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Update: March 23, 2020
On March 13, 2020, I electronically published a letter speaking directly about Trinity Episcopal Church’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. You may find that letter on our website at www.trinitydet.org/covid-19. In short, I conveyed that we would be observing the practice of “social distancing” to prevent the spread of the virus to our friends and neighbors. I spoke to several partners over the phone to further iterate that the social distancing protocol mandated that public activities in the building would be on hiatus until April 6. With the changing nature of this crisis, timelines will have to be adjusted.
Therefore, on the eve of the statewide lockdown, per Executive Order of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and by Pastoral Directive of Bishop Bonnie A. Perry of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, all public activities taking place inside Trinity Episcopal Church are suspended until further notice. The only exceptions are the critical hunger-relief ministries, and even that is happening outdoors on a provisional basis.
Mutual aid groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, can meet virtually, and I am available to assist any groups that need to connect with technology and other resources to continue connecting with their constituents. I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or pastoral and sacramental needs. Take care of yourselves and each other.
March 13, 2020
Dear friends and neighbors,
COVID-19, also being called coronavirus is a respiratory disease communicably transmitted by exposure to a sick person’s cough or sneeze droplets. By now, you may have heard that the World Health Organization has deemed COVID-19 a pandemic. In response, our national and state officials have declared a State of Emergency, and the City of Detroit is also taking measures to reduce the spread of the virus.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry, Eleventh Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, along with signatories representing all Episcopal dioceses in Michigan and the South East and Lower Northwest Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, have issued a Pastoral Directive to all congregations to refrain from coming together for in-person worship for the remainder of the month of March. In consonance with this directive, Trinity Episcopal Church is suspending all public gathering in its building and on its property until Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020. For the time being, the Thursday Food Pantry and the Wednesday Lunch programs will continue with sack lunches filled with non-perishable food items thanks to the ministry of Everyone Eats.
As people of faith, we reject any actions motivated by fear, trusting in God’s Sovereignty and Providence at all times. As people of faith, we also understand our moral and civic duty to care for one another in real and practical ways that ensure safety as much as possible. In response to practices advised by the Center for Disease Control, we are adopting a practice of “social-distancing,” in order to reduce the risk of exposure to those most vulnerable, the aged and those with already compromised pulmonary and immune systems. I invite you to consider information available at https://www.edomi.org/covid-19-update/ and https://www.edomi.org/covid-19-preparation-and-response/ for more information.
I also encourage you to like our Facebook page “Trinity Episcopal Church Detroit” for more updates. I will be posting videos and announcing live video events so that we may interact with each other and care for our spiritual needs. It is during this time, more than ever, that connecting with God and with each other should take just as much priority as taking care of yourselves and your family.
I am aware that this closure comes during a difficult time in the life of our congregation. Being closed for the next three weeks will only leave us two weeks to formally say goodbye as our congregation takes leave of its building and dissolves. This is a regrettable turn of events brought on by these trying times. However, I have faith in our ability to remain vigilant and faithful. I can be contacted at email@example.com for pastoral and sacramental needs. Take care of yourselves and each other.
For an update regarding the future of Trinity Church, please click here.