Greetings and blessings! What a couple of weeks we've had as Trinity Church...
First, let me remind that this Sunday we will mark the
Day of Pentecost
Especially if you are signing on by Zoom for worship, please wear red
We will have a rather creative way of approaching the central reading for the day from the Acts of the Apostles. Also, as encouraged by our Presiding Bishop, we will be mindful in our liturgy of the National Day of Mourning set for the following day, June 1, on behalf of all victims of Covid-19.
In some ways, community life has continued these past couple of weeks in the patterns we've come to know. We did shift the backdrop for Sunday worship back to the Thompsons' (aka, "The Rectory") while John Donlevie's hand heals, and this will continue at least for a couple of weeks. But in this time, we also received guidance from the Bishop's office for how to plan for a slow, phased approach toward in-person worship and community life.
Vestry began that conversation last Monday. This coming Monday evening, I will be in conversation with vestry and other parish ministry leaders as the "Parish Council" about exactly that. It's important for all to know that we do not need to rush: in fact, the diocesan advice is to consider current patterns as the default plan, until we feel ready. The Parish Council conversation will help launch that discussion and discernment for us. There is much to consider as we wrap our minds around how to be church in this new day -- some of it a bit bewildering but, I must add, some of it rather exciting.
Many of you have maintained or even increased your devotion toward serving those in need during this time. I want the parish to know of an effort to bring area churches into closer collaboration and growing Christian fellowship through a focus on food insecurity. Chester Eastside is the administrative center for the project, and I've been involved in writing the grant application with the Director of CEI. I'll let you know what happens!
In the meantime, some good news -- In addition to our successful application for a PPP loan, most of which becomes a de facto grant when we meet the requirements of the CARES Act, Trinity has also just been awarded a grant for $13,200 from the diocese toward repair of the Trinity House roof. Many, many thanks especially to Treasurer Jay Gillespie and Rector's Warden Cathy Gardner for shepherding the PPP loan, and to People's Warden Bill Lawson for seeing the diocesan grant through to completion. None of this replaces your support, but it bolsters my sense that in what feels in some ways like a time of scarcity, we are not alone either as individuals or as a church community. What we are doing as church matters. Others see this and are investing in our communal life and ministries. Most importantly, as St. Paul put words to it
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?" (Romans 8:31).
You are much in my thoughts and prayers. Take care of yourself. Try to help others do the same. God is good, and we are on the path together.
Yours in Christ, with love,
The Rev. Dr. Edward E. Thompson, rector