News from the Congregation - October 26, 2018

From the Vicar


A couple Sundays ago, a new ad-hoc committee, made up of long-time members Marsha Ra and Kevin de l'Aigle, and new members Kelly Hadous and Mark Dilcom, met to discuss how we might better welcome and integrate new people into our congregation. 

Part of the discussion focused on the shape of our "discipleship path," that is, delineating those steps people take in our community to become more faithful followers of Jesus. I noted that the most common "next step" for new members who join our congregation is to ask about opportunities to serve, whether inside the church, as ushers or acolytes during worship, or outside the church, such as with Cathedral Community Cares.

But it became apparent as our conversation went on that this desire for service was really an expression of an even deeper desire: the desire to grow and to connect. Newcomers ask about service opportunities because that is the most obvious way they might grow spiritually and connect "relationally" with others in our Cathedral community.

Of course, there are other ways to grow and connect too, beyond service. Imagining those "other ways" is one of the tasks that this ad-hoc committee will be thinking deeply about in the months ahead. 

I invite your feedback into this process. If you are interested, then I'd ask you first to think about those times when you have felt spiritually enriched or deeply connected in our congregation (or elsewhere, such as another church or group). What was that experience like? What made it so meaningful? Then, please share your answers with me (by email or in person) and I will share with the committee.

The Rev. Steven Lee
Vicar

From the Wardens

 
Stewardship Season  

Thank you to all who came to the Stewardship brunch last Sunday. It was a lovely start to the pledging season.  Twenty people handed in their cards at the brunch.  The total amount pledged so far is $54,500.  Last year 83 people pledged for 2018 by the end 2017; 150 have made donations so far this year.

It was so much fun to see the “little pilgrims” spread out on the floor of the dining room doing art projects while the grown-ups ate bagels and pastries, filled out pledge cards, and heard from Stewardship Chair Kevin de l’Aigle talk about some goals for 2019. Father Lee made a presentation on why giving to the Congregation makes sense.  We all love the Cathedral or we wouldn’t be members of its congregation.  About 85% of our budget is a straight pass-through to the Cathedral. The rest is used to support Sunday school as well as programs that foster spiritual growth.

If you haven’t handed in the pledge card you received in the mail, please do so in the next few weeks. You may mail it to the Congregation office, or put it in an envelope and drop it in the plate on Sunday.  If you are making automatic payments via bank check, PayPal or through the diocese, it still helps us to receive a card from you.  Or anyone can make their pledge on-line.  You can always let the office know if you have to lower (or raise) that pledge for any reason during the year.

SAGE Table @ the Cathedral, Thursday, November 8, 6:30 – 8:30, Cathedral House

In the on-going spirit of reaching out to the broader community in love, the Congregation is pleased to host a SAGE table event.  SAGE is a 40 year old organization providing advocacy and services for LGBT elders.  It pre-dates the many aging in place organizations that have been springing up around the city and country in recent years. SAGE Table is an initiative launched to fight loneliness and isolation in the LGBT community through the power of intergenerational connections.  Members of the LGBT community and their allies are invited to come and enjoy some pizza, soda and conversation.  Please RSVP to congregation member Tim Farrell tfarrellnyc@gmail.com, or call him at 347-244-6316.

Looking ahead—think about how you can help with the Crafts fair this year!

Crafts at the Cathedral (November 29-December 2) is a high quality crafts show that is the Congregation’s chief fund raiser. It is nearly one year in the planning and now involves many Cathedral departments—Visitor Services, Productions, Facilities and Security.  Proceeds benefit Visitor Services, Cathedral Community Cares and the Congregation. This  event cannot succeed without dozens of volunteers.  In the past years approximately 50 congregation members got involved annually. Please think about these volunteer opportunities and stop by the congregation table on Sunday to let us know how you want to help. 

  1. Preparing food for the café (Thursday through Saturday)

  2. Bringing home-baked goods to sell in the café

  3. Distributing publicity cards or otherwise inviting friends to come

  4. Being friendly and helpful to the exhibitors and to fair goers who have physical disabilities

Blessings in this Fall harvest season!
 
Marsha & Tim