Worship Together on Start Up Sunday, September 13

While we cannot host our traditional Start Up Sunday this year, we still have the chance to come together as one parish to celebrate our Trinity family. How will we do it? By livestreaming our in-person, outdoor service of Holy Eucharist so the entire congregation can worship together, in person OR online! We will combine our 9 am and 10:30 am outdoor services into one service on the SRES soccer field at 10:30 am. Instead of a prerecorded service, the 10:30 am online service will be a livestream of the in-person service. One service, one Trinity family, worshiping online or in person. (And, for those who prefer the 8 am service, we will still gather in the Cloister Garden for Morning Prayer at that time.)

For those joining us in person on the soccer field, bring your own picnic blankets and lawn chairs. For those gathering online, hop onto Trinity’s Facebook page at the usual 10:30 start time. Watch your email on Monday for links to the livestream and details about the in-person service.

After we worship, those gathered on the soccer field are invited to stay for a socially distanced picnic. Bring a cooler full of picnic goodies for your household to enjoy, and the Parish Life team will provide popsicles from Nicey Treats as dessert. The Parish Life team will also furnish prizes for especially creative picnics. And if you’re worshiping from home, why not take the opportunity for a family picnic on the backyard?

And, of course, it wouldn’t be Start Up Sunday without a reminder of all of our fabulous Trinity ministries and information about upcoming fall and winter events. Watch your inboxes for a special edition of the ePistle next week.

Introducing Trinity Organ/Piano Scholar Kat Jolliff

Katherine Jolliff grew up here at Trinity Church. Throughout the past two years, we have heard her play organ and piano when home on break from Interlochen Arts Academy. Most recently during the pandemic, she has played piano and organ for our online worship service. She is a MAJOR talent, though she has completed a mere 18 trips around the sun. Kat will attend the Eastman School of Music as an organ performance major in 2021, studying with David Higgs. In the meantime, Trinity parishioners can expect to hear more from her, online and in person.

Kat started piano at the age of 5 and showed musical interest very early. She studied piano with Kate Boyd at Butler University and has won numerous local piano competitions, such as the Hoosier Auditions and the Mildred Allen Award from the Indiana Piano Teachers Guild. In the summer of 2018, she attended Interlochen Arts Camp as a pianist and was awarded the Fine Arts Award in Piano Performance. Katherine started studying the organ with Marco Petričić (University of Indianapolis) during her freshman year of high school. After completing two years at Herron High School, she studied at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan for her junior and senior years. There she majored in both piano and organ performance, studying with TJ Lymenstull and Tom Bara. She graduated from IAA with honors and was awarded the prestigious Fine Arts Award in Organ Performance.

Aside from practicing hard on both organ and piano, Kat has a love for animals of all kinds and has cats at home. She also enjoys learning about other aspects of music, such as piano tuning and repair, music history, music production and theatre organ. Kat is looking forward to going to school again and learning as much about music as possible!

Revoicing the Organ

It’s been a very exciting week in the Trinity sanctuary! This week our organ pipes were removed to begin the work of revoicing them. Re Read Dr. Messina’s account of the exciting changes, and check out the photos below: In 2017 Trinity Church was awarded a substantial grant from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, […]

Regathering: A Message from the Rector

Download Trinity’s Regathering Plan

Register to attend an upcoming in-person service

 

Beloved of God—

It has been such a long time since we have seen one another in person at Trinity. Thank you for all the ways that you have remained faithful participants in our worship and community life during this time of COVID-19— through online worship; small groups, adult forums, leadership teams and coffee hours on Zoom; Sunday school and youth group; generous continued stewardship; and especially by taking good care of one another through individual check-ins. You have also shown your faithful love of neighbor by staying home when instructed, maintaining social distancing and wearing masks in order to protect the most vulnerable. I’m so grateful for you all.

