News from the Congregation - September 28, 2018

From the Vicar

I recently shared with the vestry an excerpt from a book by Adam Hamilton, who is a United Methodist minister in Kansas. Hamilton's church is unusual because it is one of the few mega-churches in a mainline denomination. In about 25 years, the church has grown from several people to 22,000 members today.

Hamilton's strategy for increasing his church's membership seems, at first, counterintuitive. He tells visitors that, unlike the American Express Card, membership in his church "has no privileges, only expectations":  

If they join they are no longer able to park in the closer “visitor parking”! If they join they will receive the stewardship mailings in the fall, including a pledge card. If they join we will call upon them from time to time to ask for their help. We tell them that membership, like marriage, is a sign of commitment.

Often people live together today before marrying, where they seem to have most of the benefits of marriage. Why do they marry then? Because the heart longs to express meaningful commitment. Membership is a commitment in which one expresses, “This is my church, I feel responsible for her. I am committed to her mission, vision, and ministry. I want to serve God here as I grow in my faith.”

I think Hamilton is right to compare church membership to marriage. In both, there is a similar paradox involved. 

What I mean is that there is no such thing as finding the "right" person and then marrying that person. Instead, I think it is through the commitment of marriage that a person becomes the "right" life partner for another person.

It is through a lifetime of living together, of loving one another, sometimes of arguing with one another, and hopefully always of forgiving one another, that two people become properly "fitted" to one another.

In the same way, we will never find the "right" church that meets all of our needs. A church only becomes "right" for us when we commit to a place long enough to learn the other members well, and allow them to know us well. When we decide that no matter how much we might disagree with the sermon or that horrible hymn selection or the bad coffee, we are going to stick it out, for better, for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. That's when a church community becomes "right" for us, and we become "right" for that church community.

My prayer is that whether you have chosen to join the Cathedral's congregation, or you choose eventually to do so, or whether you go and join another parish church, that you are able to find a place to which you want to make this kind of lasting commitment.

The Rev. Steven Lee

From the Wardens

Fall Stewardship Campaign
The fall stewardship Campaign is about to begin.   Within a week or so you should receive a letter from our Stewardship Chair, Kevin de l’Aigle, asking you to think about what you would like to pledge for 2019.  He writes “As we enter our twenty-sixth year as a congregation, let us take this moment to search our souls for how we want to pledge to give back to God through this unique Cathedral Congregation. Setting ambitious goals for stewardship will help ensure that the Congregation, as the “heart and soul” of the Cathedral, will continue to grow and flourish for many generations to come.” 

A stewardship “kick-off” brunch will be held in Cathedral House on Sunday, October 21 between the 9 a.m. and 11a.m services.  It should be a lovely occasion for the two groups of congregations members and friends to interact and to think together about what we hope for our future.

Within a few days members will also receive a report on your giving in 2018, January through August 31.  Please look it over carefully and let us know if there are any errors so we can correct them.
MacArthur Genius Fellow Jose Quiñonez addresses Congregation
The Congregation’s fall speakers' series kicked off on Wednesday with a moving presentation by José Quiñonez, a 2016 MacArthur "Genius" Fellow. Through his Mission Asset Fund (MAF) which he established in 2007, he is able to help immigrants and others in poor communities establish credit worthiness through leveraging informal rotating credit associations.  These credit associations or lending circles exist throughout the world and are common among immigrant and poor communities in the US.  In his presentation Jose told us his own story-- an undocumented immigrant, his harrowing crossing of the border with his five siblings through a drainpipe under a highway, his fears and struggles as he lived in the shadows until President Ronald Reagan announced an amnesty program through which 3 million undocumented immigrants were able to obtain green cards.  With green cards they were able to join and contribute to our nation.  
Congregation Fall Retreat, Holy Cross Monastery, November 2 – 4 Contemplative Ecology—Becoming Truly Human, led by Brother Aidan
Why go on retreat?  It is a chance to get away and be still.  It is a chance to listen to God’s voice in a quiet environment.  Spending time with the monks whose lives are filled with prayer can inspire.  Joining in the daily offices which take place five times each day can introduce us to a different rhythm of prayer.  Several sessions each day congregation members in attendance will be led by Brother Aidan and join in conversation.  Also…the food is great! The retreat is filling up and we now have just two rooms left. Detailed information at this link.
Fill out the form and send with check to Congregation of Saint Saviour office.  

Remember Cathedral Community Cares

At our last Vestry meeting the decision was made to focus on men’s clothing for this program year.  We will also do a toy drive in December and fill back-packs in the summer. 
For the clothing drive several approaches will be taken.  First, anyone may bring gently used men’s clothing to church on Sunday.  A receipt for tax purposes will be available at the Welcome table.  During the week clothes may also be brought in.  Ask the Security guard at the booth for assistance if no one from CCC is present to accept your gift when you drop by.  Cash donations will also be accepted at the Welcome Table after the 9 and 11 a.m. services.  They will be used to purchase clothing.  Finally, if anyone has contacts in the retail or wholesale clothing business, this can also prove helpful.  Contact the wardens or Father Lee and you will be connected to the Development Office of the Cathedral.  Thanks to all who have helped support Cathedral Community Cares. 
Blessings to all,
Tim Dwyer and Marsha Ra