Generosity Stories

Page 1




2022 / 2023

February 2024 DEAR HOLY TRINITY FAMILY AND FRIENDS, WE ARE SO BLESSED! God has lovingly provided an amazing Holy Trinity “home” and “family” for all of us. This place (the building, the relationships and the opportunities) is where we have worshipped and learned about our Lord, where we have developed our faith, where we have helped each other through the joys and trials of life, and from where we have gone out to help others outside our congregation. In this book entitled “Generosity Stories”, individuals have shared specific memories that witness to God’s blessings experienced at HTLC. These stories are real. They are from the past and present. They give us hope and remind us what we want for the future. These Generosity Stories tell us why we are so moved to intentionally invest in our ministries and facilities. We want to carry out God’s mission and spread the Good News. We want others to learn of His love through the ministries of this congregation. We hope that 50 years or more from now, others will be writing stories about their positive faith experiences lived because of our commitment. So, grab a cup of coffee, find a place of peace, and enjoy the Inspirational memories of your fellow HTLC Disciples! We truly hope they will inspire you.

Laura Caudle and Bob Kapellusch Igniting Connections Inspiration Team Co-Chairs



FAMILY Supporting Programs and People We Love

Our family was looking for a new

diagnosis of kidney cancer in our 4

church home in early 2018. We had

year old son, Jackson. Within days of

young children, and the church we

his diagnosis, Jackson was

had been attending had a

scheduled for a 9-hour surgery at

struggling youth program that had

Brenner Children's Hospital in

diminished over the years. We were

Winston Salem to remove his tumor

looking for a church with an active

and left kidney. It was on this day, in

and vibrant youth program, as well

a waiting room in Winston Salem,

as a supportive network of parents

that we met Pastor Webb for the

and young adults. Jennifer's parents,

first time. He had made the long

Susan and Charlie Hyder, had been

drive to pray with a family he had

members of HTLC for several years

never met who were not even

and were active at the 5 pm service.

members of his congregation.

We had visited HTLC a handful of

Throughout Jackson's treatments,

times (drawn in by the great youth

we attended services as we were

and family programs) when our

able and found our home at the 8:30

world fell apart in late May with the

service. Each time we attended, we

were welcomed and accepted by

church family members, can sustain

friendly members. We knew we had

these programs, reach more

found our new church home by the

families, and provide more services

kindness shown to us at each visit.

to our surrounding community.

By the end of 2018, Charlie and Jennifer had joined the LIFE Faith Formation class, Jenna and Jackson had made friends, our family had officially joined the church, and Jackson was well on his way to beating his cancer! Fast forwarding 5 years, we are so thankful for all the programs and opportunities that are available at HTLC. Both our children are involved in youth and family programming, Faith Formation, and Wednesday Church Night activities. We attend congregational life events and support programs for the Hickory community such as the Harvest Welcome Center and the Easter Family Adventure.

We choose to support HTLC financially because we feel that these programs and opportunities are important and vital to our church and our community. We hope that our contributions, combined with those of other

Thank you, Charlie, Jennifer, Jenna, and Jackson



From grades seven through twelve, I

was not another Luther League

recorded daily, “riveting” entries

Convention. I needed to find my

in my five-year diary. One truth

faith place.

revealed among the pages is that I spent a lot of time at St. Mark’s

On Sunday mornings, Holy Trinity

Lutheran Church, Luther League

provided a bus to transport college

meetings and conventions (at

students to and from worship. I took

Lenoir-Rhyne), work camps, junior,

full advantage of this gift! Upon

then senior choir, Sunday School,

entering the Nave for the first time,

Wednesday Church School,

hearing the pipe organ prelude,

Saturday Confirmation classes,

marveling at the brilliant, stained-

Christmas “Pageants,” Easter

glass windows, and being warmly

breakfasts, Bible studies, Mother’s

welcomed by greeters at the door

Missionary Circle, etc. My developing

and after worship, I immediately

faith life was fed and nurtured by all

felt at home.

of the connections that these activities afforded me.

The full congregation with a wide age range, the inspirational music

In September 1967, I entered Lenoir-

and worship, and the warmth of the

Rhyne College. That first semester I

members made an impact. Holy

quickly realized that this experience

Trinity is a community of believers

who are dedicated to faith forming

Christmas Eve afternoon I met with

and nurturing themselves and others.

others to prepare the altar for Holy

They are interested in including those

Communion. I don’t know why I

outside the walls of the church, and

thought that we would be the only

are caring enough to provide a bus

ones in the Nave. What I witnessed,

for the handful of LR students

however, and, literally, paused to

wanting to be a part of HTLC’s life.

take in the sight, was easily, 60+ members of all ages doing a variety

After officially joining this

of things to prepare for our afternoon

community, I realized that the heart

and evening worship services. The

of Holy Trinity is huge and keeps

scene moved me. What I saw was a

growing! We are eager to continue

huge moving mural of generosity of

helping, teaching, loving, and

time and talent as each person went

connecting…locally and throughout

about doing what needed to be

the world.

done. The still part of this scene was the beautiful trees and other

Because I am dedicated to our mission and God’s call, I want to give generously.

Chancel and Nave decorations that had been artfully, lovingly, and generously placed earlier. My dream is that every member of our

My grandparents, mother,

congregation will find some area of

and stepfather taught me

hands-on or time-donated generosity

generosity – more with actions than words.

that brings joy. My other hope for our faith community - currently and in the

Our offerings provide life-saving help

years to come - is that, with God’s

in disaster and hunger relief,

help and Christ’s example, we

purchase materials to teach children

continue to grow in openness and

about Christ, fund endeavors with

love so that our outstretched arms

the sole purpose of spreading God’s

will include anyone and everyone and

love, and allow us to connect with

make each individual feel as welcome

others. What we give makes meeting

as I did many years ago on my first

these needs a reality!


As one of my hopes for our congregation now and forever, I have to include a recent mental snapshot that illustrates generosity in action.

By Beth Shoffner


HUGGINS Generosity Comes in Many Forms Coming from China, I have not yet

church service I ever attended. I

been totally acclimated to American

distinctly recall, at about 2 1/2 years

culture. Growing up, my parents had

old, I unquestionably made my way

long-attended this church following

to the front row at the 8:30 church

their parents and the parents before

service. Without a doubt, I knew this

them. As the fourth generation to be

was a welcoming place where I

welcomed into this church, I have

could feel at home.

come to find a new appreciation of the community I have received. Like

Through the ministry of our church, I

my parents, I was provided with the

appreciate the encouragement and

opportunity to learn and connect

motivation it provides to go out and

with others, finding both my own

serve the community. The church

beliefs and values. As I cultivated

ministry not only encourages all

new spiritual and emotional

individuals to strengthen their faith

connections, I discovered more than

in more ways than one, but it

simply a belief: I discovered a

encourages all people to go out and

community that I can rely on

serve the community through their


own values. For instance, visiting The

Dwelling provided an opportunity to When I think back, the first memory

not only explore and share faith, but

I have that gave me the feeling of

an opportunity to serve and support

church being my home was the first

the community. Moreover, by

learning to "love one another," we

picked me up from the orphanage,

are encouraged to explore our faith

and, consequently, it has been with

in many ways, share our faith by

me ever since.

immersing ourselves in the lives of others, and go out into the world to

Our family chooses to support the

make a difference.

church with financial gifts because it contributes to the ministry's values

When reflecting on my upbringing, I

of giving back to the community.

know where my generosity

When I first started sitting in the

originates. Growing up, I had no idea

front row during church, my dad

how much of an impact my parents

always handed me my own

had on my values. Although, as I

envelope to place into the offering

became older, I recognized where

plate. At the time, seeing everyone

my principles and beliefs stemmed

else give to the church in this way

from. Because of the generosity my

sparked an interest in me, and

parents gave me at an early age, I

consequently I wanted to do the

was able to understand that the

same. I desired to contribute in this

world is more than just me and,

way not because I had to or because

therefore, developed a desire to put

someone told me to, but because I

others before myself. As I watch my

wanted to and understood how

parents work hard to meet my

much of a difference it could make

needs, help strangers on the street,

in at least one person's life.

or simply demonstrate their compassion by doing a simple task

My greatest hope for our church is

of returning a shopping cart for

that it will continue to expand its

someone, I learned the true

ministries, traditions, and its

meaning of generosity.

outreach to the community for many years to come. Furthermore,

Through my parents, I learned that

my greatest hope for the next

generosity comes in many shapes

generation who will call it their

and forms and is far more than just

home is that, in a welcoming

giving money or buying something

community, they will be able to

from a store. Truly, it is the kind acts

explore/find their own faith and

and the simple gestures that reveal

discover their own means to

generosity and character. Therefore,

express it.

without doubt, I can say that my parents automatically instilled their generosity in me the day they

By Brooke Huggins



Relationships with Our Lord

My connection with Holy Trinity

of Music Ministry shortly after Cindy

Lutheran Church has been through

left. I met her while attending

incredible music, warmth, and

meetings at Hickory Music Club.

