September 27, 2019: A Global Perspective at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

From Fr. Steven

One of the arguments my wife and I had when we were dating was about global mission. As part of a missionary family that spent several years in newly post-colonial Zimbabwe, my soon-to-be wife hoped that we might undertake a similarly dramatic adventure. "Think of how much our (soon-to-exist) children would learn," she would say. "I don't want them only knowing New York City life."

Now, I often find the prospect of taking the subway all the way to Brooklyn to be unbearable, so the idea of shlepping little children off to a rural village in an African country seemed insane. Surely we could find service opportunities in our own country?

These poles of opinion (excitement over a potential trip to Africa and desire to focus on problems closer to home) characterize the responses I have received, after I mentioned that global mission would be one focus of Jennifer Allen's work with us during her pastoral residency.

I think both sides miss the point.

When Bishop Dickson Chilongani of Central Tanganyika spoke at our Cathedral two Sundays ago, he emphasized that global mission is ultimately not about charity or trips to exotic places, but about deep relationships based on trust, mutuality, and respect.

His talk helped me realize that connecting with others across national boundaries could also strengthen our connection to God. As Bishop Chilongani indelibly described, our fellow Anglicans in Tanzania are part of a vibrant, dramatically growing, and Spirit-filled church, which is producing joyful disciples of Jesus, who are, in turn, transforming their local communities through countless acts of mercy.

Finding a way to connect to people who are so alive and filled with the love of God--now, that is a mission I would be excited to undertake. I hope the same is true for you.

The Rev. Steven Lee


Mark Your Calendars! Newcomer Brunch this Sunday
September 29 at 12:30 PM in the Cathedral

New and prospective members are invited to a brunch right after the 11:00 a.m. service.  It will be held in the Missionary Bay in the nave.  Bagels and cream cheese, rolls, juice and fruit will be available.  Don’t be shy!  If you are new and haven’t yet connected with us, look for the reception as you leave the service.  We want to get to know you and we want you to get to know us! 
First-place trivia champions🏆! #theDiviners! Congratulations to the Young Adults of the Cathedral Congregation for a successful event last Sunday! 


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

  • Little Pilgrims (ages 3 to 6) will meet this Sunday (9/29) at 10am.

  • The Next Step (ages 7 to 12) will meet this Sunday (9/29) at 10am.

  • 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.


Every year the Congregation of St. Saviour holds its annual election for vestry members and wardens on the first Sunday of February. In case you are a newcomer or simply in need of a reminder, the Congregation’s Bylaws and the New York State Religious Incorporation Act hold that to be eligible to vote in the election, you must be:

  • on record as a member of the Congregation

  • a baptized Christian who is 18 or older

  • a contributor of record (by pledging or otherwise) for at least 12 months before the election

  • in regular attendance of worship services at the Cathedral

The Congregation’s vestry is made up of twelve people. Four new members are elected each year for a three-year term, and two wardens lead the vestry, and each serves a staggered two-year term.

To serve on the vestry:

  • You must be a baptized Christian and a member in good standing of the Congregation for at least one year prior to the election.

  • To be a warden you must be a confirmed Episcopalian and you must have served as a member of the vestry in the past.

  • You must be able to regularly attend vestry meetings. Vestry meetings are held in the evening of the second Tuesday of every month.

Nomination forms and details about the open positions to be elected at the Annual Meeting in February 2020 will be mailed out and available at Sunday services beginning in mid-October. All nomination forms must be submitted to the Vicar’s office by December 15. In January, the nominations committee will distribute information sheets about the candidates.

From Marsha and Tim


The Congregation’s mission statement, adopted shortly after its incorporation in 1992 includes the following words "above all, through worship, service and example, to witness to Christ's healing and reconciling love to neighbors, pilgrims and visitors." The Vestry at that time was keenly aware that the Cathedral is a pilgrimage site. People come just to see it. Visitors to New York City will also come to worship with us. At some services they far outnumber the worshipping community—the regulars. So we are blessed with the opportunity to offer welcome to the stranger. We had that chance last Sunday when the work of the United Nations was celebrated. The ushers under head usher (and warden) Tim Dwyer are on the front lines in that welcoming, but you and I can play our part when we see people sitting near us that are new to us.

We will have another chance on Sunday, October 6 when the Cathedral puts on a St. Francis Day Fair complete with pet blessings. Although the service will not include the Earth Mass this year, many visitors are likely to be in the pews. 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.”

How do we worship?

We are blessed with an excellent music director, amazing organists and three superb choirs. Every Sunday they add their part to the experience of worship. The 11:00 is grand and beautiful--smells and bells (but actually no bells!) There is a simple said service at 8:00 a.m., a lovely service at 9:00 with organ and some hymns and lots of children. It begins with a meditative Taize chant. Then there is Evensong, a sung service with some of the best choral music in New York City (no exaggeration). There are other ways to worship available to us—quiet, meditative, contemplative. There are retreats at Holy Cross and Saturday morning Unburdening sessions. The next Unburdening sessions take place October 12 and 19 at 10:00 a.m. The next retreat is October 25-27 (see below)

Congregation Retreat at Holy Cross Monastery October 25 – 27.

The Congregation has been sponsoring retreats at Holy Cross monastery ( for at least 20 years. These small group (15 people) events 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 seminarian intern at the Cathedral. She has chosen Visio Divina as her topic—contemplation through visual arts and images. More information at the Congregation website Click on Visio Divina for details and enrollment form. Please let us know by September 30 if you plan to attend.

Blessings from Tim and Marsha