Keeping the Faith in a Time of Sickness: Notes from the ClergyAs the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on our community and our faith are felt, this page will serve as record of Rev. Luk and Rev. Heidi’s messages to parishioners and his guidance in these uncertain times.
04/03Palm Sunday is next. Holy Week is here. And yet, the world today doesn’t feel ready to move into Holy Week. We all still feel in the desert with its dangers and trials. COVID-19 has changed our lives and our dreams more than we can express thus far, but we certainly can sense that this virus will inevitably have a ripple effect on our lives for years to come. For now, hold steady, reach out where possible, and connect with each other in the hope of our faith. The challenges we face – isolation, bewilderment, scarcity – we don’t face them alone. This is a chance to face these challenges together. One – in the scheme of things – minor question has been to stream or not to stream, that is our church services. Some clergy and churches convey strong feelings against. While I am certainly observing all safety regulations and take the virus threat very serious, of course, I also realize that the transition into this COVID-19 world has come to many as a shock, threat, and confusion. In this contexts, it feels grounding and comforting to have access to something that hasn’t changed completely: your familiar prayer space, that is the building of our Trinity on the Green. As human beings we are always connected to a place and some of these locations become a home base for our soul. Church can be one of these home bases that help us connect, with God, each other, and ourselves. As long as there is the option to stream from the church building, I, therefore, find it spiritually very nourishing to be present to you with prayer, in our church building. That physical place helps us to ground ourselves in a world that is completely in flux, to connect us with our own body and feelings, and to instill in ourselves the power of God’s compassion, peace, and holy comfort that we so need at this time. As we embark on this year’s Holy Week prayers, I look forward to join you virtually, whenever possible also through Zoom at our conference calls or in person. May the grace of our savior, the love of our God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit keep us all protected, safe and in peace.
03/27I so glad we can connect with each other. We are all so isolated, suffering from cabin fever and getting tired of this whole virus thing. If it were not that real and present danger is lurking around the corner. I so hope that all of you are safe and well. You are so much in my prayers and I am sending you love and peace in this time of anxiety and viral threat. This is our third week streaming our services. I am starting to be a bit more comfortable to speak in front of a camera and only a camera. I have felt awkward about this, but we all walk in faith at this time. And your prayers give me great support. It is so important that we join each other in prayer. Because that is where we find our center at this moment. So join me here in prayer this Sunday morning. I should have made a note already about the rubrics in the bulletin, if you follow that while watching. You are most welcome to follow our prayer gymnastics of standing and kneeling or sitting. But I am very mindful that we should have updated our rubrics to include that you might be following us from your couch or bed or porch. Which is totally fine. Situating yourself within your comfort zone is very important a this point. To help us be connected at this moment I am inviting you, if you are able to do so, to light a candle, to join me with a piece of bread and a drop of wine, or two drops. This way we can celebrate communion, while not with regular consecration, then at least with a symbolic representation.
03/13 (Updated 03/27):
“We Are Here” – A Message from the Rector“Lent 2020 turns out to be radically different from Lent in previous years. This year, humanity is facing a new type of test. We so wish there would be some magic halo of Christ that will fend off this nasty Corona virus. But that is not directly how God is our strength.
Strengthening Our SoulsNow that the COVID-19 virus has colored our lives darker, we are called to connect with the light inside of us. The challenges ahead are very real, but our faith in Christ can strengthen our response and guide us to become more human through this trial instead of less human. Connecting with the power of God in this hour is why I am here, why we are here. At Trinity, we have a whole community of people dedicated to expressing the love of Christ, especially in a time of trial, and to helping each other with the power of God’s light within us. Or inspired by this Sunday’s Gospel, we can help each other to connect with the source of living water in us, as a power for our daily challenged lives. Before detailing some upcoming changes at Trinity, let us connect with our Lord and Savior, our refuge and our strength in every trial and at every moment of anxiety. Let us pray for each other, pray for all people in need, in stress, all people who are affected by the COVID-19 virus, for those in isolation, quarantined. Let us pray for each member of our Trinity community.
God of the present moment, God who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the frantic heart; bring hope and courage to us as we wait in uncertainty. Bring hope that you will make us the equal of whatever lies ahead. Bring us courage to endure what cannot be avoided, for your will is health and wholeness; you are God, and we need you. Let the Church say: Amen. (For people critically ill, or facing great uncertainty, adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book)