caring with the staff for almost four

Once again, we combined our choirs


and presented Handel’s Messiah part II and III at Holy Trinity. I

When I was called as Minister of

remember Rev. Bob and Beth

Music at First Baptist Church, Cindy

Shoffner’s kindness in welcoming

Perry was serving as Director of

and thanking me as our choirs

Music Ministry at Holy Trinity. She

joined together. I continued to work

and I were graduates from Furman

with Celia many times in the church

University with degrees in music

and with training our daughter in

where we knew each other well. In


spending time together, we combined both of our choirs with

My time with Jo Carol Thomason

Lenoir-Rhyne Wind Ensemble and

developed as we worked in starting

presented a concert at First Baptist.

a Community Handbell Ensemble.

Celia Sexton was called as Director

She helped facilitate and organize

the process. The group that formed

I also remember when my mother

is what you know as “Hickory Rings!”

gave me an envelope for tithes and

She continued being supportive

offerings. She said that I could give

with music and ringing as her

offerings and explained the

schedule allowed.

difference. I found a dime and put it in the envelope. I showed it to her

That strong relationship at Holy

on Sunday morning as we were

Trinity has continued with Karen,

getting ready to go to church. I

David, Kimberly, Pastor Chris, and

asked her if this is ok. She said yes

the choir. Holy Trinity has always

and that I should continue

been a place for my heart and is


even more so now. As a young child I remember my dad regularly in his bedroom

We all have our stories of lessons learned and

reading his Bible and frequently

blessings abounding from

working with his checkbook and

contributing to the work of

other papers in hand. At one point, I

our Lord and our church.

asked him what he was doing. He told me that he was tithing and paying bills. I had learned about tithing in Sunday School. He told me that he always tithed before paying any expenses. Another time I remember hearing my parents discuss the building campaign in our church. They wanted to participate. My dad said he was unable to find additional

At this special time in the life of Holy Trinity, we have the opportunity to reevaluate our lives and our hearts about contributing the resources God has given us to further His Kingdom.

My wife, Sheree, and I are very humbled and proud to be associate members of Holy Trinity.

funds with which to contribute. My mother paused and then said that she had extra funds in her “grocery money” to use. My dad had a big smile on his face and gave her a big hug.

By Mike Watson


MYERS Joyous Generosity

I learned generosity from my

pour concrete, clear land, hammer

parents. It was important that we

nails, feed volunteers, and once the

had our coins ready for the offering

camp was completed, play, swim,

plate and Sunday School each week.

and hike with the campers. This was

Beyond that, we were encouraged

joyous generosity!

to share what we had to make a difference in the lives of others.

When I came to Hickory as a freshman at LR, I was looking for

Dad (and Mom) helped to start a

independence and autonomy,

Christian camp for “underprivileged”

a typical teen. After time, I realized

kids in the Washington, DC area. For

that something was missing. Yes, I

some of the children, it was the first

found I could take care of myself,

time they played on grass rather

but I missed belonging to a church,

than concrete, slept in a bed by

hearing God’s word, singing the

themselves, swam in a pool, owned

liturgy and hymns, and having the

a book, explored nature, and

opportunity to connect with

ventured away from home. Building

welcoming people of all ages. At

the camp was a family endeavor. As

some point, I took a leap of faith and

a youngster, I remember helping to

hopped on the bus that went to

Holy Trinity every Sunday. Did I go

As time goes on, I realize the

often? No, but when I married

importance of my continued

during my senior year, I knew that I

financial support for the church. Our

wanted to be a member of Holy

call is to reach out and connect with


everyone to share the story of Jesus. I appreciate that we have wonderful,

Soon after joining, David and I were

creative programs for kids, youth

asked if we would help with the

and adults; we take care of our

youth group, and I was asked to

facility; we support our staff; and we

teach weekday church school.

find new ways to reach out to our

Really? Could we do this? We

neighbors. I’m glad that I can be a

weren’t from Hickory, we didn’t

part of this by contributing my

know anyone, we had limited


resources, we were young - who would trust us with their kids? This

My hope for Holy Trinity is that we

is when I knew we had found our

always respond to God’s “Good

church home. Through all these

News” of abundant love and grace.

many years at Holy Trinity of raising

We have the opportunity, in our

kids and grandkids, making lifelong

changing world, to touch lives in our

friendships, sharing time and talent,

community and beyond, while

and strengthening my faith, this

continuing to nurture and support

church family was there for me!

our congregation.

Again, joyous generosity!

All that I have belongs to God and by sharing, I receive more than I give. This is Joyous Generosity!

