Come down, O Love Divine,
seek Thou this soul of mine,
And visit it with Thine own ardor glowing;
O Comforter, draw near, within my heart appear, And kindle it, Thy holy Flame bestowing.
Dear Members and Friends of the Congregation of Saint Saviour,
From the Vicar
This has been a week of great joy, but also continued grief, for our community. First, let me thank all of you who expressed your concern and said prayers for the repose of the soul of Dr. Young Kun Kim. His family has been deeply moved by these expressions of love for this gentle scholar whose life touched so many members of our community. Please note that Dr. Kim's funeral will be on Tuesday, June 5 at 3:00pm at the Cathedral.
But intermingled with the sadness of Dr. Kim's death, there was joy at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit last weekend, just in time for Pentecost, with Bishop Michael Curry's brave and bracing sermon at the royal wedding on Saturday, and then, on Sunday, with our public witness in support of the AIDS Walk.
While I know that the Holy Spirit can work in mysterious ways, seeing Bishop Curry proclaiming the power of love on the gossip news site TMZ (!) and on Good Morning America, was much more than I could have asked or imagined. I am sure the same is true for many of you.
One of the things I most appreciate about Bishop Curry's message is that while it is faithful to the Gospel in boldly proclaiming the love of Jesus Christ for the world, there is also a nuance to his proclamation that is unmistakably Anglican in its emphasis and approach.
In his interview with Good Morning America, our Presiding Bishop noted that the love between Prince Harry and Megan Markle brought into being the enormous crowd, which was made up of people from all different backgrounds, who shared the common desire to witness and thereby to support their marriage.
A similar thing happens in church each Sunday. People from disparate backgrounds and cultures come together, if just momentarily, united by our common love for God and for one another, and we form an entirely new creation, what Paul calls the Body of Christ. Seen in this light, we might say "real life" really happens inside the church, since that is where we become what God has intended us to be, and that our life in the world "is in fact a rehearsal for worship."*
I guess what I'm saying is that beneath Bishop Curry's statements on love is a powerful theology of incarnation, which is deeply Anglican at its core.
But ultimately that's not as important as how Bishop Curry's message has inspired much of the world to remember that the source of our love for one another is God. And if any of you need a shot of spiritual rejuvenation in the coming week, I recommend watching some clips of Bishop Curry's interviews from the last several days. As he says, love is the way!
*For more, see Stanley Hauerwas and Samuel Wells, The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics, 2011.
From the Wardens
Last Sunday the church observed Pentecost, the giving of the Spirit. We sang special hymns and lots of people wore red. At the 11:00 a.m. service the lessons were read in several languages to remember the moment when the disciples first left the upper room to preach the good news—and to preach it in languages the people could understand. Dean Dan preached and Rosabella Emma Dans, daughter of Paul Dans and Mary Bowers, was baptized.
Beginning at 10:00 a.m. members of our community took our love and spirit to the corner of Amsterdam and 110th Street, where thousands of AIDS marchers were passing by. They were greeted by a bag piper and congregation members handing out specially designed Cathedral rose window fans. From 10 to 11 the fans were handed out by about a dozen children and their parents who attend the 9:00 a.m. service. The Little Pilgrims session and Bible study were cancelled so people could be spirited cheerleaders. The marchers, having just climbed a long hill, seemed appreciative of the fans and buoyed up by the bagpiper.
At 11:00 a.m. the number of marchers grew and the adults took over distributing the fans. When we ran out of the special violet fans, Mia Michelson-Bartlett, Manager of Visitor Services, came to the rescue. She brought out two huge boxes of blue fans normally sold by Visitor Services. It’s hard to know how many were handed out, but it is certain that thousands of people felt the support the church offered. The words printed on the fans sent an encouraging message: “I will heal this City and its people and restore them to health. I will show them abundant peace and security.” (Jeremiah, 33:6)
The AIDS march raised $4.5 million dollars this year. It was satisfying to be part of the effort to support the fight against AIDS in this small way. We are a blessed community and it is right that we share these blessings when we can.
Cathedral Community Cares Collections continue
Continuing our support of CCC, we are collecting products for hygiene kits—dental care products, soap, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, etc. In addition, CCC Manager Thomas Perry tells us he can always use clothes that are appropriate for job interviews. As usual, please leave items next to the sign on the table near the coffee set-up before or after the 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. services.
Episcopal Charities Sunday
Episcopal Charities provides critical funding and operational support to strengthen nearly 100 local programs working to transform the lives of 900,000 people in need each year. You may recall that one Sunday each Spring the ushers hand out an envelope at the start of each service so that you can make a contribution to support Episcopal Charities’ important work. This year we will be doing it on Sunday, June 3. Please keep an eye out for the envelope, and contribute what you can.
Wishing you all a spirit filled Pentecost!