May, 2019
Following Jesus in Eastertide
In this edition:
Formation in Eastertide
From the Dean
Notes from Outreach
The Deacon's Corner
Creation Care
From the Senior Warden
Upcoming Parish Events
Formation in Eastertide
Join us Sundays at 9:15 in the Guild Rooms for coffee and conversation! We are learning about what the Episcopal understanding of sainthood shares with other traditions, as well as how it differs. We’re also learning about some favorite but lesser-known saints. In the first session last Sunday, Dean Heather led us through an introduction to the saints in the church, and shared about two saints that are meaningful for her, Saints Perpetua and Felicity. Come hear from parishioners Virgil Dedas and Jenny Brown, Bishop Gretchen, and Canon Kristi as we learn and grow in our faith together!
From the Dean: Conference Time, Connections Time
by Dean Heather VanDeventer

In what felt like a combination of a whirlwind week and a week with time for deep conversations, I attended back to back conferences during the second week of Easter. It was a blessing to be with colleagues from across the Diocese of Spokane for clergy conference and then another blessing to be with fellow deans at the North American Cathedral Deans Conference. (The day of 4-airport travel in between, well, maybe not so much of a blessing other than getting to where I needed to be safely!)
The diocesan clergy conference was focused on preaching. A crew of leaders from the Episcopal Preaching Foundation joined us for two of the four days. Three of them were clergy from the New York/New Jersey area, one a priest and professor from the LA area, and a Methodist pastor and professor from Texas. The focus of their presentations, in lectures and sermons, was the idea of preaching across the divide – the reality that in any of our congregations that we have people who disagree, who stand on different sides of issues, and yet who love God and love each other. They raised the question of how to best preach the Gospel and even touch on political issues without being partisan. For all of them, the core ingredient was relationship – our relationship with God as known in Jesus Christ and our relationships with those fellow children of God with whom we share the pews. I was reminded at various points of the rich discussions that happened during the Lenten forum series on Civil Discourse. When we endeavor to listen to one another, when we stick in the conversation, then we reach across the things that seem to divide us.

When not hearing presentations, we were preaching to one another and reflecting on those sermons in groups of six. As someone who has always served with clergy colleagues, I’ve regularly had my sermons and preaching critiqued. For some in my small group, this has not been part of their experience. It was a true joy to hear the priest for one of the smallest congregations in the diocese preach his sermon from the week prior. It was brief (5 minutes!) and we all agreed that we wanted to hear more of what he had so say – and so his people probably would want to hear more as well.
At the North American Cathedral Deans Conference, this year’s conference allowed for significant colleague time. We heard two lectures: one was by the interim director of the Anglican Center in Rome about issues in Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue. The other lecture was given by a University of South Florida medieval philosophy professor and associate canon at the Cathedral in St. Petersburg about the seven deadly vices. Most of us think of them as the seven deadly sins, yet the slant of thinking of these as vices means that we can adopt practices to balance out or lean in the other direction away from the vice. We also spent time at the Dalí Museum, learned about the spiritual path of Salvador Dalí, and had time to contemplate the spirituality as shown in his art (as well as some pieces decidedly lacking in spiritual seeking).

For me, it was a delight to connect with this new set of colleagues. In various groups, we shared what joys and burdens our Cathedrals have.

[Photo credits: Jeffrey Neuberger for Diocese of Spokane clergy; Garland Pollard for Deans Conference]
Notes from Outreach
 
The Outreach committee would like to draw your attention to two opportunities in the coming weeks.

P.E. Moskowitz, author of How to Kill a City, is coming to Spokane May 22 to speak at Spokane City Hall (808 W Spokane Falls Blvd.) from 5:30-7:00 PM about gentrification and displacement. Gentrification is a word that is thrown around but can sometimes be hard to nail down. In this discussion, Moskowitz will present on what gentrification actually means, what causes it, and how it could affect our community moving forward. The speaker will be followed by a panelist of local experts and community members from across disciplines to discuss solution-oriented ways forward for Spokane. As Spokane changes, it is important that we are aware of the way these changes have disparate impacts on our neighbors (and on us!). The Empire Health Foundation, Better Health Together, and Spokane Regional Health District all helped to make this event possible. If you would like to attend, free tickets are available at this link.
 
Also, soon the committee will share information about an opportunity to join others from the Cathedral who will spend time together working a phone bank to raise funds in support of our local public broadcasting station, KPBS. Those who have participated in this activity in the past not only supported our local station, but also built community with one another and in the wider region.
The Deacon's Corner
Offering Hospitality is Worth It
by Dave Walker

Hospitality develops eyes to see. It sharpens the saw of God's word on our hard hearts. It develops bold intimacy among people who would never have reason to be friends. It grieves the loss of missed opportunities to serve. It shudders at Jesus's words, “For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me....as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” Matthew 25:42-45, Rosaria Butterfield, Ph.D.
 
I suspect we all have some idea as to what is meant by the term “hospitality.” Over the years I've learned that the noun “hospitality” seems much more like a verb, something we do on behalf of others. Some of the more common synonyms are 'friendliness, welcome, warmth, kindness, geniality, sociability, conviviality, generosity and liberality.' 
 
