Article | May 15, 2023
Congregation Update: Really Belonging
Blog|The Rev. Canon Mary Carter Greene
“To really belong to one another and to depend on one another–to really share a common destiny–is difficult for a community. It is also the community’s only hope of survival. Whether or not we will be honest with each other, whether or not we will let ourselves be truly known, determines everything.”
Dear Cathedral Friends,
The quote above by N. Gordon Cosby from his collections of sermons, Seized By the Power of a Great Affection, helps frame the love I think many of us feel for Grace Cathedral’s inclusivity—that we invite people to be truly who they are and to be fully known.
I especially appreciate how this charism continues. Recently we declared our commitment to our LGBTQ+ identity and allyship by hanging a bold banner with the words/the identities of people whom many legislators around the country seem to be trying to erase but whom we affirm God loves without exception.
At the end of this month, the Pride Steps will return and lead people up and through the Great Doors of the cathedral again. The Pride Steps will be blessed at the opening on June 4, at 6 pm Pride Mass, Grace Cathedral’s annual feast day of inclusion celebration that offers San Francisco’s Pride Month an inauguration with blessing, prayer, and love.
In addition to calling us to celebrate each other in God’s image, Cosby’s words above remind us of our ongoing invitation to be a community made of people who belong to one another, an inclusive, honest, known community.
With a congregation of 520 pledging households, joined by many guests and tourists each Sunday, it can be hard to know how to belong. Hence, congregation events and upcoming initiatives offer ways to grow in the community.
- Grace Groups: Small groups gathering around a common interest—offer an opportunity to grow in community with people who share an affinity area. Our inaugural groups include groups related to seniors, parents of teens and tweens, LGBTQ+, Poetry, and Contemplative Practices. Jesus did some of his best work in a small group. We can too! Register today and reach out to me for more information.
- Join your Grace Cathedral community for a wonderful time of fun, food, and friendship at Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg from May 27-29. This intergenerational weekend is a rare opportunity to unwind, make new friends, and explore the Spirit’s movement among us in the spectacular setting of a hillside ranch in Healdsburg. Register by Monday, May 15, to share this time together. Contact me or email@example.com for more information and to register.
We were each made in the image of God, and we are each invited to be known as one whom God truly loves. I hope you let yourself be seen and known in this community. Doing that, as Gordon Cosby wrote, determines everything.
With great gratitude and many blessings,
The Rev. Canon Mary Carter Greene