September of most years would be a time of “rallying” or “ramping up” for our program year, shifting gears from the relative calm and quiet of summer to a time of greater activity. This year is exceptional, in more ways than one.
Our annual Rally Day on September 13 will not be the usual day of signing up for new ministries, organizing the Episcopal Church Women, and taking a running start at the year ahead. Instead, we will celebrate our summer of great activity and excitement surrounding the consecration of our new bishop, The Rt. Rev. Russell Kendrick, by having a “Post-Celebration Celebration.” Young people will still find their Sunday School rooms and meet their teachers, and our Episcopal Youth Community will meet to discuss their very busy calendar of events. We will still commission our Christian Education teachers during our worship. But mainly, we will enjoy being together, and we will give thanks for the outpouring of the gifts of so many members of the extended Cathedral Family over the course of last spring and summer. We will enjoy the abundant “leftovers” of our “loaves and fish” celebration weekend—pulled pork, chicken tenders, a few extras, and maybe a glass or two of something refreshing.
The Cathedral Vestry and Staff spent a productive and pleasant day in retreat at the end of August, looking at plans for the year ahead and beginning the process of visioning for the next seven years, leading up to our bicentennial in 2022. We discussed a new worship opportunity beginning this fall: during the month of October, we will experiment with a Sunday afternoon Eucharist, meeting at 4:00 p.m. in the chapel. This will be a more relaxed worship experience than the one at 10:00 a.m., with a different musical style and some of the alternative liturgies approved by The Episcopal Church. If the response is strong and positive, we will explore making this a more regular part of our worship life together. Organist and Choirmaster Christopher Powell previewed the year’s musical offerings, detailed in a separate mailer you should have received recently. Canon Wagner reviewed the year’s calendar for our young people; once again this year, we will benefit from the ministry of Sarah Bolt with our youth and Corinne Betbeze with our children. In November, I will be leading a discussion of the recently published The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography, by Alan Jacobs. This is a short book, copies of which are available in the office. It is a wonderful introduction to us as “people of the book” for inquirers or for anyone wanting to know more about how our worship has developed over time. Plans are also underway for our stewardship campaign in October, and the process of Vestry nominating has also begun.
We are not “rallying,” because we are already “ramped up” for the year ahead! This program year will be one of great activity and exciting planning for our future as the Cathedral of our diocese, as we join our Bishop Russell in looking forward with hope to the mission God has given us.
The Very Reverend
Beverly F. Gibson, Ph.D., Dean