Our Mission

Dorchester Parish was one of 30 “Church of England” parishes created in Maryland by the Vestry Act of 1692.

Our mission statement is simple: “A Place of Restoration,” a reference not only to Old Trinity’s unique architectural history (of which much has already been written), but also to the spiritual restoration that many experience along these Living Shorelines. This spiritual restoration involves three parts: (1) sacramental restoration; (2) ecological restoration; and (3) relational restoration.

Sacramental Restoration

“Sacrament,” in its broadest sense, can be defined as an external sign of something sacred, or, in other words, an earthly sign associated with the promises of God. We believe that sacramental restoration occurs in the worship of God. Parishioners and friends gather weekly in Old Trinity’s sacred space, ever mindful of the rhythm of sacred time, and conscious of their movement into sacred rite. As Episcopalians, we are deeply and intentionally rooted in the “faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3), expressed in the ancient creeds (Apostles’ & Nicene) and informed by our Anglican heritage. Our Prayer Book invokes ancient modes of Christian worship in contemporary idiom (liturgy); we follow the Church Calendar (observing the feasts and seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost); we hear relevant and biblically-grounded sermons preached from our pulpit; and we recognize and honor the gifts of the entire Body of Christ, clergy and laity alike.

Ecological Restoration

Increasingly, people are rediscovering nature as a place of spiritual grounding and nurture. At Old Trinity, we believe that finding God in nature can reconnect people to their Christian faith, while focusing our responsibility on the proper care of God’s creation and the concerns of the contemporary world. Hence, ecological restoration occurs as we reconnect to God through nature as humankind’s first way of knowing God (recall the “Garden of Eden”). We attract the kind of person who is interested not only in keeping up this “venerable pile of bricks,” but who also view the mitigation of the human impact on the environment as a sacred calling.

Old Trinity Church was one of the places featured by environmental scientist, filmmaker and photographer, Micheal O. Synder, in “The Coming Coast”.

Relational Restoration

Relational restoration occurs as we lovingly engage with our neighbors through meaningful conversations and outreach. Primarily this means being a positive presence “in-and-for” our surrounding community. We frequently ask the question of ourselves, “If Old Trinity were suddenly to disappear, would anyone take notice?” Being a positive presence “in-and-for” our community means answering the threefold call of stewardship, hospitality and generosity. Stewardship involves the meticulous, and environmentally-responsible upkeep of what generations past have entrusted to our care; hospitality involves not only welcoming all who visit our campus, but also a willingness to take time to listen to their stories; and generosity involves “loving our neighbors as ourselves” in tangible outreach to those in need.

When we are entrusted with the mission of restoration, we cannot help but be restored ourselves…

A Postscript

Old Trinity’s grounds are open to the public every day from dawn to dusk. Tours of the church take place throughout the week. Brick pathways meander through the grounds and along these Living Shorelines inviting “pilgrims” to explore, while ancient trees offer them shade on a warm day. A wooden pier invites the occasional boat to dock, and from time to time people have come to church this way. Old Trinity is also a favorite place to stop along the way to or from the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Park, only five miles away.