Welcome to this monumental worship space of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, the largest Gothic-style cathedral in the world and the cathedra (seat) of the Episcopal Bishop of New York. We are the Cathedral's congregation, the Congregation of Saint Saviour, named after the first chapel built on this site, and one of the nearly 200 parishes that make up the Episcopal Diocese of New York, a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Congregation takes great pleasure and honor in hosting pilgrims and seekers from all walks of life and faith, including them in our prayers, and welcoming all with open doors. Whether you are seeking a spiritual home or just visiting one of New York City's most stunning landmarks, we hope you find what you are looking for in this holy place.
From the Vicar
Yesterday afternoon, Bishop Dietsche drove me and Canon John Perris up to St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Bedford, NY for the service of institution and induction of the Rev. John Zahl as that church's 13th rector. You can probably guess what happened on our journey.
We left the Cathedral grounds at 4:15pm and by 6:30pm, we were still in Manhattan. In more than two hours, we had moved about 20 blocks. At that point, realizing the futility of our efforts, the good bishop called the church, conferred with the rector, rescheduled the service, and turned the car around.
That's not a bad metaphor for how it often feels to live as a Christian: we struggle to be more patient, kind, and loving, but no matter our slow and hard progress, often we find ourselves right back where we started: still selfish, judgmental, and self-righteous.
The Good News? God loves us, anyway.
And if you are someone who has trouble believing that, then you have come to the right place. The whole purpose of this Cathedral and Congregation is, as Rowan Williams said of all churches, to help us "become the kind of people who can receive what God wants to give.”
The Rev. Steven Lee
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18: SERVICE SCHEDULE
10:30 AM - Holy Eucharist
4:00 PM - 125th Anniversary Evensong
Due to the festive Evensong at 4:00pm to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the laying of the Cathedral’s cornerstone and the 10th anniversary of the restoration after a disastrous fire, there will only be 1 combined service on Sunday morning at 10:30 AM.
There will be a very special guest preacher at the 4:00 PM Evensong service, The Most Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (aka, the "Royal Wedding" preacher).
Please also note that the Soup Kitchen will be serving a Thanksgiving dinner on the morning of Sunday, November 18. Congregation members are invited to help provide the food, which includes twenty chickens, six turkeys and two hams—all fully cooked. Also needed are gravy, pies, cookies and cakes. Bring your donation to the CCC soup kitchen which is down a few steps directly across from the guard booth. Try to bring the food by 9:30 AM.
From the Wardens
Thanksgiving, that almost secular holiday that everyone in our country observes, is upon us. We have been blessed with a beautiful, diverse congregation, a tremendous space in which to worship, a wonderful music program to assist us in our worship—and to delight us with concerts throughout the year. Our first opportunity to give thanks in this season: food to share with the soup kitchen this coming Sunday. Please bring cooked chickens, turkeys, hams or desserts to the Soup Kitchen before the service. Enter through the staircase to the undercroft directly across from the guard booth as you come to church.
The ongoing Stewardship drive is another opportunity to give thanks by making a pledge to the Congregation. Pledge cards are available at the “welcome” table in the nave on Sunday. Or you may pledge on line.
Another Toy drive! As in the past several years the congregation will mount a toy drive beginning the Sunday after Thanksgiving and continuing through Advent. Please bring unwrapped new toys for children of all ages and leave them at the Welcoming Table. The toys will be handed out to needy children in the neighborhood by Cathedral Community Cares.
In case you missed it: another Close Conversation took place last Wednesday evening. Seated in the Earth Bay on the South side of the nave, Patrick Egan, Associate Professor at NYU, talked about Religion, Politics and Climate Change. He was in conversation with Madeleine L’Engle fellow Elizabeth Howard and Vestryman Fred Wherry. Those in attendance were quite engaged and asked many questions. A video of the entire conversation is available on the Congregation of Saint Saviour’s Facebook page.
Vestry Service Have you ever thought of serving on the Congregation’s Vestry? Qualifications include being a member in good standing for the past 12 months and attending the Eucharist three times a year. To be a member in “good standing” you must have made financial donations to the Congregation. More information on openings and terms of office will be forthcoming shortly as well as information on the nomination process. The election takes place on the first Sunday of February.
Volunteer for Crafts at the Cathedral, the Congregation’s chief fund-raising activity. Volunteers are needed for Thursday, November 29, afternoon and evening; Friday, November 30, all day, Saturday all day and Sunday from noon to 6. Thursday and Friday will be the hardest days to fill. The crafts fair has enabled us to enrich programs for children, mount a wonderful speakers’ series and to make significant grants to Cathedral Community Cares. Invite your friends and neighbors to come to this beautiful event. Publicity/discount cards are available. Contact email@example.com to volunteer, or sign up at the welcome table after the services and pick up some cards.
Tomorrow, Laymen’s Club annual Canon West Lecture: “Vestments—Their History and Role in Liturgy, 12:15 to 3:00 p.m. The event begins with a Eucharist in St. Columba Chapel to remember all those loved ones of our Cathedral Community who died in the past year.
Sunday: 4:00 p.m. A service of Dedication: 125th Anniversary of the laying of the Cathedral’s cornerstone. The most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, President Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will preach.
World AIDS Day will be observed on Friday, November 30 from 6 – 8 in the chapel of St. Columba around the Keith Haring Triptych altar piece “The Life of Christ”. The event is in partnership with GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis).
Tim & Marsha