Alpha & Omega Windows, North Transept
Photo by Jeff Neuberger.

Spokane, WA
                                                                    February 13, 2017
Notes from the Dean


There can be no doubt about it, the first three weeks of the Trump presidency have shaken things up considerably and more shaking is on the way. It isn't just what he has done. In an article in the most recent edition of The Atlantic, Jonathan Rauch has pointed out that Trump has yet to do anything unique; other presidents--including presidents as diverse as FDR, Dwight Eisenhower, George W. Bush and Barak Obama--have acted in similar ways at various times. Rather, it is his manner and the consistency of his actions that have excited fears among a large number of people about authoritarianism and the eroding of constitutional protections. In the view of some of our citizens, Donald Trump seems to have no real respect for a free press and an independent judiciary, two of the most important hallmarks of genuine democracies.
     Whether that fear turns out to be true or not, there is a real blessing in this. More than any president in my lifetime, President Trump has created a wave of people who have become newly committed to protecting the basic institutions of our country, some of them from the left, some from the center, and some from the right. Regardless of who you voted for, this can only be good for us.
     By early January, reports Rauch, in his Atlantic article, "The ACLU had raised an impressive $35 million online, from almost 400,000 contributors." On the right, Rauch also notes that the Niskanen Center, a think tank that identifies itself as "center right," had begun to develop plans to bring "activists and politicians (especially Republicans) to make the case for liberal democracy..." We all know the Ninth Circuit has already upheld an injunction against the Executive Order temporarily barring immigration. Whether the Trump Administration would prevail in court if it came to a trial certainly matters, but what matters more is that our judiciary is exercising its independent power to check executive power until such time as the legality of what is contemplated can be tested fully.
     Whether you like Trump or not--and you all know I don't--these sorts of things are heartening. They reveal a vigor to our democratic institutions that has not been so apparent in recent decades and as well, they show that the public at large, both liberal and conservative, are united around the common cause of protecting the basic freedoms we all share.
     I have no idea at this point whether President Trump represents any real threat to our democracy, and neither does anyone else. Those who are certain Trump means to transform us to an authoritarian regime would do well to remember the confidence with which the same predictions were made of Barak Obama. What is clear is that Donald Trump's remarkable personal style has excited a new and very broad wave of commitment to those very institutions that form the bulwark of our democracy, a wave that emanates not from the halls of Congress, but from "We the People of the United States of America."
     This is as it should be. For it is "We the People" who bear the ultimate responsibility for our own freedom, and for the institutions which safeguard it.


We're almost at the deadline, but it's not too late!  Click on this link to finish off your Dean's Survey.  Your participation will assist us in establishing Cathedral demographics as well as identifying desired qualities as we begin the search for a new Dean. In the short term, Survey results will help the Committee Co-Chairs populate the Committee; in the longer term they will assist with identification of Focus Groups and also creation of a Cathedral Profile. 
The survey is open to all members of the congregation age 13 and older. 

Please complete and the survey before
7:00pm, today, Monday, February 13. Click on this link:  
Dean Survey

