The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA
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From the Dean

The Very Reverend Samuel G. Candler


A New Year!

Oh my, there are so many ways to recognize a new year! Some of us make resolutions. Some of us stay up past midnight. Some of us drink too much. Some of us watch football. Some of us just continue doing what we were doing.

And some of us stubbornly claim that January 1 is not really the new year. Hey, some say, we are Episcopalians, liturgical Christians, who observe that the church new year really begins each year on the First Sunday of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas. Well, maybe.

Some of the old nature religions celebrated the new year around the Winter Solstice, December 21 – the time of year that daylight begins its gradual growth through the year. Still others claim that Easter is really the start of a new year. Indeed, in times past, it was March 25, around the Spring Equinox, that began the new year. In the places where March 25 was so observed, one legend has it that, if someone had not begun the new year by April 1, that person was considered an “April Fool.”

Anyway, so be it. January 1 certainly marked the observance of a new calendar year for many of us. And, we must admit, it does help to have markers in our lives: birthdays, anniversaries, times when we renew our most important commitments.

Celebrate the new year! But I also encourage us to celebrate every day, as if each day begins a new year! Because, it is every day that begins something new. Every morning is a renewal, a time to mark our most important commitments and loves. Whether yesterday had its disappointments or its joys, it is gone. Today is a new day. Indeed, today is new year!

The Very Reverend Samuel G. Candler
Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip

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Special Inauguration Day Prayer Service – Monday, January 14, 2019

The Cathedral of St. Philip is honored to have been asked to host the Inauguration Day Prayer Service for the Governor-Elect of Georgia, Brian Kemp, on Monday, January 14, 2019; and I am glad to have agreed to host prayer on that special day. However, with the need for very close security, only ticketed guests and cathedral entity staff members will have access to the building that morning. Interested citizens and parishioners can watch the service televised on the Georgia Public Broadcasting network. The wonderful Cathedral Preschool and Cathedral Book Store will both be closed.

The Cathedral of St. Philip, a “House of Prayer For All People,” hosts this service as a witness of our continuing prayer for all in political office, and certainly prayer for the highest political office in the state of Georgia. This is exactly the sort of thing that a cathedral for the city, and for the state, ought to be doing. We serve. Pray for us, and for the governor-elect, and for the state of Georgia!

the Dean’s Forum Podcasts

The Very Rev. Sam Candler, Dean of the Cathedral, leads the Forum from September through May, including special guest speakers, current topics, and striking conversations. There is always something for everyone. The Forum meets in Child Hall at 10:10 a.m. on most Sundays.

The Annual Parish Meeting


Kahlil Gibran: A Spiritual Guide For Our Times


Guest Speaker: Major General James E. Livingston


Iona Pilgrimage Discussion


The Episcopal Church: Where We Came From and Who We Are (Part 2)


The Episcopal Church: Where We Came From and Who We Are


More Podcasts

Good Faith and the Common Good

Occasional offerings from Sam Candler on issues of faith, church, and the world.

Why is the Book of Job Even in the Bible?

Job. Even if we have not read the Book of Job, we know that name. Job: the very name evokes suffering in us. The mere name seems to mean innocent and undeserved suffering. And, worse, the huge poetry of the Book of Job—its major thirty-nine chapters—never provides an adequate answer as to why Job suffers.
Why is this book even in the Bible?
By way of approaching an answer to that question, let me start with something lighter, a lighter story:
A few days ago, a guy saw a woman in the grocery store with a three-year-old girl in her cart. As the mother and daughter passed the cookie section, the child asked for cookies and her mother told her “no.” The little girl immediately began to whine and fuss! The guy heard the mother say quietly, “Now Ellen, we just have half of the aisles left to go through; don’t be upset. It won't be long.”
The guy passed the mother again in the candy aisle. Of course, the little girl began to shout...

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