Dear Cathedral Ohana:
This morning I am writing to you from Quezon City in the Philippines where (as you know) I am leading a retreat for seminarians at St. Andrew’s Theological Seminary. This is a wonderful opportunity and experience for me and I look forward to seeing how the retreat unfolds.
But today I’m not reflecting so much on that. I am more reflecting on the fact that it’s September 11 and that 18 years ago our lives were changed when the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were hit with airplanes, and a fourth plane crashed in that field in Pennsylvania. One of the choir members (who lost two friends that day) and I were talking about how we can’t believe it’s been 18 years. And I can’t believe how much the world has changed, bearing in mind that it was all right around the time I made the decision to answer the call to go to seminary.
Today what I ask is that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, to please take a moment to reflect back on that day 18 years ago and to continue saying prayers for a world of compassion, kindness, love, and peace.
Those of you who were at the 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM services this past Sunday received the news that Todd and Jennifer Beckham will be moving to Massachusetts at the end of the month. Leohone Magno and John Alexander have agreed to serve as interim organist and choir director for 3 to 6 months while we search for a new director of music. I am most grateful to Leohone and John for their willingness to step in.
I would just like to say via the form of this weekly letter how much I value and appreciate the work that Todd and I have done together. He has been incredibly easy to work with, very flexible, and really a lot of fun. Our loss is Massachusetts’s gain and I’m sure that you will join me in wishing both Todd and Jennifer well in their new endeavor. Todd’s last Sunday will be September 29, and I am working to put together a reception for him and Jennifer (with calabash) after the Evensong that night. Please mark your calendars and consider joining us.
And one of the things for which I will make a thank offering in my UTO box is thanksgiving for the ministry of Todd and Jennifer in our midst. Please remember to reflect on the things for which you are grateful and to make offerings in your UTO box, which we will gather on the 18th of October.
Shortly after I return from the Philippines, I plan to send out a letter to all of you with a brochure highlighting the things that we have done as a Cathedral community over the past year. This is part of our annual pledge drive that we will undertake for 2020, bearing in mind that we need to make up $30,000 in lost income from our Japanese wedding company next year. In conjunction with reflecting upon the things for which you’re grateful, I also ask you to begin prayerfully considering what your contribution to the cathedral might be for 2020. Please know that I will also be making a pledge commitment.
Finally, I don’t say this enough, but I would like to give a huge shout out to the Cathedral staff for holding the fort while I’m gone. They really work together to keep things running smoothly and I really appreciate it – and I’m sure you do too.
I will look forward to seeing you all when I get home. Please take care until then.