Dear friends of the Cathedral,
The cicadas are loud tonight. I can see the sunset sky to the West, on fire through the trees. Day is almost done. One of my favorite prayers from the Book of Common Prayer is this:
“Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen”
This prayer seems to adapt itself to whatever our needs are as the sun sets. Essential workers are working through the night; the anxious are watching; the sad and grieving are weeping. Some are sleeping. Too many are sick, weary and dying. The unrest of this summer comes out of too much suffering and affliction. Still, there are moments of joy. I just finished a quilt for a friend’s new baby. Joy has its place.
I write with news that I hope will bring some joy to you. We know that many are yearning for in-person worship and the sacrament. We have an approved plan to offer some outdoor in-person worship services while the weather permits. Short services with holy communion will be offered at days and times other than Sunday morning, in city parks. We’re also inviting parishioners to gather groups for a communion service in your yards, at a day and time that works for you, inviting one of the cathedral priests to preside. This is like stepping back into the early Church when assemblies gathered as households to “Do this in remembrance of me.” Dates and details are on the back of this letter along with an RSVP link. Hopefully, one of these opportunities will work for you. Outside, with masks, socially distanced, and using a spoken service, we can safely reconnect with the Body of Christ and the bread of heaven. Sunday morning will continue with livestream worship from the church at 10 am and 1 pm, and our 8 am tele-worship service.
We are learning to live and to minister safely within a pandemic. The Rector & Dean search committee is hard at work. Vestry and Cathedral Women are working together, making over $66,000 in grants available to the community in the fall Strawberry Festival granting cycle. Community breakfast is still being served take-out style. Choirs and youth group are meeting on Zoom. Yoga is back on the lawn at noon. A new Bible study on the Seasons of Creation is starting soon. A long list of deferred capital maintenance projects is growing shorter. Watch for a new livestream concert series. If you’d like a piece of the cathedral for your home, let us know and we’ll get one of the church pew copies of the Book of Common Prayer to you. Knowing that these books have been held in worship for decades can create a connection, bringing a piece of the cathedral into your home when you cannot bring yourself to the cathedral.
The uncertainty of these days is taking a toll on everyone. Love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self (perhaps the hardest), have been our anchor since the pandemic began. Take care. Reach out. Give thanks.
If you are comfortable, attend one of these outdoor communion services. If these plans are too risky for you, that’s OK. Staying home is a faithful way to love God and neighbor. Lastly, join me in praying this night, “Keep watch dear Lord, with those who work or watch or weep …” Look ahead. The sun will rise. Morning will break, like the first day. We’re in this together. God is with us.
The Very Rev. Mary Slenski
Dean & Rector (ai)
The cathedral has scheduled these outdoor worship services:
Sep 14 Monday 5:30 pm Holliday Park English
Sep 20 Sunday 5:30 pm Garfield Park English | Spanish
Sep 30 Wednesday 1 pm Military Park English
Oct 10 Saturday 10 am Riverside Park English | Spanish
Do I need to sign up somewhere or RSVP? An RSVP is appreciated for planning. We’re confident that the locations will be more than adequate for safety for those who are comfortable coming out to worship.
May I bring a friend? Please do.
What should I bring? Mask, sanitizer and lawn chair or blanket, a food item for the Speedway food pantry.
What other protocols will be in place? No singing, social distancing, no touch.
How will I know where? Look for a sign or balloons
If I want to host a gathering in my yard, what do I need to do? Consider how many your yard can accommodate with social distancing. Pick a date and time, contact one of the priests, and then, others. Please pay special attention to inviting those who are alone or you don’t see regularly. We can provide contact information. Note, the priest will stay only for the service and will not plan to enter your home. Provide a small table to serve as an altar, a plate and glass or cup. The priest will bring wafers.
What if it rains? Service cancelled
The Rev. Mary Slenski 317-636-4577 x 101 317-661-0910 cell
The Rev. Joyce Scheyer 317-636-4577 x 103 317-363-4605 cell
The Rev. Hipolito Fernandez 317-636-4577 x 102 727-504-8214 cell
Tim Culbertson, Sr. Warden 317-730-2641 cell
Bradley Ayers, Jr. Warden 317-698-0466 cell