Coronavirus Preparation

 
In light of Bishop Susan’s directives on coronavirus (FOUND HERE), it is important that we review our ministry together at St. Paul’s Cathedral. 
 
We are first and foremost a community of faith.  In this time, each one of us must take care of ourselves first.  If you are not comfortable coming to church, please feel comfortable staying home.  You can participate in worship through our livestreamed services, available HERE.
 
Please also take care of yourself with frequent handwashing, avoiding touching your face, and isolating when you are sick.  These remain the best steps for taking care of ourselves and others.
 
No matter what happens, St. Paul’s Cathedral will continue to be a place where love abounds.  Taking precautions is the best thing we can do to care for vulnerable populations.  We are glad to be a partner with public health agencies to safeguard not only our members, but the larger community around us.
 
Based on prayerful consultation among the clergy, staff, chapter, and congregation, St. Paul’s Cathedral will adopt the bishop’s directions as noted below:
 
Worship Practices
 
Beginning this Sunday and for at least the rest of Lent, we will move our worship services away from Holy Eucharist.  As a practical matter, this change will avoid many of the high-touch practices of Holy Eucharist such as passing the peace and sharing the bread and wine. 
 
  • Beginning on Sunday, March 15, 2020, the Cathedral will worship with Morning Prayer at 8:00, 10:30, and 1:00 Sunday services.  As we deepen our Lenten journey, this is an excellent time to reflect on our worship practices and walk into the wilderness together using Morning Prayer.
  • Noon weekday services will be noonday prayers. 
  • The offering plate will not be passed. Ushers will have offering plates in the back of the church as you exit.
  • The baptismal font and stoups have been emptied of Holy Water for the remainder of Lent.
  • Shared surfaces will be cleaned.  Before worship, the door handles, pew tops, restroom handles, locks, faucets, and altar rails will be cleaned by the sextons.  This will be repeated after worship.
  • Online offerings.  You may worship online via our livestream HERE with our 10:30 am or 5:00 pm services.  
  • No food or drink will be served at coffee hour.  At the request of the bishop, hosted food and drink after services is suspended as a Lenten fast.  If you would like to bring your own container of water or a thermos of coffee for yourself to enjoy outside of worship, you are welcome.

 

Near the end of Lent, we will reassess our worship practices as we approach Palm Sunday and Holy Week.
 
Non-Worship Activities
 
Non-essential, non-worship gatherings will be cancelled or held via teleconference.  Watch your email and Cathedral Life bulletin for specifics.  A current list of cancellations and changes is found at the end of this letter.
 
Pastoral Care
 
Our commitment to pastoral care is undiminished, and we will find ways to care for one another.
  • In-person visits for pastoral care by clergy and the laity are limited to extreme cases, but we can care for each other with phone calls and other technology.
  • We are in the process of expanding the ways we can care for each other.  One option may involve an updated approach to a “phone tree” to connect the congregation, facilitate the flow of information, and provide pastoral care.   Watch for more communications as we develop circles of care.
  • Please do not hesitate to call the clergy for immediate pastoral needs.
The Church has a long history of coming together to care for those in need during difficult times.  Many of our great spiritual practices have been developed under such circumstances.  The challenges we face may seem daunting, but together we may find new ways of living our faith as the Cathedral for the City.
As your dean’s warden, writing to you while Dean Penny is on sabbatical (but involved), I am praying for our community and the world.  If you have questions, feedback, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me, our clergy, or executive staff.
Sincerely,
 
 
 
 
 
Donna O. Perdue,
Dean’s Warden
 
Cancellations and Changes as of March 11, 2020
 
Cancellations
  • Sunday Adult Forum normally held at 9 AM on Sunday.
  • Exploring Sunday’s Lessons
  • New Testament Studies
  • St. Paul’s participation in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 14
  • Organ Concerts on Tuesdays
  • Buildings and Grounds meeting
  • Women Together meeting on April 4
  • Docent ministry (except to provide support during worship). 
  • Labyrinth Walk
  • Wednesday Book Study on The Last Week
  • Yoga class
To be held by teleconference
We encourage groups to use teleconference technology to meet.  The Cathedral staff can facilitate use of this technology.
  • EFM
  • Cathedral for the City Commission
To be determined
  • What is an Episcopalian formation series – will not meet in person at noon on Sundays.  May be scheduled later via teleconference.
  • Godly Play
  • Youth Group
  • Stephen Ministry Continuing Education – will not meet in person.  May be rescheduled via teleconference.
Not cancelled
  • Sunday services at 8:00, 10:30, 1:00, and 5:00
  • Centering Prayer
  • Doxology Life (no potluck)
  • Choir practice
  • Weekday morning, evening prayer and noon day prayer (in lieu of eucharist) will be held.
  • Showers of Blessings scheduled for March 21.   Showers of Blessings is an important ministry, and the community we serve depends on us especially in times of crisis.  It will continue with appropriate precautions
Outside organizations to make their own decisions.  Meetings of outside organizations, such as twelve step support groups, will make their own decisions about continuing to meet.  The facilities will be thoroughly cleaned after use.
Please communicate all changes as soon as possible to news@stpaulcathedral.org.

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