Dear St. Paul’s family,
Alleluia! Christ is risen! I hope your Easter was joyful, even under the current circumstances. I am very grateful to our Bishop and her staff for the splendid diocesan Easter service that we enjoyed, and that drew us together as a wider community.
I want to update you on a few matters dear to all our hearts. First, the Cathedral facility: even though it is closed, we are taking care of our beautiful buildings. Our regular security firm checks the exterior several times a night; one of our sextons, Chuck, is on the premises virtually round the clock; and the security cameras continue to record any activity indoors. We are blessed to have so much protection: I am unfortunately hearing reports from clergy around the country of break-ins and vandalism of empty churches. Greystar’s construction of the Sixth and Olive building continues, as does the construction of the new ramp and stairs in the Queen’s Courtyard.
Second, I want to reassure you about our staff. Chapter has agreed to guarantee all current staff positions, with average weekly pay (or better, for those working more hours than usual) through the end of May. We are watching our finances very closely and will revisit the situation if we are still in stay-at-home mode at that time. Our staff deserve our full commitment and a measure of security, in a time that is anxiety-producing on every front. In order to maintain this commitment it’s important that we all keep up with our annual pledges, which provide about two thirds of our operating budget, especially given the volatility of the financial markets that will ultimately affect our ability to draw from our endowment funds for the other third.
I want to thank the many parishioners who have responded to our appeal for donations to support the clergy pastoral needs fund. That fund is now looking quite healthy and we are ready to help those for whom the current situation means financial hardship. Our Bishop has asked us to make a special appeal for donations to support the diocesan fund, which will aid congregations without the resources that we enjoy, and St. Paul’s has committed, along with the other large parishes in the diocese, to provide $7,500 towards that appeal.
Your sister in Christ,