Hello Trinity Family,
For this week’s music meditation I present a new hymn from All Creation Sings fitting to sing in preparation for our upcoming food drive for Living Faith this Saturday, April 17th from 9 am until noon. This hymn was written as part of a hymn contest for God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday in 2019. It was written by Wayne Wold, music director at First Lutheran Church in Ellicott City, Maryland and former music department chair of Hood College in Frederick, Maryland.
As we drop off our items like cereal and canned goods on Saturday, I encourage us to reflect on why we give and the joyful purpose that underscores our service.
The video is HERE.
The hymn text for ACS #1000, God’s Work Our Hands is as follows:
God’s work, our hands: working together,
building a future, repairing the world,
raising up homes, planting new gardens,
feeding the hungry and shelt’ring the cold.
Bless, God, our hands as we work in your name,
sharing the good news of your Gospel.

God’s work, our feet: trav’ling together,
following Jesus to places unknown,
walking as friends, marching for freedom,
running the race with God’s future the goal.
Bless, God, our feet as we follow your way,
sharing the good news of your Gospel.

God’s work, our voice: singing together,
praising, proclaiming to all who will hear,
praying for peace, shouting for justice,
claiming God’s love for the lost and the least.
Bless, God, our voice as we speak in your name,
sharing the good news of your Gospel.

God is at work in and around us:
seedlings are sprouting and bread’s on the rise!
Washed and set free, humbled and honored,
gifted by grace, we respond in God’s love.
Bless, God, our lives as we answer your call,
sharing the good news of your Gospel.

Blessings,
Angela

Hello Trinity Family,

For this Easter season, our music meditations will be a bit different. Every week I will sing a different hymn from our new hymnal supplement All Creation Sings. This week’s hymn is “Faith Begins By Letting Go” (ACS #1004). The link to the video is HERE.
The full hymn text is below.

Faith begins by letting go,
giving up what had seemed sure,
taking risks and pressing on,
though the way feels less secure:
pilgrimage both right and odd,
trusting all our life to God.

Faith endures by holding on,
keeping mem’ry’s roots alive
so that hope may bear its fruit;
promise-fed, our souls will thrive,
not through merit we possess
but by God’s great faithfulness.

Faith matures by reaching out,
stretching minds, enlarging hearts,
sharing struggles, living prayer,
binding up the broken parts;
till we find the commonplace
ripe with witness to God’s grace.

Blessings,
Angela

Hello Trinity Family,

Today Anita and I offer a new hymn composed by Carolyn Winfrey Gilette, “God, in Our Church’s Teaching”. On the Wednesday of Holy Week, many Christians remember Jesus’ Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. In this spirit, we sing this hymn to grieve the Asian women recently lost in Atlanta and to reflect on how we can stand up to injustice and hate.
The hymn text is as follows.

God, in our church’s teaching, may we be bold and clear;
may it become our practice to counter hate and fear.
We’ve said that Jesus’ message is one that’s filled with love,
and yet our sweeping statements are clearly not enough.

Isaiah boldly told us you hate our worship ways
when we ignore injustice and simply offer praise.
And Jesus gave a warning: When we — in sin and pride —
refuse to welcome others, we turn our Lord aside.

May these be crucial lessons we teach the old and young:
that racist ways are evil, that sexist ways are wrong.
In Sunday schools and pulpits, may this be what we speak:
God made each person precious, beloved and unique.

O God, we grieve the violence, the shootings, and the hate;
we grieve our own indifference — our speaking out too late.
God, in our church’s witness, may we say loud and clear:
We welcome every neighbor. We work for justice here.

Blessings,Angela

Hello Trinity Family,

These days, worship for me feels nothing like it did a year ago. The music is recorded separately in advance and the parts of worship come together in individual segments recorded in various places. Because of this, I didn’t learn that Jude Maloney had passed away until after the music for Reconciling in Christ Sunday was recorded. Editing joyful and affirming hymns like Shine Jesus Shine proved incredibly difficult for me as grief resonated through our Lutheran community.
I encourage us as we continue to boldly affirm and reconcile differences, to allow ourselves to grieve. In the words of our National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, “Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: That even as we grieved, we grew, That even as we hurt, we hoped, That even as we tired, we tried, That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious—Not because we will never again know defeat But because we will never again sow division.” 
Today’s meditation is my own arrangement of a traditional Catholic hymn prayed or sung during funerals. These verses of the Dies Irae (verses 7 and 8 beginning “Quid Miser Sum”) capture the difficult and complicated emotions that accompany unexpected loss.
The link to the video is HERE.
Here is the hymn text for your reflection:
What then shall I, a sinner, say?
Who can I ask to pray for me,
When even the just man fears his safety?
O King of awful majesty
Who saves the chosen, freely,
Save me, o font of mercy!Amen
Blessings,
Angela

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.