From Dean Mary Slenski
Dear Cathedral Community,
Greetings! Grace to you and peace, in the name of God and of Christ, our Lord.
Time is doing funny things right now. A few weeks seems like a totally different time. According to the calendar, it’s only been a month since we began actively responding to the threat of the coronavirus. It’s been a month of unprecedented decisions to physically distance ourselves one from another, to reckon with how to maintain ministries, and, then, to close our building. And, yet, our true foundation is in Jesus Christ. We proclaim a faith that is timeless. Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again. As human beings who live in human flesh and need each other to flourish, we are apart out of the common good. We pray; we give thanks. With the foundation of our faith in Christ, we find our peace in the one, holy, and living God who is eternally present. Sheltered in place, let us also shelter in faith.
As staff and I were closing down the building and moving our work into our homes, both Bishop Jennifer and civil authorities asked us to do the same. We will remain closed through the month of April and likely well into May. The building may be closed; but the Church is a community. Please feel free to reach out to clergy and lay leadership during this time. Contact information is included with this letter.
Worship and ministry continue. We give thanks for the science and technologies of the internet that are allowing us to connect. Weekday Morning and Evening Prayer continue using Facebook Live. Clergy, staff, and vestry meet regularly via Zoom and check-in daily by phone. Many meetings have just moved to our computers and mobile devices. The Sunday morning Community Breakfast has moved to take-out. As an essential feeding ministry, it will continue as long as possible. In the middle of all of this, the Rev. Hipolito Fernandez moved his family to Indianapolis from Florida and joined cathedral staff as Canon for Latinx-Latino Ministries.
Our patterns of worship with their order and dignity, seep into our bones and spirits, and become our lens for interpreting life. Holy Week approaches. Maundy Thursday remembers Jesus’ mandate to love one another. Our liturgies focus on the last meal Jesus shared with his friends. At that meal he blessed and shared bread and wine, and he washed their feet. When we carefully strip the altar, we are reminded of how he was stripped before crucifixion. This year, the church is stripped of its people. This year, we are stripped of the stuff and trappings of our rituals. We are vulnerable in so many ways. This year, rather than hold another’s foot in our hands and pour water over it, we keep our distance, out of the same love. “Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, show us how to serve, the neighbors we have from you.” We’ve been living a long Maundy Thursday.
Good Friday is coming. It will become even quieter and darker. Good Friday is dark and quiet. Remember, God’s best work is done in the dark! Easter is coming, in God’s time. Holy Week services will be available through our website. If nothing else, take time during Holy Week to read of Jesus’ Passion. We will proclaim our Easter alleluias on April 12. Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows will join us. When this virus has run its course, we will celebrate a Festival Eucharist at the little church on the Circle. Until then, take care, check-in with one another, call if you need to, shelter in faith, and wash your hands!
Holy Week (All services will be available on the internet)
April 9 – Maundy Thursday 7:30 pm Bilingual
April 10 Good – Friday Noon in English; 7:30 pm en español.
April 11 – Great Vigil 7:30 pm Bilingual
Easter Sunday 10 am in English and 1 pm en español. Watch the website for details.
Cathedral Clergy and Lay Leadership
The Rev. Mary Slenski, email@example.com 317-636-4577 x 101 317-779-7255 cell
The Rev. Joyce Scheyer, firstname.lastname@example.org 317-636-4577 x 103 317-363-4605 cell
The Rev. Hipolito Fernandez, email@example.com 317-636-4577 x 102 727-504-8214
Tim Culbertson, Senior Warden, firstname.lastname@example.org 317-730-2641
Bradley Ayers, Junior Warden, email@example.com 317-698-0466
Things you may wonder about
What about our staff? Are they being paid? Yes. Staff who can are working from home. All staff are being paid for their customary work schedule. All independent contractors, mostly musicians, are being paid according to their customary calls. The vendor who provides our nursery caregivers, is being paid according to the customary schedule of the nursery. If it was on the schedule during this time, we’re treating it as if we had cancelled. Wardens were consulted prior to the decision about contractors and vestry has affirmed these payments.
What about Strawberry Festival? The leadership of Cathedral Women and Strawberry Festival have decided to postpone until later in the summer.
When will we re-open the cathedral building? We will re-open when both bishop and civil authorities have given their OK AND we’ve had ample time to properly clean the building. Facilities staff are planning for that cleaning.
What if I’m sick for any reason and need to be hospitalized? It is always appropriate to contact one of the clergy. We can still offer a prayer over the phone before a procedure or surgery. We can work with hospital chaplains. The cathedral main phone number 317-636-4577 is covered by an answering service 24/7 and one of the priests is always on call.
I’d like to check in on someone from the cathedral. How can I get contact information? Please contact Veronica Godinez, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What about cathedral finances? Two basic facts are that the Vestry is the steward of parish resources and the CCC Foundation is the source of 90% of our operating income. Simply, the right people are on it, especially our Parish Administrator, Tom Craig, the president of CCCF, Ken File, our financial managers and accountant. CCCF is making income projections. They planned for the unexpected. The plan is working. Vestry will be looking at the budget. Staff are supporting them both in their efforts.
What about the Dean & Rector Search process? The search committee reported to vestry that the profile was posted, and the window was open to receive names of interested priests.
What about my pledge? Pledges support our ministry partners in the community. As you are able, we appreciate all efforts to make those payments electronically or by mail. Just as much, we respect decisions to redirect personal funds to more immediate needs. With our limited access to mail, checks may take a little longer to clear your account.
I’m worried and want to plan my funeral. How do I do that? We have a planning booklet that makes a gracious gift for your loved ones. Contact one of the clergy.