My beloved Trinity Church,
When I first began to pack up a few things from my office as COVID-19 spread across our world, I imagined that we would be back before Easter. When it became clear that that was not going to happen, I hoped that we would be back together for the Feast of Pentecost. Alas, that is not going to be. To be frank, I do not know when we will be coming back together for in person worship. On Tuesday of this week, the Vestry of Trinity Church met to discuss our situation and to review the guidance issued by Bishop Sparks; you may read his pastoral letter in its entirety here (https://ednin.org/plan-for-regathering-for-inperson-worship). In his pastoral letter Bishop Sparks outlines four criteria that must be met prior to any parish opening its doors for worship. The Vestry has appointed a sub-committee to monitor the first three criteria and to begin developing a plan, the fourth item, to be submitted to the Bishop.
The Vestry also discussed when we might consider re-opening. We know that all of us are anxious to get back to worshipping on a regular basis. In our discussion the Vestry paid special attention to the fact that Trinity Church strives to be a house of prayer for all people, with that in mind the earliest that we will consider reopening for worship is Sunday, July 5th. That is the first Sunday when gatherings of more than 100 people are allowed and when restrictions on those 65 and older attending are lifted. We could not in good faith consider opening the building when any of our members were being told to stay home. We know for many of us that is not an easy thing to read, please do know that we are acting in an abundance of love and concern and in accordance with the guidance from our Bishop.
In the meantime, Sunday liturgies will be coming to you from our Nave. Wayne will be playing the organ. Members of our parish will be reading the lessons and the prayers. We will even have some choir members chanting the Psalm and singing hymns. Our hope is that we will be able to provide you with an experience of Trinity Church that feels a little more normal.
In the midst of this extraordinary time, I find comfort in the knowledge that while all must change and know decay, that God is unchanging and always new. So, my brothers and sisters on this and every day…
“To God the Father and the Son
And Spirit render praise,
Blest Trinity, from age to age,
The strength of all our living days.”
I remain, your servant in Christ…
The Rev’d T.J. Freeman
19th Rector, Trinity Church