Stewardship Letter from the Dean, 2020
Dear St Peter’s,
As we all have experienced, 2020 has been a year that will not fade quickly from our memory. We have been engaged in a battle against a virus that has closed down worship, curtailed fellowship, and shifted life from an in-person format to a virtual existence. Many come to the end of this year tired, and isolated, and emotionally drained, not knowing what awaits us in 2021.
But, even in the midst of a year for the record books, God is calling us forward with excitement and promise. God is calling us to embrace what is being put onto our path for the mission for God’s church for the coming year. And, by definition, that is tremendously exciting. Towards that goal, I would like to share a vision for our life together.
First, we should be embracing a posture of immense gratitude. We have come through of very troubling year with grace and commitment. The Cathedral family has been phenomenal in keeping dedicated to who we are. Fear did not overwhelm us. Adversity has not diminished us. And your giving to God’s mission never wavered. We engaged 2020 with a spirit of optimism, while never jettisoning a structure of safety.
We learned new ways to be faithful in worship, fellowship, and outreach. We engaged strange new technologies in order to be the church for our time. We found the gift of live-streaming and Zoom meetings in order to embrace our Great Commission mandate in the world. We expanded our giving in order to grow our support for our neighbors who are increasingly finding themselves unexpectedly impacted by the economic impact of COVID. And now, as we come to the end of 2020, we will do so financially stable, carrying with us the joy of experiencing firsthand how a committed and faithful congregation stands when challenged.
Turning our focus forward, 2021 beckons us. God invites us to embrace 2021, with its unseen challenges and limitless possibilities, with vigor and commitment.
Here is what I think lies ahead on our horizon:
Through our commitment to appropriate disciplines, and the gift of a dedicated medical and scientific community, COVID 19 will become manageable.
As #1 becomes reality, we will, as appropriate, begin our path back to a more normal Sunday worship experience.
The expansion that we have seen in our virtual life together will continue. Live-streaming and Zoom meetings will become additional tools to enhance our ministries.
Our office space in Wilson Hall will be re-organized and will include a conference/multi-media room where our new technologies can be more effectively implemented. The main office will move to the corner multi-purpose room facing the church, and the Dean’s office will be expanded to allow for a more comfortable setting for small meetings with the current and future Deans.
As we re-engage our expanding children’s Sunday School program, we will add a children’s chapel in Wilson Hall that will help the children transition from a classroom experience to a worship experience on Sunday mornings, as they join their families for communion.
Adult Sunday school opportunities will grow with multiple options on Sunday morning and added weekday studies to help us grow in faith.
Our Social Concerns outreach will continue to grow, both with financial assistance for those in need, as well as opportunities for the powerful experience of personal volunteer involvement.
Fellowship will return providing opportunities to live into our true selves, as a community walking in faith together. Flipper Sunday, Volunteer Recognitions on All Saints Sunday, Sundae Sunday, Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Christmas Dinner together, Easter Egg Hunt, and even more will return with, I believe, added joy.
And So Much More…..
I believe that in 2021 we will find a re-awakening of our life together with great possibilities and wonderful opportunities. And as we all prayerfully plan our giving for the coming year, I would like to invite you all into that vision. The coming year will provide us with the chance to re-energize our life together, even taking us to new levels, as we trust that God’s plan for us has always been forward moving and upward trending.
Of course, this cannot happen without our dedicated financial commitment to that life to which we are being called. We can, and should, reflect in gratitude on our amazing collective faithfulness over the past year. I hope, however, that we will also all see and embrace our continuing path with abundant excitement for what still lies on the horizon for our life together.
I encourage you to fill out the enclosed pledge card and return it promptly, so we can begin our planning for 2021. For your convenience, there is a return envelope enclosed. Stewardship Ingathering Sunday will be on Christ the King Sunday, November 20th. On that day we will ask for God’s blessing on our faithful offerings. Watch for details on how you might participate in that wonderful Sunday.
May God’s blessing be upon us all and upon the mission and ministry of St. Peter’s Cathedral.
TVR Scott Anderson
St. Peter’s Cathedral