Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Mpls
The Very Rev. Paul J. Lebens-Englund
9 October 2020
 
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8-9
 
Dear Saint Markans,
 
Our fall program is up and running, which means we have some capacity to lift our sights, to wade into new ventures, and to begin planning out toward Advent.
 
Toward that end, a few quick updates to share with you and a few links to support your engagement:
 
New Ventures at Gethsemane Episcopal Church
 
No doubt, many of you received the news last week that the Episcopal Church in Minnesota has identified a new course for the renewal of mission and ministry within our downtown ‘mother church,’ Gethsemane Episcopal (905 S. 4th Ave, Mpls).
Under the able leadership of the Rev. Katie Capurso Ernst, who has been with us here at Saint Mark’s since 2019, Gethsemane will serve as a downtown mission partner with Twin Cities Stand Together (TCST), with whom we will discern and address the persistent material and systemic challenges of the Twin Cities. From the news release: “TCST will operate a community center out of the Gethsemane building that will house programs for downtown residents of all ages, serving the needs of our most marginalized citizens, and will act as a hub for groups who are working to address systemic racism in our city.”
In addition to cultivating this relationship with TCST, Katie+ will also facilitate the formation of a new community at Gethsemane, which the news release describes this way: “Another expression of this partnership includes starting an innovative new faith community in the worship space at Gethsemane, centered around racial justice and healing… If, in the future, TCST purchases the property from ECMN, our agreement allows us to continue to use the worship space so that we can maintain one or more worshipping communities there for as long as we would like to.”
The initial 15 months of the Rev. Capurso Ernst’s work is largely underwritten by a generous rapid response Justice Grant from The Episcopal Church, which totaled $150,000 and has been prayerfully allocated across multiple racial justice initiatives within ECMN. Special thanks to the allocations team, and to our own Neala Anderson, in particular, for their good work.
During the fourth quarter of 2020, Saint Mark’s is underwriting a portion of Rev. Capurso Ernst’s work to ensure we’re adequately prepared and equipped to walk alongside Gethsemane and the rest of ECMN in thoroughly evaluating and concretely addressing our own history of individual and institutional racism. Katie+ will serve in a consulting role, working closely with Deacon Rena Turnham, to convene a working group, to begin an institutional inventory, to identify educational and action resources, and to draft a long-range vision, strategy, and timeline for Saint Mark’s work to become an anti-racist faith community. Please stay tuned for updates and please keep this very important work in your prayers as it unfolds.
 
Saint Mark’s 2020-2021 Confirmation Community
 
Despite the practical challenges of physical distancing, your Cathedral Youth Minister, Stacey Clatanoff, has planned and pulled together another brilliant year of Confirmation preparation at Saint Mark’s. The year-long, in-depth program begins this weekend with a Confirmation retreat to Camp Lebanon in NW Minnesota. The formation program introduces participants to resources and practices in all three core areas of the Christian spiritual life: prayer, study, and service. Participants will take a deep dive into the Book of Common Prayer, with particular focus on the Baptismal Covenant (to which they’re to make an adult affirmation) and the Catechism, along with various forms of the Daily Office and ‘the clean pages,’ where we hide our historical documents.
 
Please keep this year’s cohort (grade in parentheses) and their leaders in your prayers:
 
(Ri)Chard Norman (11), Titus Fagen (10), Lance Georgeson (10), Grant Ravndal (10), Manny Wilson (10), Angelina Day (10), Mary Hage (9), Brenda Ebba (9), Charlotte Johnson (9), Delilah Page (10), Margaret Cook (11), Neala Anderson (10); and
Youth mentors: Will Kingsley (12), Nick Patterson (11); and
Teachers: Stacey Clatanoff and Caitlin Childe-Archuleta
 
Strengthen, O Lord, your servants with your Holy Spirit;
empower them for your service; and sustain them all the days
of their lives. Amen.

Resource Links
 
Upcoming Sunday Worship (10:30am & 5pm)
Upcoming Sunday Coffee Hour (Zoom, 2nd Sunday of each month: 11:45am)
Upcoming Monday Gospel Based Discipleship (Zoom: 12:15-12:45pm)
Upcoming Tuesday/Thursday Compline (Zoom: 8-8:15pm)
Upcoming Wednesday Formation (Zoom: 6pm fellowship; 6:30-7:30pm program)
 
Wishing you all well in the days and weeks ahead – praying that you’re finding meaningful ways to remain connected to God, to each other, and to those among whom you live and serve and play.
 
Bless you, each & always,
Paul+

‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.’
Matthew 5:14-16