From Pastor Kern
Dear People of God,
Saint Lucy was a martyr of Sicily who died in 304, under persecution from the Roman Emperor. For reasons lost to history, Lucia, whose name means light, gained great popularity in Sweden and Norway, perhaps because her feast day fell on one of the darkest days of the year in the northern hemisphere. A tradition began of a girl in the household, wearing a crown of candles, bringing baked goods to her family in the early morning on Lucia’s day. The church commemorates Santa Lucia each year on December 13th, as the bringer of light. According to legend, she was devoted to God and was generous toward the poor.
What does the world need more today, than a bringer of light? With the pandemic, and all the strident voices in politics, along with our collective inability to help the poor among us in any meaningful way, it’s easy to succumb to the darkness, to say to ourselves, all is lost.
But of course, all is not lost! It’s Advent and we’re in the middle of hearing about the new thing God does in Christ and through us! And it’s Santa Lucia day on Sunday. From a crown of candles to the hope in our hearts, light comes to us and through us!
And here at Trinity, you will greet your new light-bearer for the first time on Sunday. You owe it to yourselves to watch the worship video when it arrives Sunday morning, attend the on-line meet and greet, and participate in the special congregation meeting after that. Through the prayerful discernment of the Call Committee and the enthusiastic endorsement of the Congregation Council, the Holy Spirit is bringing you a pastor. Please, receive them as God’s gift to you that they surely are. New light is coming to Trinity this Advent, on the day of St Lucy.
I will be with you two more Sundays, two more Advent Wednesdays, and Christmas Eve. Then, the next chapter of Trinity’s life begins to unfold.
May God bless you all,
Trinity Special Congregation Meeting
All members should have received in the mail the Zoom invitation to attend a special congregational meeting on December 13 at 2pm to call a new pastor, preceded by a Zoom Meet and Greet at 1pm to meet the candidate, after viewing the pastor leading a recorded service that morning. The service will be posted on our YouTube channel on December 13, at 8 am. You will also receive this link in your email. Please note: Because the candidate is currently the rostered pastor at another ELCA church, we are not able to provide the candidate’s name at this time. Any questions–please contact Sarah M, President of the Congregation.
Semi-Annual Meeting via Zoom, December 20 at Noon
We will have our Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting via Zoom at noon on Sunday, December 20. The planned agenda includes:
1) Voting on our annual spending plan
2) Property Update
3) Council goals and activities for 2021
Zoom address: https://cssp.zoom.us/j/99095457053
Dial-in: (301)715-8592, meeting ID 9909 545 7053
Trinity’s monthly newsletter, The Trinitarian, has been published. You can find it HERE.
Parking Lot Services with Communion
Due to the Special Meeting of the Congregation this week, the December 13 Parking Lot Service has been cancelled. Please watch for the signup links next week for the December 20 and Christmas Eve parking lot services, both at 4 pm. We will have the AM transmitter up for both of those services.
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.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82974416447
Dial in: 1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
Meeting ID: 829 7441 6447
Blue Christmas Service
Trinity’s Stephen Ministry Program is leading a Blue Christmas Service on Trinity’s YouTube channel beginning December 20th.
The Advent season can be a difficult time for anyone who has had a loved one pass away or another sad event happen, while the rest of the world is celebrating the season. This year’s sadness is compounded by the Pandemic, in which COVID 19 has caused over 285,000 deaths in our country alone and has forced us to adapt to an ever-changing environment.
Blue Christmas is an annual service at Trinity that allows time to listen, reflect, sing, and pray for hope and healing, so that people feel that they are not alone in their grief. Please join us December 20 to view Blue Christmas in the comfort of your home, light a candle to honor the person, persons, or situation of suffering or grief, and know that Jesus is with you always.
Virtual services, Faith Formation resources, and musical meditations will continue to be posted on Trinity’s YouTube channel each week: https://bit.ly/3eHOnsK (and subscribe!)
Readings for the Third Sunday in Advent
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
There will be NO class this week, December 13. Please join David K next week as he begins a new Bible Study at 9:30am.
Advent Retreat Sessions
Join Valerie on Sunday mornings during Advent, this week December 13 at the special time of 9:30am, for some time of prayer, reflection, poetry, coloring, and quiet conversation. You will need to have 4 candles, pen/pencil, coloring tools, and a printed copy of the materials (2 pages) for the week.
The Zoom link each week is: https://zoom.us/j/93415278167
Dial in: (301)715-8592, meeting ID 93415278167
Materials for week 3 are HERE.
See the Trinitarian for more details. Contact Valerie M (email@example.com) with any questions.
Social Media Alert
If you have a Facebook or Instagram account, you’ll want to watch for some fun postings on Dec 7th and 15th, and during the 12 days of Christmas leading up to Epiphany. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram!
Faith Formation Videos will be emailed on Fridays.
Social Ministry Advent/Christmas Edition
The Social Ministry team is sponsoring several opportunities for giving during the Advent season. Please consider participating in one or more, as you are able. Details may be found HERE.
Included are appeals for:
2020 Gifts of Hope – online this year
NEW–Adopting a Family through A Wider Circle (AWC) – Deadline is December 14
Please click HERE to sign up to purchase one or more items for members of the family. Drop off your unwrapped, labeled purchases to the office entrance this Friday or Monday (9am to 2pm) or have them mailed to Margaret F.
Reverse Advent Calendar and Devotions
As a reverse Advent discipline, we are collecting items for the pantry at Living Faith. A full explanation is in the December Trinitarian, including the master list of daily items. Make this discipline work as you need. If you have any questions, please contact Valerie M at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for supporting the pantry.
2021 Stewardship Campaign is Underway
Thank you to 32 giving units who have pledged to date $184,716 to support Trinity’s mission in 2021. Please contact the church office (email@example.com) if you did not receive a pledge card, and it will be mailed to you. Please return your completed card, either at Sunday Parking Lot Services, by mail, to the secure mailbox at the office entrance, or emailed to Carol B, Financial Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you for your offering. Your gifts make the ministry of Trinity possible. Electronic giving may be available through your bank or financial institution. Offerings mailed to the church office will be promptly deposited.
Remember in your prayers
We are grateful that people have been lifting up our members and friends in prayer during Zoom gatherings. Please also call the office at 301-881-7275 or email email@example.com to add them to the list below.
Philip T (Manor Care Potomac)
Bill B, Tigist G, Len S, Susan S, Margo W
family and friends*:
Brian B, former Trinity Office Admin
Cmdr Joe DeM, friend of Len S
Paul G, husband of Louise G
Mari J, friend of Sarah M & Tom K
Carl (CJ) S, brother of Dan S
Vicky C, friend of Valerie & Mike M
Paul M, son of Valerie & Mike M
Lisbeth N-DGreta S & Linda A, sister & sister-in-law of Anita S
Vanessa B, friend of Elizabeth & Ben R
Andrew S, brother of Elizabeth R
*Family and friends will be kept on the list for four weeks. Please submit a request to the Church Office to extend them another four weeks.