Pause in the Name of Love
As many of you have heard, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt has called for a 10 day pause for most in-person and indoor activities on November 19. You can read more from the City here.
In response, our own Bishop, The Right Reverend Poulson Reed issued a letter the same day strongly urging Oklahoma City congregations to immediately move to virtual worship. You can read the the letter here.
As Covid-19 case numbers across our City continue rise and as we move into Thanksgiving week, St. Paul's Cathedral is committed to being a compassionate leader in our city and our diocese. The Vestry voted last night (November 20) to take a 10-day pause from in-person worship and activities as a way of modeling love for our neighbors and leading with compassion. This includes Sunday services, indoor Adult Formation, and the Bookstore operation hours.
Starting Sunday, November 22nd, all services and indoor activities will move to livestream only and continue for Thanksgiving Day and for the First Sunday of Advent on November 29. The same worship schedule will be kept, without an in-person congregation. We thank in advance the small number of people who will be safely present (masked and distanced) to ensure that all have access to virtual worship.
I know that this will be frustrating for some, as we just started our new in-person schedule of services. I too am frustrated at times, as St. Paul's has done a fantastic job of minimizing the risk of transmission through our safety protocols. Masks, social distancing, frequent hand sanitizing, no congregational singing, and not having food or beverages which require the removal of a mask make me feel confident that worship at St. Paul's is safer than most other activities. This 10 day pause is not a commentary on our particular way of life together at St. Paul's, but as a Cathedral, we are called to serve as leaders for the communities immediately around us and the Diocese.
We will continue with a modified Advent New Year Celebration on November 29 (the First Sunday of Advent) which was already planned as a drive-by/pick-up event. Read more about the Advent New Year Celebration here and how you can safely give back to your community through outreach AND get set for a holy Advent with devotionals and wreaths.
Lastly, the Vestry scheduled a return to all in-person activities, with all safely protocols in place, on the Second Sunday of Advent (December 6).
You can watch live the below services and activities in the following ways:
November 22nd: 9AM Holy Eucharist Rite II | 10:10AM Advent Tablescapes and more with Jason Brown | 5PM Choral Compline
November 26th: 10AM Thanksgiving Day Holy Eucharist
November 29th, First Sunday of Advent: 9AM Holy Eucharist Rite II | 10-noon Advent New Year Celebration (not virtual) | 5PM Contemplative Service
December 6th, Second Sunday of Advent: In-person services and indoor activities resume
The worship of the church continues even when all of us cannot gather physically. We remain connected as the Body of Christ, and we will continue in our creative ways of continuing to grow in the love of God and neighbor.
We are in this together,