Coronavirus

PREVIOUS COMMUNICATIONS:

UPDATE 3/19/2020 (Click the link below for a video from John and Rachel.)

Church in the time of Coronavirus.


UPDATE 3/18/2020 (For a full history of posted updates click here.)

Watch for weekday video communications from John and Rachel. These will be streamed with the church via Facebook.  We are calling it “Love in the time of Coronavirus.”

9:30 am Connections THIS Sunday:

ALL AGES WELCOME and encouraged to attend!! 

Inviting ALL ages and folks interested in gathering digitally as Connections in this time of social distancing- kids, teen, parents, adults, EVERYONE – to talk about how we might do this. And also to just check in and connect! Bring your big ideas and fun thoughts! See you soon. 11:00 am service will be on Facebook Live again! Here’s the Connections invite: https://zoom.us/j/776807753

Clergy Hours:

John and Rachel will be available digitally for conversation and prayer tomorrow, Thursday 3/19/20 from 11 am – 12 pm. Please feel free to reach out to them. https://zoom.us/j/597049585

Morning Prayer:

Morning Prayer has moved to the digital world. Join us every weekday morning at 9:00 am. See you there. https://zoom.us/j/597049585

UPDATE 3/17/2020

Good Morning! As we all shift to a more restricted and isolated way of living, we want to continue to give you ways to connect as the Body of Christ and The Church of the Holy Trinity.
1) We will continue to stream the service on this platform on Sundays at 11 am. If you are a reader for the services, we will be reaching out to you with creative ways for you to participate at a distance.
2) We are preparing for digital gatherings of Teen Compass, Connections, Morning Prayer, and other small groups. Specific information will be posted on the website in the next few days in preparation for Sunday.
3) If you have not connected with Realm our database and community connection portal, NOW is the time. Through Realm we can send group emails and texts, you can continue to give to the church (even when social distancing), and connect through other members through a password protected directory. An email with a registration link was sent out late last year. If you need another link, please send an email to communication@htrit.org.
4) John and Rachel will also be available for conversation and prayer digitally for two one hour slots on Thursday this week, and then scheduled times next week on Mon-Thurs.
5) Please check back here daily for new information.
You are in our prayers and our hearts.
John & Rachel

An IMPORTANT UPDATE about SUNDAY SERVICES, beginning March 15th
The Bishop and health officials have encouraged us to immediately move services to digital platforms, including this Sunday, March 15th.
 
We encourage you to stay home tomorrow and connect with us via Facebook Live at 11 am for our service. https://www.facebook.com/CHTRittenhouse/
 
We will be prepared to welcome those who do not get this message. It is a difficult decision for us all to make, but we believe it is the best decision for all at this time.
 
We are all living with a new reality and daily and hourly adjustments to the way we live and do church. It is vital at this time for us to show our love for our neighbor by following guidelines offered by the WHO and CDC, including social distancing and self isolation. We need to be mindful of the most vulnerable among us and to help the health professionals handle the medical needs as they arise.
 
Please feel free to share this message with others.
We will give another update on Monday about how we can continue to be in touch and stay connected
 

Week of March 12

We will be communicating with you as the Coronavirus and the news about it continue to spread.   We had a wonderful worship experience last Sunday while we practiced some basic safety and sanitary procedures.

Our priority is to keep the church open and to be available to all as long as it is safe to do so.  We will be taking all precautions necessary to keep you safe and to help contain the virus as much as possible. We are also following the guidance and guidelines of the CDC, Philadelphia Health Department, and the Bishop’s Office as we make changes or implement new policies. Please check social media or call the office if you have questions about changes to our schedule or services.

We will continue to greet each other in safe ways, encouraging non-skin to skin contact – both at the peace and as we greet each other before and after the service.  And we will bless a small amount of wine to offer symbolically at the altar rail.  We will continue to give out the bread – one priest will hand out all wafers, hand sanitizing before setting the altar, and again before and during the distribution of bread. If you do not wish to receive communion you are welcome to receive a prayer at the altar rail or remain in your pew.

This week we have placed hand sanitizing stations at the entrance door, the welcome table, and the Parish House and we will encourage all to sanitize their hands when entering the church. This will not only keep your hands clean, but will also help contain the virus for those in our pews who are more vulnerable to the disease. There are also pumps around the church, if you miss the stations. Please feel free to use as much as you need.