This note accompanies some information about in-person worship planned for July 12 and beyond. As you well know, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. The threat is very real to all of us, especially those in heightened risk categories. While some will begin worshiping in small services throughout the week, we are a long way away from “church as usual.” We will not be sharing Holy Eucharist/Communion at this time. We will not be engaging in congregational or choral singing. We will not have one “main” service for the bulk of our community, but several smaller services, most outdoors, to disperse our worshiping community and maintain social distance. Masks will be required for attendance, indoors or outdoors. Weekly registration will be required so we can maintain those numbers and enable contact tracing, should someone become ill.

Moreover, please know that the online service, with music and Holy Eucharist, will continue to be offered for those of you who prefer to stay at home at this time. It will be available on Sundays on the website at 8 am, and on Facebook Live at 10:30 am. (Note the new time, beginning July 12).

Beginning July 12, Trinity’s service schedule will be as follows:

Sunday 

8 am Morning Prayer In Sanctuary, 25 people, aged 7 and older

9 am Liturgy of the Word In Lemler Garden, 40 people

10:30 am Holy Eucharist ONLINE

5:30 pm Liturgy of the Word In Lemler Garden, 40 people

Wednesday

5:30 Liturgy of the Word In Lemler Garden, 25 people

These plans will be adjusted as we understand better our new way of being together during the time of COVID-19. If we determine it’s safe to increase numbers, we will do so. If we need to add another service on a midweek day or evening, we will do so. And if we need to revert back to sheltering in place again, under the direction of public health officials or our Bishop, we will do so, as well.

I think it’s safe to say that this is uncharted territory for Trinity and us all. Some of you may be longing to regather, but also feel deep trepidation. Some of you may be feeling frustrated with the time it’s taking for life to get “back to normal” again. And some of you have adapted to the new way of being and are quite clear you will be staying home for the duration. All of these are very normal postures to bear at this time, and you have support from Trinity.

Please know that wherever you are emotionally in your relationship with the pandemic, you are beloved by the God who is walking alongside you in this challenging season of our lives. And you are beloved by your church family. We will practice a lot of grace and patience with one another in these strange, strange days. We will have some rules to maintain the safest possible worship environment we can; please know that they are forged in love and care for you, and please follow them in that spirit.

And if you are home, remember that you are not alone. As the year unfolds we will continue to create lots of online, outdoor and phone experiences to connect our parish until we can all see one another again in person. God is with you. Wherever we are, we are one Body In Christ.

Please read the attached leaflet with care, and call the church office (317-926-1346) if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing some of you again, very soon.

Faithfully,
Mother Julia

The Rev. Julia Whitworth
Trinity Episcopal Church, Indianapolis

A Message from the Rector: Regathering Information

Hot off the presses! Trinity’s Regathering plan has just been approved by Bishop Jennifer and the diocesan staff. Many thanks to our Regathering Taskforce, led by Todd Relue, for their contributions to our planning.

A large communication will follow with more details, but mark your calendars—beginning Sunday, July 12, intimate in-person services are planned for Trinity worshipers. Please note: should the decreasing COVID-19 infection numbers in Marion County reverse course, this plan will be reevaluated.

Our online service will continue for all who prefer to stay home at this time. It will be available on Trinity’s website on Sunday mornings beginning at 8am, and on Facebook Live on 10:30am (Note the new online worship time beginning July 12). We encourage any who are at heightened risk of COVID-19 to continue connecting with us online. (Who’s At Heightened Risk?) And, of course, if you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, please remain at home. (COVID-19 Symptoms)

In-person attendance will be by registration only, in limited numbers. Masks will be required and available for any who forget. The Sacrament of Holy Eucharist will not be offered at this time, save online. Nursery care will not be available at this time.

New Schedule, Beginning July 12

Sundays
8:00am Morning Prayer—Church

  • 25 people maximum; no children under 7, please

9:00am Liturgy of the Word—Lemler Garden (Rain location: SRES gym)

  • 40 people maximum

10:30am Online Holy Eucharist on Facebook

  • Unlimited!

