Covid-19 Update, July 2020

July 2020

Out of the Fish & Faithfully

Focused on moving Forward…

 

Dear Trinity Family,

 

I am proud of the leadership provided by the Session of this church and I am inspired by your continued faithfulness to Christ, trust in God, and support of the church in this time.

 

The story of Jonah has been on my mind lately.  I like the image here of Jonah, the whale (technically the word in Hebrew means ‘big fish’) swimming in one direction, the prophet suspended by the waterspout rowing urgently in the other.

 

I and every one of your Elders would have voted unanimously to resume gathering for worship in the sanctuary and in the building for meetings and fellowship (yes, with restrictions on numbers and required health checks and facemasks, etc.).  We would have done this joyfully, if we believed we could have return to gathering inside safely for our members and for our neighbors in the broader community. We wanted to be able to make that decision this week, we have hoped and prayed for it.  I have tried bargaining with God to make it so.  I know more than one of your Elders has wept for it.  I know some of you have wept for it too; and will weep now.  We wanted to return to some form of normal, even an inconvenient normal.

 

However, any realistic assessment of the current state of COVID-19 spread in our area indicates there is no way for us to do we want to do in a manner that is safe for our members, friends, and community.  Almost every day colleagues share with me another story of a congregation that thought they had figured out how to return to in-person worship in their sanctuaries safely only to become the cause of a spike in COVID-19 cases in their community.  We have had one confirmed case amongst our church community, we currently have 4 other individuals who have had potential exposure and are awaiting test results.  Like Jonah, we may want with all our hearts to return to what is normal, familiar, and customary – but the big stinky coronavirus fish has swallowed us up and we’ve been in the belly of that fish for over three months now.  We cannot go back to normal, but we must get out of the fish.

 

Therefore, your Session has made a commitment that we will not resume worship or other church gatherings inside our building until it is safe to do so.  The Session also has determined that we can no longer continue postponing our mission and ministry perpetually until the virus is behind us, instead, we must find ways to fulfill our ministry and mission online and outside. Over the next several weeks you can expect to hear about:

  • Expansion of online ministry opportunities
  • The transformation of meetings and ministries that used to happen inside being moved online or outside
  • The creation of new forms of being the church which will occur online or outside

 

The Session takes seriously is responsibility as those called by God through your voice and ordained to discern Christ’s will the mission and ministry of this congregation that we listen, even inside the belly of the big fish, and hear how and where Christ is calling us to be faithful, right now.  Options are being explored to create outside space for small gatherings on Trinity’s grounds, to make use of outdoor public spaces for small gatherings, to seek invitations to use outdoor spaces in neighborhoods throughout the community to conduct our meetings and ministry.  We welcome your ideas, Christ has gifted this congregation with wonderful people who I know will use their energy, intelligence, imagination, and love to keep us faithfully focused on moving forward.

 

I look forward to continuing this adventure with you, as we explore the new frontiers of faithful ministry right here and right now.

 

Peace,

--Pastor Tony

 
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This Week's Events
SEP

20

SUN
Sunday Service Livestream
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Join us on Facebook to view and participate in Sunday Worship through Facebook Live.
SEP

22

TUE
Tunes on Tuesday Concert Series
11:00 AM
Organized by Dr. Diana Scroggins and featuring a variety of musicians and performers. Tune in to this free concert series at the included link.
SEP

23

WED
Trinity Time Travels- - ZOOM
10:00 AM
Hosted by Kathleen Fair.
Join us this week for A Love Story from India.
SEP

24

THU
Trinity Book Club - on ZOOM
10:00 AM
Led my Margaret Fain.

This month's book is Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
Fellowship - Quarantine Survival Kit - on ZOOM
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Fellowship and scripture to inspire us each week, along with recipes and fitness activities. Led by Debbie Humason and Judy Oskandy.
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25

FRI
Memorial Service for Bev Sherrill
2:00 PM
Service will be outdoors at Trinity and live cast on Facebook.
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