Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
Dear People of Trinity Church,
For the next several weeks, we will need to be Trinity Church without meeting in our sanctuary and parish hall. Remember, you are the Church whether we can meet face-to-face or not. Following the CDC guidelines and the guidance of our bishop (read the Bishop’s most recent pastoral directives here), Trinity Church will suspend all activities that gather people together until April 17, 2020. The church has not closed — we’re on the phone, on the internet, and in your email inbox more often than ever before.How do we live out the faith in community without gathering together? We are all in uncharted territory, but below are some strategies for the next few weeks. Also, if you have any additional creative ideas, please email me at email@example.com.Although all in-person church activities are postponed until at least April 17, many will move online. The office will be closed to foot traffic, and I have given the staff permission to work from home to limit in-person contact. You can call the church office or email anyone on the staff with any questions or concerns. Our parish administrator, Sue Ebersol, will ensure that our mail is checked and our bills are paid unless the state or federal government issues greater restrictions on in-town movement/travel.
Weekly online worship/prayer: I plan to upload a weekly service for you that would allow us to worship together either through a website or a conference call. (You wouldn’t need Facebook to participate). With Kyle Ramey’s help, we hope to have a bulletin posted to our website that you can use while watching.
Daily Noonday Prayer through Facebook Live: I’m live on Facebook each day at noon (except Sundays) with the short, Noonday Prayer service from our Book of Common Prayer. Anyone can lead this from the Trinity Church page – you don’t have to be a priest. Email or call/text me if you’d like to be part of our rotation (850) 777-9572.
Canvasing our congregation by phone: Together with our vestry and several members who have volunteered, we are working to canvas the congregation and check in with people. If you are willing to help make those calls or run errands for people, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach out if you are hurting or need help: If you have any needs (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.) or know someone who does, please email me at the address above. Please, don’t hesitate. If you need/want anything — an errand, a prayer, a phone call — please reach out. In addition, I’ve talked with the Urban Mission, and they are also ready to deliver food. If there is someone in your neighborhood who cannot or should not leave their home, they could also call the Mission at (315) 782-8440. Our Mission stands ready to deliver food packages. Each of us are only a phone call away.
Finally, if you are in a position to continue giving to God through Trinity Church, please do so. Please mail in your pledge (do not visit the church office). We are working on the ability for you to give online.
You are the Church, and the world needs the Church. We will face this uncertainty together, by faith, in prayer, and with hope.
In God’s Peace,
The Reverend Molly Payne-Hardin