Welcome to Trinity Church Towson

Dear God, guide us at Trinity Episcopal Church to be an inclusive and caring Christ-centered community nurtured by our worship and tradition. We ask you to strengthen and guide us as we live out our mission to welcome and celebrate the diversity of all people through spiritual education, growth in faith and service in Christ’s Name. Amen.

A service in loving memory of
The Reverend Robert Scott Runkle

The Reverend Robert Scott Runkle
3:00pm – April 16, 2021
Live streamed v
ia YouTube

Worship Schedule

8am – Holy Eucharist in person (sign up required)
10am – Holy Eucharist in person (sign up required) and via YouTube

Red Easter EggThe Egg and the Tomb

In the shorter, cooler days of autumn and winter, chickens lay fewer eggs, or stop laying altogether. Among the surest signs of spring’s return are the first fresh eggs. Thus did the egg become a potent symbol of life and hope. To celebrate the return of light and growth, people decorated eggs with paints, waxes, dyes, and sometimes even gold. As the followers of Jesus spread out over the world, they found ways to use such folk traditions to proclaim the Gospel. Legends and traditions grew up around colored eggs to explain the mystery of Easter.

One story tells that when the women went with spices to Jesus’ tomb, Mary Magdalene brought a basket of cooked white eggs to share for breakfast. When she and the other women reached at the tomb, all the eggs in Mary’s basket had become a vibrant red. By this, Mary understood that by his blood Jesus had defeated death and brought new life. The women cracked their eggs together as a sign of the open tomb.

According to legend Mary Magdalene was later permitted an audience with Emperor Tiberius to protest that Pilate had condemned an innocent man to death. Again she brought a cooked white egg. After laying out her complaint, Mary held out the egg and proclaimed, “Christ is Risen.” Tiberius burst out laughing and said that Jesus was no more risen from the dead than the egg in her hand was red. Immediately the egg turned scarlet.

These traditions are why we turn eggs into richly colored gems to share. These are profound gifts that help us celebrate how Christ died for our sake and rose for the glory of God. They tell us that Death does not have the final word, and that Jesus has opened for us the gates of eternal life.

Rev. Rhetta Wiley

Wednesday Evening Prayer

Evening Prayer with Sykes & Wiley returns on September 16th! Find the duo live at 6pm on YouTube Link

Thursday Noon Bible Study

Brown Bag Bible Study starting September 17th! Grab a sandwich and your Bible to join in a discussion of weekly lectionary readings.

Small Groups on ZOOM

6 Sessions on Hybrid Church for Trinity Church Small Groups Easter Season 2021

Trinity Church

Online Worship Archive

An archive video of the six most recent worship services available for viewing and can be accessed via the button below.

A Phased Approach to Regathering as Church: A message from the bishops of Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland – Sunday Service

Grace & Peace to You From Our Lord Jesus Christ
Message from Rev. Rhetta Wiley

Return to me!

…though your outcasts are under the farthest skies,
I will gather them from there and bring them to the place
at which I have chosen to establish my name.
Nehemiah 1:9
It is a time of endings and beginnings at Trinity, a “thin” time when the Holy Spirit is likely to break through. On Sunday March 7, at 11 a.m. we will hold our Annual Meeting where we will offer our thanks to Jack Gillett and Linda Jolly who are stepping down from vestry. We will then vote two new members onto the Vestry, welcome and bless them into their new role, and begin the 164th year of this congregation.

We have decided to hold our meeting this year through video conferencing after Morning Prayer (which starts an hour earlier at 10 a.m). Links to both worship and the annual meeting can be found on our website. If you need help navigating the technology, drop Jill a note and we will find a way to get you connected. Please make a point of attending. Your vote and voice are important to the life of this church.

Even more exciting is that the following Sunday, March 14, at 10am barring serious developments in the pandemic, we will resume Holy Eucharist inside Trinity Church. You are invited to join us in the church for this One Church event that will also be livestreamed via our YouTube Channel. Attendance will be limited, and so you are encouraged to register through Event Brite to reserve a spot.

We will still be running the ceiling fans and opening windows to increase air circulation. We will also require that people wear masks and maintain a loving distance of 6ft. Huggers will have to restrain themselves for a while longer, and those who love to sing must be content to hum.

