March 15, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ who walked in the wilderness.
In these unprecedented days, as communiques, advisories, and statements about the COVID-19 pandemic stream in from many jurisdictions, provinces, and countries, in no particular order, I write to give you a better sense for what is happening here in our Cathedral at this time.
This is a time when we are obliged to be in the wilderness, without the normal comforts of place and plenty—away from temple and table. Our 2020 Lenten journey is providing us with a vivid experience of the 40 days and 40 nights Jesus spent in the hills and valleys of the Judean desert.
I encourage you to embrace this unexpected journey, and to let it teach you. Like the people of Israel during their long exodus, we are not gathered together in a place, but we are one in Grace.
Like parishes across the Diocese, our primary focus at this time is pastoral, as we firmly observe the current suspension of all public services of worship, meetings and other gatherings until further notice.
Canon Doug and Canon Hilary are putting together a “non-contact” pastoral plan that will involve our pastoral care team and, hopefully, many of you who are willing to help out. The aim is to ensure that meaningful and appropriate pastoral connections are established and maintained while the pandemic suspensions are in effect.
As we are not equipped to make quality recordings, and because our choirs cannot gather to make music, we will be posting on the Cathedral website various links to podcasts from other cathedrals in Canada and elsewhere. This way, you can stay at home and enjoy the prayers of sister cathedrals whenever you like! We will also be posting the Sunday readings each week, along with some commentary.
If you feel drawn to come to the Cathedral, please note that it will be open for private prayer between 9am and 3pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to Noon on Sundays. The Labyrinth is also available during these times. Clergy and other Cathedral staff will be here during these times.
Please remember to continue to make your offerings to the Cathedral, as our major expenses will still be made during the pandemic. If you have not already done so, please consider switching to E-Giving (see www.ottawacathedral.ca/donate/regular-offerings or www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/christ-church-cathedral-ottawa/).
Do take very good care of yourself and others in these extraordinary days; keeping connected while keeping healthy in sensible ways.
May the God of endless love, steadfast hope, and calming peace give us all strength and compassion as this season in the life of the world unfolds.
The Very Reverend Shane Parker
Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Sunday Services at 8:30 and 10:30 am