Cathedral Joy – An Update and Invitation

Dear Cathedral Family,

I write to tell you of some particular joys in the journey of the Cathedral. Two of them are financial events, one of them is an opportunity to share in the joy of the mission and ministry of the Cathedral for 2012, and the final one is a chance to make a Centennial Gift to future generations of the Cathedral (from which we will benefit too).
  • Two important financial events – First, we were able to refinance the debt on the Waller Health Center building in a way the provides a better than market interest rate and will retire the debt completely in twelve years. This financing will benefit both the Cathedral and the Cathedral Foundation, and both the Vestry and the Foundation Trustees are to be congratulated on coming to a mutually beneficial solution. Second, we have closed on the sale of the property formerly occupied by Crossroads, and in a way that retires the debt on that property and fulfills other obligations tied to its sale.
  • That your joy may be complete – Jesus desired that his joy be in us that our joy may be complete. One of the ways we respond to the joy of life in Christ is by celebrating and sharing our blessings. An important way we do that is by supporting the mission and ministry of the Cathedral. While the tithing is the norm in the Episcopal Church, it all really begins with joyful giving hearts. You will find enclosed in this mailing the Stewardship Committee’s letter to the Cathedral community along with a pledge card. Your participation and response are important. Your gift of tithes and offerings makes a difference; it makes things happen! In-gathering Sunday will be November 20th, but you may return the card by mail or in the offering plate at any time.
  • A Gift for the Next Generations: Cooling the Cathedral – One hundred years ago this year our predecessors in the faith dedicated this Cathedral to the glory of God and the spiritual growth of their generation and generations to come. The cathedral itself was their gift to us and to succeeding generations. The Vestry and I have been exploring a way to make a gift to mark the centennial of the Cathedral’s dedication that would benefit (current and) future generations. From an evangelism standpoint, the gift of air conditioning the cathedral is a great undertaking because we know through many studies that those seeking a spiritual home will not sit through hot services when there are cool services offered with equal or greater ease. So you are invited to make a gift to the next generations, and enjoy its benefits as well. The goal is to raise $30,000 by the Annual Meeting on January 29, 2012. We are pleased to tell you that as of today we have gifts totaling $15,000 toward that goal. Your gift of any size is welcome. It can be in this tax year (2011), the next tax year (2012), or both – whatever works best for you. Please see the enclosed insert and act soon so you can be a part of thanking our forebearers and gifting our future Cathedral family.
Our Wardens, Vestry and I hope you will celebrate with us in word and in action the good news of the Cathedral’s increasing operational and missional health, and in financial support of the work that God continues to call us to be and to become.
God’s grace, peace and joy be with you,
Our Vision is to be an extraordinary spiritual gathering place where people of all backgrounds and ages are welcome to question and learn, pray, worship and serve; being loved by God in ways that change and improve their lives and the lives of others.

So Much to Say …

There is a lot going on at this time of year here at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul. There is much to celebrate and much to be thankful about.
Through the efforts of Bishop Gibbs’ staff, most particularly Jo Ann Hardy, the Cathedral Chapter and Vestry, especially Jim Hooker, and the Cathedral staff, especially Chris Hooker, Jeremy Tarrant, and Deacon Watton, the Garden of St. Andrew the Fisherman was dedicated this past Saturday. It was a poignant day for those whose loved ones were impacted by the changes at the former St. Andrew’s, Clawson. Nonetheless, they found both welcome and solace here, and it was good that on that day we could be there for them as their cathedral.
The prayer of dedication reminded us of its Trinitarian purpose to be a place of quiet and peace for the living, consolation and comfort for the mourning, and rest and repose for the departed.
This coming Sunday brings a multitude of opportunities to celebrate and engage.
  • This Sunday is our fall Stewardship In-Gathering Sunday. Please bring your pledge cards to be offered and blessed. This will happen at each service. There will be special additions to each Coffee Hour, too.
  • The Choir Parents Guild will be offering a Soup ‘n Salad lunch after the 10:30 service (suggested donation is $5.). This is a great way to settle in and listen …
  • Now & Forever, a presentation by the Planned Giving Committee, led by Sr. Warden Jim Edwards, features Kara Ferrara (a colleague of Tony Ilardi) offering expert information on planned giving and other ways to be intentional about sustaining the cathedral in a tax savvy manner.
On Wednesday evening you are invited to join us, and bring friends, family and guests, to our Thanksgiving Eve service. It starts at 7:00 pm and is a wonderful way to begin your days of intentional thankfulness.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving brings us to Advent and the celebration of the new church year, as well as the time of preparing our hearts and homes for the coming of Christ. Our choirs help us to do that in a special way each year with the peace-filled service known as the Advent Procession on Sunday, November 27 at 4:00 pm.
More to come after that: Noel Night (December 3 from 5:00 – 9:30) Cathedral Tours and Talks, music by the choir, mini-concerts by our two fabulous organists. There will be Animals of the Nativity on Woodward lawn, and at 8:00 in the Cathedral the Five Lakes Silver Band (a 30 piece brass band) in concert. The Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings Holiday Concert on Dec. 4 at 7:30 pm will be a musical treat for the season – they will have a 100 voice choir with them this year. An Advent Quiet Time starting at 3:00 and concluding with Vespers in the Taize style at 5:00 will be offered on December 11th. Greening of the Cathedral on December 18 after the 10:30 service precedes Lessons and Carols at 4:00 followed by with a wonderful dinner host by the Cathedral Chapter in Barth Hall.
And just enough time…
God’s peace and my prayers,