Even with such precautions, not everyone will feel ready or comfortable coming back to worship inside. That’s OK. I urge you, though, to tune in through YouTube. After the livestream, if you feel comfortable with it, you are welcome to drive through from 11 a.m. through 12 p.m. to receive the Bread. While our loving God is everywhere, it will be good to give thanks and praise together for a return to the place we have plastered with our prayers for more than 160 years.

In peace,
Rev. Rhetta Wiley

 

Regathering Message

Regathering Message

The most important thing for you to know is that I remain available to you through the pastoral care line (410) 470-5539 no matter what rules are put in place by authorities. While the loving Spirit of God is always waiting for you in your own prayers, I am honored to support you in that in whatever way I can. Now for the news.

On May 8th we initiated planning for our return to worshiping in person. A group of clergy, lay leaders, and staff gathered to review the guidelines provided by the Dioceses of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC—a link to that document is here—and begin considering how we will resume all our in-person ministries. Bishop Sutton has informed us that he will not allow parishes to resume in-person worship until we have a written plan in place that conforms to these guidelines.

Maryland authorities will most likely allow our largest ministries, the Surprise Shop and Trinity Preschool, to resume operations soonest. Erin Woodward and Peggy Weller have already begun a plan with the shop board, as has Amanda Dean with her team and the school board. Beginning this week, we will start drawing up a phased plan for resuming worship, formation, and in-person pastoral care.

Trinity’s “Regathering Task Force” includes your wardens, church staff and clergy plus Eric Bass, Melissa Jenkins, and Joel Moore. We will work in consultation with your Vestry and with you by survey over the next 2-3 weeks. We will be assessing

  • how we adapt our mission to a COVID-19 reality,
  • what recommendations to make specific to religious services,
  • how we best protect and involve our most vulnerable members,
  • how to maintain unity while making multiple options available to members of the congregation with differing levels of comfort/vulnerability,
  • and how to communicate information as decisions are made.

From there we will draw up a phased plan that takes into account the likelihood of additional waves of viral outbreak over the coming months. This will include not only how we orchestrate liturgy, but putting in place permanent online options for worship and formation—especially education in how to participate in online community! I welcome your comments, questions, and concerns. Most of all I thank you for your prayers and your faithfulness.

Meanwhile, please know that you are in my prayers, and that we will get through this together. Our God is the source of Resurrection, and out of this shadowed valley new life will surely grow.

in peace,

Rev. Rhetta Wiley

COVID-19 Building Usage

Trinity Episcopal Church

April 6, 2020

Dear members of the Trinity Towson family,

I am sending out this letter to clarify and advise how we are to use our various buildings during this time of the COVID-19 outbreak and Governor Hogan’s Stay-at-Home order.

At this time, we are closed to the public.

  • Public worship is suspended until at least May 16, 2020.
  • The church office is closed to the public until at least May 17, 2020.
  • Trinity Episcopal Preschool is closed through April 24, 2020.
  • The Surprise shop is also closed through April 24, 2020.
  • All outside community activities are suspended until at least May 17.

The following activities are currently the only legitimate uses of our buildings, in compliance with Bishop Sutton’s and Governor Hogan’s directives.

  • ACTC is using our Guild Room. Pat Shaw and Cathy Evans have access to the building during the week, but the bulk of the work happens:
    • Wednesdays, when the Maryland Food Bank makes its delivery, and 5 volunteers unload food into the Guild Room,
    • Sundays, when 5-7 volunteers are packing bags to take over to ACTC for distribution throughout the week.
    • All volunteers are wearing masks and gloves.
  • Staff members are coming in as needed, but mostly working from home.
    • Hardwick, Kathleen and I (plus my wife Mary) come in to live stream Sunday evening worship. Some of our professional choir members are sometimes participating. Kathleen is also streaming Godly Play. At most we are 7 per gathering and are all strictly maintaining the recommended distance of 6 ft.
    • Jen and Jill come in occasionally to pick up mail, etc.
    • Luis is using this time to do deep cleaning of all our buildings.
    • Trinity the Cat is practicing exemplary social distancing but thriving under the care of her extensive fan base.

Thank you for honoring these restrictions. Please take some time to pray for a swift end to this crisis, and that we all find patience, compassion, and strength in the meantime. Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy, and know that God remains with us through it all.

