My sisters and brothers in Christ:
I write from the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, where I’m attending the Commission on Ministry’s spring formation retreat, part of the discernment process for those who believe they are called to be deacons and priests in The Episcopal Church. The photos show the cathedral’s candle-drenched altar during our Compline service this evening and some drenched pooches I spotted on my midday walk in a light drizzle around Echo Park Lake. (I’m sure someone let the dogs in soon after I took the picture!)
I do not attach a photo of Marine One with the President aboard as it and a decoy chopper flew directly over the Cathedral Center at 1:06 p.m., because I didn’t get my iPhone into position in time. It was a thrilling sight nonetheless.
We worship as usual this weekend: Our convenient community Holy Eucharist service at 5 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, April 9) and at 8 and 10 a.m. on the Third Sunday of Easter, when we’ll hear the deeply mysterious and moving story of the risen Christ’s appearance to Simon Peter and his other disciples at the Sea of Galilee. “Feed my lambs,” Christ tells Peter. “Tend my sheep. Feed my sheep.” When Jesus says something once, we know we’d better listen. What if he says it three times?
All are also invited to our “Episcopal 101” class, which begins this Sunday, April 10 at 9 a.m. in the Bishop’s Room and continues on April 17 and 24. Mo. Martha and I will facilitate a discussion of a highly readable, brief, and yet comprehensive book about our church’s theology and practice, Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers. We’ll have copies available at the class for $14.
And there’s more news: Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce will visit St. John’s on Sunday, July 24. Her good ministry that day will include confirmation of youth and adults. Patti Peebles has reached out to eligible young people to get them started with their mentors. If you know someone age 13 or up who would like to be confirmed, but he or she hasn’t heard from us, please let Patti know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for those 18 and older, you may also be confirmed on July 24 if you read Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers, attend as many of the three classes as you can, and schedule a meeting with Mo. Martha or me. The process is almost identical for those who would like to reaffirm their confirmation vows or (for those already confirmed in another denomination) to be received into The Episcopal Church.
If you have any questions about confirmation or reception, please speak to Mo. Martha or me.
Yours in Christ’s love,