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.

Morning Prayer
January 24, 2021, 10am

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Due to the winter weather we will NOT be gathering outside for Morning Prayer beginning December 27. Instead we will be celebrating online. Please join us on YouTube or Zoom. Please refer to the weekly Trinity e-Times for the Zoom link.  We anticipate a great deal of joyful noise and meaningful prayer as we experience and celebrate the love of God in Christ together.

Click to view on YouTube

Christmas Worship 2020

The Christmas Story; a virtual experience

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

5 Sessions on Civil Discourse Sessions for Trinity Small Groups Beginning January 17

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

New Year’s Resolutions

Epiphany-tide is a season that is difficult to define, because it shares so many qualities with other seasons of the liturgical year. Like Advent it is a season of light, although that light is not of those candles we kindle in anticipation of the Christ child. Like Lent it is a season of reflection, although it is not about examining ourselves for areas of weakness or needed growth. Like Easter it is a season of revelation, but its focus is less on what God has done and more on who God is: our divine, omnipotent, and unfathomably loving source, maker, Father, and Mother, who longs for the reconciliation of the entire world.

Epiphany’s uniqueness lies in the revelation that God’s love is not only for the people of Israel, but spills over for the whole of humanity, and indeed the whole of creation. That love and that truth were revealed in scripture, in a star, in a newborn infant. These mysteries signal to us God’s yearning to be reunited with us, and for all of us to be united with one another in a true and loving peace wherein no one is exploited or oppressed or denied an abundant life.

Beginning on January 17 our small groups will engage with a new formation curriculum on civil discourse. This five-week series is not simply an exercise in polite political conversation; it is part of the holy work of reconciliation to which we are called. The course was originally designed for Lent, but I think it is an even better spiritual discipline for Epiphany, not to mention for our moment in history. It is an opportunity to take seriously the Christian call to the sacred arts of listening, compassionate truth telling, and building understanding with our neighbors.

I write this to you now as I listen to the news of violent insurrection in our nation’s capital. Whatever your politics, I urge you now more than ever to commit yourself to work for a just peace within our hearts, on our streets, in our country, and around the world.

Epiphany-tide is a season that is difficult to define, because it shares so many qualities with other seasons of the liturgical year.  Like Advent it is a season of light, although that light is not of those candles we kindle in anticipation of the Christ child.  Like Lent it is a season of reflection, although it is not about examining ourselves for areas of weakness or needed growth. Like Easter it is a season of revelation, but its focus is less on what God has done and more on who God is: our divine, omnipotent, and unfathomably loving source, maker, Father, and Mother, who longs for the reconciliation of the entire world.

Epiphany’s uniqueness lies in the revelation that God’s love is not only for the people of Israel, but spills over for the whole of humanity, and indeed the whole of creation. That love and that truth were revealed in scripture, in a star, in a newborn infant.  These mysteries signal to us God’s yearning to be reunited with us, and for all of us to be united with one another in a true and loving peace wherein no one is exploited or oppressed or denied an abundant life.

Beginning on January 17 our small groups will engage with a new formation curriculum on civil discourse.  This five-week series is not simply an exercise in polite political conversation; it is part of the holy work of reconciliation to which we are called. The course was originally designed for Lent, but I think it is an even better spiritual discipline for Epiphany, not to mention for our moment in history. It is an opportunity to take seriously the Christian call to the sacred arts of listening, compassionate truth telling, and building understanding with our neighbors.

I write this to you now as I listen to the news of violent insurrection in our nation’s capital.  Whatever your politics, I urge you now more than ever to commit yourself to work for a just peace within our hearts, on our streets, in our country, and around the world.

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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