Trinity Episcopal "Old Swedes" Church
March 13, 2019
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak: Trinity Episcopal Church Closed to all meetings and worship until Palm Sunday (4/5)

A portion of this Sunday's Old Testament Reading
from Exodus 17

But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Dear Parish Family,

As a I write to you, I consider this Sunday's story from Exodus. It's a reminder of the Jewish people's journey through the desert in search of the promised land. When we walk by faith, our God provides what's needed; even when outcomes feel unclear to us. It's a story which offers comfort during a time or rapidly shifting news and realities related to the Covid-19 outbreak.

This morning, Bishop Stokes hosted a zoom meeting with 62 diocesan clergy to explore our diocesan response to Covid-19. Also present was Dr. Phil Lewis, who is an expert in epidemiology and preventative medicine. In the meeting we prayerfully wrestled with competing needs and factors; always cognizant of where God might be calling us. In the end, we came to a faith-based consensus about how to move forward during this pandemic.

The outcome of the meeting is as follows: Effective immediately, all Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey parishes are closed to all worship and public gatherings of any kind (with the exception of funerals). The closure will continue until Palm Sunday (4/5), prior to which the closure will be re-evaluated.   Please note that for Trinity, this closure includes the Alpha course.

This news will doubtlessly come as one more overwhelming blow during a week of overwhelming news related to the Covid-19 virus. During this challenging time, please know that you are not alone. You are loved by me and your fellow parishioners. We are merely apart for a time. If you would like to reach out and talk with me, my phone number is 267-331-0133.

In the meantime, Trinity will be moving into the realm of virtual worship. Beginning on 3/22, we'll worship online using the Zoom video platform. We'll learn to worship together in a new way, using our smartphones and computers. We'll also exploring other fellowship options to connect via the Zoom platform during the week.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any pastoral need. If you know of a member who may not have received this email, please reach out to them and share this news (or let me know who they are so that I may contact them).

A wise person told me once that at the end of the day, Jesus is still the resurrected Savior. No matter what happens in our daily lives, our resurrected Savior is the joyful reality that we can embrace and proclaim. This too shall pass and we will journey together again in person.

May God bless you and keep you and watch over you during this time. You are loved and cared for by me and all of your fellow parishioners at Trinity!

Faithfully

Greg+
The Rev. Gregory M. Wilson, Priest-in Charge revgregwilson@gmail.com
856-467-1227 (office)