What Will Be Your Labor of Love?
Empowering your ministry to our community I have been privileged to work with the community as a representative of the Cathedral of St. John now for more than two years. In that time we have done some amazing work. Our relationship with neighborhood organizations, including schools, has gone from one of nominal familiarity to mutual respect and support. I’d like to take just a moment to reflect on where we have been and the vision for where we are headed.
Where we have been can be summed up in a single word: growing. When I came on board, the Cathedral had several ministries, each operating in its own respective space and without a great deal of overlap. Now it is hard to say, apart from their specialized work, where one of our ministries begins and another ends. Our Food Pantry is operating at maximum capacity, feeding an average 80-plus families a month (that’s around 300 individuals). Our Thrift Shop remains a valuable place for people to become engaged with the life of our neighborhood. Our Outreach desk, while on break, will continue to provide support for individuals who come to us off the streets. Our Angel Tree continues to provide Christmas gifts and dinners for families who might not otherwise be able to afford it. Our Backpack Drive gives the families who come to us the head start they need to introduce their child into a new year at school. All of these ministries now work to make a difference in our zip code, 87102.
Where we are going requires a little more explanation. Our neighborhood partners like St. Martin's and Albuquerque Heading Home already look to the Cathedral for support in the area of volunteers, mutual use of space and, sometimes, financial support. Over the next several years, we will be looking to give our partners even more financial support for new projects. Whether it is moving someone into an apartment, making sure schools continue to receive much needed supplies throughout the year, or helping St. Martin's to make sure that each Sunday Breakfast represents a bounty worthy of the day of the Lord's Resurrection, our vision moving forward is to strengthen our bonds with the neighborhood in which the Cathedral sits, so that we represent a center of support and care as well as education, art and music.
This is where you, Cathedral members, come in. Our vision is to empower YOUR ministry to our community. We have already forged several bonds by extension with organizations in which our members already are involved. “A Peaceful Habitation” is one such example, where two or three truly motivated members continue to remind the Dean and me that the Cathedral should be involved in the exciting work being done to change lives. So, I will end with a couple of questions: What will be your labor of love? Where do you see yourself fitting into this exciting vision? And lastly: What can we do as a community to equip you for the work you feel called to do? Contact The Rev. Michael Drinkwater if you have a heart to share.
Thanks to our dedicated and faithful lay volunteers and leaders, as well as the care and support of all the Cathedral staff, we continue the work of Outreach programs.
During the Fridays in Lent Concert Series, sponsored by The Friends of Cathedral Music attendees were encouraged to bring food items for the Food Pantry. This collaboration of the Music Department and Cathedral Outreach garnered many baskets of food at each concert. These donations helped the Food Pantry and offered concert-goers the chance to offer a gift of love, in the form of food, to those less fortunate.
During the week, Front Desk volunteers distribute Snack Sacks to people who otherwise might not have a meal that day. This outreach, started by the Daughters of the King and administered by the Front Desk volunteers, provides a simple sack lunch to the homeless clients who stop by during the week. Each lunch bag has individual sized items that are easy to open and to eat. You can donate individual serving packets of cheese crackers, fruit cups, and granola bars for the Snack Sacks. The Knitters' Ministry produces scarves which are handed out as well by the Front Desk and by the youth outreach.
Even though we are doing well in our Outreach efforts, please know that all of our programs need volunteers! The time requirements are flexible and few, and the rewards are immense! Come join us!