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A humble ‘self-emptying’

Dear Friends,

In her 2009 book, The Case for God, Karen Armstrong argued that religion is a practical discipline that teaches us to discover new capacities of the mind and heart. What new capacities of the mind and heart might we cultivate during the holiest week of the Christian Year?

Holy Week begins this Sunday, Palm Sunday. Most of the scriptural “airtime” on Palm Sunday is given over to the stories of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and his subsequent passion, suffering and death. Because of this, we might miss the practical discipline St. Paul offers us. In his letter to converts in Philippi in what is now Asia Minor, Paul quotes a hymn that was, evidently, already well-known to Christian communities. Armstrong writes, “. . . from this very early date (c. 54-57) Christians saw Jesus’ life as a kenosis, a humble ‘self-emptying.’”

Here's what Paul wrote to the Philippians – in contemporary English: “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death – and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion.”

This coming Sunday morning, bread will be broken, and wine poured out in remembrance of the one who emptied himself for our sake. He did not seek to save his own life but lost it and is alive for evermore. If we can begin to imitate Jesus’ kenosis – his self-emptying – in the details of our own lives, our hearts will open in response to Christ’s great love for us. They will open to the pain and suffering we see all around us. They will open to those who are on the margins of society. And they will even open to our enemies and those who wish us harm.

Imitating Christ is not without cost, but Jesus tells us that “those who lose their lives for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News, will find them.”


Stephen Applegate


“. . . could you not watch with me one hour?” Matthew 26:40

On March 28-29, at the end of the Maundy Thursday Service (March 28), we will begin "The Watch," a traditional time of keeping vigil with Jesus as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before he was crucified.

This is a very quiet, personal, sacred invitation to step into a place we often don't find or make in our lives – a time to sit alone (either at home or in the sanctuary at church) and breathe in deeply as you are invited to read words from our sacred text.  

Over the centuries, Christians have found times of reading scripture as an opportunity to touch something deep inside- a kind of ancient remembering of what was, what is, and what has yet to come. 

We ask people to sign up for a time slot between the end of our Maundy Thursday service and the beginning of our noon Good Friday service. We have created a sign-up schedule asking folks to commit their hearts to this holy task for one or more hour-long slots. 

We will email all who sign up further instructions. This year we will be reading 110 major Bible stories. We are alternating between times in the sanctuary and times at home to make this opportunity as inclusive as possible. Our goal is to get a continuous stream of our voices reading scripture over this (nearly) 18-hour period. 

“Then Jesus came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”.” Mathew 26:40-41



This Year More Than Ever

Each year since 1922, when an effort to support Anglicans in war torn Palestine following World War I was launched, The Episcopal Church has designated the offering on Good Friday for the dioceses of the provinces of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

The offering has been an effective way to express support for many ministries including the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza. Like other hospitals in Northern Gaza, the current conflict has left no functional hospitals there.

However, life-giving ministries continue in the province, including St. George’s, Baghdad; the eye clinic in Ras Morbat, Yemen; and numerous other institutions identified by their dioceses. The generous donations of Episcopalians help the Christian presence in the Land of the Holy One to be a vital and effective force for peace and understanding among all of God’s children. 

Details for donating online, by phone, or by check are available here. You may also write a check to Trinity Episcopal Church with “Good Friday Offering” in the memo line.


We hope that you are finding A Spring in the Desert a helpful guide on your Lenten journey. To deepen your experience of the devotional, we are offering discussion times after church on some Sundays (this is a busy Lent in all of the best ways!). 

Here is the remaining schedule:

March 24 - Discussing weeks 3, 4 and 5 (generosity and tithes and offerings; vocation and constancy; sabbath and moderation) 

March 31 - NO book discussion. Easter Sunday. 

April 7 - Final book discussion. Holy week (loving-kindness and worship), plus discussion of how your Lenten journey was for you.  

After church, grab a beverage and snack from coffee hour, then join us in the Walbridge Room (down the cloister hallway, past the restrooms. We'll start after church (11:15ish) and end at noonish. It doesn't matter if you haven't been reading the book, we'd love to have you join us for conversation regardless.


Begins April 1! 

The Racial Justice Challenge is a FREE virtual learning tool designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, equity, and leadership. Participants will be presented with 21 days of impactful challenges, such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, watching a video, and completing weekly action steps. We also offer weekly virtual discussions to unpack what we’ve learned each week.

Trinity Music+Arts Sondheim Community Concert

Trinity, we have heard your requests! One small concert a month? YOU'VE GOT IT! Mark your calendars for our upcoming Sondheim Concert on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:00pm. Your favorite Trinity Music Team (Bradley, Kim, Melissa, Chelsie and Grace) will all be singing and playing songs we love from our favorite Sondheim shows, like "Being Alive," "Send in the Clowns" and "The Miller's Son" to name a few. AND we will be joined by our colleague and fellow music director at St Michael's in the Hills, Justin Bays! Here is the link to the FB event!


