We have heard and learned a lot about the history of Trinity during this Anniversary year. But what about your family history? On Tuesday, September 24th beginning at 7pm, we will hold a Genealogy Night as part of our 150th Anniversary Celebration. We are very fortunate to welcome Carol Miller – Schultz to lead this program. Carol is the teacher for the genealogy classes at Hagerstown Community College, and was instrumental in forming the Kinship Room at the Washington County Historical Society. She has vast experience in guiding people through the steps to find out about their heritage. The session will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Carol will provide a workbook to help us get started. Sign up sheets are available at both services, so we know how many to prepare for. We look forward to having Carol share her knowledge and help you get started to celebrate you own history!
We have an interesting opportunity to reclaim some of the importance of meditation when a new service debuts on Wednesday, September 18. At 7 p.m. we will gather at the front of the sanctuary for a Taizé service. Perhaps you have heard about Taizé. It’s a community of about 100 brothers who live in a monestery by that name in Burgundy, France. It was founded in 1954 by Brother Roger. Taizé worship uses a comfortable space (pillows and chairs), soft music, candlelight, icons, repetitive chant, and guess what—silence to create an atmosphere of meditation wherein we can experience the presence of God.
Our director of Praise Worship, Andy Wallace, made a pilgrimage to East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh to experience a Taizé service which has been going on for nearly 30 years. He and his wife, Jeanne, were moved by the service. Andy came back really enthused to give this a try at Trinity. He has been working hard to make this first service very special.
Please come on September 18 at 7 p.m.
Don’t be afraid of the silence. Just be open to that still, small voice which may speak to you! “Be still and know that I am God!”
Our Corp of Discovery continues as we begin to wrestle with what our core mission should be and attempt to develop an appropriate Mission Statement. To that end new books entitled, “Mission and Vision Statement Renewal Workbook for Churches,” are available from Colleen.
Please join us. Our study will be Thursday, September 19th, beginning at 5:30 in Memorial Hall. We will offer a simple pot luck dinner so that we can eat and work at the same time. Please bring a dish to share.
AUG 29, SEP 05, SEP 12, SEP 19, OCT 03, OCT 10
Fears Shared aboutIdeas from Canoeing the Mountains
Trinity leaders encourage all members to share any concerns that may be growing about the new directions for our church that are being discussed and prayed about among the 20 people who have been studying the issue of how to respond to the Gospel in the 21st century.
Here are some concerns that have been voiced.
Concern: “How do we know what changes these 20 people are planning to make when they meet together?” In reply: No plans for changes have been made. We have read and discussed the book Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger. We made lists of what is valued at Trinity, and now are starting to write a new mission statement for our church.
Concern: “How can we get volunteers for starting new programs and keep current programs going while we have been losing members?” Response: Since much of what we have been doing is no longer working in the 21st century church, the goal is to determine what are Trinity’s essential values of faith, culture, and activities, to write a mission statement based on that, then to perpetuate only those programs, liturgy, and undertakings that support that mission. Human and financial resources will target and support our mission.
Concern: “Why aren’t we trying harder to get our old members back?” Response: Numerous studies on this very concern find that the majority of persons do not return to a church they have chosen to leave. Further, they report that dissatisfied, alienated ex-members who have values divergent from their home church appropriately seek other churches where they feel more connected.
Concern: “The Canoeing the Mountains group talks about outreach to the neighborhood as if it’s a new concept, but we’ve been doing it for decades.” Response: Currently TLC invites the neighborhood into the church for food and clothing, helps local veterans, and feeds school children on weekends. The new concept is one of relationship and ministry with the neighborhood, in the neighborhood as well as the church, doing what it is God calls us to do.
Concern: “Free meals for the neighborhood began this year; why are we doing this when we already feed them through the Food Pantry? Also, why not serve the free meals to Micah’s families with whom we already have a relationship?” Response the idea behind offering free meals was to begin the process of developing a welcom- ing, caring relationship with our neighbors that is beyond utilitarian – to go beyond helping them, to partnering with them by learning their concerns and inner needs. We could expand our interactions with Micah’s families beyond the Thanksgiving meals provided yearly.
Concern: “How do we bear the changes and the losses of members and traditions so we can move foreword toward an uncertain future?” Response: We are learning that one crucial response is to invest time in each other, developing and maintaining our relationships through lis- tening and honest, loving communication. Trinity is leav- ing behind the response of separating into whispering groups that have functioned in isolation or putting our personal agendas ahead of living the Gospel. We are a people of faith in a God who loves us, one who will guide us when we ask, and will unify us in his care when together we grieve or are anxious and fearful.
