Dear Holy Trinity,
The governor of California announced last week that he is allowing churches in San Diego County to restart in-person services with the condition that they follow state health guidelines. This is great news for Holy Trinity and an answer to many of our prayers. We will resume our plan to hold in person services on the first Sunday of the month and the Friday that precedes that first Sunday. That means we get to meet this week!
We will also continue to have a 10:00 am service online even as we gather in-person. The online service remains a good option for many. I will be making house calls for those who are not able to attend a Eucharist service in-person.
Before you show up to our next service please review Holy Trinity's guidelines for in-person worship. These guidelines ensure our compliance with local government and will help us to gather safely.
Next In-Person Services
Friday, September 4, 2020 @ 9:30 am
Sunday, September 6, 2020 @8:00 am
This is a time for us to renew our trust in God's mercy. It is not clear what the rest of this year holds for us but this one thing I do know, God loves us and He will not abandon us. Let us be patient in waiting on the Lord to deliver us.
The new restrictions from our state government have forced us to rethink our plans for our August 2 in-person service. Instead of meeting in-person as planned we will move to an online communion service at 10AM on Sunday, August 2. (Note: This moves our service earlier by 30 minutes) Following the service I will distribute communion from the front of my house until noon. I will continue with home communion visits for those who are not able to attend our “drive up” communion. If you would like a communion visit, please call Sandra to schedule a time.
I am proud of the way Holy Trinity has responded with grace and flexibility to our present situation. The church is not a building or a service. The church are the people who live their lives responding to God’s love. May we continue to be the church this week as we love God and love our neighbors.
May God grant you His peace,
My song shall be always of the loving-kindness of the Lord; with my mouth will I ever be proclaiming your faithfulness, from one generation to another. (Psalm 89:1)
We are people that ever proclaim the faithfulness of the Lord. Whether we worshiped at home or gathered together, we have experienced His faithfulness. We have something to proclaim! It is trusting in our God’s loving-kindness that leads us forward.
Our current situation is very fluid. Our local state government has been open to the fact that they may impose new restrictions on us as need arises. In addition to this, our survey results show that a majority of the people of Holy Trinity do not yet feel comfortable returning to in-person services and are conflicted as to when or what might make them comfortable. An even larger percentage of our lay leaders are not yet ready to return. I say this because it reinforces how flexible and patient we need to be to reopen in-person services.
After much prayer, thought and discussion we have a plan to restart in-person worship services. This plan is to get us up and going and will be reassessed each month by the reopen team.
Brothers and Sisters,
Waiting on the Lord is the business of God’s people. It is the Lord that moves us, calls us, and redeems us. He does all of this in his own time. We wait for Him to lead and He does. Our current situation has felt like a wilderness that the Lord has led us into. Our normal routines as a church have been broken or radically changed. Despite all of this uncertainty we have not forgotten our greatest charge, to love God and to love our neighbors.
The unforeseen blessing of following God into this wilderness has resulted in neighbors reaching out to neighbors with a heart to serve and love. It has resulted in a bigger reach of the Good News of Jesus through innovation and creativity. It has resulted in connecting with old friends that have moved far away from us. It has resulted in a renewed longing for the Lord. I am proud of how our Church has responded to God in the midst of this storm.
As restrictions on worshiping communities are being relaxed in California, many have asked, when are we going back to church? This is not an easy question to answer.
First, reopening to in person worship will take careful planning. I love the people of Holy Trinity and want our time together to be as safe and untroubled as possible. I understand that it may take some people a bit longer to venture back out and join us and I support your caution. The leadership of Holy Trinity is committed to following the guidelines of our health officials, local government and the direction of our Bishop and Dean.
Second, our online presence has opened up many new opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus with our neighbors and friends. This is a door that God has opened and we need to think carefully how to preserve this gift.
To accomplish this work, I have asked our Peoples Warden, Chuck Merritt, to chair a team to work through all the logistics for reopening in person worship services while maintaining the online community that has been built. I will keep you updated on this team’s progress. When the plan is complete the team will be looking for your prayers and feedback.
Finally, if you are going through a difficult time as we wait for this next phase of reopening and need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to call me. May God bless you.
How do we get ready for Easter? We might buy a new set of dressy Church clothes, send out invitations for brunch, pull out the pastel decorations, and do a spring cleaning. But how do you get your soul ready for Easter?
The Easter celebration is a climax to a grand story into which Jesus invites us. To live this story takes more than a weekend. 40 years the people of God wandered in the wilderness and 40 days our Lord wandered in the wilderness. Both were led into these desolate places by God, not to find God, but to experience God’s goodness.
The Church calls us into a holy Lent by “Self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” Making room for these activities can feel like wilderness. When we make these a part of our story, just as Jesus did, we enter Easter ready to receive the most powerful blessing the world has ever known. God loves us and shares His life with us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus! So let us take this Lenten journey together so that we might rejoice this Easter!
Holy Trinity is offering two ways to journey through Lent together
First, we have a Soup and Study group meeting at Bethany on Wednesday nights starting at 5:30pm through Lent. We will be studying The Magnificent Journey: Living Deep in the Kingdom by James Bryan Smith. Available on Amazon for $15. When you purchase this on Amazon please remember to use Amazon Smile and Holy Trinity will receive a portion of your purchase. Dr. Smith takes a fresh look at spiritual disciplines and how they help us live more deeply as God’s people.
Second, we will offer the Way of the Cross, popularly called stations of the cross on Friday March 6,13,20 at 7pm. This service is an adaptation of a custom widely observed by pilgrims to Jerusalem whose origins come from the time of the crusades. It is a way for Christians to journey with Jesus through his passion and death.
Pizza at The Venetian Restaurant