September 12, 2022
In early March 2020, at the beginning of what would become the COVID-19 pandemic, Trinity pastors and staff made a quick decision to prioritize the safety of the congregation above all else. The initial plan was to close the church for just three weeks beginning on March 15, 2020 with a small crew of 10 individuals that included pastors, musicians, and those working sound and video sharing Sunday worship via Facebook Live.
As it soon became evident that things would not improve within three weeks, the Trinity staff stepped outside of their comfort zones to learn new technology, especially when it came to the recording and editing of audio and video. Our pastors began pre-recording sermons alone to a camera, the music director and choir sang “together” via video compilations of up to 30 singers at a time, Sunday School classes and small groups continued to meet virtually via Zoom, and Communion elements were home-baked and hand-delivered to members’ porches by volunteers. While the physical building may have been closed, the Trinity family remained vibrant and alive.
On May 24, 2020, Pastor Woody Brown appointed a Pandemic Response Team (PRT) to develop guidelines to protect the congregation and to plan for the eventual re-opening of the church. During this period worship transitioned from pre-recorded worship to live-streamed services, then to outdoor-only services, and finally to a phased re-opening of the building after the development of a vaccine in 2021. By the spring of 2022, TPC had returned to a “new normal” schedule of in-person worship, meetings, youth programs, and more.
We recognize the gift in some of the adaptions that the pandemic required us to make, namely the availability and accessibility of a high-quality online worship experience. Over the past two years, technology upgrades have been made to improve this experience, including hand-held DLSR camera/microphones, brand-new mounted live-stream cameras and new live-stream provider. We also continue to prioritize the accessibility of our in-person worship for those with vision and hearing difficulties, such as improvements in projectors and sound systems. The addition of Bluetooth-enabled devices to assist those with hearing differences during worship is in development as well.
As we look towards putting the pandemic in our rear-view mirror, the PRT continues to monitor CDC guidelines as well as online sources such as COVID Act Now to keep the most effective protocols in place to protect the congregation. We feel confident that Trinity is well-positioned for a strong future, pandemic or not.
Dec. 8, 2021
Our Session met regarding the reduced COVID rates in our area. Masks are no longer required for Sunday activities. In addition, food and beverages may be served indoors.
As always, we encourage anyone who is ill or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home until they are fully recovered. Our Session will continue to meet and evaluate our Covid-19 protocol in response to the changing COVID rates and variants.
July 28, 2021
On July 27, 2021, the CDC updated their “guidance for fully vaccinated people.” Citing the Delta variant of the virus may be transmissible by fully vaccinated individuals, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings.
In response to the new recommendations, our Session decided to require masks, regardless of vaccination status, for all Sunday activities (Sunday, August 1). In addition, food and beverages will no longer be served indoors.
For gatherings held during the week in which no children are present and all participants are vaccinated, mask wearing is at the discretion of the group. For outdoor activities, masks are optional and food and beverages are allowed.
March 30, 2021
The Pandemic Response Team and the Session have made the determination based on a reduced number of COVID cases in Collin county to move to Phase 3 of our Phased Reopening Plan.
Phase 3 allows for small groups to meet indoors in large spaces, following Trinity’s safety guidelines.
In addition, we will resume OUTDOOR in-person worship services at 11 am on the south lawn of the church. Each worship attendee is asked to bring their own chair, and masks and social distancing will continue to be required. Upon arrival, everyone in attendance will sign in, take their temperature and attest that they have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the last 14 days.Please take a moment to review Trinity’s Pandemic Response Plan which includes guidelines for Phase 3, as well as links to county, state and national data sources used by the PRT and Session.
June 20, 2020
Pandemic Response Team Update: Phased Reopening of the Trinity Presbyterian Church Campus
Each person is a beloved child of God. Therefore, we prioritize the health and safety of our members and our community over our own desires to reopen quickly or for a hasty return to normal operations. Personal safety is most important as we plan the reopening of the physical campus.
The reopening will be completed in a series of phases with defined criteria for each phase. Progression through the phases will be determined by the Pandemic Response Team and may move forward or backward depending on criteria as defined in the chart below. The team will revisit data and make a progression or regression recommendation every two weeks to be approved by Session.
Movement to a different phase will be communicated to the congregation via the weekly E-News and the TPC website.
All reopening events are within the legal guidelines of the State of Texas for reopening houses of worship. We endeavor to open as quickly as prudent safety allows. Our highest priority is the safety of our members, staff, and visitors.
May 27, 2020
We would like to introduce you to Trinity’s Pandemic Response Team. This team, with representation from staff, elders, deacons and congregation members, has come together to thoughtfully and prayerfully address pandemic-related decisions. Please watch for more updates as we navigate during these unprecedented times.
May 23, 2020
During this pandemic, please remember: Our church is open. Our building is closed. We love you too much to put you at risk.
May 22, 2020
Rev. Woody Brown shares his thoughts about in-person gatherings at Trinity during the pandemic.
May 2, 2020
Trinity Presbyterian Church is committed to the safety and well-being of every person who comes onto our campus.
Because of COVID-19, Trinity’s campus remains closed for the time being. The session and staff are closely monitoring and reviewing the situation and information. We are listening to advice from the most qualified and best informed sources. We are committed to protecting and serving everyone in our community.
While the campus is closed, Trinity Presbyterian Church is very much alive, active, and well. We continue to offer daily and weekly opportunities for worship, study, serve, and grow. We remain committed to our 5G Life.
At this point, we do not know when the campus will open. Again, we are unwavering in our resolve to be reasonable and responsible. However, our goal is to reopen as soon as we can do so safely.
While the church campus is closed, please continue to communicate by Realm, emails, text messages, and phone calls. Please know that your elders and staff hold you, our community, and world in our prayers.
In light of the COVID-19 situation, we have moved to online only worship for the forseeable future. The church building will not be open on Sunday mornings. We pray that this action will help reduce the risk of transmitting the virus and keep our congregation healthy and safe.
In addition, we are cancelling/postponing all church activities for the foreseeable future. As this situation develops, we will continue to communicate about the life and activities of Trinity. The church building is currently closed and the staff are working remotely. We have created an online schedule of events for both adults and youth to keep us connected during this time.
Your continued encouragement and support help ensure the ongoing health and vitality of Trinity. The Scriptures remind us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Please know that your staff and Session are committed to being reasonable and responsible leaders. We pledge to “shine as a light of hope, care, faith, patience, and prudence, demonstrating for the world how our faith provides true assurance against worry and fear.”
Again, please share this news with our church community. If you know of someone who needs a pastoral phone call or physical assistance, please contact the church office.
During these anxious times, I am particularly thankful for a sustaining church community like Trinity.