From Your Cathedral
From Rev. Tim Kingsley, Canon Pastor
A Road map for this Fall
As we begin a new program year, we face a renewed effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minnesota Department of Health ,CDC and our relationship with the Episcopal Church in Minnesota continues to play a critical role in COVID threat and risk consideration for Saint Mark’s Cathedral.
We were blessed with the reduction of COVID-19 infections in April, May, and June as the State marched toward a 70% vaccination penetration. It allowed us to move to a new mitigation posture in July and some additional public safety liberties.
We had hoped to continue down this path and in September reach 80% vaccinations and further reduction of community infections and spread. Unfortunately that is not the case. Vaccinations in the State have not increased since July and COVID19 (Delta) has negatively impacted the community’s infection percentage.
Subsequently, in the best interest of community safety, the following are the September 12th program year COVID community guidelines and benchmarks for change:
September 12th: (~70% MN vaccinations)
- Continue: masks while indoors on the Cathedral Campus
- Eight choir section leads at the Canon Musician discretion, no congregational singing, no common cup, outside events preferable and pre-packaged food/hospitality.
- Designated seating for physical distancing
- Pre-registered on-site small groups, youth ministry, and on-site recovery/grief groups following campus COVID19 protocols.
November 29th 1: (~80% MN vaccinations)
Possible Option 1
- Continue: eight choir section leads, no common cup.
- Discontinue: mask requirement, limited chancel access.
- Add: four more choir section leaders, congregation permitted to sing, modified food/hospitality, on-site Saint Mark’s small group activities.
November 29: (~85-90% MN vaccinations)
Possible Option 2
- *all COVID restrictions lifted*
Again, ALL of this assumes our positivity rates continue trending down while our vaccination rates continue trending up, but I think this is a helpful road map for us to have in hand as we prepare ourselves emotionally and practically to gather at the Cathedral.
With all of us rowing in the same direction, we’re sure to reach our desired destination more quickly and more smoothly.
Thank you for your understanding and corporation. Please continue to model and support evidence-based practices to protect yourself and our community; be vaccinated, avoid large group gatherings, and mask up.
The Rev. Timothy M. Kingsley
Canon Pastor, Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral