Dear Cathedral Family,
The psalm appointed for this Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany is Psalm 71, an elderly person’s plea to God for protection. It begins by recalling a lifetime of God’s protection and provision: God has been her refuge, her strong rock, crag, stronghold, castle of safety; since she was born, God has been her strength. Of course God will protect her old age.
At nearly 200 years old, Christ Church is an elderly lady, in some ways, and she could say the same things. God has protected and provided for her over all these years, even when times have been hard—in wars, depressions and pandemics, through societal upheaval and stressful change within the Church itself. Like the Psalmist, she is thankful and eager to sing God’s praises.
Although the challenges of recent times are certainly not at an end, our current generation here at Christ Church Cathedral has much to be thankful for and many reasons to praise God. Our many young children and their families, our many long-time and multi-generation members, our newest members, our new ways of maintaining community remotely, our gifted and hard-working staff, and much more.
This Sunday in our worship service and in the annual parish meeting following, we will give thanks for strong and faithful leadership as one Vestry class retires and a vigorous new class is commissioned. We will give thanks for the strong and faithful giving of the Cathedral Family in 2021 and for the strong and encouraging response to our stewardship for 2022. We will also give thanks for our new staff members, lay and ordained, and look forward to programs for the Lent and Easter seasons of 2022.
Our reading from Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians continues his teaching about spiritual gifts by emphasizing that the divine gift that empowers them is love. Paul concludes, “And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” You have been faithful in our life together; you have kept hope for better times and greater things; and, greatest of all, you have shown your love for each other in the Body of Christ, for our community and its health, and for the Lord we worship and serve. I am thankful to serve with you all.