Trinity’s Lenten concerts to preface celebrations

By Josette Keelor

Trinity Lutheran Church in Stephens City will prepare for Easter this year with Sunday night concerts of Celtic-themed music.

The free Lenten Evensong concerts will take place at the historic St. Thomas Chapel on Church Street in Middletown while Trinity continues to undergo renovations.

According to Trinity’s Rev. Cameron P. Keyser, the list of musicians has not been finalized yet.

“What we try to do is feature local artists,” he said. For Advent Evensong in December, the Apple Valley Ringers, Apple Valley Flute Choir and three chamber ensembles from Shenandoah University performed at St. Thomas.

For Lent, he said the music will have a traditional focus and be part of a 35-minute contemplative service with Holy Eucharist.

For nearly a year, Trinity’s members have celebrated regular Sunday services at Jones Funeral Home in Winchester, but along with plans to return to their historic building this summer come preparations for an even bigger celebration: The church’s 250th anniversary.

Keyser said he’s looking at June as a possible completion date for the $2 million renovation project on the 1765 structure at 810 Fairfax St., Stephens City.

“We hoped for Easter, but the weather has just wreaked havoc on the building guys,” he said.

In a previous interview, Keyser said the 10,500-square-foot addition will include several rooms that the church previously lacked: administrative offices, classrooms, a new narthex, a covered drive through, new bathrooms, a kitchen, a room for choir rehearsals and a nursery.

Anniversary plans are already underway, and proposed ideas are colonial-themed festivals and dinners complete with period dress and a banner comprising scraps of cloth from current and past members.

Keyser called the banner “a symbol of everybody there together. Even though they’ve passed on, they’re still with us.”

“We’re looking to recapture our past and re-envision our future,” he said. “We’re doing a lot of neat things, and I’m real proud of the people for what they’re doing.”

Lenten Evensong concerts will take place at St. Thomas Chapel, Church Street, Middletown, at 7 p.m. March 9, 16, 23 and 30, and April 6. For more information, call 540-869-4019.

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com