This Sunday we will celebrate the 11th anniversary of the naming of Christ Church as the cathedral of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast on April 23, 2005. Each year on the Sunday closest to that date we give thanks for the ministry entrusted to us by the people of this diocese, and we recommit ourselves to carrying out that mission. Everything we do in pursuing our mission is informed by the commandment that Jesus gives in this week’s gospel: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Cathedral Celebration Sunday is the day each year when our bishop makes his annual parochial visit. This will be the first official parochial visit made by our new Bishop Russell Kendrick. Although the bishop is present on other major days of the church year, this is the day on which he baptizes and confirms, preaches and celebrates Eucharist, examines and signs our parish registers, and meets with the Vestry. This is also the day when we contribute to the bishop’s discretionary fund; envelopes for this purpose will be available on the ministry table in the Chapter House, or you may simply place a check made out to CCC, with the notation “Bishop’s discretionary fund,” in the alms basin.
There will not be a baptism this year, but we will have the opportunity to renew our baptismal vows along with those who are being confirmed. Eight of our young people will assume the responsibility for fulfilling those vows initially taken on by their sponsors at their baptism. Four adults who have not yet received the laying on of hands in the apostolic succession will also be confirmed. We will all join with their sponsors and families in promising to do all in our power to support them in their life in Christ.
Then, following our worship, we will honor our newest confirmands and their families and friends with a celebration luncheon in the garden. Once again this year, the young men of the Mobile Kappa League, under the leadership of Carl Cunningham, Jr., will join us for this day. We will put into practice the ministry of hospitality that is one of our greatest gifts! I hope that as many of you as possible will be present for this special day in the life of the church, when we give thanks for the opportunity to serve our Lord here at Christ Church Cathedral.