Jun 27, 2020Strange times, strange working conditions

My station (on the right) at the ordination. we had front row tickets. Image credit: Gary Allman

I don’t often write about my work, but today for the first time since March 11, I left the house to travel for work. We were holding our first ordination to the priesthood since the start of the COVID-19 stay at home orders. The ordination was at the cathedral in Kansas City, a drive of 160 miles or so.

It’s been interesting. For a start, a week out from the ordination we had to move the service from Joplin to the cathedral in Kansas City because of a large spike in COVID-19 cases in the Joplin area. This also meant we restricted in-person attendance to a minimum. There were twelve people present including myself and Chris who volunteered to run the audio side of things — we livestreamed the service on YouTube and Facebook.

I have to say the audio went a lot better than the video. All the testing I’d done was in my office, not realizing that the camera autofocus would have trouble in the huge space of the cathedral. In the final thirty minutes before the service, I found some software to turn the autofocus off, but when it didn’t work the first time, I decided a little soft was better than risking no video at all if I broke things trying to get the software to work. I have an offline recording I made on a camcorder which I’ll pass on to the ordinand so she has an in-focus version of the service. Apart from that, it all went fine.

The masks, the lack of people, it was definitely different. But even so, congratulations Mother Melissa! Different it may have been, but it was a privilege to be one of the few there. You can see the rest of the pictures I took on Flickr.

The Litany for Ordinations. That’s almost everybody in this shot. Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City, Missouri. Image credit: Gary Allman

By the way the cathedral’s quite big …

Interior - Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City Missouri
Interior – Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City Missouri. Copyright © 2018 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

And here I am in all my masked glory!

The Masked Comms. Director – in the rental vehicle at the end of my first day working away from home since March 11, 2020. Copyright © 2020 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

No, I wasn’t driving with my mask on. I just put it on for a selfie. I’d been using my zoom lens and the 35mm lens, to keep back from people. The 35mm’s not good for hand-held selfies, but I wasn’t going to get the 18mm lens out of the trunk just for a selfie in the car.

There was one other unexpected problem. This was the first time I’ve driven any real distance (six hours diving). The next day I had a really stiff neck, and trouble moving, it took a few days to clear up.

Copyright © 2020 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

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