fathers of the congregation

The gardens are open to the community and Pastor Keith Ainsley, who has led the church for the past six years, said the Welcome Project and Serenity Garden go along with the mission statement of the congregants; to invite, welcome, nurture and equip all people to be disciples in His name.

Church officials and the congregation have been busy preparing the garden not only for members of the congregation, but also for the community. The Women of the ELCA (WELCA) came up with the vision of the serenity garden this past spring and with the help of Hackers Tree Farm Nursery and Greenhouse, the garden became a reality.

"Hackers have been so good at working with us and seeing our vision," Parish Administrative Secretary Darlene Brummund said. "We wanted to make our church welcoming and the idea that everything is accessible to everyone," she added about the remodel and the garden.

"We hope it (the serenity garden) serves an invitation for a passer-bye to sit and enjoy it," Pastor Ainsley said. "Certainly the garden is for the entire community."

In addition to the remodeling project, the church was presented the 2012 accessibility award for their outstanding work in disability ministry from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Trinity Lutheran was one of 16 churches nationwide to receive this award. The award also came with a $500 grant, which has yet to be determined where it will be used.

"We would like to pay it forward and help another group," said Darlene.

When the addition began in Oct. of 2011 a cornerstone of 1957 was removed. Opening the time capsule revealed newspaper articles and photos, a copy of the 1957 Congregation Constitution, a brief history, a small mason's trowel, two black and white photographs of the 1957 groundbreaking and a Sunday worship bulletin of the groundbreaking service.

After having the existing cornerstone engraved with the year 2012 for the addition, the cornerstone was reset with additional memorabilia from The Welcome Project, creating another Milestone.