Two weeks have passed, as I write this, since the consecration weekend when James Russell Kendrick was ordained as our fourth bishop and welcomed to his Cathedral and seated in his cathedra, or chair. I am still processing everything that happened that week—from preparations here at the Cathedral and down the street at Expo Hall, to the celebration here on Friday evening, to the consecration on Saturday, followed by the parade down Church Street and the reception here, and then Sunday’s seating of the bishop and Bishop Kendrick’s first occasion to preach, teach, and celebrate Eucharist here at his Cathedral.
Mental movies of these moments continue to play in my head, sleeping and waking. These are beautiful images—joyful, grace-filled, and fun—and you are all in them, sharing with our diocese and the whole Church the tremendous gift of gracious hospitality that God has given you. It was a glorious time. I was—and am—so proud, so awed, by all the Cathedral Family did, by your open-handed and open-hearted giving and your hard work. As I said that Sunday, I love you so much.
The whole consecration weekend was a truly miraculous event: the Cathedral Family offered so much, and the grace of God created so much more from that offering. Bishop Kendrick told us in his July 26 sermon to “expect a miracle,” reminding us that our whole life here at Christ Church Cathedral has been, truly, miraculous. We have been, I believe, genuinely transformed in our life together, made into a new creation.
Even as we appreciate the moving of God’s grace in our life as the Cathedral, we should not lose sight of how much energy and effort was expended by so many people in getting things done. You will see some details of magnitude in the “By the Numbers” section on page 9 of this The Messenger. You will also find a listing of the many, many individuals and organizations that contributed to the various events of the weekend. The participation of people from places throughout the diocese made apparent in a new way the nature of a cathedral of and for the whole diocese. This reality will be carried forward into the next stages of our growth into mission and ministry.
What is next? What is the future into which God calls us? We will continue living the miracle of our life together. We will seek Christ and serve Him. We will join our Bishop Russell in seeking new life and hope in our diocese, as we support him in his ministry. We will grow into the next chapter of our life as the Cathedral church of our diocese.
In the weeks and months ahead, we will be listening for guidance, discerning how the Holy Spirit is moving among us. As I said in my sermon on August 2, this is a time for us to reflect on what has happened, to acknowledge God’s grace, and to ask ourselves two questions:
1.) What does God want us to do now? And
2.) How do we need to change in order to do it?
The coming weeks and months will bring new opportunities for us, and we will begin to see the shape of our future unfold. Therefore it is especially important, it is imperative, that we breathe and listen, that we seek God’s guidance in scripture and prayer, and that we attend to what our hearts tell us and what we hear in the needs of the world in which we live. We are on the threshold leading out into the world to be about the work that God has in store for us and that God will empower us to do. Look around, listen, and pray.