A few updates as May begins
Gracious God, it is good for us to gather as your beloved in community.
We treasure your presence with us in word and meal, song and prayer.
Be with us in these days when gathering together as often as we would like is not possible.
When we must be apart for reasons of safety, we trust that you surround us with your sheltering wings. Encourage us in connecting as we are able, reaching out to our neighbors in need,
and being persistent in prayer. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our constant companion. Amen.
After a month and a half of our closure from “in person” gathering, today’s congregational email provides a few brief updates in lieu of our May newsletter. We hope to have a return of our monthly newsletter The Messenger with publication of the June edition.
- The Trinity congregation continues to refrain from “in person” gathering onsite until further notice. The Congregation Council will be meeting on Monday, May 11 to envision how we will begin to reactivate the parish program and reoccupy the church building as “stay at home” protocols are lifted. With some direction from our synod office, we will also be considering current state orders and trends in Kent County’s COVID-19 infection rates. We do expect that wearing masks and keeping six-foot physical distancing will be part of our “new normal” as we resume “in person” gathering. By mid-May we hope to have formulated a framework for transitioning back to “in person” worship and life together.
- On the short term, our gathering for “live steaming” virtual worship continues on Sundays at 9:15 a.m., with the video recording of that service available Trinity’s website and YouTube channel. We are seeking to be together in our separation, and our live streaming of worship is an ongoing experiment in doing a new thing during this remarkable time.
- The members of Trinity’s Outreach Committee invite you to donate personal care and hygiene items as well as diapers and underwear during the months of May and June. Please drop off your donations from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. any weekday. The doors of the church building will be locked but you may put your items outside the door and Office Coordinator Kris Baker will be collecting those items daily.
Please consider donating FULL SIZE products such as bar soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. Diapers of all sizes are appreciated, but sizes 3 and 4 are especially needed. Underwear for children and larger adults is also especially needed.
- Our Children’s Ministry team has been providing weekly emailed resource packets and videos to Sunday School age families in preparation for our “virtual” Sundays at Trinity. They have additionally announced that beginning this week Sunday school leaflets for May are available for pick-up at the church office on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Sunday School staff is also willing to mail the packets to those for whom stopping by the church is inconvenient – call the church office to arrange for a mailing of the Sunday School leaflets.
- Our “Trinity in Touch” and “Helping Hands” initiatives continue to reach out to the members of our community to provide support, friendship and caring. If you would like to be a volunteer to reach out to others in our congregation, please contact the church office.
- We are grateful to report that offering giving remains ahead of budget as April concludes, the end of the first quarter of Trinity’s 2020 fiscal year. In addition to meeting and exceeding budget almost every week of the first three months of our fiscal year, we have seen strong giving to the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund which allows us to support those whose financial circumstances have become unstable during the economic shutdown. The courageous generosity of the Trinity congregation is a sign of faithfulness and good stewardship in such an uncertain time.
We continue to address the rescheduling, cancellation and deferment of many events and celebrations in our life together. As we gather for worship this Sunday, we remember that May 3 would have been Confirmation Sunday for Trinity’s 8th graders. The Spring Rummage Sale would have been in full swing this weekend. The summer week at Stony Lake Camp and the high school Mission Trip have been cancelled for the summer of 2020, and Vacation Bible School at Trinity will be deferred until the summer of 2021. The May Synod Assembly has been cancelled and the 52 “Trinity Travelers” who were planning to travel to the Holden Village retreat center in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state in late July received word during Holy Week that Holden will be closed to visitors for the summer of 2020. Our spring New Members Sunday welcome of new partners in ministry has been deferred, and families planning their celebrations of baptisms and weddings are in contact these days as alternative dates are secured for their gatherings.
The prayer reads, “When we must be apart for reasons of safety, we trust that you surround us with your sheltering wings. Encourage us in connecting as we are able, reaching out to our neighbors in need, and being persistent in prayer.” The COVID-19 pandemic and closure was hardly a possibility in our worldview just two months ago. Still, we remain bound to one another in the Body of Christ, and that community is one of hope and persistent prayer. It will be good to be back together, but for now we wait with joyful anticipation of all that is to come.
It remains a privilege to serve as one of your pastors. Join us in live streaming of “virtual worship” this Sunday:
- Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 3 at 9:15 a.m.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Bob Linstrom