I write this at the beginning of August, 2020. I’m more than six weeks into my appointment as interim priest on staff at Holy Trinity.
I arrived in the midst of the Covid 19 shutdown to find the worship community meeting on Zoom every Sunday. Sadness at not being able to meet in person was being balanced with delight at being joined by HT diaspora in far flung places.
The church staff had more or less ditched their job descriptions but they were still showing up for work every day. Together with a horde of volunteers, they were pouring most of their energy into feeding the homeless people encamped on Trinity Square as well as the many food insecure people who live in the neighbourhood.
Day after day, lines of socially distanced people waited patiently at the church’s wide open west door. At the south door vehicle after vehicle pulled up to deliver donated food. Staff and volunteers bustled to turn out up to 200 meals a day in an inadequate kitchen space.
Meanwhile, just to the east of us, the doors to the Eaton Centre were locked and barricaded. Absolutely nothing was going on there. A pandemic that had a centre of faith running on overdrive had brought a centre of commerce to a standstill.
Is there a parable here? I hope so because I love parables.
One of my favourite parables is about two houses. One of them was built on sand while the other was built on rock. Both homeowners moved in and all went well for a while.
Then the rain came pouring down and the flood came rising up. Soon the house built on sand was swept away but the other one stood firm. It stood, as the parable teller tells it, because it was built on rock.
Right now, I am grateful to have found my way to a place built on solid rock. Not the building, of course. Believe me, it has its problems.
The solid rock is a generations-deep ethic of care for the marginalized and justice for all. The solid rock is an enduring vision of a healthy earth, the commitment to work toward it and the trust that, in the Spirit’s strength, we will prevail.
So, for me, Holy Trinity is a good place to be in a pandemic. It is my hope that some of my readers will join me here. As for the rest of you, there are many other places where the Spirit is at work. My hope for you is that you have, or will soon, find one that’s just right for you.