The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA

Pride And Joy

An article from the Cathedral Times
by the Very Reverend Samuel G. Candler,
Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip

I am so proud of folks in this parish!

Sunday, September 11, was a tremendous day in our life together. I know we were sadly remembering those affected by Hurricane Katrina, and I know that Sunday was the fourth anniversary of the terrorist strikes upon the United States of America. We remembered those events with prayer and somberness. But it was also "Homecoming Sunday" at the Cathedral.

I was proud that so many folks-and so many children!-were there again at our worship services. What energy was flowing through our halls! As I stood at the front door on Sunday, I saw hundreds of eager faces, young and old. I saw contributions to the Hurricane relief efforts. I saw teachers and leaders bringing in their tools and supplies. Your faces were beautiful!

I was proud of the devoted Outreach Committee of the Cathedral. That group, with George Maxwell, have been working steadily and loyally to coordinate the right ways that our parish can help those in need. We have contribution bins set up; we have telephone numbers; and we have generous contributions flowing in. 

Furthermore, I know of at least three households in the Cathedral who are housing evacuees. Many more have offered their extra space and are awaiting word. On Sunday, we not only welcomed returning members; I counted at least seven visitors from New Orleans. I am proud of all those folks who have let their routines be interrupted so that they genuinely help their neighbor.

I am proud that we commissioned so many teachers and Christian Education leaders on Sunday. That group is the backbone, the steady skeleton, of our programs of Christian Formation. We are forming Christians in this parish, and we rely on other Christians to do that! I was proud that all our classes were so filled on Sunday!

I am also proud of folks at the Cathedral who are returning after times of disappointment and suffering. Some of us have been hurt by our neighbors, or we have been betrayed by friends or family or even spouses. Some of you have felt hurt by me, or some other parish leader. Some of you have been hurt by decisions in the wider church, or even the larger world. Some of you think that perhaps you have been hurt by your God! But you are returning to your Cathedral home, and I am proud of you for that. This church, this Christian community, is where we find the ultimate reconciling grace of God, no matter what our pain.

Saint Paul told his Corinthian church, "I often boast about you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with consolation; I am overjoyed in all our affliction (2 Corinthians 7.4)." Paul was talking both to folks who had been disappointed in him and to folks who had disappointed him. But he had room for godly pride. I hope I have the same godly pride.

The Cathedral of St. Philip has begun another tremendous Fall schedule. Participate with us! Welcome the new and the old!

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4.4-7)."

Sam Candler signature



The Very Rev. Sam Candler