Thanks to everyone who attended the Annual Meeting of the Congregation on Sunday, January 31, held online over Zoom. Led by Bishop Marc Andrus and Dean Malcolm Young, we reflected on all we experienced as a congregation in 2020 — a year that has marked us, our community and our world so deeply.
In his annual address, Bishop Marc noted how the staff at Grace rose to the challenge of bringing major events like Holy Week and Easter online, learning to be present to our community in new ways and making it possible for our worship and programs to reach thousands of new people and across the globe. He encouraged everyone to reach for their creativity, courage and compassion as we work, over the coming months, to safely regather in person while remaining connected online. He also named the loss and grief we experienced in 2020, and gave particular thanks to the cathedral clergy, staff and congregation members who worked together to provide pastoral care for each other during this difficult year.
Board Chair Stephen Mattoon spoke of the Trustees role of planning for and resourcing our future. Their vision for and investment in a “Connected Cathedral” proved both timely and essential: major facility and technology upgrades were completed just as the pandemic lockdown moved our life and worship online. Board Treasurer Renn Rhodes reviewed Grace Cathedral’s finances, offering particular thanks to the congregation for its faithful and generous support during a challenging year. You can see the financial statements in our 2021 Annual Report.
In his report, Dean Malcolm shared how the work of The Year of Bridges changed so radically when we could no longer gather in person. He particularly highlighted the cathedral staff’s hard work, creativity and flexibility: responding to ever-shifting Covid-19 directives, learning how to provide formation and programs online, and developing new ways to connect with donors and effectively raise money to support the Cathedral’s ministry. Dean Malcolm also announced Grace Cathedral’s theme for 2021, The Year of Healing, sharing his hopes for re-gathering in person later this year as well as a commitment to continue offering worship and programs online. After his remarks, he introduced the 2020: The Year of Bridges video, looking back at Grace Cathedral’s worship, fellowship and ministry both before and during the long months of pandemic lockdown.
We honored congregation members who made extraordinary contributions to our life together in 2020. Christine Bensen and Lily Bowles Leo each received the Dean and Chapter Award, Christine for sharing her wise counsel and experience with digital marketing with Grace Cathedral’s leadership, and Lily for her work in re-envisioning Carnivale, our annual gala, as an online event. Steph McNally received the Office of the Congregation Award for her teaching and leading with Ministries with Families, Children and Youth, and for her ministry work with Dinner with Grace and with our neighbors at GLIDE.
Finally, we elected representatives to our advisory bodies, and welcomed our new Congregational Trustees, Congregation Council Members and Deanery Delegates:
Board of Trustees