I pray that you are remaining safe during these difficult days. Even as “pandemic fatigue” sets in, it is becoming clear that the worst of the pandemic may not be behind us. We are seeing an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases in Western Pennsylvania and this illness is now directly affecting many people we know and care about. Our friends, family, and coworkers are getting sick. Please continue to pray for them and for our community and remain vigilant in your own efforts stay healthy.
Due to this sharp increase in local COVID-19 cases, on November 18th, Allegheny County issued a “Stay-at-Home Advisory.” Residents are now being advised to stay home. If they are to leave, it should only be to go to work, school, or to meet essential needs. Additionally, indoor gatherings have been limited to no more than 10 people. (Read the entire advisory here: https://tinyurl.com/y5eom9yd ). Obviously, this guidance has direct implications for the life of the Cathedral. When the we reopened for public in-person worship on October 4th, we all hoped that we’d never have to shut the doors again. But we also knew that we might have to and sadly we do.
Once again, Trinity Cathedral is suspending public, in-person worship services, effective immediately. This grieves me, as it will many of you. It is not clear how long this temporary suspension will last, but as soon as we are able to safely gather again—we will. Following Sunday, December 13, we will send out an update regarding in-person worship service. Our online worship offerings will continue. We will gather virtually on Sundays at 8:00 and 10:30am and throughout the week for Morning (8:30am) and Noonday (12:05pm) Prayer. We are also exploring ways to offer interactive educational opportunities and online fellowship times for Cathedral members. Look for an email next week with more details.
It saddens me that this is happening right as we enter into the seasons of Advent and Christmas. For many of us, this is one of the most meaningful time in the liturgical year. To be unable to gather together to worship God during this period seems like a distinctive loss. Honestly, it is. But the truth that we celebrate during this season remains true, even in the midst of this crisis. We are celebrating the truth that in Jesus Christ, God became man, born of the Virgin Mary, born to save us from the sin and death. God entered into a world filled with pain, heartache, suffering and illness, so that he might restore, renew, and redeem it. Let us hold on to that truth this season.
Remember that the Cathedral is not closed. Our ministry to the city will continue. Our ministry to you will continue. If you need any help, please contact the church. If you want someone to bring you Holy Communion, call the church. If you need someone to pray with you, call the church. If you just want to talk, call the church. You can always reach me on my cell at (412)765-9889 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.