December, 2018
Prepare the Way
Advent and Christmas at the Cathedral

Prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ this December!

Tomorrow, Sunday December 16, is a busy day at the Cathedral! Advent 3 services will be held as usual at Saturday 5:30 pm and Sunday 8:00 am. The 10:30 am service will feature the traditional Christmas pageant. If you or young ones in your life are interested in participating, please attend the rehearsal today (December 15) at 10:00 am. Whether you participate or not, please join us for the retelling of this holy story. Simple Gifts (see note later in this newsletter) will be presented during the pageant. Tree of Sharing items should also be brought to the Great Hall no later than tomorrow.

The Fourth and Final Sunday of Advent will be observed December 22/23, with services of Holy Eucharist at 5:30 pm Saturday and 8 and 10:30 am Sunday.

Please note the following services that will be held as part of our celebration of the season of Christmas:

Christmas Eve: Monday, December 24
  • Family Christmas Eucharist at 4pm (incense-free). Carillon Christmas Music at 3pm and after the service. Christmas Prelude Music begins at 3:30pm
  • Festival Christmas Eucharist at 10:30pm. Carillon Christmas Music at 9:15pm and after the service. Christmas Prelude Music begins at 9:45pm
Christmas Day: Tuesday, December 25
  • Holy Eucharist at 10am. Carillon Christmas Music at 9:25am and after the service
First Sunday after Christmas: Sunday, December 30
  • Holy Eucharist at 8am & 10:30am; and Saturday Dec 29 at 5:30pm
New Year’s Eve: Monday, December 31
  • Holy Eucharist at 10:30pm, followed by a social. Bring snacks to share at the social; celebratory beverages will be provided.
The Way of Love:
Adult Formation

Beginning January 6 and continuing through the season following Epiphany, all are invited to a series of talks and conversation focused on The Way of Love: Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life. This rule of life offers us an opportunity to grow more deeply with Jesus Christ at the center of our lives, so we can bear witness to his way of love in and for the world, together. Episcopalians across the church are engaging in this practice, and we are excited to explore its applications in our spiritual lives and our community life in Spokane.

Join us on Sundays from 9:15-10:15 for fellowship and Christian formation in the Great Hall! This series will run from January 6 through March 3, and will not meet on January 27.
Simple Gifts for West Central Episcopal Mission

What have historically been called “White Gifts” are this year becoming “Simple Gifts” that will be brought forward at the Cathedral on December 16 ( tomorrow!), at the 10:30 AM service, in brown paper bags with handles. Unwrapped items to consider including in a bag are a warm hat, warm neck scarf, gloves, a mug, packets of cocoa and/or cider, a blanket, small toys. Feel free to either fully or partially fill a bag with gifts.

Thank you for making Christmas a warmer, happier celebration for those in need in our West Central community.
Mark your calendars for
Reel Theology

St. John's Cathedral hosts a film series every Epiphany, inviting participants to share a meal, view a film, and discuss the film together afterwards. We continue the tradition in 2019 with five films related to the theme of Healing and Reconciliation. What might these films teach us about God's healing love in the world? How might we be part of the great reconciliation to which we are all called in Christ?

Films will be shown on consecutive Wednesday evenings, January 16-February 13. We will request an online RSVP to right-size the pizza, but all are welcome! Please join us!
Study Opportunity:
Read Romans in Epiphany

The Good Book Club is an invitation to all Episcopalians to explore Christ’s redeeming love by reading Paul’s Letter to the Romans each day throughout the season of Epiphany 2019. Join with tens of thousands of Episcopalians across the church to learn about life in the early church and central principles of our Christian faith. The Good Book Club offers an opportunity to dive deeply into scripture and create a daily practice of engagement with God’s Word. It’s easy to join the Good Book Club: Just open your Bible and start! You can learn more about it, download readings and resources, and sign up for updates at the website for the Good Book Club.

Participants will start reading Romans on January 7, 2019 and read a section every day (except Sundays) through the Epiphany season. In surveys taken before and after the first Good Book Club project in 2018 (reading the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts), participants reported growth in their understanding of scripture and a deepening of their prayer life. If you have been looking for a way to deepen your engagement with Scripture, give the Good Book Club a try!
The Episcopal Church has had and continues to affirm a commitment to racial reconciliation : the spiritual practice of seeking loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God and one another, and striving to heal and transform injustice and brokenness in ourselves, our communities, institutions and society. To help cultivate this practice, we share resources to support this work each month.

