Grace to you, and peace, in Jesus Christ our Lord!
I am Sam Candler, the dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip, during this season of “Social Distance for the Common Good.” Today is Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Every Wednesday, at 6:15 p.m., we at the Cathedral hope to deliver a set of Parish Notices.
We know that our world, and the issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, are changing quickly – from hour to hour, and from day to day. Still, we want to keep each other as informed as possible. And we, at the Cathedral of St. Philip, want to be the Body of Christ, connected spiritually and emotionally, and visually, even if we cannot gather together.
Peace to you. And love to you! The Cathedral of St. Philip wants to love you, even more, during this time of social distance. Please call us, or email us, if you have any need, and if you have any contribution. We are answering needs, and we are receiving contributions.
Today, March 25, is a Feast Day in the Church! Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, when we remember the Angel Gabriel announcing to Mary, “Greetings, favored one! Do not be afraid. The Lord is with you.” May we too know, without fear, that the Lord is with us, even during an anxious and uncertain time.
The Cathedral building remains closed, at least through Easter Day, April 12, 2020. But our ministry, and our connections, are as vibrant and life-giving as ever. Please check our online newsletter, The Cathedral eTimes, for listings of all the ministries and classes that are occurring online now. Please join them!
Our Sunday services, and our Holy Week services, will be prayed and delivered online. Even now, we are preparing some creative ways to pray those services. Be prepared for some joy and wonder! In addition to recording some prayers and music from the grand Cathedral space itself, we have in mind recording videos and photographs of our own parish and ministers and devoted parishioners, from their homes – where you are now, watching and listening to this message. Stay tuned!
As of today, the Bishop of Atlanta has advised diocesan churches to continue online services through May 24, 2020, for the sake of responsible planning. That might change; it might not. Stay tuned for further updates.
As for COVID-19 cases, our Cathedral community does have a few. We are a large and broad community, and our demographic generally follows that of our wider city. Some of the cases we know about remain confidential. We know of only one person who has been at the Cathedral recently and who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. That person was at the Cathedral on March 8, and then went to the hospital with a positive diagnosis on March 15. We are thankful that that person is home now.
Here is one new important notice! Though our building remains closed, and though our city remains under a “Remain At Home” ordinance, our Cathedral Farmers Market is authorized to operate, as an important and critical supplier of fresh food. We are looking at ways that it can re-open soon—by this Saturday or next Saturday—with strict measures of social distancing and safety in place. We urge everyone to follow the mayor’s ordinance! Under that ordinance, we are allowed to visit grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Of course, this will greatly help our farmers and vendors; and the market can greatly help the community with fresh food! Again, stay tuned!
Here endeth the Cathedral Parish Notices of March 25, 2020. Let us bless the Lord!