The Dean’s Corner:  Considering a Safe Return

The Dean’s Corner
Considering a Safe Return

Trinity Cathedral is a profoundly sacred space. One has that immediate sense the first time they walk through the doors, or the first time they sing evensong or celebrate Eucharist. This time of exile has reminded me just how much the cathedral holds a place of sanctity and mystery in our hearts; as the time apart grows we yearn to gather together in this space.

Starting today, we will open the cathedral once a week (Thursdays from 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.) for private prayer. We will see how this goes and consider other times during the week as well. Though we do not feel ready to open for in-person worship or programs, we recognize how important it is to make what space we can for folks to spend time within the walls of the cathedral.

We are also having a wider conversation about what it might look like to return. To be clear, we have done the preparation to re-open as safely as possible, and we have adequate financial resources to do so…you, the people of Trinity, have faithfully maintained your pledges and we have continued to serve the community. The question is and has always been, can we do so safely? Has the underlying danger to those in vulnerable health categories – those we know and those we meet – subsided, or have we developed sufficient adaptations to navigate safely?

Our cathedral presents certain advantages, including a wide-open interior, chairs that are easily moved and easily cleaned, and staff and lay leaders who have worked hard to make reopening possible when we’re ready. We have disadvantages as well: it’s an old stone cathedral: air circulation is rudimentary and filtration is not really possible as it is in buildings with modern HVAC systems. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to gather, but rather it raises the importance of mask-wearing and social distancing.

So, how are you feeling about this? Today we are sending out a short survey asking you this simple question: Do you feel ready to return? Are you in a high-risk category? We will of course continue online worship, but how ready do you feel to worship within this space? This will give us a clearer sense of the mind of the congregation, so that we can make the decision that best serves you.

Take the Survey

 

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The Very Rev. Bernard J Owens