July 2023 Newsletter: Discover the profound role of the Holy Spirit in faith and salvation, empowering Christians for evangelism and the preservation of their faith.


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August 2023 Newsletter: Transition to a New Pastor 

By now, most of you are aware of my plans to retire as the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church. You may or may not be aware of the plans and actions taking place to ensure that the transition to a new pastor might be as smooth and painless as we can humanly make it. Oh, don't take me wrong. There will be some bumps in the road. We all will also need to make some sacrifices along the way, especially in the way of our expectations for pastoral care. Be assured, however, that together we will be seeking Jesus' guidance and help as the Lord of the Church and trusting His faithfulness to His promise to provide laborers in His harvest field here at Trinity.

I would first like to fill you in on my plans and situation. As of August 1, my retirement as the pastor of Trinity is officially in effect. However, from a practical standpoint, this retirement is a "partial retirement." I have offered, and the Elders and Voters' Assembly have accepted my offer to continue to serve the congregation as the Vacancy Pastor until such time as a newly called pastor is formally installed. This, as many of you might remember from past experience, could last for months or even a year. Ironically, my ministry among you began 18 years ago as your then vacancy pastor, beginning in June of 2005 and lasting until December 4, 2005, when I was installed as your called pastor.

What this means then is that I will continue to conduct Sunday services, preach, teach, and administer the sacrament, hear private confession, catechize the catechumens, counsel those in need, minister to the shut-ins, make hospital and other pastoral calls, and officiate funerals and weddings. However, I will not be able to continue to lead Bible classes during the week or attend all board and committee meetings. Thanks be to God, with these activities, your elders have offered and are eager to help out, serving as my representatives.

There is another factor inhibiting me from continuing to serve in a full-time pastoral capacity during the vacancy. I will be teaching Monday through Thursday mornings in our school. This has become necessary because we have not been successful in calling or securing another much-needed teacher for our school for the 2023/24 school year, despite all our best efforts. Accordingly, I will be sharing duties with Mr. Ken Holmlund, who most graciously stepped forward to assist in teaching the 5th through 8th-grade students. Mr. Holmlund will be teaching math, social studies/history, and science, and I will be teaching Biblical Studies, Language Arts, Literature, and Latin/Logic.

As far as the actual pastoral calling process is concerned, that began in earnest on July 6th when our Montana District President, Pastor Terry Forke, met with the congregation, educating the members about the doctrine of the call as well as instructing them concerning the necessary steps that need to be taken. According to our congregation's by-laws, the Board of Christian Elders serves as the call committee. They are already at work. It is their responsibility to put together a list of possible pastoral candidates, vet them, and then set up a call meeting at which all congregation members will be eligible to cast a vote as to which pastoral candidate a call will be extended. Names of pastors to consider can be suggested by any member of the congregation and are to be submitted to the Elders. President Forke will also be submitting names for the congregation to prayerfully consider. When the Elders have compiled a list of possible candidates, they will schedule and announce a Call Meeting. President Forke or his representative will officiate the meeting.

On a personal note, I want to assure you all that my decision to retire has been a most difficult one. I have immensely enjoyed serving as your pastor these past 18 years and serving the Lord together with you here in Miles City. Even though I am now 70 years old, I have not lost my joy and desire to continue serving. However, over the course of the past several years, I have had to come to grips with the fact that my mental acuity, stamina, and vigor have diminished to the point that I can no longer keep up with the demands and challenges of the office and the pastoral care the congregation deserves. At the same time, though, I would very much enjoy continuing to serve the Lord with you and in your midst in some capacity, the good Lord willing, and with the new pastor's consent. Accordingly, my wife, Jo, and I at this point plan on remaining and living in Miles City.

Another factor that has had a bearing on my decision to retire from full-time pastoral ministry at this time is the critical need for teachers in our school. The LORD has truly blessed this crucial disciple-making enterprise, causing it to grow and minister to more and more families in our community. Unfortunately, we have had to place a cap on the number of children we can enroll because we have not been able to secure enough staff. With my teaching background, I figured that even in my pastoral "retirement," I could, with God's blessing, help to take some of the load off our teaching staff, each of whom has been called upon to perform a herculean task.

