From the Vicar and the Wardens - August 2018

“God did not come to love the loveable and improve the improveable, but to raise the dead.” - Robert Farrar Capon, Episcopal priest and chef

Dear Members and Friends of the Congregation of Saint Saviour,

From the Vicar

Our senior warden, Marsha, keeps asking me, partly in jest, when our summer break is supposed to begin! It has indeed been a very busy summer for the Congregation, and in addition to our activities, which you can read about in the Warden's letter, I'd like to call your attention to the following:

First, as I mentioned last month, we have hired Hope Chang to be the Assistant to the Pastor and Vicar, the Congregation of Saint Saviour. She started on July 2 and then spent two weeks training with Chanmi to ensure a smooth transition for our office.

Hope is a Korean-American, born in Chicago and raised in Korea, the daughter of two ministers. She graduated from Columbia University with degrees in Sociology and Philosophy this past May, and she now lives in Hamilton Heights. She has worked as an editorial intern for the Eric Holder Initiative at Columbia University as well as at The New Criterion, and she was a public affairs intern at the global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Company. She is a dancer, designer, and photographer, and is multilingual, with fluency in English and Korean, and familiarity with Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese. She is a member and worship leader at Hope West Side Covenant Church, an evangelical church plant on 86th Street. 

Second, you are all invited to come to my ordination to the priesthood on Saturday, September 15 at 10:30am at the Cathedral. Immediately following the service, you are also welcome to come to a reception in Synod Hall, hosted by the Congregation. While I have been your vicar since mid-April, this ordination service will mark the moment when I will be able to serve as your priest.


From the Wardens

We are entering the dog days of summer. Many of you are off on vacation.  Yet on the home front we have been very busy.  The Second Sunday fellowships continue where we are pleased to welcome many visitors; the Vestry is planning and designing the fall and winter programs, including a speakers’ series, a retreat, enhanced Sunday School and confirmation classes and more.  The repositioning of the coffee and welcoming tables in the nave after the 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday services have improved our interactions with you and with the many tourists that drop by.  We had a very successful backpack campaign for back-to-school supplies for needy kids (see below).  Here are some details and important dates for August.  
Civilizations Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (CECF) visit, Sunday July 22

Based in Baltimore, the mission of Civilizations Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (CECF) is to foster cooperation rather than confrontation among people of different religions and cultures. For the past several years they have appeared pretty much unannounced at the Cathedral and prayed with us and left.  This year Imam Bashar Arafat brought eight men and women, mostly of Moroccan descent but living in Belgium, to pray with us.  Many of you welcomed them at the coffee hour after the service.   

They then spent two hours with members of the vestry and clergy for discussion over lunch.  Some of what they had to say was surprising.  First, they were so amazed and moved that we prayed for them during the Intercessions and actually introduced them to the congregation.  They are finding America (at least New York and Baltimore) to be nothing like the America that is represented in the European media.  The fact that people of so many different backgrounds interact in such a comfortable way was a surprise.  The discussion of religious issues revealed that some of their problems and challenges living in Europe are very different than ours,  but that some are the same.  For example, how can we appeal to the young and to those who have no religion—the so-called “nones?”  The discussion also challenged us to consider what we in the Congregation are doing to break down walls in our own neighborhood.
Cathedral Community Cares Collections—the Backpack Project Update
We planned to collect funds for the backpack project during July and August.  However, just three weeks into the campaign the congregation donated more than enough to fill the 48 backpacks, over $2,000. The supplies have now been ordered and most have been received.  Boxes containing crayons, colored pencils, markers, paint sets, notebooks, pencil boxes, composition notebooks, etc.—are piling up in the vicar’s office.  On Sunday, August 12, we invite you not only to come to Second Sunday hospitality lunch, but also to help us stuff the bags.  It should be a lot of fun and very satisfying.  The following Sunday, August 19, the backpacks will be blessed at the 11:00 a.m. service and handed over to CCC. 
THANK YOU to everyone who contributed. 
Tim Dwyer and Marsha Ra