Here you can find selected material from issues of Trinity Memorial Church's monthly newsletter, the Trinity Times
Building Reopening Letter from Fr. Glenn
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The Church will be opening to in-person worship on Pentecost, May 23rd for both 8am and 10am services. Yet, please be aware that as we return to in-person worship, it will not be exactly like worship was before we closed the building at the start of the pandemic. We have entered into a covenant with the Bishop that we will abide by the protocols set down by the Diocese to keep people safe. These protocols include: 1) registration of people and keeping a roster, 2) wearing a mask at all times when in the building, 3) maintaining social distance of six feet and 4) washing or sanitizing hands. For those who do not feel comfortable coming back to in-person worship at this time, we will be continuing online worship on Sunday mornings on Youtube and Facebook as we have been doing throughout the pandemic.
We are asking that everyone enter through the Gym door and register as they enter the Church. In this way we can keep a roster with names and phone numbers of those in attendance, which is essential information for contact tracing in the event that there is a confirmed case of Covid 19 in the congregation. To assist with maintaining social distance at worship, we have places marked off in the pews where people will be required to sit (families from one household may sit together). This limits the number of participants we can accommodate at a service to around 56.
We will have Morning Prayer at both services and we will have music at the 10am service which will consist of Tim playing the organ and a soloist. There will not be any congregational singing at the service. Please note that the soloist as well as the lector and Worship Leader may remove their mask when they are speaking or singing. There will not be any coffee hour in the building after the service.
The Vestry, staff, and reopening committee have worked hard to try to provide the safest environment possible as we regather. Every part of the building has been disinfected, thanks to Jeff Fellows and his volunteer helpers. Any portion of the building used will be disinfected prior to the next use or service. The Vestry approved the installation of a major air purification system for the Church, Hoyt room, choir room, dining room and common room. This system (currently in use at the Mayo Clinic) was designed to not only use a HEPA filter to clean the air, it also sanitizes the air by means of both ultraviolet light and ionization. The air in the church will be as clean as we can make it!
Some may be wondering why we are having Morning Prayer as we return to in-person worship. Unfortunately, I will not be able to be in attendance until everyone in my household has been vaccinated, which includes my daughter. I cannot chance bringing the virus home and infecting any member of my family. Fortunately, a vaccine for 12-16 year olds has been approved, so hopefully I will be able to return to you soon.
I must confess that there is one thing that I have considerable concern about, that in our exuberance to once again be together people may instinctively have conversations in a proximity closer than six feet, as well as shake hands with one another or hug one another in greeting. Yet, during these times that is not a safe thing to do, so I am asking everyone to please refrain! Why not incorporate the ancient eastern form of greeting by bowing to one another? Even a bow of the head and a friendly look in the eyes can convey a great deal! To hold out our arms in a virtual hug works for some. Be inventive in greeting!
Fifteen months ago the Covid 19 pandemic forced us to close the doors of the church and become a virtual congregation. We have continued the ministries as the body of Christ during these months, worshiping together online, keeping in contact with one another and caring for one another as best we could, distributing food, doing bible study online, conducting church commission meetings and vestry meetings online, and even running a very successful virtual stewardship campaign. I feel that continuing our online ministry will continue to prove useful and will grow and bear fruit of its own! The Lord has led us to expand our ministry to include a virtual arm! (Great body of Christ imagery isn’t it?)
So, if you feel comfortable returning to this masked and distanced in person worship, please join us on May 23rd for an 8am said service or a10am service with organ and soloist. If you don’t feel comfortable rejoining us in person yet, or if you are feeling ill, please choose to join us online on either Facebook or Youtube and don’t be shy about using the chat feature! We will continue to have coffee hour online at Trinityzoom.org after the service. The Forum will also be virtual and begin at 11:30 after coffee hour.
I want to express special thanks to the Wardens, Vestry, staff and the work of the reopening committee under the leadership of Susan Haynes! Thank you all!
Let us be faithful. Let us be safe. Let us be considerate of one another.
Let us bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ.
In Christ’s love and faithfulness,