After consultation with many parties to determine the right path forward, Trinity has decided that Holiday Hot Meals (HHM) will be postponed, not cancelled), until after the threat of the pandemic has passed. Key to this decision are two factors:
- The governor’s order to close businesses unless they are ‘life-sustaining’, while exempting religious institutions, places a moral duty on us to judge our ministries and efforts by the same factor. Almost all of the church’s ministries, including day-to-day operations, are now closed. Even the clergy are restricted from going to the office, since such work is not life-sustaining. We should only pursue efforts that have us leaving our homes if such work is about sustaining the lives of ourselves or others. Performing a ministry under the guise of ‘we’re a religious group and are exempt’ that then threatens the lives of ourselves and those whom we serve is in fact the opposite of a ministry of Christian love: it is a selfish act that exposes us any possible recipients to harm.
- The meals themselves are supplemental to the nutrition assistance already provided to shut-ins. The vast majority of recipients receive meals and other nutritional support on a weekly basis through social support programs. Our meal delivery is a celebration of a holiday, a way of sharing love to those left alone at home due to economic and physical limitations. We deliver HHM in the spirit of spreading our joy beyond the boundaries of our worship. If the meals were vital for life, we should have been delivering them far more often than three times a year. We are working with organizations to help those few Holiday Hot Meal recipients who are not connected to regular meal support, offering to deliver groceries and needed medical supplies during the pandemic.
Our plan is to hold Holiday Hot Meals as soon as we are able to return to meeting together in person. In this way, celebrating the end of the pandemic, and our first worship together physically, will be matched by our spreading such love and joy to the shut-ins around our region.