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Update #2 from the Dean

Dear Friends:

As you know, our provincial health minister, Adrian Dix, and BC Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, have recently prohibited gatherings of 50 people or more. They are also strongly advising that people avoid situations which might put their own or others’ health at risk.

For this reason, our Anglican Diocese has announced that all public worship in our churches (no matter the size of the congregation) is suspended for 60 days. In addition, our church facilities are to be closed to the public.

In the case of our Cathedral, one exception has been made – which is that we may remain open for private prayer. In this time when people may be turning to their faith and looking for deep peace, it is important that within our diocese, there be a strong symbol of the presence and accessibility of God among us. The cathedral will be open each day from 10.00 a.m. till 4.00 p.m.

We are working as quickly as possible to adapt to this new reality, in ways that will keep us in touch, keep us praying, and keep us safe. Here is what we are working on:

Worship
Just because we aren’t gathering to pray doesn’t mean that we’ve given up worship!
• On Sundays, we will post to this website a shortened service, with readings, a homily, prayers, music, and sometimes, even an anthem.
• On Sundays, we will livestream Evensong at 4.30 p.m. Those who wish to access the service at a different time will be able to do so.
• We will be posting a daily prayer service (very short), and we hope to engage clergy and lay leaders from across our diocese in leading these prayers.
• We will also be posting a generic Lenten service of morning prayer, and our usual Friday recitation of the Litany of Reconciliation, which we undertake as a partner in the Community of the Cross of Nails.

Meetings and Social Occasions
Unfortunately, all in-person meetings, programs, and social occasions are suspended until further notice.
• Some of our work can be conducted using internet meeting platforms such as Zoom, Skype or Go to Meeting. Groups who need to meet can contact the Church Office by telephone at 250.383.2714, or email at [email protected], where we can help set up an e-meeting for you and your group. (We provide training, too!)
• Some of our wardens are looking to establish a virtual gathering (coffee, wine, dinner, whatever) to address isolation, and the desire simply to be in conversation with each other. Watch this website for more information.
• The Walking Group will continue to gather and walk.

Cathedral Administration
• The Cathedral office will be open from 9.00 a.m. till 3.30 p.m. Monday to Friday. You may need to ring the bell.
• While there will be no in-person meetings, we will continue to meet as necessary with individuals, especially for pastoral reasons.
• Those staff who can work remotely have been encouraged to do so. We will remain accessible by phone or email at all times.

Communication
• For the time being, the COVID-19 corner of our website will be the go-to place for all updates, including worship, program, and changes in protocols.
• The weekly e-news will be distributed at least twice per week. The advantage of our e-newsletter is that it comes directly to your inbox: you don’t have to go looking for it. To sign up, click this link: https://christchurchcathedral.us9.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=50265a11aff968372cbd29300&id=3e6e647248
• For the record, the information in this briefing will be distributed via various means, including our website, e-news, mass email, and letter mail (for those for whom we have no email address.)
• If you are Facebook- or Twitter-savvy, we’ll be there, too!

Program
We are looking for ways to keep people engaged thoughtfully with their faith. A couple of possibilities are brewing:
• Word of God, Word of Life – our Wednesday group that studies the readings for the following Sunday – is experimenting with an e-meeting platform. To join in, all you will need to do is click on the link we provide on this web page.
• “Think on these Things” – A number of people have provided “thoughts for the day” that will also be posted to this website.

Pastoral Care
Our pastoral care team is enhancing its capacity to be in touch with all members of the Cathedral parish. We hope to be in contact by telephone simply to get the pulse of the parish, and to learn what people are needing. We are certainly aware of the social isolation that remaining safe may cause.

Where to get good information
We recommend the provincial Centre for Disease Control website, where you can find daily updates: www.bccdc.ca.

Meanwhile, whether scattered or gathered, we are the Church; and in good times and bad, we are the Lord’s.

Yours faithfully,

(The Very Reverend) M. Ansley Tucker,

Rector and Dean