One final thought; someone not too pleased with my decision to retire said to me the other day, "I didn't think pastors retire." I was immediately reminded of an old joke that quipped: "Pastors don't ever retire; they just lose their parish!" Well, of course, pastors one day retire. Some are even forced to retire by health or other factors. None of us are superhuman nor have managed to thwart the aging process and the debilitation that accompanies it. Now, it is true the Scriptures tell us that Moses continued in his office as a prophet and leader of Israel until his death at 120 years old and that "his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone" (Deuteronomy 34:7). His, however, was a special and extraordinary calling. For example, when the LORD established the office of the Levitical Priesthood, He gave specific instructions that these priests "must retire" at age 50! (Numbers 4:1-49). Even the LORD acknowledged that for the sake of His kingdom work, there comes a point when His servants need to be sidelined for younger, stronger, more energetic men who can physically, mentally, and more competently fulfill the office and work He has given them to do. (See Numbers 8:25-26)

For the record, though, I don't see retirement as losing my parish. The parish, the congregation, is not mine to lose. You, the congregation of saints called Trinity Lutheran Church, do not and never did belong to me. You blessed souls have but one Pastor (Shepherd). He is the Good Shepherd Jesus Christ. We mere human parish pastors come and go. We are but servants (under-shepherds) of Christ. Your comfort is that Jesus as Your Pastor never becomes weak in the eyes or in the mind or in strength. Yes, He died like all of His under-shepherds will someday. But Jesus chose to die so that He might redeem you from the punishment of sin: death and hell, and even all of sin's consequences, including old age! He even rose from the dead, defeating death for you so that you might live forever young with Him in paradise. And He, unlike His frail and often inept under-shepherds, promises never to leave you or forsake you but to be your Shepherd forever! (Matthew 28:20) Be assured, He will be with you in this time of pastoral transition.

Your fellow servant of the Good Shepherd,

Pastor Schreibeis

Unlocking Blessings: August 2023 Newsletter Brings Exciting Updates, Lessons in Patience, and Inspiring Ways to Give Back


The church office will be closed on Labor Day, Monday, September 4, 2023.

2024 BUDGET 

All Boards and Committees need to start working on their 2024 Church budget requests. All requests may be turned in to the Board of Stewardship chairman, Marius Amsden or the Church office by Sunday, October 8th• All requests  will  be reviewed by the Board  of Stewardship and compiled, to be presented at the November 19, Voter's Assembly meeting.

Good News Witness and Outreach 

Luke 8:26-39

When Jesus freed a demon-possessed man, that man, in response, wanted to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth. Instead, Jesus said to him, "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." Telling others about how much God has done for us is our most effective witness. May we gladly share this Great News about how much God has done for us!


Robert John Bonogofsky passed away on July 3, 2023, at the age of 64, at his home in Artesia, New Mexico. Robert "Bob" Bonogofsky was born on March 27, 1959, to John and Betty Bonogofsky in Miles City, Montana. He attended school in Miles City, then entered the military, and upon returning to Miles City, he married Penny Goff. Bob was baptized and married at Trinity, M.C., on November 16, 1986. The couple had one daughter, Cassie, in 1987. The family moved out of Montana in 2008. Bob spent most of his life working as a truck driver. He enjoyed watching Westerns, John Wayne, and NASCAR. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Jim Bonogofsky. He is survived by his wife Penny, daughter Cassie, grandchildren Braxton and CaCee Smith, sister Amy Kelstrup, sisters-in-law Betsy and Tammy, nephews Jessie Livingston and Layne Holmes, and niece Megan Livingston.


Maya Angelou said, "Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted and no solutions are searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the care that will not withdraw from us." Similarly, when Jesus' disciples were consumed with ministry, He urged them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest" (Mark 6:31, NIV). The late days of summer might be just the time to seek "a day away" not only from problems but from ministry. While serving God and others can be energizing, we must balance work with rest. God set that example, resting after creating the world; Jesus set that example, calling His disciples away—not just alone but with Him—to be refreshed. Spend a relaxing day at the lake. Go fishing, read a book, or take a camping trip with friends. Find a spa retreat and experience a relaxing massage, a cooling facial, and leisurely evening walks. Go to your local church and spend an hour or two sitting in silence in the sanctuary, praying, and reading your Bible. Invite Jesus into that time and space. And remember another message He shared: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28, NIV).


On July 6th, Pastor Forke, Montana District President, came to Miles City for a pre-call meeting with the congregation. He explained the difference between "calling" and hiring a pastor. Because the office of the word is eternal, the men were sent to be pastors. Pastor Schreibeis agreed to be the vacancy pastor, was approved by the elders, and was appointed by the district president. The primary duties of a vacancy pastor are to cover Sunday morning services, Sunday Bible study, and visitations. He is not to attend board and committee meetings. The congregation prepares for the call process by reviewing our constitution. Accordingly, the Board of Elders serves as the call committee. Their duties include compiling a list of names from the congregation and information about each nominee from the district. The district president can also add nominees to the list. Once a list of nominees has been prepared, a call meeting will be announced at the previous week's worship service. Pastor Forke (district president) or Pastor Bainer of Williston (circuit visitor) will conduct the called meeting. Throughout the process, it is strongly recommended not to use social media, which can sometimes cause unnecessary confusion and trouble for a nominee's home congregation.

