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March 19, 2020

Dear Trinity Family,

On behalf of the session I want to thank you for your prayers and encouragement while we lead you through the COVID-19 crisis. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to any of you, but I am happy to report anyway, that your session is entirely of one mind. We are united in our confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ, the King and Head of the church; we are united in our love and concern for you all, those for whom Jesus Christ shed his blood; and we are united in the plans we have arrived at for shepherding you through these challenging times. Here’s what you need to know:

The Big Picture: There will be no group gatherings of any kind at the church building from now until the end of April. The session will reassess by April 30 and keep you informed of all future developments.

However, this does not mean life at Trinity is grinding to a halt. Instead, since unusual times call for unusual measures, read on!

Worship Services: Plan to visit our website each Sunday morning at 9:30. Each week your pastors, a few musicians and a small team of IT experts will be video-recording a modified worship service. We will post a fresh service to our website each Sunday morning and it will remain online and able to be viewed and reviewed at any time. However, if you tune in on Sundays at 9:30 you will be able to maintain your usual Lord’s Day morning routine and you will know that all the rest of us are following the same order of worship at the same time. In this way, if you’ll pardon the liberties taken with the text, each of us, though absent from the body will be unitedly present with the Lord.

Ministries: Plan for most ministries and meetings to resume soon, but only online. The session especially encourages all mid-week small groups and essential ministry teams to pick up with their regular schedules. Trinity Church will purchase access to the online video-conferencing service, Zoom Pro, for all group leaders. Group leaders will contact group members with meeting times and log-on instructions. Zoom is easy to learn and easy to use but we will also offer an online training session for nervous neophytes.

Shepherding: Pastor Myers and I are working from our homes and you can contact us directly by e-mail or telephone at any time. Most of our elders are more available than usual and you should feel free to reach out to them as well. Our deacons are here to serve, knowing that this crisis brings with it significant economic and practical challenges. We all remain ready and willing to visit with you in person, by phone or online as you wish. Do not hesitate to call. But, let us also encourage you to use this season to reach out to each other. If being confined to your home makes you feel isolated and alone you should know that many others are feeling the same way. Don’t wait for them to call you but instead take the initiative and find creative ways to minister to one another.

Church Office: Our Executive Assistant will be in the office regularly to follow up on mail, e-mail and telephone messages. Our e-mail prayer chain will continue without interruption. Additionally, I plan to send out regular prayer guides that will help unite us in our common cause of carrying our burdens to our Father in heaven. Whether we are together or apart nothing hinders us from obeying the simple command of Romans 12:12, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

Giving: The session encourages you to continue to worship God and to support Trinity’s mission and ministries through your giving. If you are not already using our online giving option, now is a good time to sign up; simply go to the website and follow the link with its step-by-step instructions. If you have questions or need help getting set up you can contact the Treasurer. If you prefer you can simply mail your check to the church office and it will be recorded and processed as usual.

Finally, thank you again for your prayers for us during this season of dark providence and unique leadership challenges. We are determined to press on in doing all we can to lead you in worshiping God and in maintaining your Christian confession, loving him and loving others. We are grateful for the gifts of technology and for the solid infrastructure of Trinity Church. We are especially grateful for those who are helping us implement these changes to our life and ministry, and for your usual cheerful adaptability as we make these changes. We trust that our worship services, mid-week Bible studies and regular prayer updates will feed and nourish you, and that they will encourage you in your walk with the Lord. We also hope they will be regular reminders of what we are missing and so make us long for the day when we all reassemble to worship our Triune God in the same room, at the same time and with one voice. In the meantime we will continue to pray for you, and for God’s mercy on us all.

In the love of Christ,

Pastor Westerveld

For the Session