Most summers at Christ Church Cathedral slow down a bit after Vacation Bible School. We enjoy a time of relative rest and recreation through the remainder of June and July before ramping up for the new program year in August. This year will be exceptional.
The events surrounding the consecration of our fourth bishop on July 25 have been in planning stages for many months now. June and July will see these plans come to fruition. Although the consecration service has moved down the street to Expo Hall, the Cathedral remains deeply involved in planning and preparation.
Preparation of the service has been the work of the Liturgy Planning Committee, which I have chaired and which includes members from throughout the diocese. Cathedral organist and choirmaster Christopher Powell has overseen the coordination of music for the day as well as the organization of the massed diocesan choir, and he will serve as the principle musician for the day. Canon Dan Wagner has been working to coordinate acolytes from throughout the diocese, along with planning for our youth to participate in diocesan youth events that weekend at Camp Beckwith and Wilmer Hall. Most of the appointments for the ceremony—furnishings, hangings and linens, vessels for communion, etc.—will be gathered here at the Cathedral to be transported to Expo Hall by volunteers led by our Junior Warden Chuck McKay. Transformation of Expo Hall into a worship space is happening under the leadership of Judi Gulledge (of St. Paul’s, Daphne and the Mobile Carnival Association) and our own Homer McClure. Our Usher Chair, Robby McClure, is organizing ushers for the day.
Many events surround the consecration, and several of these will take place at the Cathedral. On Friday, July 24, diocesan clergy will gather here at the Cathedral to worship and meet with the Presiding Bishop and the Bishop-elect. Friday evening, a ticketed celebration event will take place here, and we will also host a reception following the consecration on Saturday afternoon. ECW Chairs Julie McClelland, Lucy Brady, and Rosemarie McClure, assisted by past chair Carolyn Eichold, are working to coordinate these hospitality events. Our own David Brady has overseen the planning for the Friday night event.
Finally, on Sunday, July 26 our new bishop will be seated here at the Cathedral at the beginning of our 10:00 a.m. worship service, and he will preach and celebrate here for the first time as our diocesan bishop. Vestry member Margaret Thigpen will be coordinating hospitality for that day.
Many, many talented people are giving their gifts and their time to make this first consecration in our life as the cathedral church of the diocese a success. I have mentioned a few by name, but many more, from throughout the diocese, are hard at work. Above all, we should give thanks for the tireless work of Cathedral Provost Carolyn Jeffers, who is serving the diocese as Chair of the Transition Committee. She has been putting in long hours for many months, travelling and meeting and emailing and organizing in order to pull together the myriad details that are involved in this process. Please keep her, the Transition Committee, our Bishop-elect Russell Kendrick and his wife Robin and their family, and our retiring Bishop Philip Duncan and his wife Kathy in your prayers.
Opportunities will be available for every member of the Cathedral family to volunteer in some capacity to help make the consecration weekend a wonderful example of Christ Church hospitality. Please be prayerful about how you can be a part.