Update: March 30, 11:30am
Following the state and citywide instructions to shelter in place, we have determined that our campus workday should be cancelled. While we planned this event with social distancing guidelines in place, we feel it is our social and moral obligation not to bring individuals together in a way where the potential for virus transfer exists at all. We will host a campus workday later in the spring or eraly summer, as guidance allows.
Sunday we broadcast our first pre-recorded service via Facebook. There were some technical glitches, but all in all, we were pleased with the end result. We know watching online is not the same as attending in person, but we hope you felt some sense of calm and peace watching online with fellow parishioners. Holy week services have also been pre-recorded and you can find more information about the schedule here.
We continue with our weekday TrinityConnect meditation and prayers service Monday to Saturday at 11:00am on Facebook. Join the live stream and make prayer requests, touch base with other parishioners in real time and enjoy community together. Thank you to Mother Cheryl and Fr. Lee for taking this service in to their homes with the more restrictive social distancing guidelines.
We hope you will continue to check in with our Facebook and website regularly for updates. If you have children or youth, please check your Facebooks groups where Becky has posted activities and conversation starters for all ages. Remember to check in with each other, especially those who you know may be lonely or truly isolated, and let us know how we can help you, your friends and family.
Update: March 28, 9:15pm
Further to the Governors "Safer at home" directive, the mayor of Tulsa has also issued a directive which limits gatherings to fewer than 10 people, closes all non-essential businesses and restricts movements for people of all ages within the Tulsa area. The church building has been closed since the bishop directed all Episcopal parishes to cancel all worship and non-worship events, though we have had permission to continue filming services inside the building.
With the new directives at the state and local level, we have taken the step of pre-recording all Sunday and holy Week/Easter worship, and doing the daily prayer/meditation, "TrinityConnect" from the homes of the clergy instead of in the church. We hope you will continue to watch and engage in worship with us, in this ever changing world. Please look for the bulletins for all our services here and keep an eye on our Facebook page for further updates, activities and information.
Our Stations of the Cross and Watch Through the Night pages are now live. We hope you will gather the materials you need for an interactive Stations of the Cross in your own home, and register to do your own Watch Through the Night on our Facebook page.
As always, we encourage you to be in touch with staff and clergy at any time as we work to reach out to all our parishioners. We want to support you throughout this time of crisis and hope you will help keep us informed of what is going on in your life and the lives of your friends.
UPDATE: March 25 1:30pm
Fr. Lee and Mother Cheryl have been in constant communication with the Bishop as we move through this crisis. We will continue to offer online services on our Facebook page, though, as the situation develops they may be pre-recorded or streamed live from off-site. We are dedicated to supporting our parish and will adjust accordingly, as the needs arise.
We are continuing revised plans for Holy Week. Shawna Gehres has kindly offered to manage Virtual Agape Dinners on Maundy Thursday in place of our traditional dinner in the Great Hall. Click here to learn more and sign up.
Plans for our Virtual Stations of the Cross and Watch Through the Night are underway. Please watch for updates.
Our new giving portal is up and running. Click here to visit the page or simply text "TrinityECGive" to 77977 and make your donation via smart phone. We know many of our parishioners are experiencing financial uncertainty. Your gifts will help us to continue supporting these folks, and our entire parish, in this time of need.
UPDATE: March 19, 4:30pm
Join us beginning Monday, March 23rd at 11:00am for the first of our daily meditations. Trinity Connect, as we are calling it, will be a chance for you to tune in to Fr. Lee and Mother Cheryl via Facebook Live and interact with them in real time. If you have a question or a prayer request, you will be able to type those in to the comments and get a response as it happens. This will continue, Monday through Saturday, until in-person services are resumed.
In addition to Trinity Connect, plans have been made to have virtual services on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. We are also working on a virtual Watch Through the Night so look for updates about that.
The schedule is as follows:
April 5th at 11:00am
Live stream on Facebook
April 9th at 7:00pm
Live stream on Facebook
Watch Through the Night
April 9th at 8:00pm - April 10th at noon
More details TBA
April 10th at 11:00am
Live stream on Facebook
April 12th at 11:00am
Live stream on Facebook
If you need help with technology set-up so you can watch services, we have volunteers willing to help. Please contact Hannah Middlebrook and she will connect you with a volunteer.
UPDATE: March 18, 1:00pm
Today we officially welcome The Rev. Cheryl Harder-Missine to our Trinity family. It feels very odd not to be planning a big Sunday welcome for her, but we want her to know how pleased we are to have her. Stop by the Facebook page to see a video introduction by Mother Cheryl and send a message of welcome!
