Dear cathedral family,
The past week has brought so many changes to our life of faith and common worship. As the entire world has responded to the outbreak of COVID-19, the rapid changes have left us all anxious and concerned. The Dean, Wardens, and Chapter had to make the very difficult decision to gather for worship only using technology.
For some in our congregation, Sunday mornings are the primary social connection and this change will mean social isolation. For others, the thought of continuing to come to church has been a tension between personal health and continued practice of faith. It is not easy for anyone, and it was not a decision made lightly. Worship is the main purpose of the Church. While we cannot worship in person together, we do not have to stop worshiping. Please worship online at stpaulcathedral.org/watch/ at 10:30, 1:00 (en español) or 5:00 on Sundays. We will have more worship resources in the days to come.
This time of social distancing will come to an end, and worship will return to normal. All things have a season, and this too has a season. When the people of Israel were cut off from their place of worship, time and time again they renewed their dependence on their faith. The story of Israel is the story of God leading people through the wilderness, bringing them home time and again.
The executive staff, along with a team of leaders from the congregation, has been working on how we might follow God through this wilderness. This is an opportunity to build new relationships within the congregation—but it will look different than our normal Sunday morning coffee hour. We invite you to participate in a new ministry, Circles of Love.
For those who would like to participate, we will create “circles” of five to ten people. A circle leader will call each person in the circle. These will be calls just for conversation to keep our community connected in this time when we cannot meet in person. If there are pastoral needs or prayer requests, the circle leader will pass them on to our clergy team. Mostly it is just a way to form and deepen relationships while we cannot be together on Sunday mornings. We encourage everyone to opt-in to this new ministry; please call the office or visit stpaulcathedral.org/circles.
We will also put together a meal ministry in the event someone is unable to prepare meals for themselves. We are working the mechanisms out for how we will safely prepare and deliver the meals while keeping both the preparer and the receiver safe. If you are interested in participating in this ministry, please opt-in by calling the office or visit stpaulcathedral.org/circles.
Finally, we encourage everyone in the cathedral to reach out of your homes as your health conditions allow. Keeping appropriate social distance, check in with your next-door or nearby neighbors regularly. We encourage you to use this time to deepen those relationships. Check up on those in your neighborhood and see how you can help each other. Loving our neighbors is a core tradition of our faith.
While the cathedral campus is closed to the public, the office remains open to receive your prayer requests, pastoral needs, questions, and concerns. Emergency pastoral needs may also make use of the emergency pastoral care phone at 619-977-6318.
It is a blow to miss in-person worship. But we can get through this, and we can stay connected. And, when we return to in-person gatherings, we may find that God has used this difficult time to create new and deep relationships in surprising ways. We look forward to pulling together as a community during this challenge to support and care for one another.
Your Executive Staff of the Cathedral
Kathleen Burgess, Director of Administration
The Rev. Canon Brooks Mason, Canon Liturgist
The Rev. Canon Jeff Martinhauk, Canon for Congregational Life