Message from Father Greg | March 26, 2020

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A pastoral message from Fr Greg 3.26.2020

Posted by Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Fruitland Park FL on Thursday, March 26, 2020

 

A Pastoral Message from Fr Greg

March 26, 2020

 

I would like to take just a minute to offer all of you a word of encouragement in this challenging time for our church, for all churches, and for all people everywhere.

 

Life is certain to throw us challenges from time to time.  We joke about the certainty of death and taxes, but we all know there are more hurdles to face in our lives than those two.  The onset of this COVID-19 virus is clearly one of them that we will be talking about for some time to come.

As much as we love our historic building, it is true that our church is not a building, but that it is the people.  Still, because churches are communities that meet weekly to rehearse our Christian Tradition, to remind ourselves of who we are, where we came from, and to participate in the mission to which we are called in this world….a virus that prevents us from meeting together constitutes a threat, not only to our health as individuals, but to the integrity and strength of our community.  We have a habit of coming together week by week at least – some of us more often; but we are human, and the reality is that it seems to be easier for us to break good habits, than it is for us to break bad habits.

 

As your priest, I want to do everything I can to make sure that you do not forget who you are – that you are a member of the Body of Christ, and that you are a vital part of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and School.  We are nothing without each other, and as challenging as these times are, I hope you miss our times of worship and fellowship as much as I do, and that you look forward to the day when we can come together once again.

 

In the meantime, it is important for us to be people of prayer.  I hope we are all spending a good deal of time in the presence of our Lord each day, lifting one another before the throne.  It is important we pray for those who are afflicted with sickness, as well as for those who care for them.  It is important for us to pray for the continued health of all of us who are not infected.  We need to pray for others first, and then for ourselves.

 

In times like this I am reminded of the 23rd Psalm – which was our Psalm for the liturgy this past Sunday. Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we need fear no evil, for God is with us.  Right there in front of our enemies, no matter who or what they are, our God prepares a table on which he offers the Bread of Life, and the Cup of Salvation, which overflows to touch everything our lives touch.

 

     In this Psalm, David understands that

God will not necessarily take all evil things away, but that God will walk through the darkness with us, so that we can tap God’s strength when we feel weak and vulnerable.

If you are one who feels weak and vulnerable right now, or even if you are just irritated at the new difficulties we face as we try to remain healthy, please remember that God is walking with us, walking beside us, and sometimes carrying us through our days of struggle.

This scourge of a virus will not last forever.

 

We must be smart and careful, and we must trust our health care professionals as workers on God’s behalf among us.  We must treat one another with care and kindness help to make life a little easier to live.

Do not forget who you are, and who God is making you to be, in him.

 

Let us pray:

God, our Father, your will for all people is health and salvation; you sent your Son, Jesus that we might have life, and might have it more abundantly; and you have given us your Holy Spirit to make our bodies temples of your presence and ministry in this world.

We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

 

We pray earnestly that you would grant your healing grace to flow and to touch all who are sick, injured, or disabled, weak, discouraged, lonely or afraid.

Hear us, O Lord of life.

Heal us and make us whole.  Amen.

 

And now may the God of peace, who brought back our Lord Jesus from the dead, and who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine, keep our hearts and minds in love, and strengthen us to so the work he gives us to do.

 

The blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be upon you, and remain with you always.

Amen.

COVID-19 Update

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The following message was sent on March 25 via our Hot line Announcement email:

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Preparing for Sunday’s Virtual Church Service     

On Sunday, you will be able to participate “virtually” in a Holy
Eucharist Rite II service from Holy Trinity. One or two parishioners
will be assisting me with live streaming (broadcasting online) at
10:30am from the church. The service Bulletin is attached to this
email. Those without home printers (or a second device) may pick up
a paper Bulletin. Peggy has placed them in both Tidings boxes:
directly outside the church office and next to the red church entry
doors.

How to View our Service “Live” on Sunday, March 29 th

To attend church virtually on Sunday: just prior to 10:30am, go to our Holy Trinity Facebook page on
your PC, laptop, tablet, or iPhone by clicking here.  This will automatically take you to our Facebook
page. (The page may take a bit longer to load, probably due to increased activity. Please be patient.)
Scroll down past the pictures and you will see a video of the live service start on Sunday at 10:30am.
Please note that you do not need to create a Facebook account, log in, or have your own personal
Facebook page to do this! Facebook is the social media we will be using in the coming weeks to live
stream our worship services and other videos to keep our faith community in fellowship. We will also
continue to use our “hotline” email announcements.

Those of you who are familiar with Facebook:  we suggest that you “Like” our page. When you reach the
Holy Trinity Facebook page, under the banner at the top of the page you will see a button that says
“Like” with a thumbs up hand. Click on that to “Like” our page. Those who do this should receive an
automatic notification that a live post (worship service) has started.

Can I Just View a Video of the Service Afterward?  

Yes! After the service concludes Sunday, we will be sending a “hotline” email to all parishioners
containing a link to the service video. It will contain a video of the entire service as recorded and all one
need do is click and the video will load and play automatically.  Likewise, a copy of the video will reside
on our Facebook page and our website where you can also view it at any time after the service.
We pray that this time of attending services virtually will be short, and that sooner than later, we will all
find ourselves rejoicing together as we worship again in-person.

Please know you may continue to contact me for pastoral care at 574.286.6762 or
frgreg@holytrinityfp.com.  Our Pastoral Care Team may be contacted via Mike Browne
mbrowne@thevillages.net.

Blessings to all. Be well.
Fr. Greg+

Weekly and Recurring Events

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Sunday: Adult Christian Education
Grace Chapel 9:30am

Sunday: Men’s Group Breakfast
Last Sunday of Month

Monday: Vestry Meeting
Third Monday of Month

Tuesday: Men’s Group
First Tuesday of Month
Grace Chapel – 9am

Wednesday: Bible Study
Grace Chapel at 10 am

Wednesday: Healing Service
Grace Chapel – 11:30am

Wednesday: Confirmation Classes
Parish Hall – 5:30 pm – 7pm

Wednesday: Choir Practice
Choir Room – 7pm

Friday: Newcomers Team

First Friday of the Month
Grace Chapel – 10 am

Friday: Episcopal Church Women (ECW)
Second Friday of Month 1pm

Saturday: Altar Guild
First Saturday of Month
Parish Hall 9:30am

Saturday: Holy Hackers Golf Scramble
Second Saturday of the month
Saturday: 4:15 pm Service