5:30pm Liturgy of the Word—Lemler Garden (Rain location: SRES gym)

  • 40 people maximum

Wednesdays

5:30pm Liturgy of the Word—Lemler Garden (Rain location: church)

  • 25 people maximum

A Message from Bishop Jennifer: A reflection of personal experience, hope and challenge for the church on dismantling white supremacy and racism

On Monday, Bishop Jennifer gave this reflection on a Zoom meeting with bishops and canons from across the Episcopal Church:

Ibram X. Kendi recently wrote in The Atlantic: “From the beginning, racist Americans have been perfectly content with turning nightmares into dreams, and dreams into nightmares; perfectly content with the law of racial killing, and the order of racial disparities. They can’t fathom that racism is America’s nightmare. There can be no American dream amid the American nightmare of anti-black racism-or of anti-Native, anti-Latino, anti-Asian racism–a racism that causes even white people to become fragile and die of whiteness.”

Thank you, Presiding Bishop, Canon Stevenson and Bishop Ousley for the invitation to speak today. In the brief time I have, I want to share a little bit about my experience. I’m not an expert on dismantling systemic racism and anti-blackness. I’m not an expert on unlearning the messages that are continually and consistently telegraphed reminding me that my dark skin is not as valued as white skin. But I am expert on my life and my story, and I want to share a bit of it with you and then name the hope and challenges before us.

The part of my story that is fairly public knowledge is that I was born and raised in New York City–the granddaughter of Shinnecock Indians on one side and sharecropping descendants of slaves on the other. The first ten years we lived in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn-and I attended a diverse elementary school with black, white and Latina teachers and black, white, Puerto Rican and Jewish classmates. We had next to no money but a lively neighborhood where the owners of the mom and pop stores knew the name of every kid.

When I was ten, we moved to Staten Island, and I’ve never gotten over it. We were now living in a segregated space. White kids took the yellow school buses to our junior high school, and black and brown kids mostly took the city bus or walked the seven blocks to school. Many days, as I walked home alone, there were older white kids and adults who would spit at me and call me the n-word. Each Friday there would be reports of the “race riots'” at one of the local high schools-meaning, blacks and whites fighting after school, every week. I figured out by seventh grade that testing out and getting to a specialized school in Manhattan would be a better choice because I didn’t want to deal with that kind of racism. So I commuted an hour and half each way taking a bus, ferry and subway train to midtown Manhattan for high school where the diverse world opened back up for me.

For whatever reason, talking about race, building bridges, having friendship groups that looked the like Benetton ads of the 1980s has been my lot for over 40 years. And I’m tired because I’ve spent my life pushing away and unlearning the messages that whites and black can’t be real family and friends, but too many white folks won’t do the work of unlearning those same messages. I’m tired of the burden white supremacy places on me and the black and brown people I love. I’m tired of black folks bearing the symptoms of white sickness. This exhaustion is not two weeks old or global pandemic old. Black and brown people spend our lives learning to live with the exhaustion of white supremacy as a survival mechanism.

Yes, I can remember the first time, back in 1982, my uncle was pulled over driving his BMW home from work because he was a black man in too nice a car. Yes, I’ve had police in my predominately white neighborhood run my plates. Yes, I’ve already had “the talk” with my nine-year-old black son about what to do if approached by the police and how he can’t play with water pistols like his white friends. Here’s the thing, every black and brown person in this country, on this call, in our congregations, has stories like these. The black and brown folks with Ivy League degrees who show up to our churches in nice dresses and suits have these stories as surely as the black and brown folks we cross the street to avoid.

We have these stories and we have not often told them outside of black and brown circles. There are experts who can better explain why, but I suspect that it has something do with the fact that it is hard to tell the stories of racial trauma to the people who have the power to make things different and won’t. And when we have told the stories, long before there was the internet and hashtags, we were too often told to get over it, stop playing the race card, and conform. The videos we now see played over and over again of the killings and abuses for just living while black have finally awakened those with the power to change things, and I hope and pray policies and behavior begin to change. Hope and challenge are two sides of the same coin. Across the globe people are risking their health in the midst of a pandemic to hold police departments, cities and corporations accountable to changing policies embedded in racist structures. This is gospel work. And the church is not exempt.

