A Message from Dean Thomason
Reopening Planning Guide
Dear Friends,
Even as we wait—with eager hearts but abundant caution out of care for each other—for the time when we can begin to reopen the cathedral building, members of Saint Mark’s Reopening Committee have been working hard to develop our Reopening Plan, so we’d be ready. I am very grateful to them. Although the time has not yet arrived to open the doors, I want to share with you that plan. Great care has been taken to pour through the research and advice of experts, the experience of other churches, and the guidance from the CDC and other bodies, while also abiding by the guidelines from Governor Inslee and Bishop Rickel. 

Any plan like this must continually adapt to changing circumstances, and the situation locally and globally remains uncertain. So when are we going to reopen? We do not have a have specific date at this time. But we have determined that once King County moves into Phase 3 of the Governor’s Safe Start plan (currently we’re in Phase 2) and incidence of COVID cases have remained flat or declining for two weeks in Phase 3, the Dean and leadership of Saint Mark’s Cathedral will look to reopening to a congregation for Sunday liturgy. That could be as soon as the end of September or October, but the signs are tenuous. And please know, of course, that the livestream will continue!
But coming to church will look different as we venture into reopening. We will start with one Sunday service at 11 a.m. with a limited number of people in order to maintain social distancing and other safety protocols. Those attending will need to register in advance (online or by phone) and sign a waiver, and then answer basic health questions and have your temperature taken when you arrive. Ushers will lead you to an assigned seat, and you will be asked not to stray from it. Everyone will need to be masked for the entire time you are in the cathedral—no exceptions, because masks are for others’ safety, not primarily our own. We will share the Peace with a bow or nod, and we will be receiving the Eucharist in bread, with special precautions, but not the wine at this time. At the dismissal, you will be asked to leave in an orderly fashion guided by ushers and not linger. All of these and more details are on our website, so you will know what to expect.

What will NOT be different is that “when two are three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” We come together as a community of Jesus’ followers, blessed to worship together—as we do when we worship from our homes on the livestream—sharing our prayers, our sacred Scripture, our sacramental life, and our love for God and each other. I know we miss each other and being together in the cathedral! I surely do. And we persist in this extraordinary time as a community in so many rich ways.

If you have questions, please check the information and FAQs on the website, and if what you need isn’t there, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am,

Your brother in Christ,
The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector