Hello St. Paul’s,
A year ago, I think almost all of us imagined that by this time we would have the pandemic firmly in the rear-view window, and life would have returned to normal. Well, the pandemic is still very much a part of life, and we are working towards a new normal, a world that isn’t post-pandemic but pandemic-informed. St. Paul’s is adapting as needed, continuing to offer a broad variety of ministries and opportunities for spiritual growth, maintaining a robust community life, and planning for the future. We do this with faith in our God who is constantly renewing the creation and calling us forward with open arms and open doors.
In 2021 St. Paul’s has been strong and vibrant. We have rejoiced in the restoration of the Sacraments. We have encouraged each other to engage in the anti-racism activities of Sacred Ground in Action. We have embraced each other through the many funerals of the summer. We have celebrated the arrival of new members. We have said goodbye to pews and hello to new and elegant chairs. We have learned to sing with face coverings. We have learned to be adaptable as events have swung between online and in-person. And we have learned and relearned that God is constantly with us, no matter the outward shape of our faith practices, that we can continue to Love Christ, Serve Others, and Welcome All regardless of the state of the world around us.
As a member of the cathedral family, you have had a crucial role in the mission of the church. Your prayers and encouragement have kept us going. Your generosity in the past year has enabled us to come through the lockdown months with minimal loss of staff or damage to our community’s social fabric. As we plan for 2022, with our new space and a remodeled chancel to look forward to, our shared motto is that we are Reunited, Renewed, and Ready for the future that God has prepared for St. Paul’s.
We give in gratitude for all that God has given us, and we work together to shape the future of our beloved community. I invite you to begin praying now about your commitment to this community, how your faith has shaped your response to all that we have experienced in 2021, and what generosity means to you, as we open our annual pledge campaign for 2022.
A package is in the mail for you that includes information about the ministries that are supported by pledging, some tools that you might use to determine the amount of your pledge, and a reflection on the state of our church as we begin this effort.
Our pledge campaign this fall will kick off with a special brunch after the 10:30 am worship service on Sunday, October 10 and will continue with a combination of in-person and virtual events, as we continue to navigate the unpredictable course of the pandemic. We will have several other fellowship and discernment events as follows:
- Friday, October 22, 5:00 pm, Happy Hour in the Queen’s Courtyard
- Saturday, October 30, 10:30 am Brunch in the Queen’s Courtyard
- Sunday, November 7, 6:00 pm. Online Event with home delivery of a package of refreshments and small gifts
- Sunday, November 21, all services: ingathering and blessing of pledges followed by celebration picnic after the 10:30 service.
You can sign up for any or all of these events on our web site, and surprise gift packets will be delivered to participants during the season.
We will hear short witness talks from parishioners during worship each Sunday of the campaign, and the campaign will conclude with Ingathering Sunday on November 21. Each element of the campaign will have its own character and provide a different perspective.
If you have been financially affected by the pandemic, please be in touch with me so that we can determine how best to support you. If you have not, I pray that you will join me in discerning what financial pledge for 2022 might be an appropriately generous response to God’s presence in your life and the life of our community. When you are ready, either pledge online at https://stpaulcathedral.org/my-pledge/ or return the pledge card from your packet via USPS. With your pledge in hand before November 21, the Chapter can plan more confidently for next year’s budget.
I am, as always, grateful for the privilege of serving as the Dean of this extraordinary community, and I look forward to the new ways in which we will Love Christ, Serve Others, and Welcome All in the year ahead.
See you on Sunday!