Trinity COVID-19 Practices & Encouragement
Given the rising concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, I thought it would be helpful to write a short note to communicate how we intend to respond and also to offer some encouragement. This is a time for courageous faith, not unreasonable fear. It is also a time sacrificially to live out the love of Jesus toward our neighbors. This is no time to be flippant or unconcerned.
Obviously, like you, as the coronavirus continues to grab headlines as it spreads across the globe, we are aware of its severity, and to the best of our ability, we have developed an effective plan of action.
The information below will shed light on what corporate worship will look like in the near future.
1 – Trinity is aware of the coronavirus, and we are vigilantly watching all updates and closures to prepare for any contingencies.
2 – Trinity staff, along with our cleaning team, has designed an action plan to deep clean all areas of the church. We are paying particular attention to our children's ministry rooms, the sanctuary, and all gathering areas. There are bottles of hand sanitizers located at all church entrances and each check-in station as well.
3 – If you are ill or if your children are sick, please stay home. We urge you not to compromise your health or anyone else’s. Sunday sermon audio is available on the Trinity App after the sermon, as well as our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts the following Monday morning (click the links to download or view).
4 – We will keep you posted on decisions regarding worship. (In your own settings on the Trinity App, please allow all notifications, and like us or follow us on social media for updates). As of now, we will continue to meet for corporate worship on Sunday at 9a and 10:45a. We may consolidate back to a single service (especially if the local colleges and universities follow the lead of the public universities). With fewer people attending, we would be able to resume a single service, and if we make that decision, we will inform you promptly and clearly.
5 – We are temporarily suspending our celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Given the general anxiety about this and also the advice of health officials to limit the number of personal interactions during services, we will NOT be partaking in communion for at least the next 2 months. For the same reason, we will also be modifying our greeting practices. For the time being, when we greet one another, a wave, an elbow bump, or a really big smile will suffice. Communicate welcome and love in your countenance.
6 – In light of potential absences, or even public meeting closures, we are looking into the potential of live streaming our corporate worship service. If that becomes workable, we will also let you know promptly and clearly.
7 – All updates will be posted on our Emergency Preparedness web page. There is a rotator slide on the homepage of our website, and the Emergency Preparedness page is accessible by clicking the slide. This page will be closely monitored and updated often.
Let me also offer some encouragement. Whenever I have experienced anxiety, my heart goes to Philippians 4:4-7: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Catch what is right in the middle of all of Paul’s hope: “the Lord is at hand.” Let’s not forget that. The phrase means that we are in God’s embrace, even in the worst of times. And, therefore, we can strive to be reasonable, to keep our heads, to not give in to fear or act in self-serving ways; to not become callous to others when you think their fear is unreasonable. Rather, because of the power of Jesus dwelling within you, be a contagious non-anxious presence and act as a spiritual antidote to the threats everyone is facing all around us.
The Church has faced times much worse than this before. To give just one example, when the plague hit Europe in the sixteenth century, people fled the cities in mass. Governments were shut down. But unique by their response, Christians stayed to care for the sick. Many of them even died as a result. But their courage continues to be an enduring testimony to the greatness of the gospel. As Jesus laid down his life to save us, so we can lay down our lives joyfully that others might be saved. That has been the way Christians respond to pandemic disease throughout the centuries. So maybe now, it’s our turn. Ask the Lord to grant us the courage to follow the lead of saints that have gone before us. Don’t forget: we’re in this together. And hopefully, we’ll see you Sunday.