|Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,|
As we enter into the uncharted territory of a pandemic, I am reminded of Jesus’s final discourse in the Gospel of John. He tells us two things in this discourse. The first is that we are to remember the peace that Christ gives us even when the world is not peaceful. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14:27) The second thing we are to remember is to care for each other. “‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13)
In keeping with CDC guidelines and to keep our church community safe, we have made the decision to no longer hold in person worship at Trinity until further notice. This includes Tuesday and Sunday morning services, as well as, Wednesday evening activities and all groups/classes. Any updates or changes will be communicated via all communication venues (see bottom of this letter). However, this does not mean we will STOP worshiping together as a church family altogether. Stay tuned for how we will continue to worship and pray together, creatively.
We have created a landing page on the website, https://trinityparish.com/staying_together/, which will be updated with all the information you will need to stay connected.
While we are physically apart, and in order to care for each other in isolation, Trinity has created “Connection Groups.” We have put every family in our listed membership, including some frequent visitors, in such a group, along with an identified group captain. Each Connection Group, of about five families, will be responsible for reaching out and regularly checking in with one another while maintaining social distance. Schedule a time for a chat, send a note or two, share your child’s newest work of art, find out how things are going. If there is a need that you can fulfill safely, go for it. If there is a need that you cannot attend to personally, be sure to let the church staff know what is going on. Generally, just make some time in your day to talk to one or two people in your group, then the other two people the next day, etc. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy conversation if you don’t have the time. Be sure to pray for each other and the Trinity Community daily.
Perhaps you don’t know the family in your Connection Group. That’s okay! Now is the time to overcome all our usual social anxiety and reach out. Perhaps you do not wish to be a part of this Connection Group – that’s okay too. Just let your group captain know that you’re not interested and they will alert the rest of the group. If you do not receive a letter/email with your group assignment, that means that there was an error and you weren’t assigned to a group! This is easily remedied by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the church office. We will make sure your family is placed in a Connection Group.
Not everyone uses e-mail, Facebook, text messages, etc. Be sure to find out everyone’s preferred method of communication. (Hence the reason that this letter is going out via mail and e-mail.) You can find other folks’ contact information through the online directory (if you, or someone in your group, would like a printed directory, email email@example.com or call the church office).
Online Directory Link (suggest you add this link to favorites or bookmark this link):
Please know that I am accessible to everyone during this time. Your priest is available via cell phone, text, e-mail, Facebook, and pretty much every other platform. Please also know that I’m always available to talk.
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us
through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole
human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which
infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us;
unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and
confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in
your good time, all nations and races may serve you in
harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen. (BCP 815)
Your servant in Christ,