Fr. Lee's message about the delayed reopening of Trinity
Dear siblings in Christ,
I hope this note finds you rested and blessed during this Ordinary Time. I know that we are eager to return to our usual ways of worship on Sunday mornings. We yearn to be in each other’s presence. More than three months ago, we began a journey with each other: a journey that has brought us to this point. We have waited with patience, being steadfast in our concern and love for each other.
In Ecclesiastes chapter 3:1-8, we find these words, "There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth: A right time for birth and another for death, a right time to plant and another to reap, a right time to kill and another to heal, a right time to destroy and another to construct, a right time to cry and another to laugh, a right time to lament and another to cheer, a right time to make love and another to abstain, a right time to embrace and another to part, a right time to search and another to count your losses, a right time to hold on and another to let go, a right time to rip out and another to mend, a right time to shut up and another to speak up, a right time to love and another to hate, a right time to wage war and another to make peace."
In the Ordination of a Priest, found in the Book of Common Prayer page 531, we find these words, "As a priest, it will be your task to proclaim by word and deed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to fashion your life in accordance with its precepts. You are to love and serve the people among whom you work, caring alike for young and old, strong and weak, rich and poor."
We - the wardens, vestry, and staff - have monitored the current Covid-19 situation. We have watched as the number of cases has been increasing exponentially. We had hoped that the circumstances and curve would have, by this point, begun to descend or flatten. Unfortunately, this has not happened. We have witnessed the not-so-subtle increase in cases. This week, we have had several days in which Oklahoma has had set new daily records for positive cases reported.
I know that we want to be back together, to share in the Eucharist, and be in the presence of each other. I know very well that being in this place, we call our spiritual home, is the desire of our minds and hearts. As it is my charge to love and serve the people entrusted to me among whom I work, caring for young and old, strong and weak, rich and poor, I must come to the heart-aching conclusion, that it is not time for us to gather on Trinity grounds.
Know that this decision did not come easily or without much prayer, discussion, and discernment. We will continue to serve and be served by the live-streamed Sunday service on Facebook. We will continue to serve and be served by TrinityConnect, Monday through Saturday. We will continue to reach out to each other via phone calls, texting, Zoom, Facebook live streaming, and Children's weekly live streaming. We have and will continue to find new ways, new avenues to reach as many as possible, but this will take all of us, as Trinity Tulsa, as the body of Christ, to make sure no one is left behind.
My siblings in Christ, there will come a day when we will be able to be together. But as is mentioned in Ecclesiastes, there is time for all things, and right now, it is not the time to gather together in person. Know that I do this, all of this, out an abundance of love. This will allow us to continue to live into the precautions and not into the panic.
We will get through this. This is just the new normal for now, but not forever. I ask that you walk with me, the vestry, and the staff and let us hold on to the promise that God has got this, all of this. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Your brother and servant in Christ,