Concern: “How can just 20 people plan our future?” Response: From the beginning, we have invited everyone by a letter in the mail, newsletter announcements and articles, and from the pulpit. All of the meeting times and dates are publicized and open to everyone. We agree and disagree openly in the group weekly with respect and love. We do not have the answers, and seek God’s guidance as well as the input of each Trinity member. Whether you agree or disagree with what you hear or conclude outside of the meetings, every member is welcome and encouraged to come!
For other questions or concerns in the coming days, some discussions on what the Canoeing the Mountain group is discussing/considering will happen in a portion of both worship services, those who attend the group will have an opportunity to speak, and all will hear what’s happening in the group’s “process of discovery.” Each Sunday between services, a member of the group will be available in the Parlor to talk about what’s happening in the group meetings and to answer questions.
It is that time of year! The backs to school signs are everywhere! One of the signs we have at Trinity is the startup of the Micah’s Back pack program! We are in the process of organizing the Micah’s Backpack Ministry for the 2019 to 2020 school year.
It is hard to believe that the program started right here with 5 students at Bester Elementary! It has grown through God’ blessing to 55 churches involved weekly serving over 1000 students a week! This is a neighborhood ministry! We are serving the students at the schools were the children in our neighborhood attend.
Here are some ways you may become involved:
- Join a team that meets once a month to pack the bags. This takes approximately ½ hour of time and is usually done on a Sunday or Monday.
- Deliver the bags to the schools. This is a once a month commitment. This is done on a Wednesday or Thursday and can be anytime from early morning (7 am) to early evening (6pm) at Bester Elementary and 9 am to 4 pm at Eastern.
- Contribute financially to Micah’s so food may be purchased.
We could use any help. It is possible for you to even pair with another person to help out on an every other month basis.
Interested in helping Pack or Deliver?
Please contact Carol Brashears
301-992-5016 or Brash115@aol.com.
Vespers is a sunset evening prayer service in the Lutheran liturgy from the Latin word vesper, meaning “evening.” Jazz is a music genre originating in the African-American communities of New Orleans, characterized by strong, prominent meter, improvisation, and synco- pated rhythmic patterns.
Trinity Lutheran offers Jazz Vespers at the end of each month through the fall, winter, and spring. It is a contemplative, musical service that combines ancient Christian liturgies with 20th and 21st century American jazz. Come share a creative, sophisticated evening of prayer and song. The service begins at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary. A wine and cheese reception follows the service in Memorial Hall.
Dates for 2019 through 2020 are as follows: Thursday, September 26; Thursday, October 31; Wednesday, November 27; Thursday, December 26; Thursday;, January 30; Thursday, February 27; Thursday, March 26; Thursday, April 30; Thursday, May 28; Thursday, June 25.
Enjoy dessert and refreshments following the service.
Invite some friends to join you for this blended service to wind down your day. Free and open to the public.
Please pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit at Trinity’s Rally Day church service and picnic on September 8 in the Washington County Regional Park. Pray for good weather, too!
PRAYER VENTURES: September 2019
These petitions are offered as guides to prayer for the global, social and outreach ministries of the ELCA, as well as for the needs and circumstances of our neighbors, communities and world. Thank you for your continued prayers for the life and mission of this church.
1 Pray that we learn humility, respect and hospitality from the example and teachings of Jesus and the Spirit at work in the lives of people around us, and that we exercise in daily life this regard for others without bias, reluctance or feeling that we deserve something in return.
2 Labor Day On this day we recognize and pray for the work and service people do to sustain their families and benefit their communities and society. Pray that all receive fair wages, work in safe environments, are renewed through times of sabbath, and experience joy and fulfillment in their labor; pray that all those who seek employment will find work and for the well-being, care and support of people unable to work.
3 Give thanks to God for our early-learning centers, K-12 schools, lay schools for ministry, colleges and universities, and seminaries, and for the significant role they serve in faith formation, education and equipping leaders throughout life.
4 Praise God for filling us with mercy, compassion, joy, a sense of justice, and a bold, confident faith that spills over into the world.
5 Give thanks and praise to God as we celebrate with the 2019 graduates of the ELCA International Women Leaders initiative: Sthela Gun Holly Hanitrinirina (Malagasy Lutheran Church); Yuen Ching Lee, Abby Lai and Melissa Neo (Lutheran Church in Malaysia); and Elisa Pérez-Trejo (Mexican Lutheran Church). Give thanks for all who have supported them throughout the program, and ask God to bless their service and ministry as they move forward.
