Dear Cathedral Family,
Indeed, we are living in confusing and troubling times. It has been a difficult adjustment for many of us. We are all grieving being separated from each other and are unable to worship together in person in our sacred space. We are missing family visits, work trips, vacations, graduations, grandchildren. This is even more difficult because we walk this path not knowing when it will end or how life will be after this is over. You are all in my prayers.
What I want you to know is that even though life has changed, it has not ended. We are still worshipping together through live-stream technology every day. Morning Prayer happens on our Facebook page daily. Sunday worship happens every Sunday at 11am the same way. As a community we are learning and adapting. And I give thanks that we can worship this way until we gather again. This is especially important as Holy Week is almost here. We will again follow the last week of Jesus’ life on earth: a week that began in triumph and ended in death. But we know what comes next. We know the joy of Easter and of resurrection. Let’s walk this way again with Jesus remembering that he understands our struggles and our grief.
Our Bishop, Michael Hunn, has asked all the congregations to provide ways people at home can participate more fully in Holy Week. There is a Diocesan Webpage dedicated to resources for at home as well as links to messages from the Bishop. (https://drgresponds.squarespace.com). Please make sure that you are receiving our emails from the Cathedral to keep in touch with service times and ministry news. If you do not receive our emails, go to stjohnsabq.org and subscribe.
So, how do we stay connected during this time? We have brought back a phone tree style of calling on you to check in. One of the difficulties we have in reaching every member is that our database is out of date. We don’t have current phone numbers or accurate email addresses for many of you. If you could take the time to email me or Travis with updated information, that would be very helpful. Also, this is a great time to connect with other parishioners. We need to battle together the feelings of anxiety and loneliness. Keep calling each other and checking in. Let me know if there are people who are sick or in need of a pastoral call. Lift each other up in prayer.
Financially we are doing okay. I do not know if that will remain true in the weeks or months ahead, but for today we are doing fine. Thank you to everyone who is keeping up with your pledges! We couldn’t keep doing this without your help. Over the last few weeks we even have had some new pledges come in. Thank you! If you would like to give online, you can go directly to our website. We are here also to receive any checks that come in through the mail. Also, I know that some of our parishioners may now be out of work. If you can give more to help those who are struggling, it would be greatly appreciated.
Many of you have asked about The Rev. Chuck Jones. If you do not know, Fr. Chuck is no longer on staff. He wants to pursue new directions in ministry. We had wanted to celebrate with a reception on his last Sunday here, March 22nd. Unfortunately that celebration has been postponed. We will keep you informed as to when we can have him return to give him a proper good-bye and honor his ministry among us.
There are good things still happening at the Cathedral of St. John. Our Food Pantry is running every Tuesday. We have gorgeous music even with a much smaller choir. We are exploring this vast world of technology and new ways of being church are opening up. Christian Formation is happening via Zoom meetings. Beautiful special music is posted daily on our Cathedral YouTube channel. All the staff members are working hard behind the scenes to make this possible. Thank you also to everyone who has volunteered to help with the Front Desk, the Food Pantry, with phone calls and mailings. We are still the church. When we do return to worshiping together, no matter what time of the year, it will be a most glorious Second Easter. And we will rejoice and be glad. Until then, please keep yourselves and your neighbors safe.
I look forward to being with you via Facebook live this Palm Sunday and throughout Holy Week to Easter.
God’s grace and love be with you always,
The Very Rev. Kristina Maulden, Dean