So here is the challenge for the Episcopal Church:  we need to stop being afraid of committing to the work of dismantling systemic racism and white supremacy. We need to learn and understand how it operates inside the Episcopal Church and in the world. As a predominately white institution that is rooted in the American experiment, we must be unequivocal and clear. When I go to the webpage of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, it is clear that they are about selling ice cream and dismantling white supremacy. I want our church to be that clear. Our being afraid of making white people upset makes us complicit in keeping white supremacy in place. We must not be afraid of giving our time and financial resources to the groups who are doing this work on the ground.

Many of our congregations are made up of people who have the power to affect policies, programs and money-if we are not actively dismantling white supremacy as a part of our baptismal ministry, then we ought not write another statement. If we are not giving away our power and centering the voices on the margins, then we ought not be surprised when people of color stop sharing their stories and attending our churches. If we go to Black Lives Matter demonstrations but return to our church buildings to livestream worship surrounded exclusively by white images of Jesus and the saints, then we must understand that we contradict our actions and become just another performative ally not helping our people or the movement.

Now is the time for acting. For doing the work of unlearning bias against black and brown people. Our everyday choices from where we buy groceries, to what we read, to how we adorn our sanctuaries, to where our money goes, to how we vote all add up. It all adds up to a world where people and systems are activated to value and support all of God’s children no matter what they look like or where they come from and every choice moves us a little closer to God’s dream. Not just the American dream–God’s dream. So let’s get to work, church. The time is now. Thank you.

A Message from the Rector

Beloveds, 

As our country’s unrest has crested this week, reports of rioting and looting have at times overshadowed meaningful and necessary peaceful protest and civil disobedience advocating for racial justice. Throughout the country, especially in our capital, the claim of “law and order” has resulted in increased division, violence and fear across the nation. 

But the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arberey, Dreasjon Reed and so many other black men and women who have died at the hands of law enforcement officers continue to ring in our ears. Our system remains broken. Meanwhile, we are still struggling with the impact of COVID-19 on our lives as we continue to engage with isolation and social distancing–not to mention the clear racial and socioeconomic disparity in the impact of the virus.

Some of us have taken to the streets. Some of us have stayed glued to our televisions in disbelief and dread. Some of us have tried to continue in our everyday lives, such as they are in this already hard time, unsure of what to do about the sin and divisiveness which has been laid bare in the last weeks. 

As a people of faith, we are called to prayer and to action to heal a broken world. We follow the One called “Prince of Peace,” and also “repairer of the breach” and “restorer of the streets.” So what does that mean? 

This can mean many things. For those of us who are white, it means doing our work to learn and to acknowledge the privileges we have and the oppressive systems of which we have been a part. Trinity’s Working Group on Social Justice and Reconciliation has been providing opportunities for our community for several years, and, along with the clergy, will continue to do so. In the meantime, here is a great reading list you can engage on your own. It means listening to the people of color in our life, but not asking them to do our work for us. It means teaching our children about racism and committing ourselves and our families to anti-racist work in our everyday lives.

We also can advocate for the kinds of systemic changes promoted by our partners at Faith in Indiana, who have been working with Mayor Hogsett’s office on a new “Use of Force” policy for IMPD and beyond. At Trinity we can continue to work for equitable access to food and education, employment and healthcare for African Americans in our community. We can also work to support local businesses owned by people of color and be aware of institutions with traditionally racist practices and policies.

For some, demonstrations do feel like a way to put our bodies on the line and stand in solidarity with the nationwide protest movement. Tomorrow there will be a sit-in against racial injustice at the State House here in Indianapolis between 3 and 5:30. Others would prefer to support that work through financial donations to protest organizers, for medical and safety supplies, or to bail funds. Please contact me or Mother Erin to be connected with those organizations. Soon the Diocese of Indianapolis will be creating a relief station on the Circle and will be seeking both supplies and volunteers. I will post information about that on Trinity’s Facebook page. 

