October 4, 2019: Praying for Each Other at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

From Fr. Steven

The reaction in our Cathedral congregation to Jessye Norman's death illustrates the uniqueness of a church community. She was an international superstar, a generational talent, an icon.

Yet, so many of us knew her as a fellow worshipper who attended the Cathedral's Evensong services, who listened with patience to the clergy sing the liturgy, and who always responded with grace to the frequent requests for selfies and conversation.

She wasn't one of us, not by a long shot, and yet in the Cathedral during a worship service, she was.

It can sound like a cliché these days to speak of "diversity," but a church really is one of the few places where people from different backgrounds do regularly meet as equals.

And our communal worship binds us together so tightly that generations of followers of Jesus, from the first century onward, have described this deep connection as having a supernatural coherence: gathered around the altar, we become the "Body of Christ."

As a way to further deepen these bonds, I am pleased to announce a new Parish Prayer Project.

Each week, starting on Monday, October 21, Wisdom Year Resident Jennifer Allen will call a randomized group of parishioners to ask for prayer requests, and then, that week, we will pray for this group. The following week, Jennifer will call a different randomized group, and so on, until June, when we will have prayed for everyone in our community.

In this way, all of us--no matter our pledge status or length of membership or knowledge of Christian theology or whatever--as a fellow member of this sometimes maddening and crazy-making but grace-filled place, will experience the consolation of intentional and communal prayer.

The Rev. Steven Lee


A Wonderful Newcomer Brunch this past Sunday!
Mark Your Calendars for the Next Brunch:
Sunday, November 24 at 10:00 AM


Pathfinders: A Program of Spiritual Exploration for Children at the Cathedral

  • Little Pilgrims: This Sunday, our 3 to 7-year-olds will have their own St. Francis Day animal celebration with small puppets and stuffed animals, and a reading from Blessing of the Beasts.

  • The Next Step: Our 8 to 12-year-olds are exploring Creation Care by thinking about stories from the world, the Bible, and the Book of Common Prayer. This week, we are looking at seeds!

  • The Great Adventure (7th grade and older) will begin on Sunday, October 13 at 1pm.

For more information and to register, please contact Donna Devlin, Director of Christian Education.


"Global Mission: The Good, the Bad, and the Sublime"
A (Brief) Talk by Jennifer Allen
Sunday, October 13 at 12:45 PM
Cathedral House Conference Room


For information about parish elections and the Annual Meeting on February 2, 2020, please click this link.


Save the Date! Stewardship Kick-Off Brunch
Sunday, October 20 at 10:00 AM
Cathedral House Conference Room

From Marsha and Tim

Last Sunday we had the first new comers’ reception of the program year. It was put on by a group of relatively new members. New new new. Yes! We must consistently grow and offer a place among us for people who are seeking a spiritual home. New York is fast-paced and extremely secular. People come and go. They move out of the neighborhood, finish their time in various academic programs. Some of us hang around for the long haul and we know that there is no way to stay alive as a congregation without bringing new people in and helping them become fully engaged in our community. Sharné Jackson and Scott Klein chair the newcomers committee. Thank you and your committee for a wonderful reception. It was splendid. We met and welcomed many people who are interested in perhaps joining the congregation. People made connections. No formal program, just conversation.

St. Francis Day Fair

The Congregation will have a table at the fair with dog biscuits and water as well as dog tags for sale that say “I was blessed at St Francis Day.” It is really fun to talk to people about their dogs and cats. The majority of people who live in our zip code actually live alone and pets are a very important part of their lives. If you are able to stop by the table (on the north road right near the animal blessings) you can help us welcome people and their best furry friends. (I wonder if the lady with the pink chicken will come this year, or Chuckles the parrot who has been coming for over 30 years.) Animal Care Center, the City run shelter, will have animals to adopt. If you want to wear a costume there will be a contest for the best animal costume. Does this all sound like fun? It does to me.

Congregation Retreat at Holy Cross Monastery October 25 – 27. A few spaces are still available.

The Congregation has been sponsoring retreats at Holy Cross monastery (www.holycrossmonastery.org) for at least 20 years. The monastery is a very special resource for the Diocese of New York. Our visits provide a chance to be quiet and lay aside responsibility for a few days. The retreats are structured around the monks’ daily offices which are chanted in their chapel. All are welcome to join the brothers in these meditative sessions. Between the offices, the retreat group meets in a comfortable room and is led in conversation and prayer by the retreat leader. There is also ample time to walk along the Hudson and explore the grounds. This fall retreat is led by Jennifer Allen, our Wisdom Year Resident at the Cathedral. She has chosen Visio Divina as her topic—contemplation through visual arts and images. More information at the Congregation websitehttp://www.saintsaviour.org/ Click on Visio Divina for details and enrollment form. Please let us know by as soon as possible if you plan to attend. We have to let the monastery know how many of us will be there.

Blessings from Tim and Marsha