A Message from Dean Thomason:
Cathedral Life Goes On!
Dear friends,
Well, what a difference a week makes, right?! I’ve heard several people reference that ancient Chinese proverb in one way or another— May you live in interesting times—and claiming that these are indeed interesting times. The proverb is meant I think to intend ironically both blessing and curse, and I am mindful that we can frame this current crisis as bearing potentially both. Challenging experiences always bear capacity for both blessing and curse… our work is to discover the potential for meaning in both.

In these difficult days, our prayers are fervently focused on those who suffer in this time—with infection or the threat of it, with grief in the wake of loved ones dying, with loss of job or other stabilizing aspects of life, and with all those for whom the disruptions from normal routines have elicited fear, anxiety or confusion. And we are grateful for and keenly aware of those who devote themselves to delivering health care to others. These are challenging times, and uncertain ones, and we pray for all who are impacted.
Yet even as our spirits feel the weight of this burden, and even with the prospect that things may get worse before they improve and resolve, there is nevertheless a deep sense of community manifesting in ways unlikely without the dire circumstances presented to us. Did you know that more people worshiped last Sunday via Saint Mark’s livestream (over 1,000!) than do on an average Sunday morning? And 300 more tuned in for the first ever video livestream of the Compline service Sunday night. That speaks of our need to make our way together, and the collective willingness to do so in creative ways. (If you missed either, you can watch the archive video of the Sunday morning Eucharist here, and Compline here.)

Here’s a thought: what if this Sunday, while worshipping via livestream, when we exchange the peace, what if you were to text or email others, greeting them with “the peace of Christ?” Let that be a way of blessing one another. (It’s not everyday that you hear the pastor encourage you to use your phone during worship, but these are indeed interesting times 😊)
We have several parishioners who have offered to deliver groceries or medications for those who may be homebound, leaving such things on the doorstep. They’ve offered this because they seek to serve Christ in this way. If you would benefit from such support, let the clergy know, and we will make the connection. Your task: see it as a blessing, given and received.

Or just pick up the phone and call someone you know, just check in. See how they’re coping. Listen to one another, and know as you do, such sharing can be a blessing to you both.

The cathedral staff have several other ideas about ways for us to be blessings to one another in these interesting times, and we will share more of these across the coming days. Keep an eye on the Online Community Life page and join the Facebook group to stay informed. What is clear is that God created us as communal beings, and even as the restrictions for the common good have curtailed some of the normal ways we connect with one another, it by no means requires us to acquiesce to isolation. Now, perhaps more than ever, we need the Church, we need community to invite us into creative and life-giving ways of connecting with one another. And know that, as we make these new kinds of connections, the blessings will abound.
YOU are a blessing to me! Your emails and phone calls and Facebook posts in recent days are so wonderfully inspiring.

The livestreaming of services, with so many participating, is a rich blessing to me!

The reports I am hearing of folks reaching out to one another—these are wonderful blessings to me!

My list of blessings in these interesting times is actually long and gratifyingly delightful. What are the blessings you will claim? I’d love to hear! Share them with me and others.

Be well, and take care, and may the Peace of Christ be with you all. I am,
Richly blessed,
The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector