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A Letter from the Wardens
May 19, 2020
Dear Trinity Church and friends,
The weeks since we last wrote to you in late March have brought a flurry of new activities to our common life, and to life as we must live it - at home, work, and worship - in these unique times. Even as we stay at home and safely distanced, we have shared a creative and life-giving array of opportunities to connect with each other – tapping the power of technology, but most of all each other. From our new Sunday routine (church in pjs!) to weeknight Compline to online coffees and forums to Zoom bible studies, we are keeping alive and strong the ties that bind our beloved community.
And there have been unforeseen blessings - virtual breakout rooms whose random assignments enable us to make new connections with one another, and comfort calls that have connected nearly 800 of us to one another. And while we miss our beautiful walls and windows dearly, it turns out that, now without them for a spell, we can reach across oceans and continents to worship with distant family members, former parishioners, and welcome curious new souls from all over to Trinity in ways that opening our doors to Copley Square might never have done. A time of outward constraint also proves a chance to grow, build on our talents, and embracing what's next, not bury our gifts while we wait, hunkered down, for all this to pass.
The wait, for one thing, will likely be longer than any of us want it to be. The day when we can gather and sing and share the Eucharist and the peace with one another is not around the corner, indeed it is not clearly in sight.
We are, and we know many of you are, closely monitoring guidance from Governor Baker, who yesterday announced a loosening of restrictions that would permit some places of worship to open at 40% capacity and with physical distancing restrictions. However, our bishops have taken account of the risks in our diocese and issued an extension of the current restrictions on in-person public worship and gatherings until July 1, 2020. The reality is that for Trinity Church in the City of Boston - a large parish, drawing from all over Eastern Massachusetts - it will likely be several months before we are able to worship together physically in a way that ensures the utmost safety for all our dear parishioners.
As hard as it is to think about staying apart longer, the risks are still too high to permit our safely coming together. Even with precautions, it’s still too easy for the virus to spread from someone who isn’t visibly sick. So, for a season more, we will need, more than ever, to hang together, to meet the challenges of this time in ways that maximize our connections and affirm, and even grow, our community. We hope you’ll join us in committing everything we have to this ongoing chapter in our parish's life.
Your wardens look forward in hope as we all make our way together down the next several turns on this winding path, a path to a place we will recognize, for sure, but that also promises to be somehow thrillingly new. We will by then have learned a lot together; our patience has been tried, but love and grace have met the moment. And so we invite you to look up, and look forward, to continue bringing your hope, your creativity, and your good company until that blessed day arrives that we can gather again at last in gratitude, peace, and prayer.
Between now and then, we seek to engage your hopes and worries in these social-distancing times. Members of the vestry and Morgan will again host a series of “Coffees with the Rector” this June. As before, we will limit space in these to allow for as many voices as possible to be heard. Sign-ups for these will begin next week.
With blessings, thanks, and prayers for your health and safety,
Jill S. Norton