While in Marietta, GA during hurricane Irma, Justin and I had the opportunity to return to the church where he served in Atlanta: Holy Trinity in Decatur. His supervisor, and a mentor to both of us preached. She talked about Matthew 18: 15-20, and she talked about community. She emphasizes that Jesus asks, "what kind of a community will we be?" The call to community is foundational to a life as Christian people in the world: people following Christ, and here in this Gospel people with Christ in a very physical way. She noted that isolation and the possibility to move around create "...a false sense of independence and self-sufficiency that leave us lonely and filled with anxiety." If we keep moving searching for that perfect community, or if we keep to ourselves in self-inflicted isolation, we will be lonely. Some people say we are relational beings. I'm sure the eucharist has a role in that, as well as our baptismal covenant. Her sermon continued to say that when we are in community and share real intimacy and tell each other how we are really doing, we have people who can be our confidants. It is difficult to be vulnerable, authentic and to show people the other parts of our wholeness as a person: the parts that extend beyond our niceness we present on Sunday mornings. She encouraged us that Jesus is with us as we struggle through the difficult parts of community and relationships.
With these thoughts in my head and heart I feel compelled to examine the ways the Cathedral community came together during the hurricane. From our vantage point of Marietta, GA we saw a facebook newsfeed filled with status updates sharing both the scary, apprehensive and the funny. It was a time of listening. Katie came onto facebooklive every morning and evening sharing prayer. We updated the website and instagram, facebook and newsfeeds to tell people we are safe and what is the plan moving forward.
In summary, way back up at the top of the post is an image. I wrote down the big ideas that are guiding us as we return to St Pete, the Cathedral and the ministries of Children and Youth. Somehow all of the words started with C, such is life.
Curriculum, Consistency, Collaboration, Community --> Church
with the question/idea:
"Who we are as a children's (& youth etc) Cathedral Church Community?"
Each day, as we wake up, we have the opportunity to listen to the voices of guilt and compassion. There seems to be no sure-fire way to live perfectly. And so we are called, by God/Jesus to live as community. To discern together our call as people of the church and what this year ahead will look like. Thank you for being a part of our/this community.