Article | January 20, 2023
Congregation Update: Many, Yet One
Blog|The Rev. Canon Anna E. Rossi
From the beginning, the church has fractured in the face of disagreements over doctrine, liturgical practices, and human diversity, sometimes colored by money, power, and politics. And because of this reality, or perhaps in spite of it, the church has continued to pray for unity, even when that unity is amorphous or aspirational. Traditionally, a week-long observance of prayer for Christian unity begins on January 18 (The Confession of St. Peter) and concludes on January 25 (The Conversion of St. Paul).
The World Council of Churches explores a theme for Christian unity each year, and 2023’s is “Do good; seek justice.” The theme recognizes that our care for the human community is both an ethical imperative and a potential source of commonality among the diverse Christian bodies. Like world peace, Christian unity is both worthy of our striving and something that will ultimately be fulfilled at the end of time. It is our work and God’s work. It is more practice and intention than a measurable goal.
Put “do good; seek justice” into practice with this year’s Winter Interfaith Shelter. A collaboration of Episcopal Community Services, the San Francisco Interfaith Council, and local houses of worship, the Winter Interfaith Shelter takes place in the coldest months of the year, and provides our unhoused neighbors with a warm place to sleep indoors, and a nourishing meal. Grace Cathedral will serve on Thursday, February 9. Learn more and register to join the team of volunteers to cook, serve, transport, and clean up.
We recognize the unity of the Body of Christ in many ways, among them the Eucharist, and, more particularly, the common cup. We might think first of the contents of the cup (Wine), but the total witness of scripture is to the fact of a shared cup. Many have expressed enthusiasm about the return to Communion in both kinds (Bread and Wine), and some their concerns. Both have a place and support our preparation for how to proceed. We’ll begin on January 29, and robust participation from the congregation serving in the liturgy is both necessary and desired. Confirmed Christians with reverence for the sacramental life are encouraged to register for Chalice Bearer trainings offered throughout the day on Sunday, January 22.
I want to call your attention to a few important events in cathedral life:
- This Sunday at 12:15 pm, join Inquirers Class to learn more about The Episcopal Church, our traditions, and what it means to belong.
- Next Sunday, January 29, at 9:30 am in the Nave and online, we’ll hold the Annual Meeting of the Congregation. All pledging members are eligible to vote. Your vote matters, so please make your 2023 pledge today.
- For two decades, our congregation members and others have followed the star of wonder to experience Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth, and other places from the life of Jesus. This is the final call for the final Grace Cathedral pilgrimage led by the Rev. Canon Mark Stanger.
- We are delighted to share with you all the new Grace Cathedral Website. Learn more in our blog!
Finally, I am delighted to announce that Interim Director of Music Mr. Chris Keady and his husband Dan have just been given a new foster-to-adopt baby boy after many years of waiting. Chris is taking family leave as of this week. Please join me in wishing Chris and Dan hearty congratulations on the new addition to their family.
The Rev. Canon Anna E. Rossi
Director of Interfaith Engagement