January 11, 2019: Finding a Home at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

From Fr. Steven


My wife Emma spent part of her childhood on an Anglican mission field in Zimbabwe. She has often told me that moving and adjusting to life there was relatively easy.

It was coming back to the United States and to urban city life, after three years of living according to the rhythms of rural Africa, that was far more difficult. She found the city of Boston an uncommonly strange and wild place.

This is a common pattern in our lives, isn't it?

We get used to a particular place, whose rhythms become as familiar as our own breathing. It becomes home. These "homes" can be physical places, or relationships, or comfortable habits, or settled ways of thinking.

Then we suffer the trauma of dislocation. Circumstances force us to leave, or our home and its surrounding neighborhood undergo so much change that they are rendered unrecognizable. Our relationships fall apart, or our habits are disrupted, or our ways of thinking are shown to be in error.

In that moment, we are confronted with a new world, one that is uncommonly strange and wild. It's easy to be frightened. 

But we can take comfort that even in those desolating moments, God is with us. Recall what happened when Adam and Eve experienced the trauma of their dislocation from Paradise: 

"And the Lord God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed them." Genesis 3:21 (NRSV)

The Rev. Steven Lee
Vicar

From Marsha and Tim


Annual meeting

On Tuesday night the vestry held its last meeting as now constituted.   The terms of four vestry members and one warden are coming to an end.  On Sunday, February 3, the Congregation will hold its annual meeting including the election to vacancies on the vestry.  The full slate of candidates will be announced shortly.  Please plan to come.  Lunch will be served, reports given, elections held, questions answered.  It will be wonderful to be together on this important occasion.

Some accomplishments in 2018

At its last meeting the vestry was heartened by a substantial increase in giving.  We ended the year with a small surplus which will enable us to spend more on outreach programs at the Cathedral and also to support our Sunday School program, Little Pilgrims.   You are now familiar with our work with Cathedral Community Cares.  You have responded so generously to coat drives and toy drives and a backpack drive.  We have sent a portion of the funds realized from the Crafts Fair to CCC to help with renovation of the clothing closet and volunteer space.  We hope to do more in 2019.    

Bridging the Divide

Bridging the divide between the Congregation and Cathedral programs has been a high priority for this vestry.  We are very excited that ACT which runs after school programs and summer day camp has established an advisory committee and the vestry nominated two of its members to that body:  Paula McKenzie and Barbara Whitman Hull.  Both have extensive experience in education.   The vestry decided that some of our budget can go toward scholarships for ACT summer camp.  We expect to work out the details in the coming year. 

At our January meeting Father Lee handed out a short article on the connection between outreach and evangelism.  We then discussed how we might create “on-ramps” to the church through our various outreach programs.  For years the exhibitors in our Crafts Fair have been invited to Sunday worship and they have responded well.  But what about the other programs we host—the Sage get-togethers and the Close Conversations?  What other opportunities are there to simply let people know that the church is there for them and that they are welcome to come and perhaps find community with us?

Manhattan North Inter-Parish Council Epiphany Party & Second Sunday

On Saturday, January 12 the Congregation will host representatives of the Manhattan North Inter Parish Council for their annual Epiphany party in Cathedral House.  All are welcome to come and get to know leaders from the Episcopal churches of North Manhattan, primarily in Harlem.  Good food and fellowship. And then… of course… more food and fellowship at the Second Sunday lunch after the 11:00 a.m. service on January 13.  This is the perfect venue for new and prospective members to get to know some of our members and for us to offer welcome to new people.  It’s also a chance to catch up with old friends.

See you Sunday!
Tim and Marsha