March 15, 2019: Making the Right Turn at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

From Fr. Steven

I recently finished reading Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, by Ryan Holiday. It's a non-fiction book on a topic that I frankly don't much care for, but it is exceptionally well-written. I couldn't put it down. I read it all in one Monday afternoon, my day off, while I was waiting for my six-hour bolognese sauce to finish cooking.

On one level, the story is a satisfying tale of justice served. It's hard not to cheer for the destruction of a repugnant and unrepentant tabloid empire, whose business model and editorial strategy presumed that most people would not be able to afford to bring legitimate lawsuits for legitimate claims against the various media outlets it controlled.

On a different level, the story is about a man's obsessive focus, over years, to destroy his enemy, a tale of revenge taken to an absolute and almost inhuman limit. 

I mean, I could hardly wait for my six-hour bolognese sauce to finish cooking, given the mouth-watering aroma that was wafting in from the kitchen, and I kept sneaking bites of the sauce well before it was finished. Yet this technology billionaire had spent years plotting every detail of his revenge, coldly disciplined in his pursuit of the total destruction of this tabloid empire, never letting anyone know what he was planning, able to keep this enormous secret from all his associates and friends. In the book, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, asked a question that I wondered too: “Is that really how you want to spend your time?” 

A good question for us in this season of Lent.

Is nursing our bitterness, over years, because of the things our parents or friends, did or didn't do for us, really how we want to spend our time? How about brooding over the career that we should have had--had that undeserving person not taken our place in the corporate or nonprofit hierarchy or been elected bishop in our place or gotten into that law school that we should have attended? Or forever angry over that divorce or break-up or unexpected illness or untimely and unfair death? 

Is that really how we want to spend our time?

The Rev. Steven Lee

From Marsha and Tim

How is your Lent going?  (The Senior Warden has already fallen down on one of her disciplines—to take a walk every day.  But the promise to quit complaining has been going pretty well. )   This time of year there are so many opportunities to deepen our spiritual lives.  Last Sunday, despite the rain and the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, we heard great sermons; we enjoyed the Stewardship Thank you brunch between the services.

We appreciate the effort put into the brunch by Mark Dilcom ,Kevin de l’Aigle, Tim Farrell, Steve Livesay and Mary Elizabeth MitchellNick Lawson was enrolled as a catechumen last Sunday.   How moving when the priest asks “What do you seek?”  The person preparing for baptism replies “Life in Christ.”  Is that not what we all seek every day?  Adult Confirmation classes have started after the 11:00 a.m. service. Some of us will start this Saturday morning meditating at 9:30 in Saint Saviour Chapel.  This coming Sunday many of us plan to attend the Vicar’s Bible Study, also between the services.  And there is more:

Wednesday, March 20, 7:00 p.m. the Congregation hosts members of the Harlem churches when “Return to the Lord Your God – Wednesdays in Lent” comes to the Cathedral.  A service takes place in the great choir followed by a lovely dinner, in the Cathedral itself.  Each church in North Manhattan takes a turn as hosts. Come join us.  It will be a great opportunity to show our hospitality to our neighbors and to pray with them

The Way of Love  + The Rule of Life, A Lenten Retreat, Friday April 5 – Sunday April 7  Holy Cross Monastery 

We are returning to our favorite retreat site, Holy Cross Monastery on the Hudson for a weekend retreat led by our seminarian Peggy Lo. Fifteen spots have been reserved with the Monastery.  A fee of $215 covers the cost of a room and six meals. Sign up by March 17. For more information, email Holy Cross Monastery is one of the treasures of the Diocese of New York.  It is a Benedictine order whose business is hospitality.  Check out their website and consider joining members of the congregation for this restful yet moving weekend. We have a few spaces left, so let us know asap if you plan to join us.

Lent and Cathedral Community Cares

During Lent the Congregation will be collecting hygiene products for CCC. A box will be set up at the Welcome table and you may leave your donations in the box.  Bring soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorants, hand lotion and shampoos.   This seems like an appropriate collection as we move toward spring.

Many blessings,
Tim and Marsha

Children, Youth and Families Ministry

We’re Havin’ A Contest - Everybody Come Along

Starting RIGHT NOW! (the second Sunday of Lent) There will be a take home sheet each Sunday with shameless hints for the contest. And it’s SO simple! All you need to do to win is tell me 3 symbols of Easter/Resurrection, OR 3 Bible stories learned this lent, OR 3 parables of Jesus, OR 3 miracles of Jesus OR a grace OR prayer learned this Lent. Simple? Simple.

Also starting RIGHT NOW Donna’s Private Lending Library is open. To help with the contest requirements I have books available on each of the choices as well as references where the things can be found in the Bible.  And I have Bible and Bibles, and MORE Bibles for young preschoolers to a little older to the ages of those in The Next Step class. Sunday there will be lists of books and Bibles available for borrowing. Start right away.

Come on kids and get in the contest. There is no entry fee and there will be MANY winners. You could all be winners!

Contest ends on Palm Sunday. Be sure you’re here for that.

Donna Devlin
Director of Christian Education