6 Pray that our actions, words, work, service and concern for our neighbors in need — be they strangers, friends or forgotten —bear witness to the word and ways of God made known to us through Jesus Christ and instilled in us by the Holy Spirit.
7 Give thanks for the ministry and witness of ELCA missionaries serving alongside our global companions in Senegal, South Africa and Eswatini, as well as the six young people serving in Senegal and the four serving in Southern Africa as part of the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission program.
8 “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday Pray for children, youth and adults involved in volunteer community service across the country in partnership with neighboring congregations, Lutheran agencies and community organizations. Give thanks for the living, daring confidence in God’s grace from which our every act of service throughout life flows!
9 Continue to pray for peace, justice, reconciliation and economic opportunity for the people and countries of Central America, and pray that the United States and other nations will respond to their needs with humanitarian and economic assistance, collaborative efforts to find effective, lasting solutions to the crises they are experiencing, and prayerful, enduring support.
10 Praise God for knowing us better than we know ourselves and assuring us that we are loved and are never forgotten or alone in the world.
11 Pray that the peace, confidence and grace of God given to us in Jesus Christ will prevail and calm our every fear and anxiety in these turbulent and uncertain times.
12 As members of the body of Christ we are like “trees planted by streams of water,” sustained in all that we do, nurtured to bear fruits of the Spirit and strengthened to follow the word and ways of God. Pray that we are not shy about inviting others to have faith in God’s redeeming love through Christ and enjoying the life-enriching blessings of being in a community of faith.
13 Approximately 1 in 10 people around the world can’t access the food he or she needs to live an active, healthy life; more than 40 million people in the United States are unsure where their next meal will come from; and 10% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 per day. Remember in prayer those who suffer with poverty and hunger, and give thanks for the work of ELCA World Hunger, our congregations and other partners as they respond to communities in need, striving for sustainable solutions that get at the root causes of hunger and poverty.
14 Holy Cross Day Today, give thanks and lift up words of celebration for Jesus’ self-sacrificing, redemptive, life-giving offering on the cross for the sake of all humanity.
15 National Hispanic Heritage Month Give thanks for the gifts, contributions and rich cultural diversity of our Latino brothers and sisters and pray for the work and growth of the 147 ELCA Latino ministries in the United States as they share the gospel, encourage our unity in Christ, support pastors and lay leaders, and serve their neighbors in many community contexts.
16 Pray for God’s mercy, forgiveness and guidance when we stray from God’s ways or find ourselves worshiping wealth, earthly possessions, power or status more than we worship God.
17 Pray that our church in all its expressions — congregations, synods and the churchwide organization — are guided by the wisdom and enthusiasm stirred by the Holy Spirit to implement and live into decisions made during synod assemblies and the ELCA Churchwide Assembly for the sake of doing God’s work in the world, sharing the gospel, growing the church and serving our neighbor.
18 Pray that we might be persistent and caring in seeking, inviting and welcoming people who have left our congregations, feel unwelcome because of who they are or what they’ve done, have been hurt by conflict or feel they have no place in the church, the body of Christ.
19 Pray for relief and access to clean water where people are suffering from extreme heat and drought in the world; ask God to help us work with one another to care for our environment and precious water resources, find ways to ease and prevent the impact of climate change, and share generously our resources to provide for the essential needs of people everywhere.
20 With grateful hearts, thank God for the mercy and grace we receive through Jesus Christ, who embraces who we are in all our humanness and shortcomings and transforms us for service and faithful leadership in the world.
21 Matthew, apostle and evangelist Pray that we will serve as willing, faithful and bold followers of Christ even though our backgrounds, life experiences, professions and gifts are diverse and may seem incongruent with what we imagine God desires in a disciple or evangelist.
22 Pray that the Holy Spirit will work in us and guide us to be faithful, trustworthy and responsible with all God has entrusted to us in this life, that we may serve our neighbors in need, care for creation and honor God.
23 Remember in prayer ministry candidates who have responded to God’s call to ministry and leadership through the church and are involved in the process of preparation, discernment and waiting for assignment. Pray for candidates and their families during this time that can be both joyful and anxious; and pray that leaders and ELCA staff involved in the assignment process will be guided by the Holy Spirit in their discernment and decision-making.
