From the Vicar and the Wardens - May 4, 2018

Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Dear Members and Friends of the Congregation of Saint Saviour,

From the Vicar
Earlier in the week, the Dean, Sub Dean and I were away on retreat at the staggeringly beautiful Mohonk Mountain House with the other clergy of the Diocese of New York. Technically called the Priests' Conference, transitional deacons like myself were invited to go, although I was the only one of my cohort of 11 to attend. Thankfully, the hazing of the new deacon was kept to a minimum.

Mohonk Mountain House crop.jpg

The retreat leader was Barbara Crafton, who led us to moments of profound vulnerability and spiritual encounter. Yet, the most rewarding part of the retreat for me was running into seminary classmates and old friends, as well as meeting new clergy. I had hoped to catch up on some sleep after the whirlwind past few weeks, but the conversations were too interesting and meaningful.

One memorable conversation occurred over breakfast, when a few of us were discussing the current political situation and how best we could speak across that difference, both in our congregations and in our own lives. One priest said, "Well, maybe what we need to do is create a tsunami of love... we need to overwhelm people with love."

This image, tsunami of love, has stuck with me, partly, I think, because of its startling juxtaposition of the destructive power of a tsunami with the idea of love, which is constructive; partly, I confess, from metaphor envy, as tsunami of love is a much more striking image and euphonious phrase than surplus of love; but, mostly, because, some days, I can barely muster up a teaspoon of love, let alone a tsunami.

Then it occurred to me. This is how God loves us, with this tsunami of love, that we are unable to outrun, no matter how hard we try.

Where can I go then from your Spirit? *
    where can I flee from your presence?

If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *
    if I make the grave my bed, you are there also

If I take the wings of the morning *
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there your hand will lead me *
    and your right hand hold me fast.

Like a tsunami, God's love overwhelms everything, even our disbelief. We don't need to believe in God for God to love us. When I was a young and militant atheist, who preferred to believe in the divinity of Gustave Flaubert rather than that of Jesus Christ, the thought that God would still love me anyway angered me to no end--until it finally broke me open.

Tsunami of love, surplus of love, or those verses from Psalm 139, are all just different and imperfect ways of describing this same, life-changing reality: God's love won't ever let go of us.

Blessings,
Steven

From the Wardens
I am composing this letter to you with one finger on my IPhone. My computer has crashed and the backup I bought was defective. Is there a prayer for computers, or for a 21st century middle class woman who suddenly doesn’t have one? Tim Dwyer, my co- warden, is just returning from a business trip to Croatia and is overwhelmed with work, so here I go!
 
Blessing of the Bicycles
 
Tomorrow, Saturday May 5, from 9:30 AM-10:15 AM, the annual Blessing of the Bicycles, which might better be called the blessing of bike riders, takes place in the nave.
 
Cathedral Community Cares collection

 
May 6, and all Sundays in May we are collecting hygiene products for CCC. Leave your donations at the table set up near the coffee. Thank you for your continued support of this vital ministry.
 
AIDS memorial Quilt dedication, potluck in nave
 
On May 13, Mother’s Day, several things are converging to turn this into a very special Sunday. It is the last Sunday that the Cathedral Chorale, the volunteer choir will sing until fall; its Second Sunday and it is the dedication of three AIDS memorial quilts which will hang in the Cathedral through the AIDS walk May 20. We will remember those friends and loved ones who died before there was any known treatment of the disease, and we will celebrate life with good food and drink.  If you can bring a dish to the potluck, please emails wardens@saintsaviour.org
 
AIDS Walk Cheer Leaders
 
On May 20, join congregation members and clergy between the 9 and 11 AM services to cheer on AIDS walkers who will pass the cathedral on 110th street. There will be a bag piper, and we will hand out special cathedral rose window fans and cheer the walkers on as the pass the half way mark of their 10k walk. Let us show our love and support for this effort to raise funds for research.
 
If you would like to take part in the walk itself, please contact Lewis Salas.
 
Stewardship News
 
If you have made donations to the congregation between January 1 and April 1 (Easter Sunday), quarterly giving reports went out on Wednesday, May 2. Thank you all for your generous giving. It enables us to create programs to strengthen our spiritual lives and to support the Cathedral and it’s many programs.
 
Laymen’s Club Annual Meeting
 
On Sunday, May 6, from 1:00 pm in Cathedral House, the Laymen’s Club will hold its 110th annual meeting. Officers will be elected, and the results of a recent membership survey will be discussed. Free to members in good standing. $40 to visitors and guests; the $40 fee will be applied to dues if desired. Lunch will be served.  Come to learn more about this vital diocesan wide organization which supports the Cathedral.
 
Congregation Instagram!
 
We now have a Congregation Instagram @congregationstsaviour
Please follow @congregationstsaviour on Instagram, and forward any ideas about announcements etc. to Kevin de l'Aigle.

37th Annual Spirit of the City Dinner
 
On Wednesday, May 23, the Cathedral will mark the 125th anniversary of the laying of its cornerstone and its official designation as a New York historic landmark. The evening starts with a special buffet dinner in the Cathedral chapels followed by a lively party with drinks, dessert, and dancing to the Duke Ellington Legacy Band, along with a special tribute to José V. Torres, who for 45 years led the Cathedral's Adults and Children in Trust program, a vital resource for children and families throughout the city.
 
Tickets for the dinner and party start at $500; tickets for the party only are $125. For more information, please contact Marie Miranda at (212) 316-7498.
 
Many blessings,
 
Marsha Ra and Tim Dwyer