Pastors: the Rev. Thomas J. Knoll, the Rev. Wendy A. Moen

Congregation Size: 150

Sunday Attendance: 80

Sample Worshipper Dress: brown sport coat, gray slacks, blue oxford shirt

Service Length: 90 minutes

Screaming Toddlers: 0

Renaissance-Faire-Style Guitars: 1

Congregational Fervor: Located in the largely nonresidential neighborhood surrounding Judiciary Square, First Trinity relies heavily on a core of devoted, longtime attendees who are bound and determined to make the Sunday commute from the suburbs. During a recent brief conversation, one elderly altar server reported that it was his first Sunday “back in robes” after heart surgery. “A new valve and a bypass,” he said. “Now they say I’ll live another 30 years.” 3 Stars

Food for the Soul: A service held on All Saints Sunday was spent solemnly honoring the memories of those congregants who had passed on from this world. During her sermon, Moen called worshippers to consider their own story within “the larger story of the church” and reminded those in attendance that the congregation had been established by “ordinary folks who, in the hopes of following Christ, ended up touching many others.” 3 Stars

Food for the Body: As the closing music was performed, panel doors at the side of the chapel swung open to reveal a bounty of after-service treats. Sandwiches, bagels, coffee cake, lemon squares, and banana-nut loaf were all on hand on a recent Sunday to sate hungry worshippers. 5 Stars

Overall Worship Power Rating: Since its founding in 1851, First Trinity Lutheran has met the worship needs of an ever-changing community. Knoll points out that although the church originally served German immigrants, the area’s culture has shifted several times. “Later on it became a Polish neighborhood, then a Jewish neighborhood, then an African-American one,” says Knoll. “Now I guess it’s the government neighborhood.” 3.5 Stars

—Aaron Leitko

Art accompanying story in the printed newspaper is not available in this archive: Photograph by Darrow Montgomery.

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