• Dean Ryan

Suspension of Public Worship and Activities

Bishop David Rice announced today, March 17, 2020, that he is “suspending all public worship and church related in gatherings throughout EDSJ. This suspension will occur until April 20. 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation in the event that amendment is warranted.”

To read the Bishop's announcement, click here.

Following Bishop David’s announcement, the Clergy and Chapter of St. James Cathedral are releasing this following letter to the St. James Cathedral Congregation. Please take a moment to read this very important communication.

March 17, 2020

Dear St. James Cathedral Family,

The decision to suspend all public worship and activities (except the Food Bank), especially during the Season of Lent, is difficult, but necessary in an effort to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus. The St. James Food Bank, an essential community service to nearly 200 families a week, will remain operational and will strictly follow the CDC and County of Fresno Public Health guidelines as we continue to serve our neighbors. We cannot and will not abandon those who are most vulnerable, especially during this worldwide epidemic.

Later this week, in the Midweek Missive, we will articulate in more detail the plan moving forward. St. James will continue to provide worship through our Facebook page, YouTube Channel, and website. Your clergy team are working to create ways to offer pastoral support and foster connections among our congregation during this period when we are called to practice “social distancing.” As we navigate this unprecedented event, we may not be together under the same roof, but we will be together as the family of God.

Canceling public worship is going to have an economic impact on the Cathedral. St. James will continue to pay the Cathedral staff, even staff who may not be working because of the suspension of worship and activities. We are asking all members of the Cathedral Congregation to maintain their pledges, as they are able. One of the best and easiest ways to maintain your pledge is to shift your giving method to either “Electronic Check” (ACH) or by credit card. In this week’s Midweek Missive, we will share how you can easily shift your giving method.

The clergy, staff, and Chapter of St. James will continue to be available and serve the Cathedral Congregation. We have strongly encouraged the staff and clergy to work remotely whenever possible. Contact information is available in MYSJ and on the “Leadership” page of the St. James website. In addition to email communications, staff members and clergy will be able to retrieve remotely voice mail messages.

Amid this worldwide crisis, our goal and vision is to ensure that the Cathedral Congregation does not enter a social and/or spiritual desert. Together, we will need to connect with one another, pray for one another, support one another, be patient with one another, and care for one another. This is not a new expectation or way of living, but how we live into that call will need to be different and creative in this current environment. We will overcome this challenge together—it will take time, patience, and compassion. Beyond all the uncertainty and fear is a God who loves us and cares for us. Be strong! Be the person God is calling you to be!

“These present afflictions are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is being revealed in us.” — Romans 8:18


The Clergy and Chapter of St. James Cathedral


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