The Community Church Newsletter for June 7, 2020, is now available.
Dear friends and members of Holy Trinity,
We had plans for another video worship service this week, but as the days unfolded it became clear that everyone’s energy was needed in the community and our worship became the daily work of the congregation.
We typically have 200-250 people worship with us on a Sunday morning, but this past week it’s been somewhere closer to 10,000. Our communion became our ordinary round tables, spread out on the lawn where thousands of neighbors brought their offerings of food, water, diapers, and tools, and thousands more came to take what they needed. Our hymns became the shouts of the protestors, our healing stations became those providing medical relief, our sharing of peace became listening to the needs anyone who found their way to our sanctuary. It’s not the worship we had planned, but the church’s witness and work became the worship that we needed.
The worship video for last week, Sunday, May 24, can be found here: https://vimeo.com/421655820. We welcomed Bishop Ann Svennungsen as our preacher and Assistant to the Bishop, Craig Pederson, who led the service of installation for Pastor Doug Mork.
This week, I’ve attached our recording of “Do Not Be Afraid” which we’ve used in worship several times since March and has become a beloved refrain that accompanies our life together. In addition, here’s a link to the hymn “O Day Full of Grace” lead by Dave Cherwien, cantor of our neighboring church Mount Olive on Chicago Ave. This video was a project of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and over 1,300 church musicians (including me) sent in recordings last week that were stitched together to make one virtual choir.
This week, we pray for those in need. We pray also for the residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul, all those experiencing violence in cities around the country, and all those working for justice. We remember George Floyd, saying his name so that he will not be forgotten, and pray together:
Lord Jesus Christ, your own mother looked on when your life ended in violence.
Our hearts pierced with grief and anger at the death of George Floyd.
We commend him to your wounded hands, and his loved ones to your merciful heart,
trusting only in the promise that your love is stronger than death, and that even now,
you live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
Thank you for your faithful ministry this week, and for all the ways, known and unknown, that you serve and worship our God of justice, peace, and love.
David Sims, cantor
May 27 was an eventful evening. In cooperation with Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, we opened the building to serve as a medic station and immediately began serving people with a variety of injuries–most of them tear gas related. Early this morning (May 28), we lost power (along with many others in the neighborhood). Apart from that minor inconvenience, our building and both affordable housing apartment buildings made it safely through the night. Thank you to the congregants who spent the evening at Holy Trinity–not to safeguard its contents, but to tend to the sick, the grieving, the fearful, the hungry.
The scene has calmed a bit, enough for folks to get out and survey our beloved Lake Street. it’s tempting to focus our attention on the destruction that the neighborhood experienced last night–the fires, the windows, the merchandise lost, the tagging. (Believe me, my tears fell alongside yours this morning as the sun rose. After all, Longfellow is my home.) I’d invite all of us to remember that these are but symptoms of a society that has suffered for far too long under the crushing weight of inequality. As people of faith, we mourn the losses of last night; the landscape of our neighborhood has been forever changed. As people of faith, we also refuse to let anything distract us from the brutal violence and years of systemic disparities that brought us here, right here.
Many of you have asked how you can help:
- If you pray, we’d welcome your prayers.
- If you don’t pray, but are willing to try something new, we’d welcome your prayers, too.
- We have received enough supplies for now.
- Financial donations can be given through Holy Trinity’s website. When asked to choose a fund, select “other” and simply type “justice.” We will ensure every penny helps those who find their way into our care. We’ll also share generously with our justice partners, without whom we cannot do this work.
This Sunday is Pentecost–the day of the church year when we celebrate the Spirit’s presence in and among us. As helicopters circle above me, I’m leaning into the promise of an Advocate, who offers comfort, inspires creativity, cultivates strength, and beckons us–always, always, always beckons us–closer to God’s vision for the world.
The Community Church Newsletter for May 31, 2020, is now available.