From Your Cathedral
Friday, 07.16.21

The summer is often a time for restoration and  rejuvenation.  It is also a time to reflect on the first half of the year and what that portends for the Fall months leading to the joyous holiday season. As we emerge safely and slowly from a sixteen month lockdown, your council is looking to the coming months with energy, excitement and anticipation. We are eager to see all of you again and return our community to the traditions that was so much a part of our lives before the pandemics set that all aside in March 2020.

We are also aware that we have much to think about. The Dean is away on his sabbatical and it is a time for us too, as congregation, to look inward to our needs and wants moving into the future.  As was identified in the Dean’s and my letter in May,  this summer the Council is beginning an internal discernment process.

In August, Karen Olson, the Missioner for Ministry of ECMN, will spend time with Council ( both as a group and with individual council members) discussing with us our thoughts on SMEC and its future direction as part of a Mutual Ministry Review. She will also have conversations with staff to obtain their perspective.

In September, we will be engaging the congregants in similar discussions through surveys, and individual discussions to ascertain where the congregant body feels SMEC needs to be in the future to meet our own needs and to meet our mission as a Cathedral serving the Minneapolis and Minnesota communities.

In October, we hope to bring a representative group together to discuss what we have gleaned from our research so that when the Dean returns in November, we can have a vibrant discussion combining his discernment for SMEC and establish a vision for the future of our wonderful Cathedral into the future.

Ambitious? Yes, but I think necessary as we emerge from the Pandemic and look with renewed faith to what lies ahead for us.

Finally, a quick financial update. The Finance team of Mike Suhr and  our Treasurer, Ted Sherman along with Canon Pastor Tim have been formulating a three year budget plan. We need to be able to look ahead for planning purposes. Scrambling to fit expenses to revenues year to year is an anxiety producing exercise for staff, clergy and council. We need to find a better way.

Stewardship is a key to that concept. The intent is to map out current and future needs, both operational and capital, so that the congregation can see going forward what revenue is required to meet the stated needs of our operations and the commitment needs of our mission. It will hopefully present a realistic picture of our financial needs  based on our collective vision.

I know I speak for the council when we say that we are most humbled by your trust in us to lead Saint Mark’s into the future. Thank you.

God’s Peace to All of You


Paul E. Lakeman
Senior Warden