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At the on-line parish-check in on May 26, Dean Christopher A. Pappas explained what is known so far about the Diocesan and Cathedral plans to return to on-site worship, once it is allowed and what goes into the process of calling a new assistant priest - or Vicar. 

Returning to On-Site Worship 

The provincial restart plan indicates that at the earliest date in-person worship could resume is June 15.  A maximum of 50 people would be able to take part in each service. This is contingent on the number of cases remaining low and continuing to decrease. Depending on how the case numbers go, this date could change. 

The Dean told parishioners that after reviewing the provincial information and consulting with the diocese, and Cathedral staff, the earliest date that on-site worship would take place at the Cathedral is June 20. 

Once on-site worship is able to take place, parishioners will be able to choose between several different service times (details subject to change): 

8am Holy Eucharist (BCP)

10:30am Choral Eucharist 

1pm Choral Eucharist 

8pm Compline 

The 5:30pm service will remain on Zoom until further notice. 

Registration and contact tracing details will be required in order to attend an in-person service. 

While this is an exciting possibility, no one should feel obligated to attend in-person. After 14 months practicing social distancing, it is natural that not everyone will feel comfortable returning on-site at this time. Livestreaming is now a part of the Cathedral’s ministry and operations and the 10:30am and 8pm services will continue to be livestreamed. 

Cathedral staff will begin a gradual return to working on-site in June.

Wanted: a Vicar 

The Dean also shared details about the process of calling a new vicar after the Rev. Helen Dunn begins her new ministry at St. Clement’s. 

Helen’s last Sunday at the Cathedral will be July 18, and her final day in the office will be July 24. 

Dean Chris will ask the Bishop to appoint an interim priest to join the Cathedral’s clergy team. The intent is to have an interim assistant priest in place by the end of the summer. 

At the same time, work will begin on the process of calling a new assistant priest. The parish profile that was used to call a new Dean will be revised and a job profile for the new assistant priest will be created. The job profile is expected to be posted in July. 

A search committee will also be formed. As per Diocesan canons that committee will include the Dean, wardens, Cathedral ynod delegates, and synod alternates  

Once applications are received, the search committee will work together to create a short list of candidates and interview those candidates. While there are many variables involved in any search for a new priest to join the community, the Dean hopes to be able  to call a new assistant priest to join the Cathedral by the new year. 

Trustees Update

Trustee Tegan Smith provided an update on the work being done by Trustees and Wardens. With a return to on-site worship on the horizon, this group is having conversations about how the Cathedral pivoted during the pandemic, which of the initiatives introduced during that time should be kept, and what new things might be considered moving forward. 

While at times it was emotionally and spiritually difficult to minister entirely on-line, the virtual format allowed people from around the world to engage with the Cathedral, both in Sunday worship and in small group gatherings. 

As restrictions around gathering in person begin to ease, the Trustees and Wardens are planning a series of Regional Rendez Vouz with the Dean throughout the month of June and July. Because Dean Chris began his ministry while the Cathedral was closed to the public and in-person worship was suspended, it has been a challenge to meet and connect with parishioners. 

The Regional Rendez Vouz will provide Dean Chris an opportunity to meet parishioners he has so far only men on Zoom. More details about these gatherings will be made available in the weeks ahead. All regional gatherings will respect the Covid safety protocols in effect on the date of the gathering.