Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | March 22, 2024

Congregation Update: Comfort in All Seasons

Blog|Steph McNally

Dear Friends,

What are the calendars that shape our lives?

The long-awaited season of spring has finally come. For many high school seniors, this time is significant for another reason: letters from the colleges they have applied to will arrive in the next couple of weeks. 

Waiting for news to come can be difficult. I am sure we can all remember when we waited so long for an important letter or email to arrive that it felt like we would be waiting forever. Now is a time we can pray for seniors and their families who are going through this experience. We can pray that the news, when it comes, will bring much-deserved relief and joy. We also can pray with love and compassion, for those for whom the news may bring disappointment.

Applying for college is an all-consuming process that asks a great deal of young people and their families, academically and emotionally. This process may inadvertently lead some young people to see their future happiness and even their worth as linked to admission to a certain college. Letters with disappointing news can cause sorrow and other painful emotions that take time to work through.

Now is a time we can reach out to families we know are due to receive this or another kind of result, including the many in San Francisco who learned this week what elementary, middle, or high school their child will attend. We can also reflect on how we can continue demonstrating to young people how loved, valued, and remarkable they are. We are all beloved as miraculous children of God. It is so important for our precious young people to hear and know this now and in every season of their lives. 

Our time of waiting and preparing through Lent has led us, finally, to Holy Week. We will gather this Sunday at 11 am for the Palm Sunday Eucharist, a service that commemorates both the triumphal procession and the passion of Jesus. Before the service, you are invited to participate in palm cross making, which will take place from 9:30 am in the cathedral. The crosses we make will be distributed and can be kept until the Sunday prior to Lent, when they can be brought back to the cathedral to be made into ashes for Ash Wednesday. Like so many in our faith, this process connects us to our church’s calendar and its cycles of preparation and renewal. It helps us contemplate the mystery and comfort of the seasons that shape our faith and lives.

What a privilege it is to live and walk this great journey of anticipation, courage, and love with you.

Steph McNally 
Formation Programs Manager for Children, Youth, Families, and Adult

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