from the Very Rev. Sam Candler
Grace to you, and peace, in Jesus Christ, our Lord. I am Sam Candler, the dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip, in Atlanta. Today is Wednesday, June 3, 2020, and I deliver our regular Wednesday evening Parish Notices today.
It’s been a sensitive and stressful week here in Atlanta, and across the country. Surely we are aware of the protests and outpourings of grief. We are also aware of the several instances in which those protests were taken over my violent and destructive forces. You can read, or listen to, my own reactions to these events in this week’s Cathedral Times newsletter. Essentially, like many in our country, I am for the police, and I am for the protesters! I am for peaceful people of good will and good faith.
The Cathedral of St. Philip was not damaged during the night when so many of our business neighbors were broken into and looted. But, like much of Atlanta, we were surely shaken. We continue to pray for peace, and for non-violent public expression.
Our building remains mostly closed, though the Cathedral Bookstore is open, and wants your business! And the Saturday Cathedral Farmers Market is open! Further, if you need to be inside the building, please contact one of the staff members associated with your ministry, and we can make preparation for you. We request that all visitors and staff of the Cathedral wear masks if you have to be inside.
On Sundays, we are still worshipping online. Some of our clergy are officiating, or preaching, from one of the Cathedral altars, and that has been gratifying to experience. We will continue this online structure of worship for at least the next three Sundays: June 7, 14, and 21. Pray for us!
Again, even if there was some process by which we could re-engage in-person worship at the Cathedral with all sorts of restrictions and conditions – say, with masks on, or with pews marked off so that we used only 50% of our space, or with online reservations only—I am not sure what all that would accomplish. The conditions and restrictions of our in-person re-engagement might well be more discouraging than edifying. With the canons and the chapter of the Cathedral, I continue to evaluate safe possibilities for all sorts of things – just as each of you are doing for your own lives and households.
I do not yet know when, or how, we will return to in-person worship at the Cathedral of St. Philip. I do know that when we do, I want it to be safe, and I want it to be real. It will not be simply because we can, with conditions that are too awkward and burdensome. It will be because we discern that in-person worship will help build up the Body of Christ and help bring in the kingdom of God. That is our mission. Pray for us!
And pray with us! Every day, our Midday Meditation is posted at 12:15 p.m. And every Sunday, we pray in online worship at 8:45 and 11:15 a.m. Join us!
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and love of God, and the fellowship of Holy Spirit, be with us all, evermore.
Here endeth the Parish Notices for Wednesday, June 3, 2020!