Senior Moments Special Edition
This is a special edition of Senior Moments. The health crisis in our country has caused us to make serious changes in the way we go about our lives. There have been changes in how we worship and how we study the Word as well. It is a time in which we should stay close to our faith and our trust in the promises God has made us. This post is meant to let you know what is going on with the Trinity family, what has changed, and things that you can do. We hope that most of you will be able to stay in touch by going to our website at www.tlcms.org regularly. The church office will be sending out regular emails to keep you informed as well. Many of you do not have access to the internet and this causes a gap in our communication. We need to know who you are. We are trying to make an accurate list of people needing mailings as opposed to electronic communication. Please let Tom know at Tom@tlcms.org or 913-787-6077 if you need mailings. Even if you think I know because I have contacted you before through personal calls, I need a master list. These mass mailings will not be a regular occurrence, but we are going to make an effort to keep all informed.
What’s Going On
The church office is still functioning and working. We don’t foresee a huge interruption with your ability to stay in touch with us. The staff is making adjustments and trying to see what opportunities present themselves to make sure we continue to minister to you and to spread the saving message of the Gospel. Lenten services and Sunday morning services are being made available to you through electronic means and will continue as needed. The logistics of this will come from Trinity church sources. (You don’t want me trying to explain this to you.) We feel that it is important to stay in touch with each other. I will be attempting to create some kind of “calling tree.” If you are interested in being a part of that let me know. I am anxious to hear how you are doing through this anxious time. I am happy to chat with you. The best time to reach me by phone is on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8am till 2pm or by email most any time. The contact numbers are Tom@tlcms.org or 913-787-6077.
Prayer is an important and powerful way to show your faith in God, to gain comfort, and to ask for guidance and protection. The staff continues to pray for God’s children here in the Trinity family and for the world. It is important to us to know what your prayer needs are and how you are coping. Don’t hesitate or forget to inform us of health or personal issues. The staff needs and wants your prayers. This is a tough time for our Pastors and the whole staff. We are committed to serving God by serving you. Pray for health and guidance for us as well.
What Has Changed
One of the most notable changes is in the way we worship and study the Word. Until we get back to normal, Trinity will make available worship services online. Information about this will be made available through regular updating from the church office. I think they are doing a great job with these worship services and they are continually looking for way to make improvements. Easter baskets have magically turned into May baskets. We are not able to collect items obviously, and at this time cannot personally put them in the hands of our homebound. Please continue to gather items for the baskets. Keep them at home and when we get back to something closer to normal, we will collect them at church. If you must have some place to go with the items let Tom know and I will make arrangements. We still plan on having members personally deliver them when it is safe. All group Bible classes have either been altered or postponed to a better time. Make sure you call before assuming they are meeting in their regular manner. I do not know when 50+ will restart. It is a fluid situation and we will contact you when we resume. Call a staff person before assuming any of your meetings are still scheduled. The May 16 Older Adult Symposium is going to be rescheduled. I really am saddened by this. It was an opportunity to listen to two wonderful speakers and for Trinity to share with other churches what they have done with enhanced senior ministry. I was so looking forward to sharing what you, our seniors, have done. You are an inspiration to many. The good news is that Rich Bimler is on board with trying to reschedule and still be a part of it. I have not yet heard from Jim Bradshaw, but I sense that he is agreeable to this as well. Thanks to those who have planned on coming and helping. I will let you know when we have a new date. The current situation has caused us to hit a snag in the delivery of the 42 flood buckets you helped assemble. They are still at church and as soon as we can figure out how to deliver them to a proper site we will.
What Can You Do?
Prayer is as important as anything for a way we can take an active role in fighting the effects of the coronavirus. God listens to His children. Pray for your safety, your health, and your ability to cope emotionally and physically. We as God’s children can be an example to the world in the way we react. It is good for others to see us confidently taking our joys, and concerns to God in prayer. Stay healthy. If you haven’t heard by now, WASH YOUR HANDS! Follow the guidelines that our leaders have been trying to implement. Use good hygiene, avoid groups when possible. Don’t panic but take this situation seriously. Stay in touch. Though we may not be in close proximity with our friends and loved ones, telephones, the internet and the Postal Service are still working. Call your friends and neighbors. Send cards and letters to family and especially those you know in nursing facilities. They have been cut off from personal visits, but they can still get mail. If you can, write a card to Trinity’s homebound. I feel apprehensive about giving out addresses but if you get the cards to me, I will get them mailed. Check on your neighbor (from a distance). Let church or me know what is happening with you. Our pastors care about you. Don’t be reluctant to ask for spiritual help when you need it.
Blessings to you and stay safe,
This is certainly a confusing and troubling time for all of us. I know many of you have not been able to see loved ones, and are probably wondering like the rest of us, what is happening. Some of you may remember times of confusion like these from your past. I am still a “rookie” at being old. I assume you are like me and concerned for the welfare of our family and loved ones, perhaps even more so than ourselves. Psalm 46 came to mind as a piece of scripture that is helpful at this time.
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear
though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
Researching the Psalm pointed me to Martin Luther and to his hymn “a Mighty Fortress.” Many believe he used Psalm 46 for the basis of this hymn. Luther lived during the time of the deadly plague in Germany. It even hit the town of Wittenberg where he was living. He was asked repeatedly about how the leaders of the church should act. He finally wrote about it and published a pamphlet stating his views. He mostly talked about whether the clergy should leave or stay and continue ministry amidst the horrors of the plague. Granted, the danger and hardships then, must have been much, much worse than what we are experiencing now, but some of his points hit home today. Luther once again shows a lot of common sense. He tells us that being true to our faith, we must help when needed. If sacrifices are the only answer, then we must do what we feel is God’s will. This does not mean however, that we foolheartedly take unneeded chances with our health and wellbeing if there are legitimate alternatives. We do our best and what we feel compelled to do, while trusting in God and His promises.
There are times when we as a world, a nation, God’s children, a church, and a congregation are confused, anxious, and uncertain how to act in light of life altering events. There certainly have always been life altering times of war. Many wondered if they would survive or if the world would survive. There was the attack of 9/11 and how that changed the way we looked at the world and how to protect ourselves. Some remember the Cuban missile crisis and the Kennedy assassination. There have been occurrences when we have suffered from pandemics like the plague, Hong Cong Flu, swine flu, and now the coronavirus. There are times when we individually are frightened, confused and challenged: the illness of a child, the sickness of a loved one, financial crisis, growing old, caring for a parent. These instances cause us to call upon strength that we might have trouble summoning. It is not always a question of if we are willing but, are we able to make necessary hard choices. The burden is not ours alone.
Psalm 46 concludes with these comforting words.
“Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Please be assured that the Pastors and staff at Trinity care about you and are praying for you. You are not alone. If you need us call.
Until next time, peace and blessings,
Heavenly Father, we come to you today with joy and thankfulness in our hearts for being your children. We look to you for refuge and strength. We want to do your will, and ask that you give us wisdom and understanding, patience and fortitude when dealing with the challenges life presents us. Be with our congregation, community, and world as our ever-present help in times of trouble. We look to an end to the suffering and uncertainty that this world-wide coronavirus brings. Be with us in our daily lives. We pray for good health for our families, and for the knowledge that we are being well used as tools in your kingdom. Lord, help us to be still and know that you are God. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.