By Elaine Myers

Joy CLINE Worshiping Together During the pandemic, when many of us were lost and grasping for hope, I chose to take a new position with The Bolick Foundation, whose mission is to spread the Christian gospel. Little did I know, that was

As we walked through cancer as a

the beginning of a new chapter in

family this past year, we learned

my faith journey.

the value of our faith community.

I hear daily about people around the

Our church family held us up...

world trying to find Jesus. People

walking with us, praying with us,

run across borders to hide from

and offering Godly counsel. We

being persecuted for loving God.

experienced the power of Stephen

People listen to God’s word on flash

Ministers, compassionate spiritual

drives so it cannot be detected that

care, and the generosity of servant

they are followers. The stories are


mind-boggling. Not everyone has the privilege to worship in a church

As I continue my faith journey, I am

like Holy Trinity or to be blessed by a

reminded that my church family is

faith community of people who

vital to my well-being. It is not to be

encourage, teach, and pray.

taken for granted; worshiping together is a privilege.

The HTLC NewSong Service is my spiritual vessel. From the contemporary music, the beauty of the chapel, thought-provoking messages, to the friends that surround me, it is my church home.

By Joy Cline Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. -Hebrews 13:16 MSG

JoelMILLER If You Love It, Share It I’m a fly fisherman. I love to catch fish. Seeing a beautiful trout take a well-placed dry fly you’ve tied yourself off the surface of a pristine mountain stream is a thrill. Gently guiding that beauty to your net and

Generosity is quite the same. Most of

releasing it to swim free and maybe

us are blessed with more than we

provide the same thrill to another

need. We still like nice things, but

angler is also a delight.

when we share our abundance with others, we can often attain more joy

As time passed, I had caught

than if we kept it ourselves.

thousands of beautiful fish in some of the most stunning places on

As Christians, we are commanded to

Earth. Doing so was still a thrill, but I

share God’s love and grace. We are

began to discover another reward,

taught in Matthew 25 to provide for

maybe an even better one. I have

“the least of these.” When we

taught several others to fly fish and

generously share what was given to

helped even more who were novices

us in abundance, we shine God’s

to improve their skills. I quickly

light onto others and provide for the

realized seeing someone else learn

needs of those who are not as

those skills needed to catch a fish,

fortunate. In the end, even greater

and sharing the thrill of scooping it

joy and blessings are ours.

and releasing it from their net was more fulfilling than doing it yourself. If you love it, share it, and the joy is doubled.

By Joel Miller

Reverend Dr. ROBERT E. ALLEN God’s Instruction for an Improvement Program

When Nancy and I retired to Hickory in

Nancy and I have always tithed at a

2000, we knew we would join Holy

minimum over all the years of our

Trinity. The reason was simple. I had

marriage. That was always easy because

been the first Vicar in 1964 under Pastor

each time I was paid, the money for our

John L. Yost, Jr. We were married here

offering was taken out immediately and

in 1966, and we had family in the

placed in the envelopes for the month.

church. In addition, while I was a Vicar,

There was no question as to how much

David Gentry taught me organ lessons

would be given or if the money was

and introduced me to Bach’s Little

available. That was a commitment that

Preludes and Fugues. As a result, I

never changed.

played the organ for many of the funerals because David was working at

The incentive for giving has always had

a school in Lincolnton, and it was

one source. In Luke 6:38 is this

difficult for him to get away.

statement: “Give, and it will be given to you.” Note the first word, “give” and

Therefore, returning to Hickory and

then note what follows: “It will be given

joining HTLC was like “coming home.”

to you.” The person who made that

We knew many of the members. So

statement was the Savior Himself. In

many had been here when I was a

effect, He makes a guarantee to

Vicar. Yes, they had some gray hair and

believers, that if we commit to giving,

a few extra pounds. But it was like

then there will be a direct result, that “it

returning to a family we knew and

will be given to you.” But it is not just


a trickle response. The full statement

“Bring the whole tithe into the

of what Jesus said is “They will pour

storehouse, so that there may be

into your lap a good measure —

food in My house, and put Me to the

pressed down, shaken together, and

test now in this,” says the LORD

running over. For by your standard

almighty, “if I do not open for you the

of measure it will be measured to

windows of heaven and pour out for

you in return.” In other words, our

you a blessing until it overflows.”

faithfulness in giving will bring an

Imagine that God invites us to “put

abundant, ever-flowing response

me to the test.” That is incredible! But

from our Heavenly Father.

