We will express our thankfulness for the ministry Bishop Duncan and Kathy have lived out with us, as we also give thanks for ten years of service as the cathedral church of the diocese. At the respectful request of the Vestry, Bishop Duncan will name The Very Reverend Johnny Cook as Dean Emeritus of Christ Church Cathedral. Dean Cook will join us in worship as a concelebrant, and his presence on the altar along with Bishop Duncan and me will be a sign of the unity and continuity of our ongoing shared mission at Christ Church Cathedral.
Our lessons from scripture are filled with insights into the meaning and significance of our liturgy and our life together. The reading from Acts recounts the arrest of Peter and John by the Sadducees for preaching that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead. After his arrest, as he testifies before the authorities, Peter, “filled with the Holy Spirit,” defends the faith. He establishes the primacy and power of Jesus’ name: there is “no other name under heaven given by mortals by which we must be saved. In baptism, we are made his—as we are baptized into his death and resurrection—and we share his name and membership in the household of God. The first letter of John tells us what our life in his name should be like; we should live out God’s commandment “that we should believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ and love one another.” We will recommit ourselves to these things as we renew our Baptismal Covenant and as we make our promises to support the newly baptized. Our confirmands and those being received will renew their promises to live this life, and we will pledge our support and offer our prayers. The gospel lesson from John is Jesus’ revealing of himself as the “good shepherd,” the one who cares for us, who lays down his life for us, and whose voice we listen to.
Following our worship, we will gather in the Garden for a special Cathedral Celebration luncheon honoring Bishop Duncan and Kathy, as well as our confirmands and their families. I hope you will all be present to join in the day’s celebrations!