|Dear TCC Family,|
In recent weeks, I have had conversations with fellow clergy, medical professionals, and most recently with core leadership at Trinity. We want to assure our community that we are taking steps to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus (and any other illness) when ever we gather.
There is a lot we know with regard to common sense and prevention of the spread of infectious diseases, however, there’s a lot we do not know about this new pathogen. Therefore, out of an abundance of wisdom—not fear—we are instituting these practices at Trinity:
1. The Holy Water fonts at the entrances are being removed until the immediate public health concern has passed.
2. We encourage respect for any person’s decision not to shake hands or hug at the Passing of the Peace. Our faith has a beautiful tradition of making a “solemn bow” to the presence of Jesus Christ in each other, so this is a good alternative as we say, “The peace of Christ be with you.” A solemn bow is simply the lowering of one’s head and shoulders to God or to another person. Some people place their right hand over their heart when bowing.
3. At the Eucharist, anyone may bypass the chalice, remembering that all of Christ is fully present in the host of bread that is Christ’s body, even as human flesh is suffused with blood (our belief here is vivid and beautiful). We will continue to make the chalice available to anyone who wishes to receive from it; we simply leave it to your discretion.
4. All who distribute the hosts and chalice will be washing hands and applying anti-bacterial disinfectant (as we always have) just before and just after distribution.
5. As you normally would, if you are feeling flu-like symptoms, please stay home, rest and let the pastoral staff know so that we can pray for you and/or your family.
We believe these measures are prudent in this time of uncertainty. We love our community and want to ensure its thriving for the sake of our life together and for all our neighbors in this widespread parish.
We recommend following the CDC’s prevention protocol: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html and remaining informed by local health agencies https://www2.monroecounty.gov/health-coronavirus and state health agencies www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/
But ultimately, we encourage you to remember Who it is that we serve. Our God is not surprised by this, and rather than be paralyzed by fear we can choose to be fueled by trust and faith in Him. Jesus points out in His teachings in Matthew 6 that worry can lead to panic while prayer can lead to peace. Let any anxieties you feel remind you to pray. Pray for peace. Pray for others. Pray for the sick. And, pray for those who have been isolated during this time. God does not want you to be afraid.
By instituting the above changes at TCC, we want to make it clear that we are recognizing this unique public health challenge. We are not responding from a place of fear and we declare peace over TCC, in the name of Jesus. If you have any questions or concerns about our preparations or changes in practice, please feel free to reach out.
Yours in Christ Jesus,