“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.”
– Acts 4:32
Our common faith and shared community are the things that persist. They are the bonds that tie us together and get us through tough times. We can only strive to match the faith of the Apostles, but there’s a common connection stretching from their time to the present. Our faith community spans across the globe and across the ages.
There has been so much said about these difficult, uncertain times. We can focus on the grim statistics and the dire predictions, or we can focus on solutions that build up our faith community. I’d like to focus on what our response is at the Cathedral. With daily prayer online and our online service every Sunday morning, we are not only reaching our faithful parishioners, we’ve been reaching many people across the diocese and around the world. Our new YouTube channel is now carrying the Sunday service live, in addition to the Facebook Live broadcast. This makes it easier for many people to join, watch on their TV, and to watch the service later.
The St. John’s ABQ YouTube Channel has also become our home for musical outreach. Across a series of videos assembled by our amazing music directors, we have had thousands of views, and there will be many thousands of views to come in the months ahead. We are finding ways to connect with you, our faithful members, as well as others seeking comfort and a spiritual connection—wherever they may be. At first, many of us believed that online worship services were an unfortunate necessity to keep some kind of connection going. We quickly realized that this new model of broadcasting has helped keep us connected, and it has increased our reach—even with our doors closed! We continue to make improvements, and assess how this new form of worship is working. So far, I believe it’s been very successful.
The question then, is how else can we increase our reach and build up our faith community? How else can we use technology to connect? Starting next week, we are offering four new Small Groups, each led by a different, faithful member of the Cathedral. There’s a session on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Some are in the evening. One is in the afternoon. They will all be about 1 hour long. The first batch of sessions will run seven weeks. We will be studying bible passages, and sharing our thoughts. For our first several sessions, we will be discussing passages from the Book of Acts, but these small groups offer more than just a bible study. Small Groups give us an opportunity to really get to know each other, and to learn from each other. We have a diverse congregation, filled with individuals with different experiences and backgrounds. Using modern technology, this is a great opportunity to safely bridge the gaps of physical space, but also an opportunity to bridge across generations and viewpoints.
- Mondays @ 7pm – Julia Kinkel, Group Leader
- Tuesdays @ 7pm – Nate Roberts, Group Leader
- Wednesdays @ 4pm – Harrison Higgins, Group Leader
- Thursdays @ 7:30pm – Zac Van Note, Group Leader
I’ve taught Sunday School for mid- and high-school students off and on for over 20 years, but I’ve never led a Small Group like this for adults. I’m excited about the opportunity to share in fellowship and faith. Please consider signing up today. I am confident that the small amount of time you invest in this activity will enrich you many times over on your spiritual journey.
Zac Van Note, Senior Warden