Let me be clear:  proclaiming that Black Lives Matter is not disavowing that other lives matter as well. It is not proclaiming hatred of all police, several of whom work faithfully at Trinity as security officers. Proclaiming that Black Lives Matter does recognize that we continue to live in a world where black and brown bodies are regularly treated as expendable or criminal by virtue of the color of their skin. At Trinity, we denounce the systems which perpetuate that psychological and material violence against nonwhite people. We pledge to continue to learn, to work, to pray for peace and justice, and to testify to the dignity of every human being as a beloved creation of God. Black Lives Matter.

Oh, how I wish we could gather and pray, celebrate the Eucharist, break bread, have tough conversations and BE together this Sunday. It’s Trinity Sunday, when we gather the community and give thanks for our parish life and God’s abundant grace at Trinity. Please join us online on Sunday, for a special service filmed at the church building. I will celebrate Holy Eucharist for the first time in a longtime, and break the Bread, in remembrance of the One whose body was broken to redeem our broken world. 

In the meantime,  please continue to pray, pray, pray for justice in country, for peace in our community, and for protection for all who need it at this hard time. 

Let us pray:  

Almighty God, who created us in your image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy  Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with  you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquility your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

With love for you all, in prayer, and in hope, 

 

Mother Julia

 

For Bishop Curry’s statement on the killing of George Floyd and recent protests, click here: 

https://episcopalchurch.org/posts/publicaffairs/presiding-bishop-currys-word-church-when-cameras-are-gone-we-will-still-be-0

For Bishop Baskerville-Burrows’ statement on tear gassing in Washington, DC and unrest in Indianapolis: https://indydio.org/bringing-gods-peace-and-transformation-to-a-wounded-world-a-statement-from-bishop-jennifer/

A Note from the Rector – May 26, 2020

May 26, 2020

 

Beloved of God—

Grace and Peace to all of you. I hope you have had an opportunity to take part in our Liturgy of the Word Online for Home Participation on Sunday. After the live feed of the service on Facebook, approximately 50 parishioners met on zoom for a particularly timely Forum on Regathering at Trinity. I am writing to bring that conversation to our wider parish community. 

First, a word about the distinction between “reopening” our church and “regathering” for worship. While our buildings have been closed since mid-March, Trinity Episcopal Church has continued to pray, to worship, to learn, to serve, and to grow, even while restricted to our respective homes. We have many questions before us about the safety and nature of gathering in person for worship and other activities at this time—but the question of “reopening” is not pertinent, because the Church is its people and what we do in the name of Christ, either separately or together. Trinity is open.

Second, I wish to clarify the authorities under whose guidance and directives we make our important decisions as a parish. Primarily, we operate under the directive of Jesus Christ, who commands us to Love of Neighbor. That Law of Love guided Trinity to move services online and will lead us to remain separate from one another longer than our civic and secular authorities require. For us, sacrificial love of neighbor and community outweighs any of our individual longings or “rights.” We stay home to help one another and our community be safer. 

As Episcopalians, we are also guided by the authority of bishops—in our case, the Right Reverend Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows. Two weeks ago, she offered guidelines about regathering for worship in the Diocese of Indianapolis. The guidelines may be found here. Although there are several diocesan-wide directives, Bishop Jennifer has charged every parish in the diocese to make its own contextually specific plan for regathering. Each parish is to have a Reopen/Regather Task Force charged to track public health conditions, to create the parish reopening plan in consultation with the Vestry and the Bishop, and to monitor the implementation of that plan in the months to come. I am grateful for the individuals who are serving on Trinity’s Reopen/Regather Task Force: 

  • Todd Relue, Junior Warden, Chair
  • Rick Beardsley, MD, Vestry Outreach Liason
  • Erik Hembre, former warden, Lilly Pharmaceuticals
  • Bob Marchesani, Proventus Consulting LLC
  • Jennifer Phelps, JD/ MPH, Office of the Bishop of Indianapolis
  • The Rev. Julia Whitworth, Rector
  • Albie Marco, Director of Administration and Finance
  • Dirk Edwards, Director of Facilities
  • Tricia McMath, Senior Warden, ex officio

During our Forum together, I laid out some basic guiding principles for recommencing in-person worship at Trinity. You can find a PowerPoint from my presentation here. These include the public health standards which will need to be in place to regather, including the following: 

  • steadily declining numbers of new Covid-19 cases in Marion County
  • ready access to testing for all who are Covid-19 symptomatic
  • state systems contagion/contact tracing in place. 

