A Time of Transition at St Paul’s: two letters

Dear people of St. Paul’s,

I write to share with you news of yet one more significant transition in our community. Canon Christine Spalding has announced her intention to bring her ministry as Canon for Administration to a close before the end of the year. Christine has served the Cathedral with dedication and love for over a decade. She has provided a valuable dimension of continuity through the transition of Deans, and I am personally grateful for that gift. As a senior member of our staff Christine has had a profound impact on our life as a community, and we owe her a heartfelt thank-you as she prepares for a new chapter in her professional life. Please plan to join us for a celebration of Christine’s ministry after the 10:30 am service on Sunday, December 14. 
I hope you will feel moved to write Christine a note or a card expressing your appreciation for the ministry she has offered for so long and with such faithfulness.

Your sister in Christ,

The Very Rev Penny Bridges, Dean

Dear Friends,

On December 14, I will retire as Cathedral Administrator, a position I have enjoyed for nearly a dozen years. As is often the case with life transitions, I am excited about future possibilities even as I am aware that I will miss you and the work that has both fed and challenged me. In this liminal space, however, I am filled with deep gratitude for this amazing community and the indescribable gifts of having been formed here and having served here.

In 1996, I arrived as a rather rusty cradle Episcopalian and discovered I had returned home. Through a series of volunteer positions from Peace and Justice to Altar Guild to Finance Committee, both my faith and my affection for St. Paul’s grew. After more than 30 years in bank management positions, I was honored to accept the role of Cathedral Administrator.

As administrator, I have managed the Cathedral’s buildings and grounds, its hospitality offerings, office operations and information systems. Working with the staff and clergy here has been one of the great joys of my life. In this work and in this community, I have learned (and received) kindness, diligence, patience and the value of good humor. There are, indeed, saints and angels among us. I have come to cherish the Benedictine rule of stability; the blessing of knowing people deeply over a long time, in good times and bad. We journey together and by committing to do so, we enrich one another’s journeys. You most certainly have enriched mine. Although I am retiring, St. Paul’s will always be home to me and I look forward to remaining part of this congregation even as my role changes.

When I was invited to become the Cathedral’s administrator, I clearly recall having a trace of apprehension that God might want something more of me and that this job might be his way of getting it! I have learned that yes, God always does want something more from us: a deeper friendship, a fuller offering of our gifts and resources for the building of the Kingdom, a continually discerning heart. Now that “something more” is drawing me forward. In June, I will complete a three-year program to become a certified Spiritual Director. As an EfM student and mentor, my love of learning and of scripture has grown and I have found deep joy in engaging with others in theological reflection. I will continue in this work.

Bishop Oscar Romero’s famous prayer says in part, “We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work”. Anyone who has served in ministry knows the truth of that. How lucky I am to have been given some of that work to do, for a little while and with this beloved community!

God’s peace,

Christine Spalding, CCA
Canon for Administration

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