Hello Trinity family,
Happy inauguration day! To celebrate this special occasion, I chose a very American hymn for today’s meditation: “Down in the River to Pray” arranged by Lorie Line. “Down in the River to Pray” was first published in 1867 as part of Slave Songs of the United States. This hymn also shares a melody with a traditional Native American song. I pray that in this season of change for our nation, we remember and celebrate our common heritage by caring for our brothers and sisters in Christ, putting aside our differences.
Here is the hymn text for your reflection.
The link to the video is HERE.
As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way
Blessings,
Angela

Hello Trinity family,
What a week it’s been for our nation! I’m blessed to work one block away from the Capitol at Lutheran Church of the Reformation, the setting for today’s musical offering. (Don’t worry. During unsafe times, I have worked and will work remotely.) While this church is a common tourist destination, more importantly it serves the residents of the Capitol Hill neighborhood who witnessed rioting last week and now live under the watchful eye of an intimidating number of police and military.

The strength of Reformation’s pastors Michael Wilker and Ben Hogue during this time has taught me a great deal about perseverance, not because of the inspirational prayers at the end of their church emails, but because of their persistent ministry to the community of people left to pick up the pieces after a horrible demonstration of violence. Worship, book studies, and church meetings have continued, but now the common greeting “How are you doing?” translates to “How are you holding up?” I’ve seen a lot of fear in the community since the events of last week, but I’ve seen much more grace, patience, and kindness.
Today’s musical offering is O Sacred Head, Now Wounded arranged by Don Wyrtzen. I encourage us this upcoming week to reflect on how we can better see Jesus in our neighbors and demonstrate compassion for those around us.
The link to the video is HERE.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers
Blessings,
Angela

Hello Trinity Family,

Happy belated Gaudete Sunday! I’ve been waiting for two weeks to light the third candle on my Advent wreath. This year, with all of the bad news around us, I find myself clinging to the enthusiastic hope that the third candle and Gaudete (Rejoice!) Sunday bring. So much so that, even though I was gifted four blue candles for my wreath, I tied a pink ribbon to this week’s candle to celebrate the special day. While we can’t tie a ribbon around all of our problems, we can certainly choose optimism and patience in waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises.

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For my Zoom service prelude tonight, I offer “How great our joy” arranged by Bill Wolaver. Here is the hymn text for your reflection:
There shall the Child lie in a stall,
This Child who shall redeem us all. 
How great our joy! Great our joy!
Joy, joy, joy! Joy, joy, joy!
Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!
Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!

Blessings,
Angela


Watch, Wait, Wonder, Worship 

Wednesdays in Advent, 7 pm
During this season of Advent, we invite you to join us for a live, Zoom midweek worship each Wednesday – December 16 & 23 – at 7 pm.  Our theme will be shared by many congregations across the ELCA, reminding us that even in this time of pandemic we remain a connected church.  These are quiet, meditative services with intentional spaces of silence, readings, and song.  To facilitate your participation, we invite you to save this Zoom link (it will be the same for each Wednesday) and to print or download the pages which will serve as your worship folder each week. With the Church of every time and place we pray, Come, Lord Jesus.
The worship materials can be found HERE.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82974416447
Dial in: 1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
Meeting ID: 829 7441 6447

Hello Trinity Family,

For this week’s Wednesday service prelude, I offer “The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns” arranged by Theodore Beck. As I reflect on the lyrics of this hymn, I can’t help but think of the line from our second reading in 2 Peter, “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.” Usually the sunrise time is a Googleable fact, but this year especially, we have all learned how little that we can take for granted. For some of us, the sun will rise tomorrow morning at 7:17 am; for others, the sun won’t “rise” until we can see loved ones again after the pandemic; for others, not until society becomes more just. Whenever the sun will rise next, we know that God fulfills His promises to us. Our proof lies in a manger in Bethlehem two thousand years ago on the first Christmas morning.
Here is the hymn text for your reflection:
The King shall come when morning dawns
and light triumphant breaks,
when beauty gilds the eastern hills,
and life to joy awakes. 

