Dear St. Paul’s family,
Well, another election day has come and gone, and we are still here, continuing our ministry to one another and to the community around us. Whatever happens in the halls of government, we continue to Love Christ, Serve Others, and Welcome All. It’s been a brutal and even violent political season: let’s pray for and model more kindness and compassion in our public life.
Speaking of our public life, one of the most sensitive topics in church circles is that of politics. What does it mean to be “political” in church? What is the church’s role in public life? What does the Gospel have to do with politics? As is typical in the Episcopal church, you’ll get different answers to these questions depending on which Episcopalian you ask. My personal answers to these questions are as follows. Being political in church means connecting the urgent questions of human flourishing with the life of faith. The church’s role in public life is to speak out for the marginalized, voiceless, and oppressed. The Gospel is full of examples of Jesus challenging the leaders of his community and calling them back to basic values as taught throughout Scripture.
A cathedral has a particular role in the life of a city. As one of the most prominent structures (at least until the advent of skyscrapers), a cathedral has traditionally been a highly visible symbol of faith in the public square, often forming the architectural anchor and core of the city. The cathedral stands for values of peace and justice in the midst of the community, and this is the message that Jesus preached in the cities of the Holy Land, healing, forgiving, and restoring while he called on the authorities to do likewise. As Dean and the public voice of the Cathedral for the City, I will continue to witness to Gospel values in word and deed, and I hope you will join me to stand up and be counted on the side of love and compassion whenever such witness is needed.
Your sister in Christ,