While we await those benchmarks, the Trinity leadership is hard at work on the worship, maintenance and operations adjustments which will need to take place for any in-person services to recommence. When they do, we can be sure of some guiding norms, including: 

  • Services will employ social distancing of 6 ft or more. 
  • Masks will be worn by all.
  • No indoor service will have more than 25 individuals in attendance. 
  • More outside offerings may be available.
  • A registration/reservation system will be needed to control numbers.
  • Congregational and choral singing will not be available to us at this time.
  • Receiving Holy Communion will be limited or refrained.
  • Vital online offerings will be continued for those who prefer to stay home or worship  in small home groups. 
  • Extensive cleaning will be necessary between gatherings. 

These are just a few of the challenges which lay before us in planning for safe regathering. To assist in that process, I am inviting you to participate in a parish-wide survey to help the Task Force understand your preferences for worship at this time and in the immediate future. Please know that we understand that there are many, many unknowns ahead of us. Your answers are not binding. Rather, the questions intend to help the Task Force apprehend the range of risk tolerance in the parish and operate accordingly. We thank you for completing the survey by Monday, June 1.

Take the survey here.

Beloveds, this is an unsettling time.  I know we are yearning to be together in community, and we are grieving the anticipated loss of church traditions as we have known them. Trinity is a vital, loving community, however, and this time of distancing will birth some new opportunities for more intimacy, connection and care in the complicated year to come.  Thank you for your steady and faithful support of Trinity Episcopal Church. Wherever we may find ourselves, we are bonded as one body as we pray for one another and this hurting world. 


Faithfully, 

Mother  Julia and the Reopen/Regather Task Force

A Note from the Rector – May 22, 2020

Please join us this Sunday in worship online for the last Sunday of Easter. Newly in possession of her Masters in Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, the Reverend Jennifer Fisher, who has served at Trinity as seminarian intern and Sunday Dinner Minister, will preach on the Ascension. We will say special prayers for Trinity’s graduates and for graduates everywhere. 

After worship, at 11 am, we will gather as a parish community on Zoom to talk about the careful work of reopening our buildings and discerning the timeline and process for regathering in corporate worship. Members of our Parish Reopen/Regather Taskforce will be present to hear your concerns and the longings of your hearts. Don’t miss this important parishwide conversation!

—Mother Julia

Rector’s Message: May 1, 2020

Beloveds!

It’s been a bit since I’ve recorded a message to you. As the season changes and the national conversation turns to questions of return and reopening, I know that you have lots of inquiries. So do I. Many unknowns remain.

Please be assured, however, that your bishop, rector and lay leaders are soliciting lots of information and guidance about the safest ways we can worship in the months to come. We are working on a phased approach, which I will be  communicating in the coming weeks. You will have an opportunity to ask Bishop Jennifer some questions this Sunday at our Adult Forum.

I don’t know a lot, but I do know this: 1) Church will not look like we left behind in early March for quite some time. Our season of agility and creativity will remain with us until this public health crisis is in our rear view mirror. 2) You are a remarkable parish, and you are doing incredible things to take care of yourselves, one another and the community during this challenging time! I am so proud to be your rector, friend and fellow sojourner on this challenging road. 3) And it is challenging; what we thought might be temporary now feels interminable. But we will get through it. And we are not alone–we have one another, and we have a God who will love us passionately all the way through.

So take good care, friends. Get outside when you can. Say your prayers, wash your hands and count the many blessings all around us.

With love,

Mother Julia