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Trinity Term 2021 - Seeds of Hope
Trinity Term always begins in the season of Easter. It is a season of hope as the Church tells again the resurrection story of life overcoming death, love overcoming hate and hope overcoming despair. The college grounds are full of spring flowers and the sun has been shining. This year we are tentatively exploring the roadmap to increased freedom. The emptiness of the college and all of central Oxford last Trinity term was very strange. Those of us who were here came to know Oxford differently. I discovered walks in parts of the city I had never ventured to before. All of us have learnt different things about ourselves and our families and friends as we have either spent rather too much or too little time with them. All of us have learnt to walk and talk and the benefits of layers of clothing for outside meetings.
We have in different ways suffered loss. Some of you will have lost family or friends, precious people who have died from this virus. Most of us have had to let go of planned events, holidays, opportunities for travel and all of the easy experiences of hanging out with friends. We have improved our IT skills and discovered that some meetings are easier on Zoom, especially if you switch off the camera! I enjoyed leading a Lent group in West Edinburgh from the comfort of my living room in Oxford. For those learning and teaching online it has been very different with some gains and many losses. Yet there is hope.
Many more students are back in college this term and we hope that by the end of term we will be able to gather together in larger groups outside. Meanwhile we continue with a mixed economy, treading cautiously into our freedom.
Chapel will be open for private prayer; please use respectfully.
Sunday Evensong 6pm will happen with the choir singing and to begin with it will be livestreamed to watch on the Chapel YouTube page. We hope that we can have a congregation in the next few weeks. I am particularly looking for someone who would be happy to look after the technical side of livestreaming. We will train (I am told that it is straightforward). A free dinner is available in exchange for this service. We will also plan to hold some outside services so that we can sing together.
Easter is a time of joy, but the first Easter was also a strange new reality. So, as we tread carefully into this term with the mix of hope and limitation we pray that all who have lost loved ones, all who have struggled with disappointments, loneliness and frustration, all who are worried about the future, may begin to find seeds of hope. Hope in the love of God which stretches beyond death, hope in the kindness of others and hope in our own capacity to survive and to grow.
I hope to see more of you in person over this term.
Emma Percy, The Chaplain
During this time, some of you will have family members who are seriously ill, or perhaps you yourselves will be very ill. It would be good to be able to pray for you and your loved ones, so please email me any prayer requests.
Some of us will lose loved ones during this pandemic and the way that we mark their passing will be very different because of the social distancing measures. Please let me know if you would like help in thinking through how to mark such loss when funerals are going to be so restricted.
I am happy to talk on the phone or online through various platforms if you would like support during this time.
Do you know of other online resources or worship we could link here? Please contact us.
The University Church of St Mary the Virgin has some very good online resources and some services you can join online.
Christ Church Cathedral has some good online worship, including their ‘Sacred’ podcast services.
Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union is working on moving many of its events online. You can keep up-to-date on their Facebook page.
Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy is live-streaming Mass and Adoration through Facebook.
The Newman Society (Oxford University Catholic Society) is moving its talks and events online.
Missing Evensong? Try this BBC Radio 3 podcast.
A friend of the Chaplain has a good blog for these times.
The Chapel Choir has been recording Evensong services on Sunday evenings from 6pm; those in and out of Oxford who cannot view them in person can tune in on livestream or watch afterwards on the Chapel YouTube Channel.