Possible Timeline:

  • The call for a vacancy as pastor was completed on July 6th.
  • Congregational self-study: one month
  • Call for nominations: 2 weeks
  • Gathering information: 2 weeks
  • Disseminating information for 2 weeks
  • Call meeting in about 2–12 months.

Questionnaires about the congregation's expectations of a pastor and nomination forms for a pastor will be available in the narthex. They should be turned in before the end of August. Pastor Schreibeis has agreed to continue to work for the school as Headmaster, and, in a teaching position, he will be paid by the school for this, separate from his vacancy duties. The use of the parsonage will be determined by the needs of the new pastor, so keep your eyes open for potential available housing in town. We ask for your prayers and support in our new adventure going forward, proclaiming Christ to Miles City and Beyond.


The following items are on the Memorial Project List as options for memorial contributions: The choice of the item can be made by the individual giving the memorial or by the family. The committee considers each item equally important. If you have suggestions for adding an item to the list, please contact Memorial Committee Chairperson Eileen Entzel.



All items listed on the Church and School Dedicated Special Funds Finance Accounting Sheets are available from the church office.


Trinity Lutheran Classical School K–8 Classes commence on August 29.


We currently have 38 preschool students enrolled. Openings are available in the 3-day morning and 5-day afternoon classes for 4 and 5-year-olds who are likely to attend Kindergarten the following school year. The 2-day morning class is full. Mrs. Virginia Rhoades is our Preschool Teacher, and Mrs. Haley Krull is our new Preschool Teacher's Assistant.



  • M-W-F 3-day AM class, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Ages 4 and 5.
  • M-F 5-day PM class, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Ages 4 and 5.
  • Tu-Th 2-day AM class, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Ages 3 and 4.

Kindergarten-8th Grade Full Enrollment 

Full-day Kindergarten and 1st–8th-grade classes: 

M–Th, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Preschool Parent/Child Orientation Sessions are as Follows:

  • 3-day AM: Monday, August 28th, 8–9 a.m.
  • 5-day PM: Monday, August 28th, 1-2 p.m.
  • 2-day AM: Tuesday, August 29th, 8–9 a.m.

Preschool School start dates:

  • 5-day PM class: Tuesday, August 29th, 1-4 p.m.
  • 3-day AM class: Wednesday, August 30th, 8–11 a.m.
  • 2-day AM class: Thursday, August 31st, 8–11 a.m.

A school start letter and calendar will be mailed soon. There will be no school on Labor Day, Monday, September 4th. We are excited for preschool to begin again. See you soon! Mrs. Virginia Rhoades.


I hope you all have enjoyed a relaxing and fun summer with your families. As we approach the new school year, I'd like to provide some important reminders.

Mandatory parent meetings will take place on Monday, August 28th, at either 9 a.m. or 1 p.m. You only need to attend one session. These meetings will provide an opportunity for the teaching staff to update you on the changes for this year. As you may know, our Board of Christian Education decided on a 4-1/2-day school week. We will discuss how this change will be implemented and go over any other handbook revisions. We'll also introduce our two new part-time teachers, Pastor Schreibeis and Mr. Ken Holmlund, who will be teaching 5th–8th graders. Mrs. Jolene Taylor will continue teaching Kindergarten and First grade.

We currently have 39 registered students. Free school clothing is available in the fellowship hall for all registered students.

The official start of school is on Tuesday, August 29th, at 8 a.m. Please remember not to drop off students before 7:45 a.m.

Mark these dates:

  • Labor Day, Monday, September 4th—no school.
  • School start letter, calendar, and list of required school supplies will be mailed soon.

Looking forward to seeing you all!