Bishop Ed released a new video last night, which you can also see on Facebook. In it he discusses his own COVID-19 test, precautions taken throughout the Diocese, and the approach to Holy Week and Easter. Watch here.
As it becomes apparent that we are looking at longer term closure, we are working to come up with creative ways to share Holy Week and Easter with you. Nothing is certain yet but it seems prudent to plan. That leads us to the Topic of the Day for today: What makes Holy Week special for you? How does it differ from any other week? Join the conversation on Facebook.
Finally, beginning Monday, March 23, we will begin live streaming a daily meditation at 11:00am, Monday through Saturday. Each meditation will be approximately 2-4 minutes, with the opportunity to make prayer requests. We'll share more information about this as details fall in to place. Sunday service will be live streamed every week until in-person services resume.
UPDATE: March 17, 5:26pm
The Oklahoman contained and article today in which it was revealed that Bishop Ed has been tested for COVID-19 due to his extensive travel, and the fact that he is exhibiting some of the symptoms of the virus. He expects to have the results on Thursday. Please keep he and Debbie in your prayers.
We are continuing our Question of the Day to keep you engage with the community. Today's question is "What are you doing to stay connected to your church community when you can't gather together in person?" Join the conversation on Facebook!
UPDATE: March 16, 2020 - 8:30pm
Watch Bishop Ed's latest video here.
In an effort to keep our community engaged and support your spiritual and personal lives, we will be posting a "topic of the day" regularly while we are closed. We encourage you to take part in the discussion and help us keep our baptismal covenant commitment to "continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship."
UPDATE: MARCH 16, 2020 - 10:30am
We have received many questions about how the church closure will affect future events, including Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter. The simple answer is we are just not sure yet. Bishop Ed is working with local and national leaders to make the best decisions for the safety of all Oklahomans.
The current CDC guidelines state that no gathering of more than 50 people should take place for eight weeks. That takes us right up to Easter week so we are taking a "wait and see" approach for now. We have made the decision to move the Easter Egg hunt to Saturday, May 17th, in case the ban on gatherings is lifted. We recognize that is after Easter, and we can't be 100% certain that date will stick either, but we are working with what we have.
As you may have deduced, the Celebration of New Ministry for Fr. Lee has been postponed. We do not have any direction as to the new yet date, and don't anticipate having that information until the current situation is under control. We will share the new date as soon as we know.
The financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic are concerning for many in our congregation and community. Especially for hourly workers and those who rely on the "gig economy," these restrictions are hitting hard. We want to continue to support our members and provide any services we can. As such, we welcome your continued financial support. If your pledge is automatically withdrawn, that will continue without interruption. If you would like to send checks to the church, please address them to:
Trinity Episcopal Church
501 S. Cincinnati Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Alternatively, you may make gifts via our website here. Please choose "Annual Operating Fund (pledge) if you are making a pledge payment or one time gift for use in the general budget. Please make a note on your payment if there is a specific designation for your dollars. Questions about giving should be directed to Jenny at JRobertson@TrinityTulsa.org.
Once again, that you for understanding. We are aware we are not the only source of uncertainty in your lives right now. But we hope that the efforts we are making to keep you informed, and to provide spiritual guidance, help ease your anxieties. Please remember you may reach out to us at any time for support.
UPDATE: March 15, 2020 - 9:00pm
Thank you all for your continued patience as we work to keep the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum. We know there have been disruptions to so many aspects of your lives and we want to be the support you need at this time. We have volunteers ready to help should you need someone to run to the grocery store for you or stop in for a visit. Please let us know how we can help you.
If you missed this morning's live streamed service, you can find it here. Or, if you'd just rather hear the sermon, click here. Please remember to look at the resources we're compiling here if you need a little spiritual comfort. Be well!
UPDATE: March 14, 2020 - 5:00pm
We are dedicated to supporting you and your spiritual needs through this challenging time. We are aware that, for many, Sunday services are the underpinning of their spiritual lives. In order to help you start your week off right in these challenging times, we will be live streaming a pared down version of the service at 11:00am on Facebook. A PDF version of the bulletin will be available here.
You can find Trinity's Facebook page here. Watch the service live or catch it at your convenience later on Facebook and this website. If you do not have a Facebook account, you may wish to create one (It only requires an email and password) before Sunday to make viewing easier, and to keep up with updates from the church easily.
We remain committed to your well being. Please keep in touch with clergy and staff so we may help you with your spiritual and pastoral needs. You may send emails to any of us here or, feel free to reach out to us via social media. Remember that we want to support you in any way we can.
