“Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.”Esther 4:14b
In the above verse, Esther’s uncle Mordecai suggests that Esther has been elevated to her royal position precisely so that God can use her to deliver the Jews in their crisis. If this doesn’t sound familiar, read the Book of Esther, it’s a thriller! Also, it’s not a bad reminder that God is still God and we are God’s servants especially in times of crisis.
As I write this things seem very tense. The Covid-19 outbreak in the United States rages out of control, Virginia’s numbers are rising, every educational institution from Preschools to Universities are scrambling and we are all growing weary. May I be so
bold as to try to put things in perspective and remind us all of a couple of things.
- God is still God. Things looked pretty bad for the Jews in Persia in the Book of Esther (I’m telling you, it’s a real page-turner! But God is faithful. I am not going to stop saying this. This is the big picture; it is the first and foremost thing.
- This pandemic will not last forever, though it may last for a while. The worst pandemic in modern times was the Flu of 1918 (also called the Spanish Flu). It lasted from February 1918 until April 1920. It struck in four successive waves infecting up to a third of the world’s population and killing 17-50 million people. That’s bad. That’s very bad. But it ended. Of course, we all hope that vaccines may prove effective and Covid-19 will be brought under control much sooner and with much less loss of life. My point is a double-edged sword, on the one hand we must be ready to deal with this for a while, no doubt longer than we would like. On the other hand, we must not lose sight of the reality that eventually the virus will abate and life will go on. We must not give in, grow weary or lose hope. When that threatens, refer to point number one.
With all that being said, allow me to update you on a few things and give you an idea of what to expect:
Trinity’s limited re-opening plan has been approved by the District Superintendent.
- Worship will continue via livestream only for the foreseeable future. We will continue to work to build community in these circumstances.
- Holy Communion will be offered once a month starting in September. We will be using approved prepackaged communion elements. The sacrament will be celebrated by the pastor during the livestream worship service. At the conclusion of the service, livestream worshippers will be invited to receive via a drive-through process. This will not be unlike our drive-through ash imposition on Ash Wednesday. Details and instructions will be forthcoming.
- Trinity Preschool will open on schedule under the strict guidelines of the VA Dept. of Social Services and protocols of the Annual Conference. The Preschool is already making contingency plans based on the possibility that Central Virginia may revert to the Governor’s Phase 2 restrictions.
- Small group gatherings will slowly resume. This will start with outdoor meetings in August and then limited indoor meetings later. Much more information is coming.
Rules for outdoor meetings (health care forms, masks at all times, 6 ft. Social distancing, bring your own chair, sharing of nothing and more) will be required. Designated areas will be available for scheduling one-time, monthly or bimonthly
- Trinity will be hosting a blood drive for the American Red Cross. We are told that all donations are tested for Covid-19 antibodies and donors will be able to know whether they have had the virus at some point.
Friends, we are committed to being careful, responsible and most importantly faithful. I have no doubt that many things will change and our plans may have to be altered in this dynamic situation. We are on it. Who knows, perhaps we have been placed here for just such a time as this.