Dear St. Paul’s family,
In a couple of weeks we will come to the beginning of a new church year and the Advent season will be upon us. Conveniently for the makers of Advent calendars, the season actually starts on December 1 this year. (That is Thanksgiving weekend, in case you are wondering). It’s been a whirlwind of a summer and fall at the Cathedral, and we are all feeling the stress of the office move and the constant changes generated by the construction. Additionally, with the loss of two staff positions, the beginning of the program year has been especially challenging for our staff and leadership.
In order to allow ourselves to breathe and enjoy the quiet beauty of Advent, we are looking for ways to make this a Quiet Advent. It’s no easy task, with special carol services, the Alternative Gifts Expo, the Messiah sing, Christmas bulletins to prepare, and of course the spectacular and historic Gala on December 13, but there are some opportunities. There will be no Advent midweek formation series this year, and we are not holding several regular meetings, including the Buildings and Grounds, Stewardship, ministry leaders (second Tuesday), clergy, pastoral care committee and executive staff planning sessions. We will also be discontinuing the 5 pm Eucharist service on Saturdays: this will allow sextons, clergy, and sacristans to take a small break before the hustle and bustle of Sunday.
Weekly staff meetings, Sunday Bible study, Chapter, Women Together, and all other regularly scheduled worship services will take place as usual.
If you would like to host an informal book discussion group in your home during Advent, without clergy involvement, I want to encourage you to do so. You can set your own meeting days and times and select your own book, although I will be happy to suggest a short list from which to select. We will gladly list contact information for such groups in Cathedral Life.
I want to encourage you to make space in your calendar for Advent and to simplify as much as you can for the season. We all have more than enough to do, and taking Sabbath time is not only blessed but mandated in Scripture.
Your sister in Christ,