UPDATE: March 13, 2020 - 9:45pm
Further to this afternoon's announcement that Trinity will be closed for the remainder of Lent, the bishop has issued a statement which you can read here.
We are committed to continuing to serve our community and living in to the body of Christ. We will work to provide resources specific to Trinity, such as streaming services, and resources for those wanting to continue Lenten practices and Christian formation.
We will keep updating you via social media, website and email as we have more to share. Please do not hesitate to contact clergy and staff at any time. We remain your church family and are dedicated to serving you.
UPDATE: March 13, 2020 - 3:26pm
After consultation with the presiding bishop, the bishop of the Diocese of Oklahoma has determined that Trinity Episcopal Church will be closed through the last Sunday in Lent. We know these are unusual and worrying times but, again, we stress that these are only precautionary measures. As of this time, there are still no known cases of exposure to, or diagnosis of, COVID-19 at Trinity.
Staff and volunteers are working diligently to provide a "virtual worship" experience during this time. Fr. Lee and Deacon Deborah will film a service on Sundays which will be streamed on Facebook, and archived on the website.
The Bishop's statement to clergy read, in part "I am closing all our churches immediately. This includes the cancellation of all worship services and church events. This closure at this point will remain in effect through the last Sunday in Lent."
Further details to come, as we receive them.
UPDATE: March 12, 2020
Under the direction of the Bishop, all non-worship events and gatherings at Trinity are canceled for the foreseeable future, as of today.
This includes, but is not limited to: Celebration of New Ministry, Friday Fish Fry, all Sunday School Classes, Fr. Power's Church Tour, Pipe Organ Tour, Maker Studio, Vestry Meeting, Finance Committee Meeting, Social Justice Commission, 20s & 30s Group, EfM Classes, Bridge Club, Deacon Bert's Lenten Class, Lenten Yoga Class, Wednesday DVD Class, Book Club, Downtown Tunnel Tours, Tuesdays at Trinity and all choir rehearsals.
As of this time, there are no known cases of exposure to, or diagnosis of COVID-19, at Trinity. This action is taken out of an abundance of caution, and in the best interests of the health of our parish and community. At this time Sunday services, Wednesday Eucharist, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Evensong will proceed as planned. We will reassess constantly and update the community as we are able.
In addition to the cancellation of all non-worship events, we are making further adjustments to Sunday services to promote safe worship:
Beginning this Sunday, March 15th, communion will be offered "in one kind" only. The priest celebrating Eucharist will take the wine and all others will receive the wafer only.
The offering plates will not be passed from person to person. Instead you will find them on tables at both the east and the west ends of the center aisle for your convenience. You may drop your offering in the plate upon arrival, on your way up for communion or at the end of service.
Coffee hour is cancelled until further notice to discourage social gatherings and the potential for the contamination through food and drink.
We encourage you to continue to distancing yourself from one another and avoid physical contact, in order to worship safely in community. We want to live into the precaution and not into the panic. Please check social media and this web page for further updates.
March 7, 2020
As we learn more about the arrival of the COVID-19 corona virus in Tulsa, we want to assure you that our first priority is the safety of our congregation. Following the direction of the Diocese, we will take these steps at Trinity:
First and foremost, we encourage those who are ill to stay home. This includes staff.
Clergy, Staff, Chalice Bearers, Oblationers, Altar Guild, and Ushers will wash hands with soap and water before services and use hand sanitizer before distributing communion.
Hand Sanitizer will be available in the Great Hall and in the Narthex. We encourage parishioners to use it before entering the sanctuary, and preparing drinks or food in the Great Hall.
Handrails, tables, bathrooms, etc. will be regularly disinfected. If you would like special attention paid to any particular area, please don’t hesitate to ask staff to assist you.
During the peace, consider passing the peace without touching—maybe a wave or the peace sign. If you still prefer a handshake or hug, please be respectful of those who choose not to have physical contact.
We will continue to offer communion with wine and wafers. During this time, however, we will not offer intinction (dipping the wafer into the chalice) to avoid the spread of germs from hands. Taking communion from a common cup with proper purificator use presents relatively low risk, but those who would prefer to abstain from taking the common cup are free to do so.
Those who want to receive “in one kind” (wafer only) should cross their arms across their chest in lieu of receiving the chalice.
If you would like to receive a blessing only, please cross your arms across your chest in lieu of wafer and chalice.
Abstaining from communion altogether is also acceptable.
We know many people will have concern for their safety and the safety of their families. We take your well being very seriously and assure you we will do all we can to make gathering for worship and fellowship safe.