I have some good news and bad news. The bad news is that the Covid-19 virus is spiking rapidly across the country as predicted, taxing the ability of hospitals to handle the number of new cases. And, sadly, the number of deaths has gone from a thousand per day to 1,700 per day in the past week.
The good news is that God has promised to be with us and for and is able to give us the resources we need to get through this. So, I hope that you will be able to keep the faith and rely upon God and one another as the bad news continues to be with us during the winter. We can certainly give thanks to God and the medical and pharmaceutical communities for their success in producing a vaccine that promises to be very safe and effective and available soon, although not to the general public until spring.
I encourage all of you to forego travel for the Thanksgiving holiday and to enjoy your meal with members of your household. As painful as this will be, it will go a long way in slowing the rapid spread of the coronavirus now occurring. I also encourage you to comply with the CDC’s recommendations to wear face masks, wash your hands often, and keep at least six feet of distance from others. Yes, these things are inconvenient, but our beloved constitution not only grants us certain civil liberties, it also calls upon citizens to promote the general welfare and provide for a common defense. If ever a time existed for all of us to be good and faithful citizens, now is the time.
I invite you to join the congregation on Zoom on Sunday, November 22 at noon. If you have any questions, just email Virginia and she can help you. This will be a great opportunity to see each other faces and to share what you are thankful this year. The Session met on Monday by Zoom and decided to keep Trinity closed for in-person activities through at least January 25. We have a Covid-19 task force comprised of the elders from the Worship and Property Teams that has determined that this amount of time will be required to take the necessary steps to prepare for reopening. This, of course, will be determined by the medical and scientific facts. If things improve enough, we could possibly make that date earlier; likewise, if the spread of the virus remains the same or gets worse, we would extend the suspension of indoor activities. We remain committed to the health and safety of our congregation and will rely on the medical and scientific communities to determine the best way to achieve this.
We are making plans now for virtual worship for Christmas Eve, including possibly an online family bell service, an online version of our traditional communion and candlelight service, and some type of drive-through experience. These are trying times; never in my life time have so many been so restricted for so long. May God continue to grant us patience, comfort, stamina, and hope for a better day in the future. Of this I am convinced: we are not alone, God is with us and for us – just as he promised. Thanks be to God!
To participate in the Thanksgiving Zoom meeting, you'll need to do a little prep in advance. You'll want to have a device with a camera - it can be your phone, kindle, or laptop, for example. Zoom is free, but you will need to go to Zoom.us and sign up/download the app. You will be provided a link via the church's email to click on at the appropriate time to join in on the fun. This beginning of this little video shows what it's like to connect via an email link. Like many things, it's easier to do than to read about!
One sample video of how to join zoom, via an email link.
Thank you, thank you, to all of you who donated so generously to bring Christmas smiles to children from Wilburn Elementary. You raised enough funds for each of the 20 children that Trinity pledged to help to receive an age-appropriate book and for their parents to have a $40 Walmart gift card so they will have the means to buy their child a gift. In addition, each child will receive a Christmas goodie bag. This project to support 80 children was initiated by the New Hope Road Alliance of faith communities, and we're so proud of Trinity's participation and generous response.
Because of your generosity, the goal has been exceeded - by what amount, we're not quite sure as of yet, since checks are still being processed. If you would like to send in money to support the families of Wilburn this Christmas, the additional funds will be used to buy $20 Food Lion gift cards for families that are food insecure. As before, simply write 'Wilburn' in your memo line, and Louise, our Receiving Treasurer, will make sure to note your gift. We'll keep you posted as to what the final total of giving ends up being. Thank you!!
Please know that Trinity's elders, deacons, and staff are praying for you, your loved ones, and your friends as we follow state guidelines to restrict the spread of Covid-19. If you should have a care concern or celebration you'd like to share, please email David or the church office.
As we continue to pay the church's unchanging monthly obligations, we remain sincerely grateful for your giving. Louise Taff, our Receiving Treasurer, is checking the mail frequently each week, making the deposits for the church. If you have questions about your giving, please email Louise.
If you did not receive your estimate of giving card in the mail, would you let Virginia in the church office know? Tap here to email Virginia.
Trinity's in-person activities are suspended through Sunday, January 25th. Session will meet on Monday, January 18th to determine if the suspension of activities should continue, based on health guidelines.