- Trinity Voices
Big News About Regathering In-Person!
Dear Trinity Church and friends,
With the encouragements of the last sixteen days – the CDC’s changed guidelines released May 14; the Diocese of Massachusetts’ updated directives published May 20; and our parish survey, with enough data already received to identify clear congregational energies – our Regathering Task Force can build on the momentum of our Trinity Sunday of Giving’s launch with the good news that we will be worshipping in-person sooner than expected:
On Sunday, June 13, we will begin 9 a.m. outdoor worship, livestreamed and open to all. Thanks be to God!
Led from the West Porch and facing Copley Square, we encourage parishioners to bring lawn chairs for these services, which will include a full-length sermon. A (masked) choir will support congregational singing, and we will season these liturgies with a variety of musical styles that take advantage of our setting. Our lay leaders – from lectors and intercessors to ushers and acolytes – will be welcome to rejoin us in their customary roles, as they are ready to do so.
After these fifteen months of Morning Prayer, we will celebrate Holy Eucharist on Sundays June 13 and 20; July 4, 11, and 18; and August 1 and 8. We will then pray the morning office on the last Sunday of each month: June 27 and July 25. On those last Sundays, we will also focus on our ministry with children, with a “Children’s Homily” led by our Director of Children’s Ministry Cathy Portlock-Pacitto, and featuring liturgical leadership from members of our children’s and youth communities.
… and did we mention that we’re having church together! In-person! In all three dimensions! Alleluia, alleluia, woohoo!
We will share the order of worship primarily through a digital means, providing only a limited number of printed booklets for those without access to a smartphone. In addition to the 9 a.m. livestream, a recording of the service will be posted to the parish’s website by lunchtime, available to those who have made different hours of worship their pandemic pattern.
Masks will be welcome at these services, and we ask everyone to abide CDC guidance and their own sensibilities as, together, we seek the comfort and care of all. Following worship, we look forward to greeting one another warmly and enthusiastically! Though refreshments will not be provided as we begin this new liturgy, we will consider enrichments as the summer continues.
As we have sought to achieve throughout the pandemic, this outdoor-worship strategy keeps us as one congregation to the greatest extent possible, allowing us to:
. worship without a pre-registration process that would leave us with (literally) insiders and outsiders;
. gather in a setting that science supports as the safest we can offer;
. honor the energy of our Diocese’s plainspoken guidance: “Outdoor services are strongly encouraged;”
. meet the parish at its readiness, specifically the desire for Communion, noting that current Diocesan directives allowing for distribution in only one kind (bread) match our parish’s expressed preference (so far, only 34% of survey respondents have indicated readiness to share the common cup);
. welcome newcomers and tourists during this season when those cohorts often comprise as much as half our summer congregations.
Following a small-group “soft open” on June 6, current plans call for these services to continue through August 8. Thereafter, we hope pandemic conditions will continue to improve, and, in turn, diocesan guidelines will continue to loosen. The Regathering Task Force and parish leadership will then consider our next steps at that time, adjusting worship plans for Sundays August 15-September 5, as appropriate and in the spirit we have endeavored to-date. We remain aimed for September 12 as our broadest indoor, in-person, regathering, sharing a common hope that our pre-pandemic worship might be fully restored by that time.
We realize that there will be challenges to this plan, and we ask for your grace. Weather and Sunday-morning Copley Square events may have their way with us from time-to-time. Very occasionally, circumstances may demand we return to our remote worship, and we will give as much advance notice as possible about any changes.
Despite these inevitable challenges, we are also excited to learn with one another through this more visible and vital presence on the Square, and we believe God will bless every generous energy we commit to this next season of our life together. As with our “From Home” ministries, we are gaining new skills and discovering new opportunities nearly every day, and we look forward to what the Holy Spirit might do with us in this new setting for our worship. We have a strong hunch something memorable and wonderful lies ahead – and we so want to share in it with you.
Looking forward to being together soon,
The Rev. Morgan S. Allen Mark Morrow
Rector & Regathering Task Force Co-Chair Senior Warden
Dr. Niven R. Narain Barbara Dortch-Okara
Regathering Task Force Co-Chair Junior Warden
On behalf of the Regathering Task Force: