Proper 15 – Sunday, August 20

The full selection of our gospel this week begins with a long list of evil intentions that defile us and ends with the grace of healing. In this, we see our human motivations gone awry and God’s restorative work, ever calling us toward our true selves. The path between these seldom seems direct. Sometimes the choice before us is clear, between good and evil, though the way is marked by thousands of decisions. Most days, it comes in small, incremental ways, barely noticed yet discernible. Years ago, wise counsel shared with me a simple tool for discernment: Does this draw me closer to God or move me further away? Everything we say and do, even what we choose to think about, has an opportunity to help us be more open to Christ’s redeeming work – to bring us closer in loving relationship with God and one another and all of Creation. It doesn’t mean every step is going to be precise or in a God-ward direction. One of the gifts of being in a community with others committed to following this way of Christ is that we support one another along that path. When any of us falter or get stuck or struggle or suffer, there are others to help. It defines us as a community. There are those who stand ready to gently coax us back when we have strayed and who will cheer us onward. We all have opportunities to give that gift and to invite others to experience it. We have opportunities, through small gestures of encouragement and compassion and through the many ways we communicate, to witness to God’s mercy, forgiveness, and extraordinary love for us. Between us, we can create openings in the way for others to join in and, together, make it more visible. As our prayer for this week asks, may we have grace to follow daily in the blessed steps of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Guide. Twila+
Maui Fire Disaster Relief
The Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii has set up a comprehensive online site for updates and support in response to the recent, devastating fire, which has claimed more than 100 lives. The fire also destroyed Holy Innocents, the Episcopal Church in Lahaina. A diocesan “care van” ministry, A Cup of Cold Water, is serving people out in the region who may not be in shelters and the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Maui, is feeding front-line workers. Episcopal Relief and Development is also engaging in disaster relief efforts for the people of West Maui and working with local partners. The approach of ERD includes emergency response and long-term commitments to rebuild and heal.
Holy Eucharist this Sunday: 8 and 10:15 a.m.
All are invited for in-person worship, at 8 and 10:15 a.m. Sundays. 
This week’s worship bulletin is here and you may read the lessons here (Track 2 options)
• Our preacher this week is Phil Cunningham
• Watch the livestream at or on Facebook.
• Between worship services: 9 a.m. “Caring Cafe,” in the Walker Room (lower level), with coffee, conversation, and study of scripture for the week.
• During the week, come by Cathedral Park for Holy Eucharist at 11:30 a.m. Thursdays (summer schedule) – out in the park or in the ministry center.
Garden of Love
Last Saturday, Cathedral parishioners sorted clothing donations, preparing to give them away at the Garden of Love. As many hands make work light, we were done in well under an hour. On Tuesday, nearly 30 people come within the first five minutes for lunch, clothing, and other items, including young children with parents. Recognizing the need, we now have a table with children’s clothing, plus another with toys and books that delight our young visitors. There are books for adults, too, and shoes and other items to help make the way easier for those who stop in to visit the Garden of Love.
Coming Soon
Regional conversations – Saturday, September 9 – for Journey on the Path to Beloved Community, with the Commission to Dismantle Racism and Discrimination – Diocesan Ministry Center, Tonawanda
Community and Neighborhood Connections Ministry Day – Saturday, September 16 – at St. Luke’s, Jamestown
Every Child Matters – Saturday, September 30 – Good Shepherd, Irving (2 p.m.); see SJAT note below
Open Doors Buffalo – Saturday, September 30 – Cathedral (10 a.m.-2 p.m.)
Doors Open Buffalo
Doors Open Buffalo brings thousands of visitors into the downtown community and we have made a commitment to welcome them into the Cathedral – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, September 30. This has been a big event for the Cathedral in the past and it’s back for 2023! We’re already on the Doors Open Buffalo website and part of the Houses of Worship Trail. We are preparing material about the Cathedral to have on hand and have arranged for intervals of organ music throughout the time, to add to this festive occasion. We are looking for a few people to be “docents” for the day (with an opportunity to learn more about the Cathedral before then) and will need additional volunteers to greet and welcome people and offer our hospitality. Volunteer for one of these roles or find out other ways you can participate by contacting Dean Twila.
SJAT Note: Groundwork for Team Building
From Bob Ludwig for the Social Justice Action Team

Good Shepherd, Irving, and the SPC Social Justice Action Team picked a day, August 2, when the Hostetler construction work on the Parish Hall could be viewed in the skeleton stage, and attendance from both churches was expected to be enough to have discussions on where we want to go with the relationship. Four from the SJAT and ten from GS, joined by two Hostetler brothers, shared a bountiful lunch in Clough Hall. After lunch the constructors and Paul Cesana left, and Elle Carroll, Good Shepherd’s warden, led a meeting on two topics: One was planning for the Bishop’s visitation on September 30 (everyone at SPC and in the WNY diocese is invited, the service begins at 2 p.m). The other was an exchange of ideas, information, and hopes about how we (GS and SPC) see the future. St. Paul’s Cathedral has indicated it is interested in holding a fundraising event. 

Afterwards, there was realization that many unknowns still need to be fit into a pattern: how can agreement be reached while: we do not have a range for how much money is expected to be raised, and does a fundraiser have the resources now or in the near future to do that? we do not know the cost of possible projects (the ideas so far have an exceedingly wide range of likely costs)? nor has a priority been set on what to focus on? To treat this as a problem of ‘solve-one-of-these first’ does not seem reasonable. A more team-building approach seems better. Help us ask God for the nurturing guidance to do that.
Godly Play Dates
People of all ages are invited to learn more about upcoming programs for children and about Godly Play, a Montessori-based approach to faith formation, after the 10:15 a.m. service on Sunday, August 27. Wendy Schumacher, the diocesan partnership missioner for children and youth, will be with us on the third Sunday of every month (beginning September 17) – offering programs during the 10:15 a.m. worship service and after-church “play dates” for families.
Prayer and Pastoral Care
• If you have requests to add to the weekly Prayers of the People or a name to add for the prayers of clergy and the Pastoral Care Team, please email prayerrequests.
• If you know someone in need of pastoral care, please contact Judy Elliott or Canon Barbara Price.
Diocesan Partnership and Church News
• See the Diocesan Partnership newsletter here.
The Diocesan Partnership is holding a series of ministry gatherings:
September 16: Community & Neighborhood Connections, St. Luke's, Jamestown
November 11: Ministry Models & Formation for the Post-Pandemic Church, St. Matthias', East Aurora
Ministry gatherings will include workshops for clergy, vestry members, and all congregation members.
• Diocesan Partnership Convention: October 20-21 in Erie
• For more news about the Dioceses of WNY and NWPA and to sign up for emailed newsletters, go here.
• The Episcopal Church website offers resources for individuals, congregations, and various ministries.
If you are with a group meeting on Zoom,
use the following link, unless specified otherwise:
Meeting ID: 716 855 0900 Password: 4cathedral
By Phone: 929-205-6099 Access code: 716 855 0900 Password: 535 007 8352