INDIANAPOLIS — As the delta variant fuels the spread of COVID-19, Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Indianapolis made the call to reinstate some pandemic safety protocols. Rev. Gray Lesesne, the church's dean and rector, said the decision is grounded in faith.
"What was telling was the increase of the infection rate in Marion County, the increase in the positive test rate and then, the 14 day upward trend in cases," Dean Gray said.
Christ Church Cathedral will scale back to 75% capacity for indoor services through at least Labor Day Weekend. Masks will continue to be worn inside the church and there will be no congregational singing indoors.
"Congregational singing indoors is one of the highest risk activities. For that reason, out of a deep compassion for our people, love for neighbor, which is what God commands us to do, we're taking a step back from congregational singing," Dean Gray said. "The first act of compassion is to do no harm in a church. It's how we can best love each other and care for each other."
Masks will also be required for everyone who will be volunteering at Christ Church’s Strawberry Festival coming up in September on the Circle.
"I thought it fell right in line with what we should be doing. I completely support the leadership in that decision and I'm grateful they're standing up and saying we're here to protect our neighbor and they're showing it. They're walking the walk," Reyn Libed, a ministry board member who's a very involved with the church, said.
Libed feels like the church is a beacon during this dark time. He hopes these changes serve as a guiding light to not only church members, but the community as well.
"It's a scary time, but we're all in this together and we're going to take the steps to make sure you're okay and everybody is okay."
Dean Gray knows people want to get back to normal. He hopes community member see what is happening and choose to do their part to help us out of this pandemic.
"I'm hoping that folks will take this as an opportunity to get vaccinated if they've not already been vaccinated. They will see faith communities are encouraging people as way of loving our neighbors as ourselves to be vaccinated and wear masks and to take appropriate restrictions that help keep us and our neighbors safe," Dean Gray said.