Blessings,
Angela


Watch, Wait, Wonder, Worship 

Wednesdays in Advent, 7 pm
During this season of Advent, we invite you to join us for a live, Zoom midweek worship each Wednesday – December 9, 16, 23 – at 7 pm.  Our theme will be shared by many congregations across the ELCA, reminding us that even in this time of pandemic we remain a connected church.  These are quiet, meditative services with intentional spaces of silence, readings, and song.  To facilitate your participation, we invite you to save this Zoom link (it will be the same for each Wednesday) and to print or download the pages which will serve as your worship folder each week. The link to the worship folder is HERE.
With the Church of every time and place we pray, Come, Lord Jesus.
Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/82974416447
Dial in: 1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
Meeting ID: 829 7441 6447

Hello Trinity Family,

After this long year of ups and downs, I find myself counting down the days til Christmas. My Advent wreath is out, my Christmas music playlist is queued up, and I’m two days into my Advent Calendar. Reflecting on this week’s readings, I keep going back to the adage “A watched pot never boils,” and in the spirit of Christmas I’ve been asking myself “Does a watched rosebud bloom?” Advent hymns and carols tend to capture this tone: anticipatory and full of hesitant joy. Tonight’s prelude for our Zoom service (offered in lieu of a Youtube meditation) Lo How A Rose E’er Blooming confidently declares the prophecies soon to be fulfilled, but the harmony captures the difficulty of staying awake and ready for a promise so bold and long-awaited. Please join us tonight on Zoom at 7 pm to reflect on these Advent themes together.
Here is the hymn text for your reflection.
Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming
As men of old have sung.
It came, a flower bright,
Amid the cold of winter
When half-gone was the night.

Blessings,
Angela


Watch, Wait, Wonder, Worship 

Wednesdays in Advent, 7 pm
During this season of Advent, we invite you to join us for a live, Zoom midweek worship each Wednesday – December 2, 9, 16, 23 – at 7 pm.  Our theme will be shared by many congregations across the ELCA, reminding us that even in this time of pandemic we remain a connected church.  These are quiet, meditative services with intentional spaces of silence, readings, and song.  To facilitate your participation, we invite you to save this Zoom link (it will be the same for each Wednesday) and to print or download the pages which will serve as your worship folder each week. 
The link to the worship materials is HERE.
With the Church of every time and place we pray, Come, Lord Jesus.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82974416447
Dial in: 1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
Meeting ID: 829 7441 6447

Martin Rinkart (1586-1649) is the author of the text “Now Thank We All Our God”.  He was a minister in the city of Eilenburg during the Thirty Years War. Apart from battles, lives were lost in great number during this time due to illnesses and disease spreading quickly throughout impoverished cities. In the Epidemic of 1637, Rinkart officiated at over four thousand funerals, sometimes fifty per day. In the midst of these horrors, it’s difficult to imagine maintaining faith and praising God, and yet, that’s exactly what Rinkart did. Sometime in the next twenty years, he wrote the hymn, “Now Thank We All Our God,” originally meant to be a prayer said before meals. Rinkart could recognize that our God is faithful, even when the world looks bleak, He is “bounteous” and is full of blessings, if only we look for them. Blessings as seemingly small as a dinner meal, or as large as the end of a brutal war and unnecessary bloodshed are all reasons to lift up our thanks to God, with our hearts, our hands, and our music.

Take time to relax and to count your blessings during this Thanksgiving Day and the year ahead.

The link to the video is HERE.

Hello Trinity Family,
This week I offer Here I Am Lord arranged by Jack Schrader. The readings of the past few weeks have focused on uncomfortable themes of times to come: punishment for sins, limitations on who will go to heaven, and grinding and gnashing of teeth. This week’s readings will include a call to action as well. Following Christ’s example isn’t always easy or straightforward, but with the help of God’s grace, we can all act as God’s hands and feet in the world and bring each other closer to salvation.
The link to the video is HERE.
Here is the hymn text for your reflection:
I the Lord of sea and sky
I have heard my people cry
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save
I who made the stars of night
I will make their darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, LordIs it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night
I will go, Lord
If You lead me
I will hold Your people in my heart
Blessings,
Angela

Hello Trinity Family,
Happy Veterans’ Day!  Today I offer America the Beautiful arranged by Lorie Line.
The link to the video is HERE.

Here is the hymn text for your reflection.
Oh beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Hello Trinity Family,
For today’s meditation I offer Sheep May Safely Graze by J.S. Bach transcribed by Egon Petri. There are no words to this piece, but I hope it provides a sense of peace for us during this next phase of our country’s leadership, whatever that may be.
Blessings,
Angela
The link to the video is HERE.

Hello Trinity Family,
This upcoming Sunday we will celebrate All Saints Day together remembering those who have passed and are now with Jesus. For today’s meditation, I offer Softly and Tenderly arranged by Joel Raney. I love how this hymn calls attention to the natural progression of life to death. As we watch the season change and the leaves fall, this hymn reminds us of how beautiful and natural it is for those in our lives to finally meet Jesus, even though it hurts so much for us.
The link to the video is HERE.
Here is the hymn text for your reflection:
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling for you and for me
See on the portals He’s waiting and watching
Watching for you and for me
Come home, come home
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, “O sinner come home”
Blessings,
Angela