Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were a blessed time and that you are ready to start 2017 with optimism and faith.
Saint John’s Cathedral is entering the final stages of the transition that began two years ago with the election of Peter Eaton as Bishop of Southeast Florida. The Interview Committee will present two or three names for the Vestry’s final consideration this month. The Vestry will then bring the final candidates and their families to Denver for interviews and, after a period of discernment, will meet to elect one of them as your next Dean.
In The Episcopal Church, the discernment process is a mutual one. That simply means that the candidates are looking at this Cathedral community just as the Interview Committee and Vestry are looking at them. What will they see?
It is my sincere hope that they will see the People of God in active pursuit of the Mission of God. There are many signs of that happening. I invite you to do your part in three specific initiatives that we launched at the end of last year:
Be One in a Thousand – Let us know how you are engaged in direct ministry with those who are living in poverty. Whether it is something you will do once, monthly, weekly, daily, or occasionally during 2017, we would like to record what you will be doing. That information will be shared with the final candidates and we will publish stories from those who are willing to share them. Use a One in a Thousand response card or go online to share how you are involved.
Balance the Budget – I will never ask a Christian to give to a budget. Tithes and offerings are gifts to God and for God’s mission. However, a church budget is a mission plan, the intent of which is to identify the work to be done and the resources that are necessary to do that work in a specific community of Christ’s followers. After months of discernment and hard work, your clergy and lay leadership have determined that we must stop deficit spending and that the new Dean should be handed a balanced budget. We’ve cut expenses and reduced the size of the staff and are still $353,000 out of balance. Six families have joined together to offer challenge gifts that will encourage the rest of us to increase the pledges we have made or to make a pledge in order to balance this budget. All of your clergy have increased our pledges in response to this appeal. We invite you to do likewise. Use a pledge card, send an email to Canon Charles LaFond, or go online to join this effort.
Invite a Friend – The fact that you are taking the time to read this message indicates that Saint John’s Cathedral meets important spiritual needs for you and your household. Why not share it with others? Seventy-five percent of those who visit a church for the first time do so at the invitation of someone they know – a friend, colleague, neighbor, or family member. People are more receptive to an invitation to a church in January, mostly because it is a new year. So, make a list of people in your life who may not have a spiritual home. Then, invite them to start the new year with us at Saint John’s Cathedral. Pick them up, meet them in the Welcome Center, take them out for a meal afterwards. It doesn’t have to be a worship service; it can be a concert, a fellowship event, or an educational opportunity. Just invite a friend!
Your participation in these three initiatives will strengthen our life together and help demonstrate how this Cathedral community is making the best use of this time of transition.
I’ll see you in Church!
The Very Reverend Ronald D. Pogue
Saint John’s Cathedral