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easter 2015

You are so welcome to worship with us during Holy Week and on Easter. All services will be held at Trinity UMC at 13700 Schaeffer Road. Nursery Care will be available on Easter morning during the 10am service. Kids are invited to remain in the service on Easter. There will be a children’s moment for all kids, and a special blessing of communion for which kids grades K-5th will be invited up front. Blessings on your journey to and beyond the cross.

Knotted rope

During Lent, join us for a Sermon Series, “Covenant People: Tying the Knot with God.” We’ll explore the development of covenant throughout the Old Testament scriptures. What does it mean to be in covenant relationship with God?

  • Feb 22 – “The Promise”
  • March 1 – “A Proposal and a Name Change”
  • March 8 – “Taking the Vows”
  • March 15 – “When We Stray”
  • March 22 – “Second Chances”
  • March 29, Palm Sunday – “It’s Not What You Expected”
  • April 2, Holy Thursday 7:00 p.m. – “Till Death Do Us Part”
  • April 5, Easter – “When God Says ‘Forever'”

The snow couldn’t stop us! Trinity UMC packed the house on March 1st. In spite of the rain, sleet, snow and ice, we filled exactly half the seats in the Sanctuary, and every seat in the choir loft. It was a joyful gathering. Rev. Bonnie began the service with the words of Christ: “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I will be in the midst of them.” Christ was surely present as we celebrated communion together, heard the story of Noah’s Ark related to our own day, and watched the children tie shoe laces together as they learned the meaning of “To Tie the Knot.” We give thanks for a community that is so willing to shovel snow, spread salt, line the hallway with kitchen mats, and give each other rides so that we could gather in God’s house.

pack the house

Your church council has issued a challenge–let’s pack the house THIS Sunday, March 1st! Invite your friends, track down your neighbors, call someone you haven’t seen in a while, post this image on your facebook wall. Our Sanctuary has 198 chairs, and we’d like to see every one of them filled. But it will only happen if we all reach out. The Table will be set, Rev. Bonnie has had twice as much time to make this sermon soar, the choir is ready, and the coffee will be brewing. But most importantly, God eagerly desires to share the communion meal with us and the wider community. What joy it must bring God to find the faithful have gathered to worship together. Join us Sunday as we say goodbye to winter!

clipart-image-of-pancakes

Due to inclement weather, church service will NOT be held on Sunday Feb 22. You are invited to celebrate the Sabbath over a delightful breakfast at home instead. Here’s an Order of Worship made for the Breakfast Table on a Snow Day like today. Pull it up on your smartphone or tablet as you dine and worship together.

Breakfast Church on a Snowy Day

An Order of Worship for the Whole Family at the Breakfast Table

Prelude – Eggs Cooking, Bacon Sizzling, Silverware hitting the table

Call to Worship – Breakfast is Ready!

Opening Prayer – God of the Sabbath, we thank you for the snow that blanketed the earth yesterday. Thank you for the brave men and women who go out in the cold to help keep us safe. Thank you for the roof above our heads and the food on our table. Please come to our breakfast table this morning as we remember your love. Amen

(Begin Eating Breakfast!)

Children’s MomentAsk each child: “What makes you feel most alive?” and, “When do you feel closest to God?” Say: Those are both good things for us to do on Sundays, because Sunday is a special day for us to remember that God is very close to us.  We call it “the Sabbath.” Share a little bit about why your family goes to church on Sunday.

Scripture Reading – Isaiah 55:1-3

Ho, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
 Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.

Sermon

This Scripture paints an appetite-whetting picture of a banquet feast, where everything is turned upside down. Those who don’t have money can come buy food for free.  Those who are thirsty will find that their thirst is finally quenched. This banquet provides the good stuff—no processed, artificially-dyed, junk food. Only real homemade cooking!  What is the good stuff in your life? Is it sharing meals with your family? Praying and reading stories before bed? Do you come alive when you make time to exercise your body and play? What about when you serve your neighbor? If we made a list of the good stuff in life, we might be surprised to discover all the things that don’t make the list—things we spend a lot of time doing anyway. Sabbath is a reminder of the good stuff. It is the day where we hit the reset button and become reconciled, or put-back-together. We are put-back-together with God, with Creation, with each other, and with ourselves. We are restored to the good life God has for us.

Since I (Pastor Bonnie) became a pastor who works on Sundays, I have always observed Sabbath every Friday. One of my favorite Friday traditions is to eat a big breakfast, which I call a Sabbath breakfast. Whether by myself or with friends, I make sure to linger long at the table, sit by the window, and enjoy the gift of time that God has given me to eat slowly and bask in the light of the new day.  These meals are always very prayerful and feel like a holy time of communion with God. Sharing a meal together is much like what we do at church. Which is why it’s a good alternative for a snowy day! However, in church, we are able to extend our table to others so that they too can hear the message of God’s love. We also come together to the Table and remember that Jesus gave his body and blood for us to share at another special meal—the ultimate good stuff.

I hope you’re able to have a Sabbath breakfast on this Sunday morning, and appreciate that this is the “good stuff” God has given you.  Let me close with these words about the Sabbath from Rabbi Abraham Heschel:

“The Sabbath is the most precious present mankind has received from the treasure house of God. All week we think: The spirit is too far away, and we succumb to spiritual absenteeism, or at best we pray: Send us a little of Thy spirit. On the Sabbath the spirit stands and pleads: Accept all excellence from me …”

Prayers – Lift up those prayer joys and concerns you would like to pray for, and offer a prayer of your own.

