From Pastor Christine
I was in my first year as a pastor when my son Cooper (who is now 18) was about 6 years old. I was a solo pastor, still learning the ropes, and a single mom of three young boys. Needless to say, I was busy. When people asked me what we were planning on for Easter dinner, I would just laugh. I knew we would be ordering pizza. No time or energy for much more than that. Some time around Palm Sunday my son asked me where all the “Easter stuff” was… Why weren’t the little ceramic bunnies, jelly beans, and pretty crosses out? Why hadn’t we decorated Easter eggs?
The Easter stuff… yes, where was it?
From Cooper’s point of view, I had definitely failed to be the Pinterest mom (I still fail at this on a regular basis), but the underlying truth of his question has stayed with me all these years. I was so busy focused on completing tasks, managing schedules, and ensuring worship services went off without a hitch that I was missing the important pieces.
The beauty and gift of family.
The nakedness of worship.
The joy of the moment.
The promise of life.
The stuff of Easter.
I invite you to be mindful of the “Easter stuff” as we step into Holy Week. Carve out time for family, for worship, for life.
Holy Week Worship Plans
This year we plan to have a mixture of in-person and recorded services during Holy Week. Here are the highlights of each day:
Palm Sunday March 28: 10am Outdoor live worship in the parking lot with palms (signup mandatory); plus a recorded YouTube service
Maundy Thursday, April 1: 6:30pm Live via Zoom–beginning with a communal meal and ending with the stripping of the altar
dial in: 301-715-8592, ID 931 7687 7359 HERE is some important information on our Maundy Thursday Service.
Good Friday, April 2: Recorded YouTube service featuring readings and artwork of the Stations of the Cross
Easter Sunday, April 4: 10am Outdoor live worship in the parking lot with children’s message, and Easter bag hunt to follow (signup mandatory); plus a recorded YouTube service with additional musical surprises.
Please use the above Holy Week link to sign up, or contact the Church Office.
In case of inclement weather, those who have signed up will be notified by 9am.
Note: Please bring your own lawn/camp chairs from home, or sit in your car; the AM transmitter should be working to allow you to stay in your car if desired.
Construction at the corner of Old Georgetown Rd and Executive Blvd has created a longterm road closure at that intersection. If you are approaching Trinity southbound on Rockville Pike, or westbound on Randolph Rd, please follow the Detour signs and turn right on Nicholson Lane and left on Old Georgetown Rd to reach Trinity. HERE is a map of the detour from Montgomery County.
Assistants Still Needed for Holy Week Services
In order for our services on Palm Sunday and Easter to run smoothly, we need your help! Please sign up HERE to be Parking Lot Greeter (to give handouts to each car) or Parking Lot Usher (to direct cars to parking spots and people to available seating areas).
Get to know Pastor Christine
In an effort to meet members of Trinity, Pastor Christine has set up a signup genius form. If you are interested in a one-on-one meeting with her to share a bit about yourself and get to know her, please select a slot, or call the office to set up a meeting time. The meetings will take place over zoom or via phone (your preference). More times and slots will be added. Once you sign up, she will contact you with zoom details, if desired.
Join us for Worship this Sunday!
This week, the center of the church’s year, is one of striking contrasts: Jesus rides into Jerusalem surrounded by shouts of glory, only to be left alone to die on the cross, abandoned by even his closest friends. Mark’s gospel presents Jesus in his complete human vulnerability: agitated, grieved, scared, forsaken. Though we lament Christ’s suffering and all human suffering, we also expect God’s salvation: in the wine and bread, Jesus promises that his death will mark a new covenant with all people. We enter this holy week thirsty for the completion of God’s astonishing work.
Lenten Benevolence will be directed this year to the ELCA Disaster Response Fund; when submitting your offering envelopes, please mark Lenten Benevolence or ELCA Disaster Response under Other. HERE is the link to Lutheran Disaster Response if you would like to give directly.
Virtual Services are broadcast on YouTube each week at https://bit.ly/TrinityELCAYouTube
Readings for Palm/Passion Sunday
NOTE: Special time this week–11:30am This week, David K continues a new series on 1 John and 1 Peter on Sunday. Please email David to receive a Zoom invitation to the class. Please join us! There will be no adult forum on Easter Sunday.
