Washington, DC, February 19, 2006
Rhode Island Major State Day
Rhode Island Celebrated in Special Worship at Washington National Cathedral
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WASHINGTON Worshipers celebrated the people and leaders of Rhode Island at a special service Feb. 19 at Washington National Cathedral that also noted the 10th anniversary of the ordination of the Right Rev. Geralyn Wolf as bishop of the states Episcopal diocese.
Bishop Wolf was chief celebrant at the service marking Rhode Island Day at the landmark cathedral. The Very Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III, dean of Washington National Cathedral, welcomed visitors from the Ocean State and congratulated Wolf, who was consecrated on Feb. 17, 1996.
Rhode Islanders played key roles in the service. Washington National Cathedral singles out a state each month for special prayer, inviting worshipers of all faiths to take part.
Close to 600 worshipers prayed for the state and its people on Rhode Island Day. Roughly 75 traveled from Rhode Island or were associated with the states Washington D.C. Society.
We were delighted to have Rhode Islanders of all ages gathered at the Cathedral, said Benjamin Bradburn, the National Cathedral Associations program manager. Our volunteer leaders and Cathedral friends in the state worked hard to make this day happen. What a wonderful sight to see so many Rhode Islanders together, the result of all their labor.
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian read Scripture during the service. Sean Spicer, a Barrington native now living in the Washington area, carried the Rhode Island flag during the opening procession, placing it on the chancel steps where it was to remain for the week in further recognition of the state.
The Rev. R. Craig Burlington, rector of St. Lukes Episcopal Church in East Greenwich and Adelene Burlington carried gifts to the altar during the offertory, along with Eleanor Owens Earl of Narragansett, National Cathedral Association regional volunteer leader for Rhode Island; Sue Hurn of Cranston, director of the Rhode Island Diocesan Resource Center; and teen-agers Nicholas and Taylor Smalley of Warwick, Xavier Medeiros of Cranston and Julia Holland of Cumberland.
Dean Lloyd delivered the sermon focusing on the healing powers of the spirit, a theme touched on repeatedly in Scripture when Jesus lays hands on the sick and dying to bring them cure and comfort.
My sense is most of us dont know what to do with these stories of lepers being cleansed and lame people standing up and walking, Lloyd said. But, he said, the healing ministry of Jesus carries a profound message that he is the one who comes to bring health and wholeness to everyone.
The indications are there anecdotally and increasing statistically that what goes on in us spiritually has a profound influence on what happens to us physically, Lloyd said. Thats the conviction of the Scriptures time and again, that body and spirit are one and cannot be separated.
Of course not always do prayers for healing produce cures, Lloyd said. Often the ravages of disease overwhelm even Gods will. Everyone finally dies. God does not promise us there will always be a cure but God does promise us there can always be healing. Even if our bodies succumb to disease we can grow in trust and love in the one who made us and be ready for the healing that finally awaits us beyond this life.
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SOURCE: Washington National Cathedral