Dear Cathedral Family,
Last week Bishop Russell Kendrick ended the diocesan protocol for masks to be worn at all indoor worship. In his letter to clergy and lay leaders, our bishop was thoughtful in reflecting on the difficulty of the last few months, and he encouraged the involvement of your Vestry in communicating a resolution that communicates their policy on masks to the church and in planning how we will continue to return to worship in its fullest expression.
Last Sunday, at its regular meeting, your Vestry gave careful consideration to these matters, with awareness that differing views persist. Following our bishop’s guidance about the decision to wear masks, “all may, some should, none must,” they unanimously adopted the following resolution.
“At its meeting on September 26, 2021, your Cathedral Vestry reaffirmed its commitment to follow the guidance of scientists and medical professionals regarding protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and its variants. The following resolution was adopted unanimously.
BE IT RESOLVED by the Vestry of Christ Church Cathedral that the wearing of masks by all worshippers is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED at indoor services and other indoor events on the Cathedral’s campus. As Christians, we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves; the wearing of masks not only protects ourselves but our neighbors as well, especially our children and the most vulnerable among us. Please continue to pray for strength and wisdom for all healthcare workers who minister to the sick.
This guidance shall be in effect until further notice. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.”
In addition, the Vestry agreed that the chalice should be reintroduced for those who wish to receive communion in both kinds. Given the restriction of our current traffic flow at the communion rail, we agreed to the following protocol: communion in one kind (wafer) will be administered at the rail as usual; the chalice minister will be stationed in the Chapter House vestibule for those who wish to receive the cup after they have received the bread. We will return to the usual full distribution of communion at the rail as our situation allows.
I am thankful for the counsel and leadership of our Vestry throughout this extraordinary time of pandemic.
I am thankful also for the seven years of faithful service as Cathedral Secretary by Marla Reis, who is retiring this week in order to care for the needs of her family. Lucy Rouse Wright has generously and graciously offered to assist us in transitioning our office operations through the end of the year. This will involve some changes in office hours and in the configuration of our phone systems, which we will try to communicate as clearly as possible. I know that you all join me in gratitude for the good work of our Cathedral staff, our “front line ministers” here at the church.
Nothing is more certain and constant in life than change. You have all navigated the constant changes of these last several months with grace, fortitude, and trust. God has blessed us during this time, and His mercies will continue to abound.