We have also removed the pew cushions, so we can more easily clean the pews between uses. CDC recommends cleaning all surfaces daily, after use, with warm soapy water. The pews will be cleaned each week after church – if you would like to grab a set of gloves and help wipe down the pews, we would love your help! If sitting in a pew is difficult without a cushion, you are welcome to bring your own.

The healing prayer team will continue to offer healing in the prayer corner each week.  This is a time when prayers for healing are so essential and when people look for reassurance.  You can request a prayer with or without the laying on of hands.  The healing prayer team members will wash and sanitize their hands before offering prayers involving touch.

Soft toys and toys that are not easily cleanable will be removed from the nursery, and all surfaces and toys will be sanitized after each use – and weekly cleaning will be continued in between uses.  We will work with families and children to continue to wash hands and practice safe hygiene when we transition to places.

If you are sick, please stay home and take care of yourself. We are working out ways to stream the service for folks who cannot come to church, and ways for folks to continue to donate to the church, even when they are not physically present. We will be happy to talk with and pray with you on the phone, or through various video platforms, if you would like a visit.

We also encourage you to stay up to date with the diocesan, city, state and especially the information from CDC.  All these links can be found at the diocesan website: https://www.diopa.org/news/faith-based-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19. We are also creating a link on our website for the most up to date information.

Above all, know that we are here for you, and that we are praying for you, and for all who are and will be affected by this new virus.

John and Rachel

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Camerata Philadelphia – After much thought about the March 15 concert, Camerata Philadelphia has decided to postpone their performance until the summer. We look forward to seeing you then.

Concerts on The Square – March 18 and April 1 are cancelled; April 8 has no scheduled concert  it is Holy Week.

Week of March 5th:

Dear Friends,

We greet you in the love of Christ!

We are reaching out to you to talk about Coronavirus (COVID-19), and how we, as a congregation can prepare and respond. The most important mission of the Church is to nourish a safe, loving, and supportive community. But we also will need to be prepared for ways to adjust the way we worship and practice our ministry, should we encounter restrictions or widespread illness in our neighborhood. We would like to make the following suggestions for worshipping together over the next few weeks, until we know what will happen in Philadelphia.

Exchanging the Peace each week is an integral part of our worship service – we connect with our neighbors in an act of reconciliation before we go to the Table to receive the Holy Eucharist. Our practice is to shake hands. We want to make sure we maintain the spirit of hospitality and reconciliation while also practicing safety. There are many aspects of our body language, including facial expressions and posture that can communicate the genuine warmth, love, and reconciliation we have come to associate with the Peace. We suggest using a fist or elbow bump, peace sign, or some other way of conveying a greeting without grasping a palm. The outward practice may change temporarily, but the inner gift of being reconciled to one another remains the same.

Our best practices to avoid respiratory disease will also apply to how we distribute the bread and wine during Communion. The simplest way to receive the Body and Blood of Christ is to take only the bread. It is an old tradition in the Church that taking the Sacrament in one kind has the same spiritual benefits as taking both. We will offer the wine symbolically to those who wish to stay at the railing after receiving the bread. As the Chalice comes to you, you will hear the familiar words, “The Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation,” and we ask that you receive the wine in spirit. 

The most effective practice we can institute in church and everywhere else is to wash our hands. There are several bathrooms available in the church building, hand sanitizer in the entryway, and we already include structured time for hand washing during the children and youth programs.

Finally, we ask that if you do get sick, please let your clergy know. We want to support you through visiting, conversation, and prayer. We can (and have) helped folks with extended illness by mustering the congregation to provide meals, companionship, humor, and other support. Should a quarantine situation arise, we can still stay connected. We are also investigating the possibility of streaming our services, for those unable to attend, or if there should there be restrictions in place for social gatherings.

We don’t know exactly how our neighborhood, city, and nation will be affected by the coronavirus. We believe that the power, grace, and love of Jesus will be there for all of us. We will be working with each other and with you to help this congregation continue to serve as an example of courage, love, hospitality, and healing.

Yours in Christ,

John and Rachel