Dear Cathedral Family,
Our January parish meeting, to be held this Sunday after worship, is our time each year to look back at where we have been and look forward to the possibilities ahead. At last year’s meeting, none of us could have foreseen where 2020 would take us. As challenging and sometimes tiring as 2020 was, we have so much for which to give thanks to God.
Above all, we give thanks for God’s goodness and love in preserving our shared life in health and strength though this extraordinary year of pandemic and economic/social/political upheaval. I am thankful for your faithfulness in worship. I am thankful for the good and faithful work of your Vestry and Finance Committee. Working together, we have been able to move forward carefully and with confidence.
I am thankful for your faithfulness in giving, which allowed us to answer the call to shift our life and worship together to new platforms and to keep connected to one another. As you will hear in the report from Junior Warden for Finance John Brooks on Sunday, we began and ended 2020 in strong financial condition. We actually experienced an increase in pledge revenue received in 2020 over 2019. I am thankful for your faithful response to our stewardship for 2021, and for the good work of your Finance Committee in carrying this through. You will hear a positive report about our outlook for the budget year ahead.
I am thankful every day for the dedicated and adaptive work of the Cathedral staff. Financial Secretary Brenda Stanton has done excellent work in securing state grant monies that enabled us to install good quality streaming equipment, as well as PPP funds that saw us through the middle of the year. She was also adept in helping re-organize our working budget to meet our changing needs throughout the year. Provost Carolyn Jeffers and her administrative assistant Melissa Hicks quickly shifted their focus to enhanced email communication, new online offerings, streaming services, and sign-up and set-up for in-person worship under new conditions. Music director Christopher Powell, with the excellent help of Mollie Adams, has done good work in adapting our musical offerings to new formats, making sure that the beauty and holiness of our worship is undiminished. Housekeeper Judy Jones and Parish Secretary Marla Reis have been faithful in the day-to-day keeping up with the physical reality of our campus, the needs of which continue even when congregational life is at a distance.
Through the faithful self-giving of God’s people, we are able to see and know that God is faithful. The year ahead will continue to challenge our sense of “normal,” AND it will offer opportunity to deepen our commitment to following Jesus as we continue to learn new ways of carrying out His mission in our world.
I am honored to walk this journey along with you all.