Trinity United Church of Christ


by Theresa Dardanell

“No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” Pastor Sean DeLawder and the members of the Trinity United Church of Christ truly believe that message. It is demonstrated in their worship, fellowship, and outreach.

Everyone is welcome to attend the weekly 11:00 a.m. Sunday service, which includes the exchange of peace, prayers, readings, and Pastor Sean’s sermon.  Organist Lana Sorenson plays the magnificent Mohler pipe organ, while the congregation sings hymns of praise. Rocky Birely plays the flute during many of the Sunday services. Communion is on the first Sunday of the month. The very talented Trinity Bell Choir, led by Linda Franklin, performs several times a year. A special Veteran’s Day service is held every year and is open to all Veterans in the community. The event includes dinner, music, and a color guard, and it honors Veterans from all branches of service.

Caring for church members, along with friends, family, and those in the community, is an important part of the outreach.  Every day, several people on the Prayer Team offer up prayers for those on the prayer list who are dealing with a hardship, health concern, or other need. The “Random Acts of Kindness” program gives members the opportunity to do a good deed for a neighbor or friend. Among other activities, the Worship, Fellowship and Education Committee members assemble and deliver “Sunshine Boxes” to members who are shut-ins and unable to attend church services. This summer, committee members joined with Weller United Methodist Church for Vacation Bible School. Volunteers from both congregations helped with the education, crafts, and activities. Local teens were invited to “Fuse” meetings during the summer; the church provided the building for the group to use as a place for activities, socialization, music, games, and conversation, with adult supervision and mentorship. Outreach also includes donations to the Thurmont Food Bank, Thurmont Ministerium, Blessing in a Backpack, the school supply drive, and One Great Hour of Sharing.

The Trinity United Church of Christ kitchen is a very busy place. Kitchen managers Tootie Lenhart and Russ Delauter are joined daily by church and community members, friends, and family. Together, they bake pies, cakes, and dumplings, and they cook chili, soups, slippery pot pies, and country ham sandwiches.

Pastor Sean said, “We are blessed to have people outside of our church come and help.” Proceeds from the kitchen ministry support the church and provide funds for community outreach. Soups and chicken pies are delivered to members who are sick. Lunches are provided after funeral services. At least once a year, they partner with the Thurmont Lions Club in an all-you-can-eat fundraising breakfast for someone in the community who is in need of financial help due to illness or hardship. The two organizations volunteer their time and share the expenses so that all proceeds go to the family in need. Lenhart said, “We feel very good doing it.”

Colorfest weekend is one opportunity to enjoy the delicious soups, sandwiches, and desserts prepared by the kitchen staff. You can also order food for pickup before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Red velvet, German chocolate, chocolate, coconut, and yellow cakes are available; peach, cherry, apple, blueberry, and homemade mince are several of the seventeen varieties of pies; six soups, including cream of crab, Maryland crab, and chicken corn, are available. For the complete list, you can call Lenhart at 301-271-2655.

Social events provide time for relaxation. In the spring, the ladies enjoy appetizers, sandwiches, soup, and dessert, served by the men during the Women’s Tea. On Father’s Day, homemade chocolate chip cookies are a special treat for dads. An annual picnic and dinners during the year provide time for fellowship.

The original Trinity Reformed Church was dedicated on June 13, 1880, and began its mission with fifty-two founding members.  Expansion began in 1901, and electricity was added in 1911. In 1957, the United Church of Christ was formed; Trinity Reformed became Trinity United Church of Christ. The church is located at 101 East Main Street in Thurmont. The website,, provides information about their mission and statement of faith. You can also listen to some of Pastor Sean’s sermons, view the latest newsletter, and see photos of previous events.

Pastor Sean DeLawder and members of the Thurmont Trinity United Church of Christ.

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