Dear Trinity friends:
This is the world turned upside down. To be church regularly means to gather together in a sacred place. The experience strengthens us to be the presence of Christ's love in the world, which is God's call to us. Social distancing requires that we give up, for a time, that person-to-person-to-person gathering, that spiritual food. It feels wrong. the word behind the word "church" is ecclesia, ancient Greek for "gathering."
For now, we must give up gathering in the way so many of us find nourishing, even necessary, the coming together on Sundays under the soaring vault of Trinity Church. The buildings are closed to all services and meetings until at least May 10 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. On Friday, our Bishops called on the Connecticut parishes to do this.
Last Sunday, with behind camera help from Casey Rousseau and Jake Troiano and the musical support of Jackson Merrill, Trinity presented a shorter version of what we do on regular Sundays. Over a hundred folks tuned in to this YouTube offering of Word and music, a testament to the hunger many of us feel for the weekly infusion of scripture and song emanating from Trinity Church.
We hope to offer more in the Sundays to come. The emphasis here is on hope. The guidance given about how we all should protect one another, and ourselves, changes daily, if not hourly. We at Trinity make a commitment to our parish community to be as present as we can be, as safely as can be done. We will do our best to mark the Lord's Day with scripture, prayer and song, although the format may change as guidelines evolve.
We also commit to staying in touch. My email address in firstname.lastname@example.org. My cell phone number is 860-986-3289. If you have a question or an idea about our online worship or have a pastoral concern, please be in touch.
Trinity will continue to reach out to you through The Voice, our website (www.trinityhartford.org), regular e-blasts and Facebook. In turn, each of you can make Trinity a presence in the lives of our brothers and sisters by reaching out through phone calls and e-mails to other members of the parish, or to anyone you feel may be vulnerable or lonely in these strange times.
As crucial as our Sunday gatherings are, the soul of Trinity Church rests in our connection through the Holy Spirit. This connection needs no roof or walls. As the evangelist John describes it, we are together in Christ and Christ is in us. That power will overcome all separation, or as Paul proclaims in Romans 8,
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We will gather again on Sigourney Street, with light streaming through stained glass windows, and organ chords reverberating through brownstone columns. We will know then that for all that magnificence, the love we share with our Trinity neighbors shines and sings with more glory than all the great church buildings of the world.
In the Name of God the Father Almighty who created us;
In the Name of Jesus Christ who redeemed us;
In the Name of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us.