OfferingCancelling Sunday worship can be a real financial set-back for a church, so we hope you’ll be faithful in your giving. You can still contribute to Trinity either by mailing in a check, bringing it next Sunday, or donating on our website. Thank you for your contributions which help keep Trinity’s doors open the other 51 Sundays a year!

DoxologyBet you know the words and the tune. Sing it round the table.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise God all creatures here below
Praise God above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen

Benediction – May the Lord bless you in your snow-shoveling, snow-angel-making, and Sabbath-keeping. Go forth to serve your neighbor in the love of God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Postlude Who can offer to do the dishes or help unshovel a neighbor’s car?

An encore round of picture taking for the Trinity photo directory will be held by appointment at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Potomac, Md., from Tuesday, Feb. 24, through Saturday, Feb. 28. To make an appointment, contact Sharon Bauer at bauer16510@aol.com or 301-349-2786.

Rev. Bonnie portrait

Rev. Bonnie Scott felt no hesitation, had no second thoughts. The moment she heard “Trinity United Methodist Church” she knew.

“This was the one, this is where I was called to be,” she smiled.

It’s her first assignment as a senior pastor.

Rev. Bonnie came to Trinity from Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church in Eldersburg, Md., where she served as associate pastor for three years. Before that she was in seminary. She graduate in 2011 summa cum laude with a master’s of divinity degree from Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C. She was ordained in the spring of 2014.

Rev. Bonnie started serving at Trinity on Jan. 1, 2015. She has enjoyed getting to know the congregation, “most especially their boisterous passing of the peace time in worship, and hearing the faith stories of individual members.”

“I’m impressed with the warmth of the congregation and look forward to welcoming new people into the community,” she said.

Rev. Bonnie draws on three events in her life as the primary sources of inspiration for her ministry: her baptism, her power of speech, and her talent for craft. “At the intersection of these gifts, I find my identity and life’s vocation as pastor-preacher,” she said.

She tells of her baptism, which occurred so early in life that she has no recollection of it. “I was four months old when Pastor Wayne DeHart drew three wet crosses on my forehead, whispering, ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit.’ As I grew, those hands through which I passed at my baptism would become my family,” she said.

“They would hold my tears and make space for my quirks. They would teach me of Christ, tell me the most compelling story I have ever heard. By age 15, I knew I wanted to give my life to that story and that family — the church.”

Rev. Bonnie’s mother was a school librarian who animated children’s stories through lively and imaginative readings. Rev. Bonnie recalls bedtime stories of Anansi the Spider and Strega Nona in the voice of her mother. In high school, she discovered a natural gift and love of public speaking. This was the second influential event.

“I was never chatty, but chose my words carefully and tried to speak with honesty,” she said. “Many teachers and pastors nurtured my penchant for storytelling and the power of my spoken word.”

The third event occurred on Christmas morning when she was four. Her parents gave her a Stanley Junior toolbox with a real set of screwdrivers, two saws, and a hammer, suitable for ages 10 and up.

“My parents knew what they were doing,” she said. “My dad was a woodworker and taught me the basics — how to hold a handsaw, how to pound a nail — and set me loose with his scrap-wood pile. I may have been the only little girl in town who could change the blade on a coping saw.

“I am grateful that my parents taught me the patience and beauty of craft, that I grew up in a home where someone was always about the work of creation.”

Rev. Bonnie offers her talents for teaching, working with young adults, discipleship formation, and communication. When she steps up to the pulpit, however, it becomes crystal clear that she’s living out her calling. She lights up. And she holds the congregation entranced.

“The church teaches me the basics and sets me loose in the scripture where the Holy Spirit inspires me to carefully and imaginatively shape a word for the people,” she said.

“I love preaching because the story of Jesus forms a certain type of community, and Christian community is the sweetest thing I’ve ever known.”

The fort the kids built in church

The kids built a fort in church today during Children’s Moment as they learned about places of safety and comfort in a storm, about places of refuge, and about taking refuge in the Lord.

Rev. Bonnie collects "pound of" gifts from the congregation.

Trinity officially welcomed Rev. Bonnie Scott as its new pastor during worship service on Sunday and presented her with one-pound gifts in the tradition of Southern churches.

In a practice begun by the Quakers, church members would welcome new pastors into the community with gifts to help stock the parsonage with staples, such as flour, sugar, butter, honey, and other basic necessities. The gifts weren’t always in increments of just one pound. Some church members would give something like a ham or a jug of apple cider.

Rev. Bonnie collected foodstuffs, kitchen supplies, and other household items. It was a well-rounded pounding that included a pound of nails for her love of woodworking. Another gift was a hefty book on building furniture. Attached to the book was a card with best wishes and a quote from John Wesley, “An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.”

20150104-123741.jpg“When you walk in the dark you have to walk more slowly… you have to let your feet become your vision. You have to listen carefully…

“Before the invention of the light bulb there was no such thing as this artificial light that we seem to have going 24/7 these days. Regularly, people had hours and hours every day that they spent in the dark…

“It was into the dark that Mary and Joseph gave birth…not into the florescent light of a delivery room. It was in the darkness, that very Holy darkness, that the light of the world was born.”

Sermon: Learning to Walk in the Dark

 

Most merciful God, you have created us and called us your “beloved.”

But we have rejected your love, thinking that we do not deserve it. Instead we try so hard to forge an identity out of our achievements and successes. We want to prove our worth to others, when your love makes us worthy all along.

Forgive us, we pray, and remind us again who and whose we are.

Amen.

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