Cathedral Congregation News
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From the Vicar
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain to joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor. Amen.
This Franciscan benediction, offered as the final blessing for our April 22 Eucharist services, generated more requests for copies than any I can remember in my ministry. Although we have used the blessing before, I have never experienced the outpouring of response that I received that day. What was it about the blessing that resonated so deeply with those who heard it this time?
As you might imagine, I have some thoughts about why this blessing connected so profoundly. Part of our call as Christians is to explore and live into what it means to be an Easter and Resurrection people. Jesus dared not to accept things as they were, but to teach and live his life as one embodying and shining his light toward what the Kingdom of God meant and was created to be. There were no easy answers then; there are no easy answers today. In our culture, and particularly in our current political campaigns that thrive on sound bites and 140-character Twitter tweets, how deep can our relationships and understanding be? I believe part of our resonance with the blessing is that we long to feel connected and to make a difference in a hurting and suffering world. Our collective discomfort is a healthy sign that we are paying attention and that we care!
Within the body of this newsletter, you will see varied ways to help address some of today’s great needs and injustices. One opportunity is new. We have been invited to partner with St. Alban’s Parish in co-sponsoring a Liberian pastor’s attendance at the World AIDS Conference in Washington this July. Liberia is one of approximately 30 countries in the world that criminalize or marginalize homosexual persons and isolate them from critical HIV+ services. Our co-sponsoring with St. Alban’s will help to lift up a witness and give voice to those who have no voice. You can learn more about that opportunity below.
I have shared some of my thoughts about how the blessing connects with us in our Christian vocation, and I would love to hear yours!
Supporting the World AIDS Conference
As we prepare for 25,000 visitors for the World Aids Conference to be held in Washington D.C., the Cathedral invites your prayers and support. The AIDS pandemic is especially tragic in countries that isolate HIV-affected persons in the LGBT community, thus preventing them from obtaining life-saving services.
In partnership with St. Alban’s Parish, the Cathedral Congregation will share the costs of hosting a Liberian Pastor/social worker who is faithfully working with HIV agencies and the LGBT community. We welcome contributions toward the $1,750 that is needed to ensure his costs are covered. Checks may be made payable to Washington National Cathedral with “World AIDS Conf. hosting” in the memo line of your check. Please mail your check in care of the Office of the Vicar to the attention of Wayne Fowler. For more information about this conference and the Cathedral’s response, please contact Mary Wright Baylor, pastoral care nurse.
We Did It!
The Stewardship Committee is very pleased to report that we just passed our 2012 stewardship campaign goal of $1 million! Member support of the Cathedral’s mission and ministries is truly significant. The congregation is setting an example and exceeding our 2011 stewardship campaign in every category. Read more »
Photo Directory: One More Chance
There’s still time to be included in the spring update of the congregation online photo directory. Our photographer will be on site May 20 in the center porch of the narthex immediately inside the glass doors from 10:30 to 11:15 am. There is no cost for the photography but you must be a congregation member. The directory will be accessible online to members only. Please contact Ellen Spencer for an appointment. This will be the last planned photo session this summer.
First, We Welcome
“To feel a call to be a community of faithful prayer in a ministry context that is shared with the world is a particular vocation indeed. It underscores the primary ministry of hospitality that we all share as Christians, but I would imagine that you in this community are called upon to exercise, in extraordinary ways, every time you come into the Cathedral to pray.” —The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Diocese of Washington
Volunteer ushers, greeters, and coffee-hour refreshment providers are the first welcome that we offer to all—the seeker, the tourist, the stranger, the worshiper from near and far, and our own resident flock—whom God sends our way. In the course of a year, the Cathedral conducts 1,600–1,800 services and hosts in the neighborhood of 300,000 worshipers. These daily opportunities for hospitality and welcome underscore the great need for volunteers to help in showing forth Christ’s indiscriminate bestowal of light. Read testimonials from our hospitality corps (pdf) »
Find out how you can join our greeters, ushers, and coffee-hour hosts. Read more »
Vicar Visits Toronto
Our vicar will be the guest preacher on the Feast of Pentecost, May 27, at the Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, Canada. She is preaching at the invitation of the Very Rev. Douglas Stoute, dean of Toronto and rector of St. James’ Cathedral. The vicar’s participation helps to further the Cathedral strategic plan objective to strengthen our role within the Anglican Communion. The Diocese of Toronto is the largest and most diverse of 30 dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada.