Faith Formation videos & resources are published on Saturdays, and will be emailed with the service.
Pastor Christine’s Lenten Challenge
Lent is a time to focus on strengthening and deepening our relationship with God, with one another, and with the world. And so, I’d like to challenge you to do at least 3 things in these areas:
Strengthen your relationship with God
Participate in an event that supports worship (read, cantor, write prayers, participate in choir). We can connect you with those who organize these things. Just contact the office. Read and reflect using the Again and Again Lenten Devotional found in you Lenten goody bag. Or, introduce a new prayer practice (a few options can be found here). Attend mid-week Lenten services on Zoom Wednesdays at 7:30pm.
Strengthen your relationship with others
Reach out to at least 3 people you know personally from church who you haven’t been in contact with lately (by hone, email, or by sending a card). Is there a personal relationship in your life that needs mending? Take some intentional time to consider what next healthy steps to take. Approach others with a demeanor of curiosity when you disagree, listening to their point of view.
Strengthen your relationship with the world
Make a direct online donation to one of our social ministry partners (Lutheran World Relief, Bethesda Help, ELCA World Hunger, A Wider Circle, Lutheran Social Services) Drop off food for Living Faith Food Pantry (next drop off: March 20) Invite someone who doesn’t attend church to join us for online worship. These are all just starting points. There are so many ways we can reach out! A quick google search also provides me with numerous ways to support first responders and those suffering from housing insecurity during the pandemic. I hope you’ll find intentionality in relationships is a good thing.
Easter Lilies 2021–Last Opportunity!
The Worship and Music Team plans to purchase lilies to adorn the sanctuary this Easter; if you would like to reserve one or more to purchase and take home, please contact the Church Office. Approximate cost is $10.
Inviting Members to Help Advance Trinity’s Ministry
The Council is inviting members to engage in two short-term activities. They are related to ensuring Trinity’s financial health and good governance and to enhancing Trinity’s connection with our members and outreach to the community. Please contact the Church Office or Sarah M if you are interested in serving Trinity’s ministry with one of these activities:
• Supporting Good Governance: Join the Audit Committee. We are inviting members who have accounting or financial backgrounds to participate on an Audit Committee to perform an audit of Trinity’s finances for 2019 and 2020 and prepare a report for the Council and congregation. An audit committee is meant to provide the oversight necessary to promote a strong control environment and to afford reasonable assurance that good stewardship is being used in handling and accounting for the funds and other assets of the congregation. Participation on this committee may require a few days work over the course of a month or so once started. We do not have a start date identified and are flexible, but good practice suggests we should want it completed no later than June and if it can be done by May 16, we could provide an update at the semi-annual meeting.
• Enhancing Trinity’s Connection and Outreach: Technology Upgrades. Trinity’s technology capabilities – equipment and software – are inadequate for meeting the needs of our congregation and engaging the community in new and creative ways. The Council is creating a Technology Task Force and we are inviting interested members to think with us about needs and priorities for technology upgrades. Ideally, we will have one or more proposals for Congregational consideration by our May 16, 2021 semi-annual meeting, but the work may continue beyond the May meeting. Starting in March, we will be meeting weekly on Zoom to identify needs and brainstorm solutions. Please join us. Contact the church office with your interest for the link, days and time. This may require up to 20 hours of activity over March and April.
Thank you for your offerings. At present, we support donations through PayPal. We are currently exploring our options to provide you multiple options for online giving. See details HERE.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to add them to the list below.
Martha R (Bethesda H&R)
Philip T (Manor Care Potomac)
Tigist G, Billie J, Elizabeth R, Margo W
family and friends*:
Lonnie B, friend of Carol B
Brian B, former Trinity Office Admin
Rev. Sarah F-M, friend of Anita S
Ryan R, great nephew of Len S
Rev. Sandra S, Pastor of Living Faith Lutheran Church
Vicky C, friend of Valerie & Mike M
Paul M, son of Valerie & Mike M
Greta 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.