One of the ways our offering of hospitality plays out here at the Cathedral is through our participation with Family Promise of Spokane. St. John's is one of 14 local congregations that host families who are in the process of transitioning from homelessness to affordable housing. We host these families for one week every 14 weeks by providing meals, lodging and conversation. Not only do the volunteers that serve in this ministry get to know some very awesome people, we rejoice when one family or another moves from transitional “church” housing into their “own place.” Just last week, one of the families moved into their new rental home during the week and another of the families will be moving this coming weekend. We give thanks not only for the families who are doing the hard work of getting back on their feet but also to local landlords who are willing to take a chance of folks who have dealt with very challenging circumstances and whose credit profile isn't great. The staff at Family Promise are some of the best advocates for homeless families you can imagine.
 
So here's my request. For St. John's to continue to have a sustainable opportunity to serve as a host congregation, we need more volunteers. Our existing group of volunteers, both individuals and couples, are stretched very thin and many of them have been involved for numerous years. We basically have enough volunteers to cover the requirements for the week we serve as hosts but with virtually no backups and we run the risk of either burning some of the great folks out or risk losing some of our volunteers to relocation or physical limitations. So....if you can cook a meal, spend the night once a week every 14 weeks or can offer your gift of companionship and conversation as a host one night a week, you run the risk of having your life changed. I've had the privilege of working with our volunteers (including folks from Liberty Park United Methodist Church and a group from a local LDS stake) and it's been incredibly rewarding. Not only do you get the opportunity to provide hospitality, you get the chance to build relationships with other Cathedral members and hopefully, if you're willing, to experience how God might move in your heart and soul. I'm glad to answer any questions and I'll be looking for you as we gather and worship in the weeks ahead. 
The Episcopal Church affirms a commitment to creation care . Creation care ministries seek to heal, defend, and work toward justice for all God's creation and to respect the kinship and connection of all that God created through education, advocacy, and action . In support of these ministries we share resources each month.

Creation Care and the Episcopal Church
Feeding, Being Fed
It is May and the regional farmer’s markets are getting going again for the season! Spring is arriving, welcomed joyfully after our late, cold, snowy winter. But now it is May, and all around us we signs of the Earth full of renewal and growth, which reminds us that no matter how dire the news seems now, there is always hope for tomorrow. Just as Jesus rose from the dead, the earth can rise from the damage we have caused—but it’s on us to help make that happen.

When the weather changes, it’s time for our diets to change, too. Out-of-season foods have to be shipped from far away, or frozen for a long time—which can mean a lot of fossil-fuel use. That’s why eating locally and with the seasons can be a great way to reduce our carbon footprints. The foods are usually fresher and tastier, too!

What’s in-season varies depending on where you live. Here in Washington, you might look for asparagus, potatoes, or a number of greens. Visit https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/ to enter any US state and the time of year to learn more about what’s in season!

Eating seasonally and locally can start in your own garden! Did you know that the Cathedral has community garden plots? A few are still available – contact Kristi Philip if you’d like more information.
From the Senior Warden
"Why Give?"
by John Wallingford

At the Stewardship meeting this week Tom Stice spoke about the learning from the Annual Giving Workshop March 23, that the important question for Stewardship to ask is why. Why do you give? I think there are three questions nested within this one; Why give to the Christian Church? Why the Episcopal Church, and Why this particular Episcopal Church, our Cathedral? 

My answer to the first is that I do not know any institution that strives in the way the Christian Church strives to make our world a better place. Sure there are good causes all over the place; but the church is all about all of life, celebrating life and our greatest joys and standing with each other through the worst heartbreak and fears. The church is where you smile when the kids you taught in church school come back from college so many years later. The church is where you practice caring when you have other things you might do, where you study what Jesus taught as bedrock truth for daily living, where you set your heart’s intent to follow the Holy One. To find comfort in the company of other, forgiven people. I give in thanks for this life in faith.

The Episcopal Church, in particular, lets me use my brain to test what makes sense, and judges me not when I challenge the orthodox. Via media to me is a reality , F Scott Fitzgerald’s famous recipe for a first rate intelligence; holding two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and retain the ability to function. I can believe in all that science has learned about man, and all Scripture teaches about man and see the truth in each. The Episcopal Church lets me not believe what someone else says I have to believe, and reminds me that God’s understanding is beyond the ends of the Earth, so who can possibly claim to know it fully? I give in thanks for the freedom of this faith tradition, for the way we expand our understanding of God through the breadth of experience of others.

And this Cathedral. I give because this Cathedral is a beautiful, holy place. It stands facing the city, a holy statement in a torn world. Yes, there is redemption for all, and fullness of life. The Cathedral lifts up our hearts, in worship and song and prayer. And more than that, this congregation thrives in the subtler celebration of each other’s lives, a context for our own lives. I can grieve with Jess and Karen because I know their spirits, and keep watch with Jerry, and joke with Bill, and work with Karen and Katherine, and listen to Eric tell me of his engagement. I can marvel at the accomplishments of friends doing good work, and sit quietly holding the hearts of others in prayer. I can watch Heather and Kristi pour their hearts and minds on us all, loving us just as we are. I give for the love the Cathedral has shown me, in thanks, in reply. 
Upcoming Parish Events

May 18: St Monica Guild’s English High Tea (ticketed, contact Marguerite Green for information and remaining availability)

May 19: Yoga in the Cathedral, 3 pm

June 2: Bishop Gretchen Rehberg’s visit to the Cathedral

June 15: priestly ordinations, 2 pm. RSVP requested to the diocesan office

Do you have an item that you’d like to see included in the June edition?
Contact the interim editor, Katherine Karr-Cornejo, prior to June 10.