Your sister in Christ, Michelle Rice


  • When shopping at Reynold's, link Trinity Lutheran Classical School to your rewards card for a Friends of Reynold's rebate at no cost to you.
  • Scan your grocery receipt for Box Tops for Education for our school.
  • Collect and turn in used inkjet printer cartridges.
  • Donate to the TLCS general fund, Scholarship Fund, or CF/Building Fund (note "Classroom expansion" on the memo line).
  • Contribute Memorials to TLCS. Make checks payable to Trinity Lutheran Memorial Fund, specifying funds' utilization on the memo line.
  • Provide school supplies (refer to the apple chart in the narthex) or speak to a teacher for additional needs.
  • Use Thrivent Action Team grants for school needs (contact Michelle or Virginia).
  • Volunteer as a reading aide, paper grader, tutor, etc.
  • Apply for any open paid staffing positions.
  • Spread the word about our school to friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors.
  • Register your child or get on the waiting list for Preschool or K–8th-grade classes.
  • Keep our school staff, students, families, and the Board of Christian Education in your prayers.


Refer to the apple chart in the narthex. Take a slip or two, purchase the item(s), and return them to the box below the chart. Thank you!


We are hoping to build another classroom in the basement this coming spring or summer. We currently have $10,600 for this project. Donations are welcome. Please make your check payable to Trinity Building Fund and note in the memo: TLCS Classroom Expansion. Open on Friday, 8 a.m. to noon.

Cayman Island Missionaries 

The Rev. Dr. Gerald and Heidi Paul visited Trinity, Miles City, on July 17th, presenting their mission work in the Cayman Islands. Many thanks to our Guild for providing refreshments for this event.

The Rev. Dr. Gerald and Heidi Paul serve the Lord through the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as career missionaries in the Cayman Islands. Gerald, a pastor and church planter, works with local church leaders at Safe Harbour Lutheran Church to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of the Cayman Islands—both locals and expats. He also ministers to the transient Cuban refugee population on Grand Cayman and teaches at Concordia the Reformer Seminary in the Dominican Republic.

Heidi supports these mission efforts and is exploring the possibility of starting an early childhood center for children in the community. An education committee has been formed, and conversations with LCMS Latin America and the Caribbean region leadership and the Lutheran Church Extension Fund are helping to make this dream a reality. They are currently seeking property for a church, an early childhood center, a parsonage, and accommodations for future teachers.

Gerald and Heidi, originally from South Africa, are multilingual and speak Spanish in addition to their other languages. They greatly benefit from this as they work with the multicultural and multilingual population on the island. Gerald has served as a parish pastor in South Africa, Wyoming, and Montana before serving on Grand Cayman.

To support LCMS Missionary Gerald Paul, make checks payable to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and mail them to P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861. On the memo line, include: Gerald Paul, Cayman Islands. To donate using a credit or debit card, call 1-888-930-4438 or email mission.giving@lcms.org. Please keep Gerald and Heidi in your daily prayers.


Dear Baptized in Christ,

Set Apart to Serve (SAS) is The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod's initiative to recruit individuals for church work. Since 2019, we've focused on forming and recruiting youth for full-time church work. This year, we've expanded to include second-career individuals. To meet the need for church workers, we're emphasizing second-career pastors, teachers, and church workers. If you're considering a second career in church work, our Seminaries and Concordia universities can provide information. Visit lcms.org/sas.

Lutheran schools around the country seek educators for a Lutheran school setting. Speak with a local LCMS school administrator about open positions in your area.

Pastor Howard Schreibeis is the school headmaster for Trinity Lutheran Classical School, Preschool, and K–8th in Miles City, MT.

Define Your Life by How You Give 

Winston Churchill reportedly said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Our Lord's life reflects this—He gave everything He had to save us. Similarly, when we give, we gain more. Giving softens our hearts and frees us from worldly worries. It shifts our focus from "What have they done for me?" to "How can I serve others?" When we give, we become more selfless and fulfill God's love. Remember, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

LCMS Stewardship Ministry: lcms.org/stewardship


"There is Hope in Jesus, the Light of Life!" "Be as patient with others as you know God is with you. In doing so, you will maintain your composure in all circumstances (2 Timothy 4:5). You'll find the strength to remain calm and patient, even when you feel provoked. In the realm of faith, you comprehend the depth of perfect love. Let Christ be your role model." 

-Rev. Robert Fleischmann, Director of Christian Life Resource

"In Jesus, there is healing; there is forgiveness. You, dear brother and sister in Christ, need not fear His wrath. For you, the words 'Christ is risen' are good words; they are the best words. They are words so uplifting that they must be shared with the world. They embody the pure Gospel."

 - Rev. Dr. Jason Broge, Guest Speaker on "The Lutheran Hour"

"Live as a son or daughter of God, for He loves you as only a Father could. One thing you can be certain of about God is that He will never reject you. Because of Christ and His work for you, the Father will never turn you away." 

- Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffman, Guest Speaker on "The Lutheran Hour"

"The rainbow is a reminder that God's grace will continually protect you and this beautiful world you inhabit until He raises you and welcomes you to heavenly glory. This is the incredible grace of God, which prompts genuine gratitude in our lives." 

- Rev. Peter Sulzle, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Redwood Falls, Minnesota

The mission of Lutherans For Life is to bear witness to the sanctity of human life through education rooted in God's Word. www.lutheransforlife.org | 1-888-364-LIFE Struggling with the aftermath of abortion? A message of Hope can provide support. www.word-of-hope.org | 888-271-8679.

Simon Peter responded to Jesus, saying, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that You are the Holy One of God." (John 6:68-69)


Peter: a man of contrasts. His actions can be puzzling. He saw Jesus walking on water and tried it himself, only to start sinking in fear of the waves. He challenged Jesus for speaking about His death, only to be rebuked. And despite boasting he'd never forsake Jesus, he denied Him thrice on the night of betrayal.

Jesus had more than 12 disciples; many left due to His challenging teachings. He questioned if the 12 would also leave. Peter answered with the profound confession in John 6.

Many today struggle with Jesus' teachings. One of the toughest is believing that Jesus alone is "The Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 4:6). Our confession can echo Peter's: "You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God."

Blessed Jesus, help us wholeheartedly trust You as the Holy One of God and our Lord and Savior. Amen. - Paul Leckband, OGT's Director of Spiritual Correspondence

"I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience." (1 Timothy 1:16, ESV)


In every household, there's one: a tangled mass of headphones, chargers, and computer cords. It's as though chaos conspires to compel us to toss it all and start anew.

At times, our lives resemble this jumbled mess. Our past errors linger. Relationships grow more intricate. Old habits persist. Impatience surfaces in us and others. But God's patience is boundless, enduring always.

Consider the tangled life of the apostle Paul. Before his encounter with Jesus, he persecuted Christians. Even after his conversion, the consequences lingered, demanding time for others to regain trust.

Paul, reflecting on his life, deemed himself the chief sinner (1 Timothy 1:15). Yet, in the very next verse, he celebrates God's "perfect patience" toward him, the gravest of sinners.

God extends this same patience to you. When life knots up, He works patiently, forgiving and untangling it all.

Saved and free through Jesus' cross, our sins vanish. We're eternally God's friends. Yet, reconciling human bonds is often gradual. Are any relationships strained? What's your next step toward healing?

Prayer: Father, Your patience astounds me. Help me be patient with myself and others. Guide me toward mending my strained relationship with ____. Thank You for Your unwavering patience with us. All praise and glory to God. Amen. - John Rasmussen, Christ to All (CTA)


This is the blessed life: not anxious to see far ahead or eager to choose the path, but serenely following behind the Shepherd, one step at a time. The Shepherd always leads the sheep. He goes before them. Any threat against them must reckon with Him. Now God is before us. He arrives tomorrow. Tomorrow might bring apprehension, but God is already there. All our tomorrows must pass through Him before reaching us. - F.B. Meyer


A new school year promises fresh adventures, challenges, and friends, along with new classes, homework, and lessons. Yet, the most significant (and simplest) lesson is encapsulated in a hymn by 19th-century writer Jane Eliza Leeson:

Day by day, Savior, teach me Love's sweet lesson to obey, Sweeter lesson cannot be, Loving Him who first loved me.


Sunday, September __, 2023, during the church service, we will bless our children, students, and teachers as they start the new school year. Please bring your backpacks!


Starting on ____, our worship time will change to 10:30 a.m. (Sunday School at 9:15 a.m.). This change will be effective through ____. The late service time will allow families who have students at TLCS to attend worship together.


Thrivent members, remember to apply for Action Teams! It's an easy way to make a difference in the community and for our church. If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Rice.


Join us for a celebration of God's bountiful blessings at our annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, October __, 2023, from __ to __ p.m. There will be food, games, music, and fellowship for all ages. More details to come!


On Sunday, October __, 2023, we will celebrate Reformation Sunday. Join us for a special worship service and activities commemorating the Reformation.


If you have any prayer requests, please fill out a prayer request card and place it in the designated box in the narthex. Our congregation prays for the needs of the community and individuals regularly.


Please remember to bring non-perishable food items for our ongoing food drive. Your donations help support those in need in our community.


We thank you for your faithful support of our church and its ministries. If you'd like to contribute, you can do so through the offering during the service or online through our website. Thank you for your generosity!

May God bless and guide us as we journey through this new season together.