Thank you so much!
Karen Martin & Eric Baldwin

News from the Curate

I find my patience being tested quite a bit these days.
     At home, I am (mostly) patiently awaiting the arrival of our first child. I can barely wait to see her face, hold her for the first (and many more after that) time, and stumble my way through figuring out what it actually takes to raise a child.  (I'll try and be patient as I work to get the hang of it.)  And in this time of patient waiting, we are working (again, mostly) patiently with our dog Zuzu, training her that all of the strange people that will come to visit our new family member are not in fact evil and there to take her away from us.  Sometimes the patience of training Zuzu wears a little thin, but then she cuddles up and is the sweetest dog, so she's usually easy to forgive.
     And, I'm grateful for this distraction, because I don't know how much patience I can exercise with the world around us. There is so much happening in our country right now that I am concerned about the future that will exist for my daughter who hasn't even had the chance to experience the world yet.  And yet, I am filled with hope and inspired by the compassion of many in our country who are standing up to help those who are unfairly being attacked.  But, there is only so much time and energy and knowledge that these courageous individuals can give.  How they have the patience to fight against a system that is fundamentally set up to see them fail, is remarkable. And, they will only be able to fight so much for so long before their own patience wears thin.
     This leaves me wondering how we will be able to carry on the good fight for the next two, four, or more, years. How will we muster the energy to continue our stand, when victories are stripped away, when newly-realized rights, rights that had been fought for for so long, are once again revoked, when threats against our fellow man and the creation that we all must protect are allowed to proceed regardless of the irreparable harm they will create. How will we continue to be patient, to persist, to stand?
     It is in our faith that I think we can find our answer. 
     It is in our faith that we must realize that patience is a defining trait of who we are.  As Christians, we patiently await the coming of our Lord, the realization of experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth.  We are a patient people by design. We understand, through our faith, that patience is the buoy that enables us to persist even when the world around us appears to be crashing down. We understand, through our faith, that our patience is a fundamental piece of who we are, for it is through patience that we can connect with God.  So, even when I feel my patience being tested, I know that through prayer, through faith, that I must be patient, for it is my faith in God alone that can carry me through this time, that can enable me to meet whatever challenges I meet at home or in the world.

Fr Nic

Blessed are You, Lord Jesus Christ. You crossed every border between Divinity and
humanity to make your home with us.
Help us to welcome you in newcomers, migrants and refugees.
Blessed are You, God of all nations. You bless our land richly with goods
of creation and with people made in your image.
Help us to be good stewards and peacemakers, who live as your children.
Blessed are You, Holy Spirit. You work in the hearts of all
to bring about harmony and goodwill.
Strengthen us to welcome those from other lands, cultures, religions,
that we may live in human solidarity and in hope.
God of all people, grant us vision to see your presence in our midst,
especially in our immigrant sisters and brothers.
Give us courage to open the door to our neighbors
and grace to build a society of justice. 

Pax Christi
Pax Christi  International is an international Catholic peace movement. The  Pax Christi  International website claims its mission is "to transform a world shaken by violence, terrorism, deepening inequalities, and global insecurity."
Image may contain: 3 people, people standing

Friday, February 17

You are invited to join us as St John's offers a benefit concert for the work of World Relief Spokane and for the refugees in our community and those arriving in our community. This is a particularly important time to offer financial and emotional support for refugees and those who work with refugees. 
     Music will be shared by several choirs and refugees in our community.  Performances will include:
* Iraqi and Syrian Drumming and Da nce, led by Badawe Zain
* St. John's Cathedral Choir (Timothy Westerhaus, conductor)
* La Patience (Pan-African band), led by Emmanuel Ruschongoka (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
* Chancel Choir of St. Mark's Lutheran Church (Debbie Hansen, conductor)
* Nepalese dance
* Vocal soloists Thomas L. Bocchi and Amy Porter, with pianist Mary Trotter
* Neema Swahili Choir, led by Jackson Lino (South Sudan)
* Gonzaga University Concert Choir (Timothy Westerhaus, conductor)

We'll all learn an African American Spiritual, "Over my head, I hear music in the air," and close with a text written with our refugee communities in mind by Minnesota composer, Michael Joncas, "A Place Called Home."
     Because financial support for World Relief may become far more uncertain in the coming months, donations will be accepted to support World Relief Spokane.
     In conjunction with this concert, St. John's is holding a prayer vigil from Noon until Midnight on the 17th in the All Saint's Chapel of the Cathedral.


Here's how it goes:
5:30pm-Pizza supper.
6:00pm-Film screening, followed by discussion.
Free child care.

February 15: Zootopia (PG) From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive.

See you at the movies!

  • February 15.   Reel Theology.  "Zootopia".  Pizza supper, 5:30pm,  Film showing, 6:00pm.
  • February 17.   "A Place Called Home," Relief Benefit Concert with World Relief Spokane.    7:30pm.
  • February 17   Prayer Vigil.  All Saint's Chapel.  Noon to midnight.
  • February 28.  Pancake Supper. 5:30pm.  Great Hall.
  • March 1.        Ash Wednesday Services at 7:00am, 10:00am, Noon, 7:00pm.
The March issue will be published on March 13, the second Monday of the month.  Articles or announcements are invited.  Please send copy by the previous Thursday