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Spiritual Sustenance

Pastor Trish Goodspeed: 'Everyone's working hard to help each other through this'

By Sarah E. Reynolds | May 07, 2020
Courtesy of: Trish Goodspeed Pastor Trish Goodspeed serves Second Baptist Church, Islesboro's only year-round church.

Islesboro — Our series of interviews with Waldo County clergy explores how their congregations are finding new ways to worship, to connect with each other and the wider community, and to find hope and encouragement in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Clergy interested in participating in the series should contact me at sreynolds@villagesoup.com or 338-3334.

Pastor Trish Goodspeed has served the Second Baptist Church for about a year, having recently moved to the island to become full-time. But, as pastor of the only year-round church on the island, she said, she wants to be available to all residents, regardless of their faith.

She has good relationships with the island's Quaker meeting and the Episcopal chapel, both of which have seasonal congregations. Her church has regular Sunday attendance of around 40, which can swell to 60 in the summer.

Goodspeed said her congregation has been working with other island organizations to help provide meals to people who need them. The church also has a food pantry; to receive a box of groceries, residents should call the parsonage at 734-2278. The pantry is open three afternoons a week, but Goodspeed said she would provide emergency food outside normal operating hours.

With a background in chaplaincy work, the pastor said she wants to offer spiritual care to anyone on the island who needs it. "There's quite a wonderful community effort in that direction," she said. She told about delivering spiritual literature to a church member recently and spending some time chatting while remaining at a safe distance. She and other visitors also made signs with messages of support that they held up for the person receiving the visit to see.

"Everyone's working really hard to try and help each other get through this," she said. Even though people are not physically together, church members have grown closer during the period of social isolation. She encourages church members to call neighbors and friends so that the church is aware of people's needs and can help make connections where possible.

Goodspeed commented that the church is in an "amazing" role at the moment, because it has an unusual opportunity to be a source of hope. When she talks to fellow islanders, sometimes even those who are not members of her church will ask for a prayer. "They're thinking about God," she said.

She said she has recently started offering a sermon via Zoom at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. To receive an invitation, email her at islesborosecondbaptistchurch@gmail.com. Those who have no computer can participate by phone. She did her first sermon on Zoom Easter Sunday, Goodspeed said, and expects more people to take part in the virtual gatherings as the weekly sessions get going. "The community knows that this is their church." She has also opened at YouTube account where the weekly sermons are posted.

She noted that the current crisis has taken the focus off the church building and placed it instead on the the church's mission of caring for people. Helping others also lifts up the helper, she said.

"We do our best, and then we employ our faith and reach out to each other," Goodspeed said.

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