In-Person Trinity Activities Paused Until Further Notice
March 16, 2020Dear Siblings in Christ at Trinity Lutheran Church,
We are entering a new phase in our life as a community together. And so I wanted to check in with you to share what is known now, what we expect to come to know soon, and the ministry that continues to be before us.
One of the things I love about this congregation is how responsive we are to the needs of our neighbors, paying particular attention to the most vulnerable or most marginalized among us. When we become aware of a need, we have found ways to reach out and meet that need.
On March 11, Dr. Chris Spitters, interim health officer for the Snohomish Health District, released a public health order severely limiting how public gatherings can occur. This order toward social distancing is an effort at slowing the spread of the COVID-19 Corona virus so that our public health systems are not overwhelmed. (http://www.snohd.org/Blog.aspx?IID=18#item)
What this means is that our neighbors are asking us not to gather together in person, to do our part to ensure that those who need medical care can receive it when they need it. Because Sunday morning (and, during this Lenten season, Wednesday evening) worship has been so central to how we are formed as a community and how we support the ministry work throughout the week, we may feel like this is too much to ask of us. However, I trust that God will find ministry opportunities for us, even in the midst of this turbulent time, that we can adjust our life as a community to find additional ways of staying connected, new ways of living out our daily ministry.
Although the county health order does allow a path for public meetings to occur, it would require a strong effort by staff and volunteers from the congregation. That energy, at this time, is needed for us to support one another and our neighbors in the new reality in which we find ourselves, responding to the fears and sense of isolation that will come with the lack of public gatherings. In the days to come, Trinity Lutheran Church leaders will continue to build our capacity to reach out to you, to provide alternate worship experiences that do not require gathering in person, and to support our neighbors in need. If you have ideas for how this can happen, please call or email me or any council member. If you recognize a need in yourself, in another member of this congregation, or in our community at large but don’t know how to solve it, please call or email me or any council member.
In summary, beginning March 12 and for the foreseeable future, in-person gatherings including worship will not be held at Trinity Lutheran Church. This includes our ministry partners who use our building for their meetings. Because developments have been coming so fast, we are continuing to assess our response to this public health crisis. If we and our ministry partners are able to meet the county’s criteria, we may be able to reopen the building for NA and other community meetings in the future.
We follow a Christ who brought healing and wholeness to all those in need. We have received from God’s grace all that we need to continue this work in ourselves and in the world around us. Let us be good stewards of these gifts during this most unusual of Lenten journeys. May we anticipate the Resurrection joy that will be ours whenever we can again safely gather together in person.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Tim and Greg Benson on behalf of the Trinity Council