Since March 16 2020 through January 31 we had three phases of services. These are as follows:
Phase One: March 16 - July 11 All Services were suspended but reached via Live Stream.
Phase Two: July 12 - December 25 - Worships began yet the same time Livestreams are continued.
Phase Three: December 26 - Present - Worships suspended but doors are open for the members to come and sit and meditate. But, Livestreams continue.
We thank Pastor Daniel and Pastor Sarah to guide the congregation in spiritual well being. Without their tireless, dedicated services we wouldn’t have come this far. We are thankful for our Bishop Paul Egensteiner and all the synod staff for their support, guidance, and prayers during these critical times.
Holy Trinity, Bellerose (The Rev. Analyse Triolo): Bishop Egensteiner, Pastor Kevin and synod staff thank you for your prayers and support through one transition after another over the course of the last year and a half. Your support has been invaluable and deeply appreciated. While the start of my ministry here in the MNYS was anything but what I anticipated it would be, I give thanks to God and to you all for leading the way in helping us to be better leaders of God’s people throughout the synod. Thanks to the availability of social media platforms and networks like YouTube, Facebook and Zoom we were able to continue our ministry, even if it looked quite a bit different from what we are accustomed to and I’m pleased to be able to report that worship never once stopped during quarantine.
We are still reaching out our members as well the larger community. Since we closed our doors on March 15, 2020, through June 28, 2021 we had several phases of re-opening. These are as follows:
Phase One: (March 15 – July 31, 2020) All in-person services were suspended and live-streamed from the parsonage. Streams were made on Facebook and YouTube was added later. Coffee Hours were added via Zoom after worship to allow congregants to meet “face-to-face” and socialize.
Phase Two: (August 1 – October 3, 2020) Worship services were pre-recorded with only the pastor, reader, and musician(s) in attendance at the church. These services were scheduled as premiers on Facebook to accommodate spotty internet connections in the sanctuary and were premiered on YouTube at the same time. Coffee hour continued.
Phase Three: (October 4 – November 30, 2020) Hybrid worship with reservations required for in-person attendance. Social distancing, masks, and high-level cleaning procedures established. Communion held once a month with pre-packaged kits that could be picked up after the worship services by members who did not attend in person.
Phase Four: (December 1 – May 1, 2021) Due to a resurgence in COVID cases in-person worship was shut down again and we returned to pre-recorded live-streams on Facebook and YouTube. Christmas and Easter Services were also shared via Zoom for those who wanted to see each other “face-to-face” during these holy days.
Phase Five: (May 2 – June 30, 2021) Hybrid worship with no reservations required, weekly communion, with options to social distance and a mask mandate. Cleaning procedures are still in place. Livestreams continue.
Phase Six: (July 1 - Present) (Pending Covid Re-Entry Team and Council Approval) Hybrid worship continues, with a reduced section for social distancing, masks are recommended but no longer required. Livestreams continue.
Online Giving: We set up online giving with Tithely, which is linked on our website, digital worship bulletin, and announced during the offertory during worship, weekly.
Christian Education & Devotionals: While adult bible study has taken a pause during this time, and normally only takes place during Lent and Advent, weekly evening prayers were done via Facebook live. Additionally, Confirmation resumed via Zoom this year with the hopes of having confirmands affirm their baptism on Reformation Sunday 2021. Sunday School for children has also continued for children and youth. Sunday School meets once a month live on Zoom and during the intervening weeks materials are sent home for families. During Advent and Lent devotional activity packets for families, and books for adults were made available for daily devotions.
Phone Calls and Prayers to our Members: Our council and COVID Re-Entry committees have taken turns calling all the members regularly to check in on their well-being and pray for them. The pastor then follows up with calls as needed.
Regular Council Meetings have been held in the duration, first on Zoom, then in-person beginning in May 2021.
Youth Ministry and the ELCA Youth Gathering: Youth at Holy Trinity are gearing up for the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering, and fundraising efforts have turned into a delightful evangelism tool. Our most successful fundraiser so far involves a couple lovely flocks of pink flamingos that have graced the yards of our Bellerose neighbors, and beyond. Members of the church and wider community can pay to have the youth and accompanying adults place the flock on a friend or family member’s yard with a sign explaining the fundraiser and a flyer explaining when the birds will be picked up as well as how to reach us to flock another house. So far, we’ve raised upwards of $1,500 with this fundraiser and it’s still going strong. We plan to continue throughout the entire summer.