Reflecting on the Celebration of a New Ministry with the Welcoming of a New Dean

18 May 2014

Yesterday’s magnificent liturgy manifested Communion in many ways – seen and unseen.

What is your experience of our liturgy? Does it move your living and being?

Today I rifled around in the choir room recycle bin to fish out several of yesterday’s bulletins to send to folks inside and outside of the Episcopal church. I believe that they will be encouraged and strengthened by Who we embody in our worship. lex orandi lex credendi

I see extra-ordinary grace flowing through the ordinary at St. Paul’s.

A little over a year ago, then-Dean Rebecca McClain asked staff and Chapter members to prepare for Chapter retreat by writing one page – what would you share about St. Paul’s with your new Dean?

I ruminated on scriptures, changing my prayer diet to Pauline writings anticipating a whiff from the Spirit in the weeks before. Surely as St. Paul’s Cathedral, there is some part there that is a tasty morsel to share with a new Dean?

My appetite was met with a surprise – I woke up the morning of the retreat clearly with a different taste in my mouth. And this is what it was – Jacob’s dream at Bethel.

Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and he lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord God stood beside him and said, “… Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever I go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you.” Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place – and I did not know it!” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28: 11, 12, 15 – 17.

In the days before that retreat, I had a dream, and in that dream one of the things I heard was, “People choose, as they are chosen, for Communion.”

Every time we gather and celebrate Communion, I am moved and transformed by experience. May God’s dreams come true here at St. Paul’s!


Helena Chan
Obl. OSB Cam.

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