from the Rev. Canon George M. Maxwell, Jr.
Peace be to all of you, and thank you, for joining us for another edition of our Wednesday Parish Notices! During this season of social distance, the Cathedral of St. Philip delivers Parish Notices every Wednesday, at 6:15 pm.
During this season, I am glad for safe and gradual re-engagements! However, our Cathedral building remains closed. All of us look forward, one day, to returning to the beautiful Cathedral to worship, to sing and to pray, and to preach and to see and touch each other! We want to touch the Body of Christ! Safely, respectfully, honorably, and gracefully.
We continue to make all our decisions about Sunday worship and the opening of the building, on a rolling, two-week basis.
At this point, we plan to conduct our worship services online through at least the end of the month, Sunday, May 31. Our prayers and music will continue to be recorded earlier, by our ministers from our own homes, where you probably are now!
Every Sunday, we still have the ability to offer all sorts of various things, besides money. We celebrate Holy Eucharist together, even online, because we still do have things to offer! That is the spiritual principle supporting our spiritual communion on Sundays these days.
The next two Sundays represent two excellent offerings!
This Sunday, May 17, we will celebrate Youth Sunday! What a joy it will be to receive offerings from our Cathedral youth, who will preach the sermon, read the lessons, and pray the prayers! Nate Huddleston, who has been a splendid gift to the Cathedral of St. Philip in his position as Associate Priest for Youth and Young Professionals, will help us honor the special gifts that the Youth of the Cathedral have offering this past year.
Then, on Sunday, May 31, we will celebrate Pentecost. Our celebration of Pentecost begins as did Palm Sunday, and the Easter Vigil, and every Sunday service: with a procession! The Feast of Pentecost falls on the 50th day after Easter and, with Easter Day itself, bookends the season of Easter. On Pentecost, we remember and celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and its inspiration of the church, as we renew our own baptismal vows—just like we did on Easter Day. We hear the story from the Acts of the Apostles, when the Holy Spirit descends on the crowd of disciples in tongues of fire, and people from all nations understand each other, though they speak in their own languages. At the Feast of Pentecost, you will see lots of red, as red is the color associated with the Holy Spirit and, of course, with fire; and you will hear the Word of the Lord proclaimed in many languages.
This Pentecost Sunday, May 31, we will still process together, with all the fanfare of our usual Pentecost celebration! Our procession will consist of pictures and short videos from you, the Cathedral parish, with fire or anything that reminds you of fire. You can hold a flame in your hand, build a fire, or make something that looks like fire. You also can carry streamers or banners, or anything festive. Let the Spirit guide you! It will be lively and chaotic, just like the first Pentecost!
Please upload your pictures by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, at cathedralATL.org/pentecost
We are also offering a new class. In the midst of this pandemic and its collateral consequences, we are facing many losses, while being hurled into trying new things. How do we stay centered? To what can we hold onto? How can we live in these moments with more conviction and confidence, and stay true to ourselves and our relationships with others? Over the course of these three weeks, we will be using psychological and theological perspectives to reflect on the challenges, opportunities, and resources we have to navigate our current climate. Canon Cathy Zappa and therapist Christy Gituku, from the Cathedral Counseling Center, are leading this discussion. We will meet by Zoom at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 19, May 26, and June 2. To register, contact Canon Cathy Zappa at czappa@cathedralATL.org.
Though we are separated, we are together in Christ. Though we are many, we are one Body in Christ!Here endeth the Parish Notices for Wednesday, May 13, 2020!
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
The Rev. Canon George M. Maxwell, Jr.
Vicar of the Cathedral of St. Philip.