Hello Trinity Family,

Today’s meditation comes from my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. As I have read this upcoming Sunday’s gospel passage, the parable of the mustard seed, I’ve reflected on my growth in my faith and in my ministry. Today’s meditation is also very special to me because it features my favorite guest artist, my mother, Connie Small! I hope you enjoy these three hymns from All Creation Sings: 1015 As a Mother Comforts Her Child, 1027 Don’t Be Afraid, and 1063 God of the Fertile Fields. The video can be found HERE.

Blessings,
Angela

Hello Trinity Family,

As we transition back to our “green” Sundays and spend time reflecting on how we worship, I offer three shorter hymns from All Creation Sings. These short hymns would fit well as responses throughout the service, like after communion. I encourage us as we hear these different hymn texts to reflect on how we respond to worship and to God’s love in our hearts. What parts of our faith do we boldly proclaim? What parts of worship encourage us to speak out? Which Bible verses are our favorite to sing? Today I offer three choices for us, ACS 1018 Deep Peace, 1035 Though the Earth Shall Change, and 1041 God is Love. The video can be found HERE.

Blessings,
Angela

Hello Trinity Family,
Happy Ascension Thursday! While we have moved our official celebration of this day to Sunday, May 16th, today I want to offer a special Ascension musical offering. Much like the apostles in these ten days between the Ascension and Pentecost, during the pandemic, our staff has experienced the loneliness of ministry in front of an empty sanctuary into the camera. We are looking forward to transitioning into live-streaming worship. To demonstrate how technology can aid our efforts to create meaningful live worship experiences, the accompaniment for today’s meditation has both prerecorded and live components. The members of the Heavenly Handbells have prerecorded individual hand chime rings which I have programmed into a midi controller. As I sing today’s hymn, ACS 943 As the Wind Song, I am playing these recordings to create the accompaniment. While someday we will enjoy the Heavenly Handbells in the sanctuary again (with much more variation in technique, range, and musicianship than I can recreate with an electronic device), in the meantime our technological capabilities allow us to make worship inclusive to all.
The hymn lyrics are in the video description.
Blessings,
Angela

The link to the video is HERE.

What Is the World Like

What is the world like when God’s will is done?
Mustard seeds grow more than we can conceive:       
roots thread the soil; branches reach for the sun.
This is how God moves us each to believe.

What is the world like when God’s will is done?
Witness the wandering child coming home;
watch as the parent breaks into a run.
This is how God longs for us when we roam.

What is the world like when God’s will is done?
No more is neighbor just ally or friend;
peace thrives in places where once there was none.
This is how God works when rivalries end.

What is the world like when God’s will is done?
Ready for feasting, we watch through the night,
tending our lamps till the new day’s begun.
This is how God readies us for the light.

These are the stories that Jesus imparts,
filled with the Spirit who joins us as one.
Born through our voices, our hands, and our hearts,
this is a new world where God’s will is done.

Hello Trinity family, 
For this week’s journey through All Creation Sings, our new hymnal supplement, I am introducing one of two new musical settings. Setting 12 ties in scripture celebrating God’s creation. This option for the Hymn of Praise, Glory to You, God specifically describes how we can joyfully respond to God’s work in the world. The lyrics can be found in the comments of the YouTube video.
The link to the video is HERE.
Blessings,
Angela

Hello Trinity Family,

Happy Earth Day! This Sunday, we will have a special recorded service provided by Lutherans Restoring Creation. To celebrate, this week I offer a hymn from All Creation Sings that focuses on all the creatures of God’s creation (and provided inspiration for the name of our hymnal supplement!) I hope you enjoy this fun hymn, ACS #1064, Earth is Full of Wit and Wisdom.
The link to the video is HERE.
The full hymn text is as follows: 
Earth is full of wit and wisdom,
sounding God’s delighted laugh,
from the tiny roly-poly
to the treetop-tall giraffe.
All creation sings in wonder;
even rocks and trees rejoice
as they join the ringing chorus:
echoes of our Maker’s voice.

Earth is full of wit and wisdom,
woven into harmony.
Ev’ry creature has a purpose,
ev’ry flow’r and bumblebee.
Spider, human, redwood, gecko,
monkey, chicken, mouse, and snake
live within a single fabric:
cloth that only God could make.

Earth is full of wit and wisdom:
penguin, platypus, and snail,
cactus, sea slug, oak, and algae,
from the microbe to the whale.
In this great and strange creation,
with a breath God gives us birth:
born of soil to live as stewards,
called to love and serve the earth.

Blessings,Angela

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