From the Very Rev. Sam Candler
Grace to you, and peace, in Jesus Christ, our Lord! I am Sam Candler, dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip; and, on behalf of the beautiful people of this parish and this wider community, I deliver our Wednesday Parish Notices today, April 22, 2020.
In some places in the United States, and in some places in Georgia, I understand that some leaders are finding reasons to safely re-open businesses and gatherings, while practicing social distance and with important safety measures. I am glad for them! And I pray for their safety.
However, our Cathedral building remains closed; and we will not conduct services at the Cathedral this Sunday, April 26, 2020. We look forward, one day, to returning to the beautiful Cathedral to worship, to sing and to pray, and to preach and to see and touch each other! We want to touch the Body of Christ! But we want to do safely, respectfully, honorably, and gracefully. Thus, we continue to make our decisions about Sunday worship on a rolling, two-week basis, decisions about livestreaming, for instance, or in-person corporate worship, or our present form of online Sunday worship. At this point, April 22, 2020, we believe we will continue our present form of online prayer for, at least, another two weeks, through May 3, 2020.
So, our Cathedral building is closed; but our community is spiritually open, connecting daily with telephone calls, messages, and online gatherings. If you are in need, or if you know anyone in need, please email or call us. We want to share peace and life with you, and with them. Make sure we have your email address, too, so that you receive notifications and something of the edifying Spirit of God which we are delivering daily. Listen to our online sermons and midday meditations!
And every Sunday, we celebrate the Holy Eucharist together, even online. The Holy Eucharist is always a mystery, a beautiful mystery, for Christians. Well, it is a holy mystery in this season of social distance, too. Though not together physically, we can share spiritual communion.
Most of you know our theology of the Offertory here at the Cathedral of St. Philip. At the time of the Offertory of the Eucharist, we ask worshippers to offer whatever you have to God. And each of us has something to offer. Musicians offer music! Those with money offer money. Sometimes we offer our joy and happiness. Sometimes all we have are pain and sorrow to offer. Every one of those offerings is accepted by God.
During our Offertories, we offer to God whatever is available to us. Then, when the celebrant prays the Eucharistic Prayer, God blesses all those offerings, wherever they are. And they are very spread out these days! But God blesses them. Then, when we usually receive those offerings back, in communion with the consecrated Body and Blood of Christ, I we do receive communion, just in a different way. Wherever we are, we receive back whatever God makes available to us, in whatever form God makes available to us at that time and in that place. Thus, we share spiritual communion.
Join us! We pray together, online, at 8:45 and 11:15 on Sunday mornings. And at 4:00 on Sunday afternoons, we distribute a Choral Eucharist that was pre-recorded last year, or before. We distribute daily midday meditations, and we conduct many online Bible studies and gatherings. Join us! Finally, do remember that our Cathedral Farmers Market is physically open, every Saturday morning; we encourage pre-ordering from our farmers!
Though we are separated, we are together in Christ. Though we are many, we are one Body in Christ!