Dear Cathedral Family,
Just a little over a year ago, Christ Church Cathedral hosted the 49th Convention of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. Then, almost as soon as our cleanup concluded, the pandemic began. Now, a year later, it is once again time for our diocesan convention, our 50th, while the pandemic continues. Consequently, our diocesan gathering will be virtual, allowing us to fulfill our canonical obligations and take care of the necessary business of our shared life. Sadly, our time together will be without the personal connection and community building that are also important aspects of convention. We look forward with hope to the next time we are able to be together in the Body once again.
Please pray for our diocese and for the work of convention this Friday evening and Saturday. Please also join me in giving thanks for the service of our convention delegates: Harwell Coale, Carl Cunningham, Jr., Carolyn Eichold, Jubal Hamil, and Carolyn Jeffers. Links for convention worship and other information are included in this email.
As we move toward the spring of our second year with Covid, we are beginning to perceive signs of new life emerging. Case numbers are declining. Vaccinations are increasing. Our Sunday attendance in person is growing. Still, our precautions continue. The pandemic has not yet ended, and challenges remain. But we have learned how to do the things necessary for carrying on our life together, even as we look forward to the time when all of us are able to gather safely and resume many of the shared activities that are so important.
Our readings this Second Sunday in Lent focus on Abraham and Jesus at moments in their lives that highlight their profound belief in the promises of God. Abraham, although his body was “as good as dead,” believed God’s promise that he would be the father of multitudes. Although Peter could not accept it, Jesus believed God’s promise that he would suffer, be killed, and rise again. Through Abraham and through Jesus, God’s promise continues for us—that new and abundant life will come out of circumstances that appear unpromising.
Jesus told his disciples, and tells us, that we will need to relinquish our attachment to life-as-we-have-known-it in order to receive and embrace life-in-God’s-promises. Doing this asks us to set aside our negative views and our fears in order to hold fast to belief and trust. Can you do that? Abraham did. Jesus did. They offer their strength and power to you and me.
May you know God’s peace,