Dear Cathedral Family,
Tuesday of this week, October 17, was the day when the Christian community was called to concerted prayer for peace and reconciliation in Israel. This call to prayer, issued for those of us in the Anglican Communion by the Most Reverend Hosam Naoum, archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem, followed the recent violent attacks in Gaza and came in the midst of Israel’s preparations for war. Tragically, on that same day, the Anglican Episcopal Hospital in Gaza was bombed, resulting in tremendous loss of innocent life.
As I write this message on Thursday, October 19, the Archbishop of Canterbury has arrived in Jerusalem for a pastoral visit to show solidarity and support for the Church in the region. Both our Presiding Bishop and our own Bishop Russell Kendrick have urged Episcopalians to pray for peace and to support efforts for humanitarian relief in Gaza. You will find links to the bishops’ statements and resources for the conflict in the Holy Land here. I urge you all to be persistent in your prayers for peace and strong in your resistance of all forms of violence that this moment may provoke.
Even as the darkness and danger of the world surround us, as God’s people we are called to continue our journey of faith. In our reading this Sunday from Exodus 33, God prepares Moses and the Israelites to journey out from the Holy Mountain into the wilderness and promises that the God’s Presence will be with them all along the way. That promise endures for all of us as God’s children.
Here at Christ Church Cathedral, we continue with our preparations for the Bicentennial Celebration on November 5. Two more Saturday work days remain: this Saturday, October 21 and the next, October 28. I hope that many of you are able to come lend a hand in dusting, cleaning, and making us ready for a shining day.
We are also launching our annual stewardship campaign. Look for a letter from chairs Hayley and Bragg Van Antwerp next week. They will be speaking to the congregation on Sunday, October 29.
Below you will find the prayer that Presiding Bishop Curry commended this week. Please keep it in your hearts and minds.
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever. Amen.
Prayers for the World, Book of Common Prayer, p. 815.