From the Dean's Desk
Friday, 11.19.21

Dear Saint Markans,

As the holidays approach, we're writing with a brief update on Cathedral COVID protocols.
This will be our second Advent and Christmas living together amidst the COVID pandemic. While we've made steady progress these past 20 months to manage the spread of COVID, our recent numbers indicate we are far from out of the woods. At this time last year, our building was completely closed and our program and worship entirely on-line. We had not, at that time, learned enough about the virus to properly plan and implement mitigation strategies for on-campus gatherings, nor had vaccinations begun.
Beginning in Lent of this year, we resumed gathering for worship with strong mitigation practices and on-line registrations. At our fall kick-off in September, we lifted the on-line registration requirement while keeping the majority of our mitigation practices in place. And while it was previously hoped we might lift all mitigation practices beginning on the First Sunday of Advent (11.28), this update is to inform you that will not be the case. However, despite leading the nation in COVID spread, your Cathedral leadership is confident our continued caution positions us well to simply reinforce current protocols, rather than add new ones.
To that end, here are our expectations for participation in Cathedral program and worship gatherings:

  • It is expected that those who are eligible for the vaccine be vaccinated;
  • It is expected that you perform a simple pre-arrival health check AND that you stay home if you are in any way symptomatic;
  • It is expected that those exposed to COVID within the week remain home or produce a negative test result;
  • It is expected that you arrive masked before entering the building;
  • It is expected that you remain masked while in the building;
  • It is expected that you select and remain in identified seating areas (except for restrooms, tending to young children, and receiving communion);
  • It is expected that you refrain from singing;
  • It is expected that you not congregate inside before or after worship; and
  • It is expected that you abide by all safety directives given by clergy and ushers.

We remain grateful to serve a faith community that takes its mutual affection and mutual responsibility seriously. We are, indeed, each other's keeper, and these basic protocols are a concrete expression of our commitment to keep each other safe, particularly the most vulnerable among us. And to those of you who choose to remain home at this time, we see you and we honor you. We remain one in the Spirit.
Thank you, in advance, for your full cooperation, ensuring we can share a safe and joyful holiday season together, whether in-person or on-line.
Bless you, each and always,
Paul+ & Tim+
The Very Rev. Paul J. Lebens-Englund, Dean
The Rev. Canon Tim Kingsley, Canon Pastor