Dean Letter: Thank You

Hello St. Paul’s,

We are finally at the end of this year that has been so hard in so many ways. Like many of you, I am rather desperately hoping that 2021 will be a MUCH better year for us, our community, our nation, and the world. We have suffered some serious losses, but St. Paul’s persists, and we will come back together again some time in the next year, as the vaccine is administered more broadly and as our confidence in gatherings grows.

At our annual meeting on January 24, you will hear about the positive things we accomplished in 2020 and some of our hopes for 2021. I’m not going into all that detail now, but I want to end this year on a note of gratitude. I am so grateful for our talented and hardworking staff and members who came together to create new ways of living in community.

I’ll start with our video team who enabled us to re-experience some of our glorious liturgies and who put together our daily and weekly worship. Under the direction of Jeff Martinhauk and Mike Thornburgh we made excellent use of our video archive – which only exists because of an extremely generous gift four years ago – and of our photo archive, which was almost all the work of our indefatigable Cathedral photographer, Susan Forsburg. Our communications coordinator, Wayne Riehm, has overseen the hundreds of Zoom meetings and the construction of a new web site. Thank you all for your combination of artistry and tech know-how.

I’m grateful for our musicians, led by Martin and Gabriel, who selected music, provided beautiful preludes and postludes, and organized our virtual choir. They’ve also kept in touch with all our singers, both adult and youth, so that the choirs can reunite as soon as it is safe to do so.

I’m grateful for our children, youth and family ministry that has continued to flourish under the inspired leadership of Maya Little-Saña. And, on the adult side, I’m grateful for all our Sacred Ground leaders and participants, and for the faith and courage that compels us to seek a more just society.

I’m grateful for our finance team, led by Kathleen Burgess and Betsey Monsell, who have ensured that contributions continued to be counted and our expenses monitored, so that our generous donors were thanked appropriately and we had an accurate sense of where we were financially throughout the year.

I’m grateful for our wardens and Chapter, who participated in online activities and encouraged others to stay connected, and who let the staff know how much their work was appreciated. I’m grateful for our Circles of Love callers and our Stephen Ministers, who provided countless hours of pastoral care and patient listening as many of us went through times of sadness and anxiety.

I’m grateful for all those who have participated in Morning and Evening Prayer online, coordinated by Brooks Mason, as we have welcomed new members and studied and prayed together.

I’m grateful for our facilities team led by Bob Oslie on staff and Mark Lester on the Buildings and Grounds committee, who have wisely used this time to make necessary repairs and improvements to the cathedral campus.

I’m grateful for those parishioners who work in the medical and law enforcement fields, and who have put their lives on the line in order to care for and protect others.

And I’m grateful for all of you, who have stayed with us through all these challenges. Without you there is no body of Christ, no St. Paul’s family, With you and thanks to you, we have made it through this year and are in good shape to continue to grow in ministry and mission in 2021.

I wish you a very happy, peaceful, and healthy New Year.

Your sister in Christ

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6 thoughts on “Dean Letter: Thank You”

  1. So gratefuls for this beautiful community and family we found this 2020, and with the best wishes for this 2021.
    Salvador and Verónica

  2. I am honored to continue as a Cathedral lector and to be part of a loyal team of lectors who give up their time to read The Word of the Lord for our ongoing services. We are reading and being recorded at home now, but for a short time we were able to once more read from the pulpit, preserving in us the love we have for our beloved church and our place in its worship. Of course we patiently wait for the day when we will mount the pulpit and look out over our congregation of God’s people.

  3. Thank you for your leadership Dean Penny. You have provided encouragement and spiritual guidance to all of us in this lonely time. Hearing your voice and words of wisdom every week has been very helpful.

  4. I am most appreciative for the privilege to have been a participant in the Saint Paul’s congregation, and for the inclusion and prayers offered after my burn accident. I was forced to leave San Diego abruptly to catch what was anticipated at the time to be one of the last American Airlines flights leaving San Diego to address the virus.
    Sunday morning service and Evensong were moments of peace and reflection; the open-mined and all inclusive outreach into the community for the old, the young, the homeless, of the “all”, surely pleases The Lord!

    Several years ago when my son was an airborne combat medic in Afghanistan, I sent him a video of St Paul’s evening Service honoring the military. He shared it with his colleagues who cried with the knowledge of the prayers and concern on their behalf by an organization in San Diego so safely distant from them.

    Thank you Dean Penny for your leadership and guidance to the Cathedral community.

    • So sorry we did not get to say goodbye Malcolm. So glad the services have been a comfort to your son. Hope we are able to meet again!


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