Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | November 17, 2023

Congregation Update: Granny Was Right

Blog|The Rev. Joe C. Williams

Dear Friends,

We were able to witness history this week as world leaders descended just steps away from the cathedral as the city of San Francisco hosted the APEC Conference. Street closures around the Close, rerouting of public transportation, and the security that corresponds with world leaders staying just a few short blocks away didn’t quell the sense of community and joy we enjoy at Grace. Just as we do each week, we sang together, prayed together, and were present for each other. From our Thanksgiving celebration on Senior Wednesday, where nearly fifty people came to share a meal and stories of thanks culminating in gathering around the table at the noon eucharist, to poet Jay Hulme sharing his evocative poetry in the voices of saints with the Vine Congregation, the Spirit was active at Grace. 

It’s weeks like these, gathering with friends old and new, that reminds me of going to church with my Granny. Walking down the sidewalk to the front doors each week, before we entered, she would always reach into her well-worn purse, hand me a hard butterscotch candy and a dollar bill, telling me to “put the money in the offering plate – we give because this place gives us so much.” That simple statement has stuck with me through the years and inspires my own theology of giving.

This Sunday at 11 am, we will celebrate Ingathering, where we recognize our Stewardship Committee and will bless the pledges of our congregation. We mark this season annually and remember our promise to support each other and our cathedral community. Our gifts make it possible to sustain programming and create a safe and healthy place for our seniors to gather, our youth to explore, and families to thrive. Over a century ago, those who worshiped at what would become this cathedral probably had no idea the fruit their gifts would produce or the legacy they would leave.  

I pray you will consider a gift this year if you’ve never pledged – or continue if you’re a long-time financial supporter. Our gifts make a difference by ensuring Grace has the resources it needs to connect our community through meaningful prayer, offer compassion to our neighbors, and engage in social justice initiatives. If you have questions about giving, our Stewardship Committee will be at coffee hour this week and would be happy to talk with you to share our stories about why we give.  

“Put the money in the offering plate – we give because this place gives us so much.” 

This community has blessed me so much in my short time at Grace. I’ve made lasting friendships, celebrated, mourned, and have deepened my faith. Won’t you join me in giving to ensure future generations have the same opportunity?


The Rev. Joe C. Williams

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