Dear Trinity Church Family,
I want to give you all an update on worship for this coming Sunday, Dec. 13th , and the remainder of 2020. With COVID cases continuing to rise, Gov. Wolf has issued another update that restricts indoor gatherings to 10 people or less. As you know, we have done our best to follow the safety guidelines from the state as well as from our Conference leadership, and we will continue to do our best to do so. I mentioned in my last update that while we are legally exempt from these guidelines during the worship service itself, our Bishop notes that we are not ethically exempt from following the guidelines if they will help to protect people from potential harm.
I want to keep the church open. Believe me I do. I can’t imagine any pastor not wanting to keep the doors wide open, especially during Christmas and Advent. But part of being in Christian community also involves being in community, and making decisions that go beyond what “I want” to what is best for the community at large.
In consideration of all of this, we have made the difficult decision of temporarily suspending in person worship this Sunday, Dec. 13th , up through and including Jan. 3rd.
This does not mean we will not worship, and this does not mean that the church is not open. This means we have to make yet another adaptation to what we usually do, and I know we’ve had to do way too much of that this year. Yet I invite you to make another shift in your thinking and in your practices. Here’s what I encourage you to do.
- Worship with us online if you are able. We are doing the best we can to provide online worship services that communicate Christ’s love and connect us with God and each other, even if it is in a virtual space.
- If you would like to come to the church for private meditation and prayer, we want to make the sanctuary available for a limited and safe number of individuals and/or family units to come and pray during this Christmas/Advent season. We ask that you call ahead to reserve a time, and we will do our best to accommodate your request. I know how special the church sanctuary is for finding connection with God, and although God truly is available to us anywhere and everywhere, there is something special about seeking God’s presence in the sanctuary.
Our Safety team will meet again to discern the best way forward when these regulations are lifted. Please keep all of us in prayer as we do our best to navigate these difficult times and make the best decision possible.
I will post a video on Facebook on Friday to share this announcement online, and Ken West will send out a phone call to notify everyone of this new development.
One final thought: we’re all making adaptations in this difficult time. Restaurants have had to adapt to less in house dining, and a lot more take out. It’s not a bad idea for the people of the church to find creative ways to ‘take out.’ Take the love of Jesus out into the streets. Take the love of Jesus out into your homes. Take the love of Jesus out into the world. God truly does work all things for good for those who love God. This too can be used for good.
Please stay safe, and trust God to help us celebrate the true meaning of Christmas in new and unexpected ways.