The Pastor’s Corner–Pastor Tom Stover

Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Two summers ago on a very hot day while on my way to our Saturday outreach on Franklin Avenue, I witnessed a large number of intoxicated people holding signs and harassing motorists as they passed by.  I was struck with the following (negative) thought; “All this neighborhood does is take, take, take and it gives nothing back.” Obviously, I was in a less-then gracious mood but after some prayer and repentance the Holy Spirit moved me to a better state of mind. I settled in and began to meet with our friends from the neighborhood and as I handed out food, clothing, prayer and listened to individuals who usually don’t get listened to, the peace of the Lord settled on us all that very hot day.

At one point in the afternoon a man who was living on the street ask me if I was the pastor here and I told him yes I was. He then stretched out his hand to me and handed me a very dirty crumbled up $5.00 bill and said “this is for your work.” I told him I really appreciated the offer but he should keep the money to which he replied, “What you’re doing here is very kind and important and I want you to take the money to help out.”  I thanked him and he continued down the street and I went on ministering to those around me. On my way home later that evening as I was talking to the Lord (asking for forgiveness for my sour attitude earlier in the day), I thought again about my comment concerning the neighborhood just taking and taking and at that moment the Lord brought to my memory that man from earlier in the afternoon and the money he gave and I thought to myself that I had never seen him before and Hebrews 11: 1-2 flashed in my mind : Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

I lost it in the car that night and thanked the Lord for his kindness, loving patience and his closeness.

In My Utmost for His Highest Oswald Chambers points out, the real kingdom work is done in the valleys and not on the mountain-tops; in the day to day heat and toil where nobody sees and to this I’d like to add- some of His most pleasant surprises also come to us in the day to day valleys of our ministries.

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Reaching and Discipling — In Obedience

Posted by on Jul 6, 2012 in Church Events, Featured, Ministries | 0 comments

On Thursday May 17th, 40 days after Easter, the Christian community observed Ascension Day, that glorious day when Jesus ascended into heaven to prepare a place for us.

This brings to mind some of the last words he spoke to the Disciples before he ascended, as recorded in Matthew 28: 18-20: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” This we know as the “Great Commission.”

Was this intended for just the original disciples? We think not. We believe it was intended for the entire Christian Community, then and now.

Was Jesus merely suggesting that this might be a good thing to do someday? If we get around to it? If we are a trained theologian? Or if we are a “gifted” evangelist? No, we think this is a command to all believers. To reach out and make disciples of all people.

To most of us, this sounds like a scary thing to do. But remember this, Jesus didn’t ask the original disciples if they had the time, or if they were trained for ministry, or if they had the “gift.” He simply said, “Come and follow me.” They did, in obedience, and we should do the same.

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” We believe that the “Great Commission” is one of those commandments. Let us be about our Father’s business.

by: Dale Meier

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The Beginning….Pastor Tom Stover’s Story

Posted by on Jul 5, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Matthew 25:34-40

“…For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me… What you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me..”

During my first year of seminary one of our required courses was that each student would need to spend five days in the intercity of Minneapolis and St. Paul involved with outreach ministries to the poor. We would be spending these days meeting with different ministry directors in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis learning about their ‘calls and passions’ and then we would get our hands dirty doing ministry. What I must confess to you is; I entered this course skeptical and with a very negative attitude. I was at seminary to learn Scripture, theology and doctrine and not to be spending my time pretending I was getting something done driving around the intercity. To tell you the truth, I really believed that if people wanted to do better for themselves all they needed to do was to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, work harder and quit making excuses. Again, I do feel ashamed to tell you this was my attitude and it wasn’t that I didn’t care; it was that I really believed that the best way that we could help most of the people there was to educate them on the value of good hard work.

I need to tell you that on my first night out on the street I had a major paradigm shift concerning the homeless.  It was a very cold January evening and our group was brought to the Catholic Charities facilities in downtown Minneapolis where we were going to give out some hot food, toiletries, prayer and encouragement to the men and women who were at the shelter. When I entered Catholic charities on the first floor that night and I looked around at a sea of cold and tired men taking cots and trying to find some space on the crowded floor amongst all the chaos, I was overwhelmed.  A thought came to me, “that most of these men couldn’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps because they don’t have any boots and if you gave them boots they probably wouldn’t know what to do with them anyway.” It was at that moment I felt in my spirit the Lord say in a very somber way, “Hey Tom, how’s that theology of yours working now?”

Much of my world view changed that night. That was in January of 2003 and I’ve been in the intercity doing ministry ever since. Over the years the Lord has been very gracious as he has taught and mentored all of us at Holy Trinity Ministries. One of the wonderful revelations the Lord has shown us is; as we begin our ministry to the poor and the needy most of us begin with the idea that this is all about those we minister to however, the fact of the matter is, our ministry to the poor and needy is as much for us as it is for them. As we reach out to help those who are hurting the Holy Spirit changes us from the inside out as we begin to see everything new – how we judge people, how we love on people and how we see our own circumstances with a new spirit of thanksgiving.  It always amazes me how involved and how close the Lord is when we are doing this ministry; I believe it is something very dear to Him!

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

 

Pastor Tom Stover 

 

 

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Feeding Those In Need…Our Food Shelf Ministry

Posted by on Jul 5, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Five years ago I began volunteering at the HTM Food Shelf.  It was located in the back of a Thrift Store in Burnsville.  When the store closed we found a new home at Bridgewood Church in Savage where we have been for the past 3 years.

For the last three years, our volunteers have worked hard to help us expand our foodshelf ministry from 1 foodshelf to 7 foodshelf locations. On average we serve 220 households or 1,000 individuals and distribute 13,000 pounds of food to those in need.

Volunteering at a food shelf was a new experience for me.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that volunteering my time was more than just showing up.  Little by little the time I spent with the clients became  less of a duty and became more about friendship and camaraderie.  Over time we’ve been blessed to see a number of our clients become volunteers.

The Lord has blessed this ministry by giving us a place to hold our food shelves, the food to distribute to our clients and the volunteers who devote hours of their time. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of the volunteers for their commitment to this ministry.  The HTM food shelf would not be a success without you.

May the Lord continue to provide and bless our food shelf Ministry.

Darlene Stover

Co-Director HTM Food Shelf

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New Food Shelf Opening

Posted by on May 11, 2010 in Food Shelf | 0 comments

HTM is proud to announce the opening of the next food shelf in Arlington, MN.  This food shelf will be open on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 10am-12pm.

This food shelf will serve residents of Sibley, Scott, Carver and McLeod Counties.

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Food Shelf in the News

Posted by on Apr 23, 2010 in Food Shelf | 0 comments

As the food shelf ministry grows – we are catching the eyes of the local papers. See an article in the Waconia Patriot about our upcoming food shelf in Cologne.

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www.innercitymissiontrip.org

Posted by on Apr 7, 2010 in Street Outreach | 2 comments

After years of bringing folks into the inner-city for mission trips we have decided to make it official. We have launched our inner-city mission trip outreach to help others serve and learn more of the truth behind what happens in the inner-city. If you or your church wants to experience a short-term mission trip, let us know! Web address is www.innercitymissiontrip.org

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Stover Plunge: Inner-city mission trip

Posted by on Apr 1, 2010 in Street Outreach | 0 comments

Faith Lutheran Church from Colorado came to join HTM on an inner-city missions trip last week. The youth leaders along with 15 youth flew into Minneapolis to experience ministry firsthand. Feeding, praying, clothing and serving those less fortunate kept them up late at night and got them out of bed early in the morning.

Father Tom will reply with the amazing connection with the folks at Faith Lutheran and the legacy his brother Mike left them.

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