God can be trusted. Therefore, if we

That settled the issue of giving for

are willing to give to Him, He is ready

me individually and for us as a

to throw open the windows of

couple. We wanted to be faithful,

heaven and push out unending

and we wanted to be recipients of

blessings upon our church. We must

God’s goodness and outpouring.

never doubt that but pray fervently for it and do our part to make it

But someone may ask, “Why do that


when we all have so many pressing needs?” The answer is obedience.

Of course, wisdom, prudence, and

We do not follow the Lord Jesus

caution are all needed in goal setting.

from a distance or have a drop-in,

The Lord is not saying do anything

drop-out relationship with Him. His

you want and I will bless it. No, He

invitation to believers is to “Come,

expects us to use the brains He gave

follow Me.” The following He invites

us to undertake what is a reasonable

us to is one that is regular, faithful,

and responsible challenge and to

ongoing, and continual – with no

pray to know His will in whatever is

pauses, no interruptions, and no

undertaken. May our Heavenly Father

leaves of absence.

inspire us to await hearing of that challenge, presenting it to Him for

We must be unafraid of undertaking

His blessing, and then stepping

a challenge of a church-wide

forward to support it.

campaign as long as it is aligned with the giving potential of our membership. We have it on authority from God’s Holy Word that a bountiful blessing awaits us if we step forward to give and give obediently. The prophet Malachi delivers the Lord’s promise:

By Reverend Dr. Robert E. Allen

Dave & Terri FAHERTY Inspired to Give

Our first experience with Holy Trinity

were so inspiring. That was exactly

was at Vacation Bible Camp when

what we were looking for in a

our daughter, Taylor, was about five

church home.

years old. We were personally invited by the Black family;

It’s been almost 20 years since we

otherwise, we never would have

joined Holy Trinity and we remain in

considered signing Taylor up. I (Terri)

awe of the generosity of our

attended the morning and

congregation - not only financially, but

afternoon gatherings just so I would

with talents and time. There are so

feel more comfortable about leaving

many powerful ministries at our church

her there. I had Jacob in my lap, who

and behind every one of them are

was about two. Everyone was so

individuals who are dedicated to

welcoming, and they seemed to be

working hard, collaborating with one

having so much fun together –

another, and finding ways to do and

like a family. Energy, enthusiasm,

give more, all while praying for God’s

and laughter filled the chapel, and

guidance. Because we have continued

the messages and songs of faith

to witness the generosity of our

congregation, we have been

incredible gift God has blessed our

inspired to become a more

family with through Holy Trinity!

generous family. When we continually see the results

When we think about the

of what can be accomplished when

future, it is our hope that

people work together and remain

other families will find the

focused on giving, your priorities change. You want to be involved,

same joy and peace that

you want your actions and gifts to

we have found as

impact others and, most

members of Holy Trinity.

importantly, you want to serve God using the blessings He has given to us. We choose to support our church with financial gifts because our family has continued to receive unconditional support from Holy Trinity. When we think about all the blessings we have received as members of this congregation, we are beyond thankful – and want to

The world we live in is beyond challenging – there is so much to fear and worry about. It is our prayer that Holy Trinity will continue to impact more and more people who will grow in faith together, trusting in God to guide and protect our church family and home.

give back. We are forever grateful that our children grew up benefitting from so many faith formation activities, mission trips, youth ministry events, learning opportunities such as singing and handbells, and even scholarships. And that does not include the mentor and other relationships developed with friends and adults viewed as extended family – people they can turn to, confide in, and celebrate life with. What an

By Dave and Terri Faherty



We All Have Special Gifts

Holy Trinity has always been a part

been pulled by some of the boys on

of my life from my Baptism to my

the second row, I tried to focus on

retirement years. I remember giving

the vast beauty of our worship space

my little coins to my Sunday School

and what I could bring to offer God,

teachers each Sunday and being

small though I was.

proud that I was a part of this wonderful community of faith.

At Holy Trinity, we all have our special gifts and can be generous

My parents instilled in me the gift of

in many ways through our time,

generosity of my time to my church.

talents, and monetary gifts. Our

I remember going to church each

church is very blessed with so

Tuesday afternoon to be a part of a

much. Praise God for the many

choir preparing to offer our voices in

blessings he has given me through

praise to God in worship on

Holy Trinity in my lifetime.

Sundays. Each choir robed and sat together as a group each Sunday. Even though my pigtails may have

By Celia Sexton

Reflection We invite you to record your own Generosity Story in the remaining pages of this book. What inspires you?

Loving God, As your Son called us to service, we rise to carry your Word to our church family and beyond. We are strengthened by your Spirit and by our trust and faith in each other. This is our time to enliven our church and to secure our beautiful worship space for the next generation. We pray for open hearts to listen and to understand our role in spreading the message of your love and grace.


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