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For details of the music and readings in this week's service, please see our service sheet.
On the Landing page of its website, Trinity College announces that it is “A Place to Connect.” As examples, the accompanying text first names proximate buildings such as the Bodleian, then various departments such as science and maths and engineering and humanities and social sciences.
It is not lost on a visitor in the early months of 2021 that although such physical proximity continues to exist at Trinity, the living tissue that links and animates such spaces is largely absent. The students and much of the staff are away, working from home as we try to keep each other safe. Your absence is palpable. As we begin Hilary term, we are forced to reconnect to our work and study largely by the internet from near and far-flung places. In this context, know that your physical presence is missed, and that a warm welcome awaits your return to the campus of Trinity.
My name is Melody Knowles, and I will be filling in as Chaplain during Hilary term while Emma Percy is on sabbatical. My home base is also an academic community, Virginia Theological Seminary, where I serve as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Old Testament. I was ordained in The Episcopal Church 15 years ago in the USA. Over the next few months I am also on sabbatical, so in addition to leading the regular chapel services at Trinity, I will be doing research and writing on a variety of projects including the ancient mutilation of Assyrian reliefs and the reception of Ps 132.
Our weekly chapel services will resume, this time in the form of podcasts. As you end your days and your weeks, I invite you to click the links to join your Trinity colleagues singing and praying and reflecting on the ways that God is at work in our world. Until then, I leave you with some ancient words that voice our longing for connection, and invoke courage for our days apart:
I am sure I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Be strong, take heart; wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:13-14)
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.