24 Pray for the 15 ELCA missionaries serving in parish ministry and education as they work alongside our companions in Slovakia and Russia.
25 Praise God who exists throughout the universe and all time yet has compassion and concern for people who are poor and in great need; pray that we will be moved by God’s ways, examples and commands to show attentiveness, mercy, compassion and love for our neighbors in need.
26 Pray for the ministry of ELCA Advocacy, its Washington office and its state public policy offices as they work with ELCA members to develop and advance legislation that will overcome poverty, defend God’s creation and promote peace, dignity and justice.
27 Give thanks that God is slow to anger and inclined to forgive our sins, shortcomings, mistreatment of our neighbors and deliberate wrongdoings, and to treat us with mercy and compassion for the sake of restoring our relationship with God and setting us back on track in our daily lives.
28 Pray for Bible study leaders, teachers and volunteers serving in our congregations who share their faith, help us study and explore Scripture, join us in prayerfully and thoughtfully wrestling with spiritual questions, and help us connect the word of God with everyday life.
29 Reflect on the gifts, abilities and courage of faith we have received from the Holy Spirit, and on the joy and confidence we have in the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ; give thanks for who we have become in Christ for the sake of mission and service in the world.
30 Give praise and glory to God that through our worship and liturgy we will be reminded of the promises spoken at our baptisms, the forgiveness and new life we receive through the washing with water and the word of God, and the call we receive to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness —as individuals and communities of faith.
Operation Christmas Child – 150 boxes for our 150th anniversary!
On our quest for 150 boxes for our 150th anniversary, we are currently at 126 boxes taken to be filled and 37 boxes returned FULL! You can still take boxes as long as they are returned by Sunday, September 15, 2019. If you haven’t taken a box yet, be sure to get one, two or more from the extended narthex and Fellowship Hall. Sign out your boxes and sign them back in when you return them. Inside each box is information to help you shop for your child, a list of things NOT to include and a brochure from Operation Christmas Child with a form to check for boy or girl and the age range and an envelope for you to place your shipping donation of $9.00 per box. Complete the form, put your check made out to Trinity Lutheran Church in envelope. Place everything in the box (or a bag if some things need to be compressed or won’t fit easily) and place under the table where you picked up your box. Watch the large posters to follow our progress and celebrate 150 gifts and years!
Operation Christmas Child Packing tip # 1 – Kids of all ages love balls! Small foam (Nerf-type) balls, hacky sacks, beach balls and tennis balls are great. Full size soccer balls, deflated with an air pump, make a WOW item an entire community can enjoy. If you purchase a soccer ball and pump, be sure the pump will fit in the box and we will have extra items to include with it or you can add more items yourself. Thanks for taking a shoebox/shoeboxes and filling them for kids around the world!
Operation Christmas Child Packing tip # 2 – School supplies come in multi-packs and are on sale now. Send the entire pack and we will divide items at the Packing Party or you can open the pack and place some items in your box and send the rest for inclusion with other boxes. Thanks for taking a shoebox/shoeboxes and filling them for kids around the world!
Operation Christmas Child Packing tip # 3 – Older kids can use things that can help them with a work skill. Basic tools (screw drivers, pliers, wrench – no hammers or knives, please) and fasteners could inspire a boy to take up a trade. Fishing gear (line, hooks and weights) could help feed a family. Sewing kits and fabric could help a girl learn to sew which could lead to a job to help her family. Thanks for filling a shoebox to help a kid and their family around the world!
Operation Christmas Child Packing Tip #4 – Toys and clothing that might not look significant to you may bring great happiness to a child with little or nothing of their own. Classic toys, games, and basics from the dollar stores or other discount marketers can bring a sense of pride and ownership to those with only modest possessions. Thanks for being someone’s hero by taking a shoebox/shoeboxes and filling them for kids around the world!
the team will shop and fill the box on your behalf!
We have resurrected the CHARITY OF THE MONTH PROGRAM. Mark your calendars and help with the following. We have chosen to contribute to both local charities, our outreach programs here at Trinity and to charities worldwide.
August – September
Samaritans Purse. Pleas fill up a 150 shoe boxes for children. Our goal is 150 boxes.
Micah’s Backpack. Please consider a financial donation to the program We fill 65 bags a week. This is estimated at $650.00 per week . We give 38 weeks a year so the cost is close to $25,000 a year.
Thanksgiving Food baskets
November – December
REACH Cold weather shelter,
Christmas Gift Cards for Veterans