Dear Trinity Family,
After much thought, prayer, and discernment, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend all church activities until further notice. This includes all in-person gatherings: worship, Sunday school, Youth group, choir, Ministry team meetings, Bible studies, book clubs, and non-Trinity rental groups. Our Weekday School and Philips Academy will make their decisions independently and keep us informed. The church office will continue functioning, both virtually and in person. Our pastors will continue pastoring. This will be a new normal for us for a period of time.
The guiding force behind this decision is health and safety. The prophet Jeremiah calls the people of God to “seek the welfare of the city.” (Jeremiah 29:7). Medical experts say the best way to manage the spread of COVID-19 is to forego gatherings of people for a period of time so our health care system can keep up with the demand – what is known as “flattening the curve.” Our church is joining other houses of worship in taking this step.
No doubt this will be strange and uncharted territory for us. Never in the history of our congregation have we ceased coming to 3115 Providence Road for an extended period of time. If this feels unsettling and even a little scary, that is okay. These are unsettling and scary times.
We still have options to connect and worship together. In the coming week, our staff and leaders will share ways we’ll continue connecting as the body of Christ, adding a whole new and unanticipated dimension to our ConnectTPC 2020 theme.
One way we’ll connect will be a live online worship experience each Sunday at 11 a.m., beginning March 15. We will email church members a link each week so they can log into Zoom via computer, tablet, or phone. You can read more about Zoom video conferencing HERE. We will also stream this worship service on Facebook and YouTube. The worship experience will include songs, scripture, sermon, and prayer; and the service will later be uploaded to our website. While certainly not the same as gathering in our sanctuary, this will still be a way for us to come together as the body of Christ.
The same technology can be used for other virtual gatherings – Bible studies, ministry team meetings, etc. We are currently planning on a virtual version of The Well Sunday school class, perhaps at a couple of different times during the week.
Another way we’ll be church is tending to those who are most at risk. Rebekah is assembling a team of volunteers to take supplies to people’s homes. Equally important, if you know someone in our faith community who could use help, either particular supplies or just a pastoral phone call, please reach out to Rebekah.
Lastly, your support continues to be important even in this new reality of ours. Know that you can give online HERE.
If you have questions about any of this, please contact one of our church staff. We will figure this out together as we “seek the welfare of the city.” More to come. Stay tuned. Be safe. Be the church!
Steve Lindsley, Senior Pastor