This trio of Sunday forums is exploring how the light of Easter animates art, thinking, and service. If you missed the first two sessions, they can be viewed 24/7 on the Cathedral website.
What does it mean to make art in the knowledge of the Resurrection? In her presentation Performing Christ: Visual Art and the Resurrection, artist and long-time Virginia Theological Seminary instructor, Peggy Parker, explored the nature of the creative act by presenting images from across centuries and cultures, and drawing on her experience as an artist and teacher of art. Watch the video »
How can “all manner of things be well”? The Rev. Lyndon Shakespeare explored Thinking Christ: Lessons from Julian of Norwich. This fascinating session probed prominent themes of sin, suffering, and providence that pervade Julian’s work, in light of our proclamation that “Christ is risen.” Rev. Shakespeare’s “hole in a sock” analogy is not to be missed. Watch the video »
In what ways does the Resurrection animate the life of service to others? On May 20, guest Ford Rowan, active in prison ministry and Chair of the Committee of Seventy, invites us to consider Serving Christ: Making Room for the ‘Least of These.’ Learn more »
The Fiery Furnace Returns
Sunday, June 3, 10:10 am, nave
In 1962, the completion of the south transept marked a huge milestone for the Cathedral. Richard Wayne Dirksen, organist and precentor at the time, composed the Fiery Furnace to be performed at the dedication service. Cathedral Voices will perform the cantata based on the familiar story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and passages from “Songs of the Three Holy Children” to mark this fiftieth anniversary year. Learn more »
The food pantry cupboards were bare at Friendship Place. So Missioner Patty Johnson sent out an e-mail appeal to Cathedral staff, volunteers, students, and colleagues on the close to join a “food fight” campaign to re-stock the pantry. Read her report and learn ways to continue the effort to feed our neighbors »
Ministries of the Month
For more information on our outreach programs and advocacy groups, visit the Urban Ministry homepage »
June: Southern Africa Partnership
Celebrating Sid and Carol Hurlburt
“As faithful servants of the Lord, you have each found a way to share your time and talent with our community, in particular with folks in need. Both Literacy and Martha’s Table, two major urban ministry initiatives, have prospered under your leadership. We know the time that is needed to assure success and you have delivered in a stellar capacity. Your unheralded humble service has certainly been noticed and is indeed most inspirational.” Signed by Vicar Jan Naylor Cope and Missioner Patty Johnson
Each year the Seabury Resources for Aging and the Washington Diocese sponsor a service to honor seniors from each Episcopal Church. This year, congregants Sid and Carol Hurlburt are being recognized for their extraordinary work over many years to build the Cathedral’s Literacy and Martha’s Table ministries.
Memorial Service for Charles Colson
WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 10 AM
Weekday Evensong on the Eve of the Ascension with Installation of a Canon
WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 5:30 PM
An Evening with Ann Patchett
FRIDAY, MAY 18 7 PM
Martha’s Table Ministry
SUNDAY, MAY 20 8:30-11:15 AM
Serving Christ: Making Room for the ‘Least of These’
SUNDAY, MAY 20 10:10 AM
Member Photo Session
SUNDAY, MAY 20 10:15-11:15 AM To schedule an appointment to have your picture taken for the Congregation Pictorial Directory, e-mail Ellen Spencer.
To schedule an appointment to have your picture taken for the Congregation Pictorial Directory, e-mail Ellen Spencer.
Newcomer Welcome and Orientation
SUNDAY, MAY 20 12:45 PM
Evensong and Evensocial
SUNDAY, MAY 20 4 PM
Organ Recital: Gary Desmond
SUNDAY, MAY 20 5:15 PM
WEDNESDAY, MAY 23 5:30 PM
THURSDAY, MAY 24 5:30 PM
Weekday Evensong with Guest Choir
FRIDAY, MAY 25 5:30 PM
Organ Recital: Louis Perazza
SUNDAY, MAY 27 5:15 PM
Cathedral Crossroads: Practicing Presence with Mindfulness
TUESDAY, MAY 29 6-8:45 PM
The Fiery Furnace
SUNDAY, June 3 10:10-11 AM
Summer Evening Hours Begin
TUESDAY, JUNE 5 open until 8 PM
The Legacy Celebration
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13 7:30 PM
Washington National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016