Trinity United Methodist Church, Emmitsburg
by Theresa Dardanell
“When they hear about a need, these folks move mountains to try to figure out how to take care of that need. In very many real and tangible ways they are taking the gospel of Jesus Christ and making it real in the community here.” That’s the way Pastor Richard Baker described members of the Trinity United Methodist Church. In cooperation with the Seton Center, they have helped find homes for homeless individuals. Sleeping bags and tents have been provided for people in the homeless community who prefer not to go to a shelter. They recently participated in a rally against racism along with other churches and government officials of Thurmont and Emmitsburg. Food as well as financial contributions are given to the Emmitsburg food bank. Ruth’s Harvest (Fairfield school district) and Food for Kids (Frederick County Public Schools) regularly receive financial donations and food for weekend backpacks for children. Funds from a generous donation provide four $2,000 Jay Long scholarships to students at Catoctin High School and the Fairfield School district annually.
Fran Eyler added that prayer is another form of community outreach. Members pray for those in need during Sunday services and the prayer chain offers additional prayers for anyone with special needs in the community. A prayer shawl ministry makes shawls which are prayed over and then delivered to anyone who is experiencing a devastating illness.
As a visitor to the church, I received a warm welcome from Gene Eyler before the Sunday service; all visitors can expect a similar greeting. The 9:00 a.m. service begins with announcements, prelude, lighting of candles and a welcome. The service continues with prayers, sharing of joys/concerns, the gospel message and a sermon. The musical praise group, the Soul Seekers, leads the congregation in uplifting music with accompaniment by organist Rachel Olson. The children participate in children’s Sunday school during the service but return after the closing hymn to find small musical instruments on the altar which they use to “raise a joyful noise to the Lord.” Communion is offered on the first and third Sundays. Adult Sunday school, led by Merri Sayler, begins at 10:30 a.m.
If you are looking for a delicious dinner and good company, join them for a free meal on the last Wednesday of every month from September through June. The parishioners cook a different meal every month and everyone is welcome. The Thursday evening Bible Study with Pastor Richard is also open to the community; each session runs for 5-6 weeks.
Social and educational activities are held throughout the week. Children ages 3-11 are invited to join the group “Rock Solid” which meets every other Sunday evening for Bible study and fun activities. The M & Ms (Mature and Methodist) group for those over age 50 meets at local restaurants on the third Tuesday of each month at Noon; food, fellowship and a short devotional program are the highlights.
Trinity UMC celebrated 200 years of ministry in 2005. The original church, known at that time as the Methodist Episcopal Church of Emmitsburg, was dedicated in 1833. A new building in the current location was dedicated in 1897. In 1968, the church became known as Trinity United Methodist Church.
Trinity UMC is located at 313 W. Main Street in Emmitsburg. Everyone is always welcome to attend services and events. Upcoming events include the free community meal on November 20 at 5:30 p.m. (due to the Thanksgiving holiday, it will be held in November on the third Wednesday ). When you visit, make sure to take a walk along the side of the church through the beautiful memorial garden with its quiet meditation area.
A special program, sponsored by the Emmitsburg Council of Churches, will be held on November 9 at 9:00 a.m. at Trinity UMC. The Sheriff’s department will present “Active Shooter Training” to educate members of the community on how to recognize signs of potential violent behavior, how to react during an active shooter situation and how to provide aid. It is open to everyone in the community.
Pastor Richard Baker and members of Trinity United Methodist Church.