Deans' Note September 19, 2021
When we look at the progress of the COIVD-19 pandemic in our greater Los Angeles community right now, we can tentatively breathe a sigh of relief. Things seem to be getting better, largely because we have reinstituted mask wearing in public places and more people have been vaccinated. Nevertheless, we must continue to engage in practices that will move this trend forward. This coming Wednesday, we have arranged a panel conversation to address the state of the city in this time of pandemic. It's key at this time not only to look at what we can do to protect public health, but at how this pandemic has highlighted inequities in our health system and continues to affect the mental health of all our communities. Dr. Jerry Abraham will be joined by Martha Watson and the Reverend Dawnesha Beaver. From the political side, City Councilmember Curren Price (or a representative) is scheduled to be present. We hope many from our St. John's community will join in this conversation via ZOOM (the link will be available on the St. John’s Cathedral Community Facebook Group).
Pandemic precautions are one consideration as we move into our Fall season at St. John's. On October 3rd, we return to two indoor services at 8:00 am and 10:00 am. This is a big step forward. Our 10:00 am Mass (note the new time) will feature a return of our choir for their first gathering since March of 2020.
These are all incremental moves as life slowly returns to a new normal. Still, we have learned some things and gained new insights. We will continue to have our services livestreamed and many meetings will occur over ZOOM. Christian Education will continue to be hybrid, especially since we are now able to hear from scholars near and far via digital connections.
This new reality prioritizes a robust upgrade to our internet and live streaming equipment. Hamilton Yang, a member of our Vestry, has done amazing work to help us along this new digital pathway. In the coming weeks, we will install a new infrastructure to support solid internet connection in the cathedral; expect a better audio system as well. We know that these improvements bear fruit. Just last week, a new couple who had been watching online for the past year, came to St. John's in person for the first time, only to tell us that they felt like they knew us already. Online worship helps another couple stay connected when their work schedules prevent them from "live” worship. We are in a new time. So pray, for St. John's. Pray for the greater church and for the grace of the Holy Spirit to lead us into uncharted waters:
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquillity the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever, Amen.