From the Rev. Chuck Jones

 

Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers for this parish family. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent.  Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  (BCP Page 817)

This prayer is from the section in our Prayer Book entitled Prayers and Thanksgivings.  It seems especially appropriate as we gather this Sunday for our Annual Meeting. This is when we celebrate the important work we have accomplished in the past year and review the many and varied ministries of the Cathedral.  We will hear from our Dean, our Wardens and Treasurer, we will review a proposed budget for 2020 and we will elect new members to our Vestry. It’s our opportunity to look back and look forward all at once and see how our mission to serve God is manifest through our Cathedral family.

We will issue a hearty vote of gratitude to our out-going Vestry members, who have served as diligent and wise shepherds of our community through an extended and demanding transition – Shannon Baldwin, Katy Braziel, Mary Erwin and Paul Wilson-Scott.  Somehow, a simple “thank you” to these folks seems vastly insufficient. I encourage you all to express your appreciation to each of them for their wise, steady and faithful leadership.

And we will elect new Vestry members and we are grateful to them as well for stepping forward in faith to answer the call of leadership.

It occurs to me that this particular Annual Meeting is of particular significance, however.  By the grace of God, as this generation of His chosen people in this place, the sacraments have been administered faithfully on this very spot for 138 years.  Praise be to God!

This meeting is especially momentous also, because we truly are entering into a new era in the history of our Cathedral.  Under the leadership of Dean Kristi, there is a palpable sense of optimism for what the future holds for our Cathedral family.

However, this doesn’t happen and won’t continue to happen without the time, talent and treasure that each of you bring into the Cathedral.  In this respect, the Annual Meeting is also an opportunity to examine how and where God is calling us individually to be part and parcel of this new era.

God has created this holy and sacred Cathedral and we are the stewards of this creation.  The purpose of a community of faith is to give us opportunities to exercise our faith through service and it is our charge to make sure this is a place for the next generation.  Let this Annual Meeting be something more than passively listening to reports. Let this be an opportunity to listen also to the Spirit and as the prayer says, be aroused and restored as we are beckoned by God into the next 100 years of this beloved community.