Communal meals are an important part of church life. It is a time outside of normal service and operations to get to know the people we worship with every week, not to mention those in our greater community as well. As word continues to get out about Breakfast at Trinity (B@T), we’ll see some new and old faces. There is a chance we may also have to help out with wayfinding as it is no secret - it’s easy to get turned around inside our space.  Looking ahead, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Doors open at 8:30, food starts at 8:45.
  • We still have slots open this week for volunteering, and a few going forward. You can click here for signing up.  Please use the Signup Genius so we can gauge who will be volunteering.
  • Looking forward to eating with you all soon!

Feast of Friends – Maundy Thursday, March 28, 2024

Jesus gathered with his friends to celebrate the feast of the Passover the night before he died for revolutionary love. In his Jewish context and tradition, it was a time to remember how God had led the people of God out of slavery, through the waters, through the wilderness, and into the Promised Land.

Once a year, we expand the way we remember that meal beyond the symbols of bread and wine. After we eat, we also offer the ultimate sign of Jesus' servant ministry among us through foot (or hand) washing. 

Please join us on Thursday, March 28 at 6:30 for our Feast of Friends. Sign up so we can prepare a place for you- and consider bringing a friend who has never been invited to this Way of Love.


On Saturday March 30 from 8:30-10:30am all are welcome to come lend a hand in preparing our sanctuary for the Risen Lord. We have a little something for everyone - placing our memorial flowers (lilies, hyacinth and daffodils), chair ministry, decorating the old rugged cross, getting the coffee hour area ready for larger attendance and a whole lot of fellowship. Send Heather Meyer an email if you can join in for a bit. More hands make light work.

Totality at Trinity

Monday, April 8 Doors open at 9am Potluck at 12pm
Eclipse begins 1:56pm (totality at 3:13pm)

We’ve come to realize that the Greater Toledo Area has stepped up to the challenge of throwing every sort of eclipse party. You may have your sights set on one of those many gatherings. But we are here to offer up our homegrown celebration - Totality at Trinity where you can celebrate being an "Eclipsopalian"!

It’s pretty simple and flexible. Parking downtown will be challenging. Therefore, we will be here to welcome you in at 9am or anytime thereafter. Sit and read. Pray or meditate in our sanctuary. Nap on a couch. Bring a book, board games, cards or an art project. We’ve got the room. (And Heather can always find a project for you.)

Bring food to share. Nothing says potluck like a total eclipse. We’ve got ovens and microwaves for heating purposes. Refrigerators too.

Wear your walking shoes. Our neighbors at Imagination Station have been planning their celebration for over a year. It’s all free and amazingly well thought out. Downtown will be bustling. Trinity’s location is perfectly poised as we can look out from our shiny plaza to take it all in.

So Welcome Home, friends! Make a day of it and take your time trying to get out of downtown.  

A big thank you to our friends at Imagination Station and the Metroparks for 80 pairs of glasses for us!

Any questions, email Heather at

The Sacrament of Holy Baptism will be offered Sunday, April 7

On Sunday, April 7, The Second Sunday of Easter, we’ll offer baptism during the 10:00 am service. The Easter Season, with its theme of our being raised to new life in Christ, is an especially appropriate time for the administration of this sacrament.

Anyone – regardless of age – is welcome to be baptized, but since Holy Baptism is full initiation into the Body of Christ, the Episcopal Church baptizes persons only once!

All persons seeking baptism (or the parents of children being presented for baptism) are required to meet with the priest for at least one session (lasting about an hour and a half) to discuss the meaning of baptism and to learn more about the service. A meeting can be arranged by contacting the parish office – (419) 243-1231 or

Baptisms are meant to be public events. That is to say, the Christian community is not only a

witness to the baptism and participates in the sacred ceremony; the Christian community also

pledges to support those who are being presented for baptism

Although parents accept the primary responsibility for the spiritual development of their children, godparents for children are highly recommended. Adults being baptized are required to have at least one sponsor. 

Easter Memorial Plants are on sale - you can order yours by filling out our online form, or you can find order forms at the Welcome Station in the back of the Sanctuary. When filling out your form, please be sure to include your first and last name, phone number and quantity. 

If you are requesting a plant in honor or memory of a loved one, please include their first and last name(s) which we will list in our Easter Morning bulletin. You will be able to choose from 6.5" Hyacinths, 6.5" Daffodils or 6" Lily potted plants all with multiple blooms for $14.00 each. Flowers can be taken home to enjoy after our Easter Service. Orders are due by Monday, March 25th! Email Heather at the Parish Office if you have any questions

Worship Leader Meet Up March 24

Worship leader training is going to be held on Sunday 3/24 after service. This will last for about an hour, and as it's leading to Holy Week we want to provide a refresher course. Please remember to check the schedule to see when you’ve been assigned to read or greet, and if you have any questions, please reach out to George.


Trinity@Home is now a live-stream of Trinity’s 10:00 am in-person service with an interactive chat.

Trinity's next Book Club will meet Sunday, April 7 at 6:30pm via zoom. We will be reading "Tom Lake" by Ann Patchett. Sign up online!

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