The Dean’s Corner: A Step Closer

The Dean’s Corner

A Step Closer

This past week, after more than a year of limitations on how we worship based on COVID safety concerns, Bishop Hollingsworth gave each church in the diocese the ability to decide for themselves what safety practices are right for them. I am grateful for our Bishop’s care and guidance throughout this difficult season, and I am equally grateful for the freedom this gives to me and to our cathedral leadership to determine our next steps.

Every church will make their own decisions: in some cases, such as a small church with 100% vaccination, the decision to fully open is a relatively clear one. In larger churches whose congregations have a more mixed vaccination status, or with multiple services that serve different populations, the decision requires a bit more nuance.

Our vestry is scheduled to meet this week, and we’ll be discussing where Cuyahoga county is on the COVID alert level (as we do each month) as well as how the lifting of diocesan guidelines can inform our own decision making. There are at least three profound needs to consider: our spiritual needs to return to regular worship, the particular health needs that call us to go the extra mile for those especially vulnerable, and the practical needs to create liturgy that is simultaneously meaningful to an in-person and a remote congregation. This summer, we are also working to install cameras in the nave so that each Sunday we will have a high-quality worship service to offer those who cannot be with us in person.

I am grateful for the freedom we have to take our next steps, though there are good reasons to take those steps carefully and deliberately. Please keep the cathedral in your prayers, and please join us for in-person outdoor worship this Sunday if you can.

The Very Rev. Bernard J Owens