Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Worship, Connect, Grow, Serve
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COVID-19 and Church - A Summary
  • Trinity is closed to all public activities until further notice.
  • Your Parish and Diocesan Leaders are working hard to balance physical wellbeing with the spiritual mission of the Church. 
  • Kami's Office Hours will need to be flexible, since her kids are not in school.
My Dear People,

As of yesterday, Bishop Matt has ordered all the parishes of the diocese to cease public worship or meetings until further notice. This is in keeping with yesterday's order from Governor Evers and guidance from the CDC and President Trump restricting large gatherings. Personally, this has been a hard week, imaging life with the church closed. I don't want us to be in this place, when a time of great anxiety and spiritual need cannot be met by our most basic Christian instinct: to gather the assembly, to pray to God for mercy and grace, and to receive the Body and Blood of Christ in communion with one another. 

Still, for the sake of our neighbors, and maybe even for the sake of our own health, we must close the church doors for a season. In a sense, this is a perfect kind of Lent! In Lent we change the patterns of our lives in order to reconnect to God and our (shared) humanity. Those patterns are classically fasting, and prayer, and almsgiving. So now we find ourselves fasting from the Eucharist and our fellowship. We find ourselves having to adapt our prayer, for the prayer of the church can happen where-ever you are praying! We find ourselves having to rethink our resources, our money and our food, our access to shopping and entertainment, and our awareness of the threat to our economy.

We will figure out how to be Christians in a new way, and I think we can emerge stronger for it. Our first task is to figure out a way to stay connected. I do not want any of you to feel disconnected. We might not be able to see each other in the flesh, but thanks be to God! we have telephones and (for most of us) the Internet. See below for the aggressive steps we are taking to bind our community together. 

Yours in Christ,

"[we know] that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us." - Romans 5:3-5


The biggest change to our parish life, of course, is that we can't gather for Sunday worship for now. We aren't well equipped to live-stream Sunday worship over the Internet, so we're going to put our effort elsewhere. There are worship options available to you.
  1. Worship "elsewhere" online. Other parishes are already streaming worship and doing it well. In our diocese you could watch Bishop Matt this Sunday from Grace Church, Sheboygan (10.15am). St. Thomas - Menasha and Intercession/Beloved Community - Stevens Point both live-stream services as well. Further afield you could join worship from Washington National Cathedral. St Mark's in Philadelphia is streaming their daily Eucharist at 10am. 
  2. Pray at home. This week I will be mailing every household a few home prayer resources, including a brief service of Spiritual Communion, a Litany Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, and a primer in praying the Daily Office. Do you need a Prayer Book or Bible? We can bring you one.  
  3. Those with internet access have many resources. You can take a free online course called Prayer and Worship in our Homes. You can find each day's Daily Office services available from Forward Movement: the text of each of the day's offices, and also an audio podcast of Morning Prayer.
  4. The sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist will continue. The mass is a grace for us, of course, and it brings us sorrow that we are forced to fast from the Body and Blood of Christ for a season. But it is also an act of praise to God, an offering made in intercession for the needs of the whole world. During this pandemic, I will be offering the Mass twice each week. One will use the prayers and readings for A Mass in Times of Great Sickness. The other will be a Requiem mass for those who have died. I hope to find a way to record these and share them with you, but I haven't figured that out yet.  

Pastoral Care and Contact

If we can't gather on Sundays, how will we stay in touch with one another, and provide for one another in need? A team has met to organize, and is working in concert with parish staff to put the pieces in place. Here's what we're doing:
  1. Every household will be called weekly. All 77 active households in the parish will be called weekly, and some higher-risk people will be contacted more than once a week. This will be done by a team of 16 callers, supervised by 3 phone tree captains. You'll be asked how you can help, or what you might need. 
  2. People who can help will help. We are also building a pool of people who could make grocery or pharmacy runs, bring food from our Freezer Food Library, or even mow lawns! If you can be a helper, let your caller know. 
  3. We'll feed each other. If you get sick, you might not want to cook, but you'll need to eat. We're stocking the freezer at the Parish Hall with frozen soups and stews (and yes, some will be vegetarian or gluten free). If you need a meal or two, we can drop some off. 
  4. Virtual Small Groups. Across the diocese, several clergy are networking to coordinate virtual small group drop-in times, via Zoom. Zoom is a conferencing system that works both over the Internet and by phone, so everyone should have access. We hope that there will be several blocks of time during the week when anyone can connect, chat, pray together, and just hear a friendly human voice! More info on that will come out soon. 
Thank you to Betty Paterson, Deacon Sandy Muinde, Marianne Chaudoir, Kathryn Allen, Karen Jacobs, Tami Goodwin, and Cathy Cowling for taking the initiative on organizing these efforts!
Donate to Trinity Online

Parish Finances

Treasurer Tami Goodwin writes: We are aware of and working hard to minimize the personal toll of a potential community-wide isolation due to COVID-19. On the financial side, this could also be difficult for Trinity, due to the recent suspension of Sunday services and the difficulty of our counters to come in to make deposits that are mailed in. We therefore encourage the use of our online donations because these go directly into Trinity's checking account, bypassing the need to handle written checks. Many of our church bills are set up with automatic payments so we would be very grateful, for those who can, to you to donate using the "Donate Online" button above. Please also consider covering the fees charged to us by clicking the "Cover Fees" toggle button. The fees count toward your donation! We appreciate that these are very trying times and how much we are all working to keep things going for our community of faith. Thank you!
- Tami

Useful Links

Send Email To:
Father Chris - Deacon Nancy - Deacon Sandy - Music Director Marianne Chaudoir - Youth Minister Jill MilosVestry - Treasurer - Office Manager
For All Parishioners: 
View the Parish Events Calendar - Submit a newsletter announcement - Diocese of Fond du Lac website - Summary of Vestry meeting
For Liturgical Ministers:
View the Liturgical Ministries Rota - Log in to Ministry Scheduler Pro
Donate to Trinity Online
Trinity Episcopal Church
A Eucharistic Community of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac
Contact information
311 Division Street, Oshkosh, WI 54901
(920) 231-2420

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Trinity Episcopal Church · 311 Division Street · Oshkosh, WI 54901 · USA

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