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.
Trinity Church Outdoor Gathering
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
Small groups in December
Hymns of Advent and Christmas
Weeks of Nov 29 and Dec 6, 19, 20 & 27
New Sunday Morning time @ 11
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
What Happens Next??
This is something we all want to know. When are we bringing services back inside? What happens when the weather gets bad? When are we returning to a normal Sunday morning schedule? What are we doing about Christmas??
These are valid and important questions, but before I address them, I want to remind you that there are spiritual gifts in this time of uncertainty. We are being drawn into the practice of radical patience and radical faith in God. This moment as much as any other is one that calls us into a practice of profoundly honest prayer where bring all our anxieties, frustrations, and fears and lay them at the feet of Jesus as an offering. There is too much we cannot control to do anything other than pray, “Thy will be done.”
Meanwhile, here are the guidelines your Regathering Team and I are using to make decisions about worshiping together. For now, as long as the Baltimore County COVID-19 positivity rate is over 3%, regular Sunday worship will stay outdoors. We will continue to hold one Sunday service at 9am in person and livestreamed on YouTube, followed by online Zoom Hospitality Hour, with small group formation starting at 10am also on Zoom. We will do our best to get the word out if rain, snow, or sleet forces us cancel outdoor worship. In that case, we will hold Morning Prayer on the Hospitality Hour Zoom link.
As it gets chillier, those who persevere and come to worship outdoors can pick up handwarmers or purchase a stadium blanket with the Trinity logo! Those who should not go out in cold weather, can still join us by watching the livestream on YouTube. If it doesn’t start right away, don’t give up. Your emerging technical team will get us rolling eventually.
As far as Christmas goes, I ask your patience and encouragement. Right now Kathleen Capcara, Jill Dumser, and I are working on plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning. There is a lot to figure out before we can make any announcements, but if you would like to be a part of that planning, let us know. Another spiritual gift of this weird era as the necessity to think creatively and to innovate. We may have one of our best Christmases yet, because there is nothing God cannot redeem.
Be of good courage, friends, and keep the faith. Our God abounds in steadfast love.
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.
COVID-19 Building Usage
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.
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.
What to do to flatten the curve?
- Stay home now, whether you are healthy or ill.
- Avoid public places.
- Wash your hands
- Don’t touch your face.
- No play dates, sleepovers, or visiting.
- Shop online, or limit grocery store visits.
- Stay 6 feet away from people. You may have to ask them to back up.
- Wash your hands immediately when you reenter your home.
If you get sick…
- Stay at home.
- Use a separate room (if possible) to protect your family
- 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.
- 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,
- 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
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.
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