In peace,
Rev. Rhetta Wiley

Coronavirus: Staying Healthy

Covid-19 is in Maryland.
Here is information for you to keep healthy during this outbreak.

What does it look like if you have it?

  • Most people (80%) have fever, cough and cold/flu symptoms.
  • 20% are sick enough to require hospital care, and half of these people need ICU care.

Coronavirus mortality risk

  • According to Dr. Eric Bass “estimates are changing day to day as we obtain more information.”
  • We do know that “the fatality rates increase with age, to about 10% in people over age 70.”
  • “Although fatality rates are much lower in young people, we’re hearing more reports of deaths in young people because so many people have the infection.”

Covid-19 is 30 times more deadly than influenza.

How it spreads

  • Coronavirus is very contagious. It’s transmitted by droplets (sneeze/cough), or contact.
  • It stays on hard surfaces (doorknobs, elevator buttons, credit card keypads) for up to 9 days.
  • Infected people carry the virus for 2-14 days before they get sick. They feel and look fine, but they are contagious this whole time.

Waiting until there is significant illness in your community is too late
because you can’t tell who is sick – and neither can they.

Is all this concern overblown?

  • Coronavirus is unlike any infection we’ve seen in over 100 years. It spreads faster, affects more people, and is more contagious than flu.
  • As of April 6, 2020, there were 4,045 in Maryland alone.

Half to two-thirds of US population is expected to develop COVID19.
The US healthcare system is already getting overwhelmed.

What can we do?

Slowing the spread and “flattening the curve” will help to slow the rate we are overwhelming hospitals.

Flattening the CurveWhat to do to flatten the curve?

  1. Stay home now, whether you are healthy or ill.
  2. Avoid public places.
  3. Wash your hands
  4. Don’t touch your face.
  5. No play dates, sleepovers, or visiting.
  6. Shop online, or limit grocery store visits.
  7. Stay 6 feet away from people. You may have to ask them to back up.
  8. Wash your hands immediately when you reenter your home.

If you get sick…

  1. Stay at home.
  2. Use a separate room (if possible) to protect your family
  3. Call your doctor / health team if you have a fever, especially if they have a new cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, muscle aches, or sudden loss of smell or taste, or if you have any symptoms and been exposed to someone with test-confirmed COVID-19.
  4. It is particularly important to seek medical advice if there is shortness of breath at rest.

So what is safe?

  • Outdoor activities like walking, jogging, biking, hiking, or gardening are fine as long as you are 6 feet away from others.
  • It is also recommended that you wear a mask over your nose and mouth.
  • STAY HOME, call a friend, and pray with your fellow parishioners online.

Use your influence:

To encourage people to practice healthy behaviors like

  • Staying Home,
  • Handwashing,
  • Keeping Physical Distance if you must go out, and
  • Staying Socially Connected by Phone and Internet.

With God’s help and these sensible strategies, we should be able to save lives and come through this crisis with our health and wellbeing intact.  Keep the Faith!

For pastoral emergencies please call

Mother Rhetta at 443-470-5539

Stewardship

We anticipate that the COVID-19 crisis will continue to have an economic impact on all of us. Please continue to fulfill your pledges as you are able by one of the following methods.

  • Mail checks to
    Trinity Episcopal Church
    120 Allegheny Ave
    Towson, MD 21204
  • Set up automatic payments through your bank’s online Bill Pay function. You may need to call your bank for assistance with this.
  • Use our online donation system. Please note that this system takes a fee from your donation. Click to use this system
  • Give through the Diocesan website: Click to use this option

If you find that you are not able to meet your pledge for some reason, please let us know so we can plan accordingly.

In addition, our business manager Jen Korczakowski has set us up as a charity through Amazon Smile. I encourage you to use this option as a way to send us a little something (0.5%) every time you shop. Many of you know that I am not an Amazon fan, but if you rely on it, by all means use it to support Trinity.

  1. Visit Amazon Smile
  2. Sign in with your Amazon.com credentials
  3. Select your charity – Choose Trinity Episcopal Church in Towson
  4. Start shopping!
  5. Add a bookmark for Amazon Smile to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile

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The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland

The Book of Common Prayer

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