Dear Saint Markans,
Grace and peace to you as we launch into this new program year!
While the on-going global pandemic and domestic reckoning assure that much will be different this fall, the deep roots of our faith Tradition assure that much will also be the same, promising ‘stability’ (if not guaranteeing ‘safety’ and ‘security’) in the midst of the necessary ‘instability’ of social change.
Our faith assures us that God is in every loving, liberating, life-giving movement and that, as people of faith, our primary work is to ‘abide with God’ (as God abides with us) so that where God is, we may be also. Through prayer, study, and service, we come to know the possibility and power of this mutual in-dwelling, strengthened by the knowledge that God is with us in our daily lives and challenged by the knowledge that, to share in God’s Life, we must be prepared to step beyond the familiar patterns of our own lives. Fear not, though, for this is the work of a lifetime.
With all students, after a summer’s Sabbath, we return now to ‘the school for God’s service,’ where we are reminded again and again and again that ‘the spiritual life is simply the God-life already at work in us’ (Chittister), beckoning for some of our time and attention, knowing that ‘when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.’ So let us, then, ready ourselves for this new year, mindful of these helpful words from Saint Benedict’s prologue:
Do not be daunted immediately by fear and
run away from the road that leads to salvation.
It is bound to be narrow at the outset.
But as we progress in this way of life and in faith,
we shall run on the path of God’s commandments,
our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.
Saint Mark’s Core Commitments
At Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral,
-----we envision a community of prayer, learning, & service shaped in the
likeness of Jesus –
----------transforming lives for the transformation of the world –
-------------------- and marked by a commitment
--------------------to stability, to obedience, and to the conversion of life –
-----so that we can:
Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom;
- Teach, baptize, and nurture new believers;
- Respond to human need by loving service;
- Transform unjust structures of society, challenge violence of every kind, and pursue peace and reconciliation; and
- Strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
Resources for our Life together
A Few New Opportunities to Look Out for this Fall
Mondays @ 12:15-12:45pm – Gospel-Based Discipleship (Zoom; register here)
Tuesdays @ 12:30-3:30pm & Thursdays @ 9:30a-12:30pm – Cathedral Nave Pilgrimage (info)
Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 8pm – Compline (Zoom; register here)
Wednesdays @ 12:15pm – Noonday Prayers (Cathedral FaceBook; link here)
Periodic performances from the Cathedral Nave – St. Mark’s 20/21 Music Series (link here)
And, as always, Sundays @ 10:30am – Rite II and Sundays @ 5pm – Evensong (link here)
Building your fall and winter book list?
Here’s a few suggestions:
Ester de Waal, Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict (Liturgical Press: Collegeville, MN, 2001)
Joan Chittister, A Little Rule for Beginners: Insights into Benedictine Spirituality (Benetvision: Erie, PA, 2018)
Joan Chittister, The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century (Crossroad: New York, NY, 2010)
John McQuiston II, Always We Begin Again: The Benedictine Way of Living (Morehouse: New York, NY, 2011)
Hour by Hour (Forward Movement: New York, NY, 2002)
As we begin this new program year in our life together, may we each – together, though apart – commit, again, to carefully tend the sanctuary of our own hearts, in which ‘the doors are always open, the environment is always gentle, the rhythm is always ordered, and God is always the center of life’ (Chittister).
I look forward to bumping into you in a Zoom room or a livestream soon!
Bless you, each & always,
At the beginning of each day,
after we open our eyes
to receive the light of that day,
As we listen to the voices
and sounds that surround us,
We must resolve to treat each hour
as the rarest of gifts,
and be grateful for the consciousness
that allows us to experience it,
recalling in thanks that our awareness
is a present from we know not where,
When we rise from sleep,
let us rise for the joy of the true Work
that we will be about this day,
and considerately cheer one another on.
Life will always provide matters for concern.
Yet each day brings with it reasons for joy.
Each day carries the potential
to bring the experience of heaven;
have the courage to expect good from it.
Be gentle with this life,
and use the light of life
to live fully in your time.
-John McQuiston II, Always We Begin Again