March 13, 2020
Dear Beloved Trinity friends:
With a heavy heart, I have decided, in consultation with the Wardens, to close the buildings of Trinity Church for the next two weeks. The COVID-19 coronavirus has now become established in many American communities. The Trinity community has among us many folks who are vulnerable to the worst aspects of this virus. Health authorities have made clear that the best way for us to avoid infection, and infecting others, is to stay away from large groups. They urge all of us to practice habits of hand-washing, sanitizing and more. It hurts to limit our face-to-face contact with one another. I find it heart-breaking to halt even for a time our weekly gatherings to hear the Word and share Communion. God calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves. I believe, during these extraordinary times, this decision accords with God’s call to us.
On a practical basis, this means no attending services on Sunday, Thursday or any other day of the week for now, and no Choir activity for any age group. Trinity Academy has announced it will be off along with the Hartford public schools. There will be no Twelve Step group meetings, or any other meetings, at the church. Our various teams and committees will be urged to meet online to continue the work of our Parish during this temporary disruption in our lives together.
This afternoon, I will meet with the executive committee of the Vestry and paid staff to plan how best for Trinity to minister to all our people, and the neighborhoods God calls us to serve.
We have not made this choice lightly, and we are not alone. The West Hartford Episcopal parishes have announced the same decision today. The news media is full of similar developments across much of our society.
We need one another, and God, more than ever during a time like this. We will stay in touch with the conviction that going through this crisis, with God’s help, Trinity will be stronger through the grace of the Spirit and the example of Christ’s love.
In closing, I share this prayer, adapted from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer.
God of the present moment, God who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the frantic heart; bring hope and courage to us all as we wait in uncertainty. Bring hope that you will make us the equal of whatever lies ahead. Bring us courage to endure what cannot be avoided, for your will is health and wholeness; you are God, and we need you. Amen.
In Christ’s name,
Please read this Pastoral Letter from the Bishops of ECCT:
- March 13, 2020 - A Pastoral Letter from the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (English PDF)
- Una Carta Pastoral de los Obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal en Connecticut (Espanol PDF)