Racial Reconciliation and the Episcopal Church
Healing Racism

On December 1, the Cathedral welcomed over 40 participants from across and beyond the diocese to a day-long workshop on the topic of Healing Racism: Multicultural Responses in Local Context. This workshop was the result of collaboration between the Cathedral, the Diocese of Spokane, and Province VIII of the Episcopal Church. Ana Hernández led the workshop, which focused on developing resources to sustain us in the difficult work of confronting and healing the sin of racism in our lives and our communities. How do we build the relationships we need so we can open the gates we’re keeping to build transformative institutions – institutions that are the beloved community? We hummed and sang, we listened and were heard, we reflected and shared, we learned and took that tiny step towards transformation. Look for more reflection on this experience from Cathedral members who participated in the months to come.

“We need to socialize ourselves into love!”

Over the course of 2018, we have shared resources related to racial reconciliation and healing through this newsletter. What have you found helpful or challenging? Where do you see the need for racial reconciliation and healing in our community? How can you help socialize us into love?
A note from the Senior Warden
Back to the Garden?
by John Wallingford
Christian doctrine has been restated over time, often as our understanding of the nature of the world has been revealed in science. Think Galileo and Copernicus. The earth was no longer the center of all things, we fit into the solar system. Think of how our understanding of evolution and the natural emergence of species overcame the idea that humans have existed only for a few thousand years of genealogy written in the Bible. One of the more recent debates has to do with the origin of altruism. Why do people do good things for other people? There was a theory-kin selection-that said people acted altruistically moreso for their kin than for non-genetically related persons. In 2010, Harvard sociobiology professor E.O. Wilson, once a proponent of the theory, published a critique that punctured that theory. In studying the genetic basis for eusocial behavior (he spent most of his career studying ants) he notes distinct parallels in human cultural evolution. Humans conquered the Earth because we are eusocial. Wilson’s The Social Conquest of Earth, 2012, gives a compelling integration of evolution and religion, explaining that religion may have been mechanism whereby the force of the group came to balance the force of the individual. In a related essay Wilson wrote, “within groups selfish individuals beat altruistic individuals, but groups of altruists beat groups of selfish individuals. Or, risking oversimplification, individual selection promoted sin, while group selection promoted virtue.”
I’ve lived with the idea that the Kingdom of God-the reconciled state- would be like the return to Eden, all harmony, the lion laying down with the lamb. People would show ultimate respect for each other and the earth. Now I’m wondering if that image needs reassessment.
Chapter and Diocesan Convention Nominations are open!
As you consider your life and ministry, consider whether or not God might be inviting you - or someone you know - into a leadership role at the Cathedral. At the annual meeting on January 27, we will be electing four new members of Chapter to three-year terms. To be eligible to run for a position on Chapter, you must a) be at least 16 years of age; b) be a member of the Cathedral; and c) be a contributor of record. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else (with their permission), please complete a Chapter nomination form, available at the Cathedral office. The deadline for submission of these forms is December 20.
At the annual meeting we will also be electing delegates to the 2019 diocesan convention, which will be held October 18-20 in the Tri-Cities. Please prayerfully consider if God might be calling you to stand to be one of the Cathedral’s delegates next October. If you would like to put your name forward for election as delegate, contact the office.
Upcoming Parish Events

December 16: Christmas Pageant and Simple Gifts during 10:30 AM service

December 16: St John's Music Series presents Handel's Messiah: SOLD OUT

December 24: Christmas Eve Eucharist services at 4 pm (music begins at 3) and 10:30 pm (music begins at 9:15)

December 25: Christmas Day Eucharist service at 10 am (music begins at 9:25)

December 31: New Year's Eve Eucharist at 10:30 pm with social to follow

January 6: Epiphany Celebration with a procession following the 10:30 am service to a festive coffee hour in the Great Hall
January 16: Beginning of Reel Theology series
January 27: Annual meeting
January 27: Celebration of New Ministry of the Very Reverend Heather VanDeventer
Do you have an item that you’d like to see included in the January edition?
Contact the interim editor, Katherine Karr-Cornejo, prior to January 10.