St Paul's | Chimes directory
Easter in Our Eyes
we exalt in the early morning birdsong
us feel you in our pulses
now those mute longings
you are shaking us and
the desk of
I remember writing this article last time I was here, after having watched a television documentary about Easter Island. I think it is still relevant, and therefore bears repeating. Easter Island is a small island in the Pacific Ocean, so named because it was discovered on Easter Day in 1722 by a Dutch explorer.
For some people Easter is an island. They pay it a 'visit' when they are in church but only to return to the mainland. Back to the mainland where they live and work and play and suffer; where life's experiences are hammered out on the hard anvil of reality.
But the Christian Easter is not an island; it is the mainland. Easter offers a new perspective on life's realities. Easter gives a new dimension to living, to birth, to suffering, to loving, to dying, to believing. On this mainland we are free to be good and loving people because we know there is a tomorrow. We are free to be children of God because we know there is an eternity.
The heart of Easter is this: we cannot, like the apostle Thomas, put our hand into the side of the resurrected Jesus, but we can take the Resurrection bread into our hands at communion and know we are living on the Easter mainland. God is with us the Risen Christ is with us, not only in the bread and wine of the sacrament, but in the midst of our life, for we are Easter people and Alleluia is our song.
A happy Easter season to
A few years after
World War II, the Church received a remarkable gift from a German pastor-theologian
who died at the hands of the Nazis during the closing hours of the war
in 1945. Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison held out
an image of the Christian community as 'religionless', a community of
believers who put Jesus Christ at the very center of their existence.
Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Lord, is the only one who points
the way to a new life style fully engaged with the needs of the world.
In his book Life Together we hear him muse, "It is not simply to be taken for granted that the Christian has the privilege of living among other Christians The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer." In the same text, "We have to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcast, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed, the reviled in short, from the perspective of those who suffer." We are not surprised that in Letters we hear the beginnings of a new theology for our time, one that lifts up the images of Jeremiah, of a God who suffers because of the ravenous disobedience of the human partner, lusting after the religious life.
About the Easter Faith we hear him say, "The one who says 'yes' in faith to the resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot flee the reality of the world, but neither can this person be totally mesmerized by the world, for this person, in the midst of the old creation, has recognized God's new creation In Jesus Christ we believe the God who has become human, crucified and resurrected. In the incarnation, we recognize God's love for his creation; in the crucifixion, God's judgment over all flesh; in the resurrection, God's will for a new world Christ did not come into the world that we might understand him, but that we might cling to him, that we might simply let ourselves be swept away by him into the immense event of the resurrection." Again we hear him say, the "Christian life means being human by virtue of the incarnation , means being judged and granted mercy by virtue of the cross, means to live a new life by virtue of the resurrection. One is not without the other."
On the "precious gift of meditation" he says, "Daily, quiet attention to the Word of God which is meant for me, even if it is only for a few minutes, will become for me the focal point of everything which brings inward and outward order into my life In our meditation we read the text given to us on the strength of the promise that it has something quite personal to say to us for this day and for our standing as Christians - it is not only God's Word for the community of faith, but also God's Word for me personally. We expose ourselves to the particular sentence and word until we personally are affected by it We are reading the Word of God as God's Word for us."If you are interested in exploring the life and faith of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, there is a wonderful documentary, produced and directed by Martin Doblmeier for Journey Films in cooperation with South Carolina Television. It would be a great addition to any personal or congregational library.
James A. Fishbaugh,
Christ is Risen
St. Paul's Cathedral rejoices with those who have been baptized, confirmed, and received into the Episcopal Church, or have reaffirmed their baptismal promises at the Easter Eve Vigil.
Profile Committee Report
Describes Our New Dean and What We're Called to Become
The Profile Committee has been working diligently over the past two months to discern our identity as a congregation, to determine what we would like to see in our new dean, and to find what we, as a vibrant parish, are called to become as we grow and adapt, moving toward our third century. Based on over 100 surveys and interviews with parishioners, clergy and staff in an open and creative process, the committee has written an extensive report that will be the basis of the selection process. This article will give you some highlights.
In the surveys you responded that we at St. Paul's are a caring, supportive and warm congregation committed to serving God, one another, and the greater diocesan community in Western New York. Parishioners characterized St. Paul's as a spiritually encouraging place - full of joyous praise, laugher and love - with contemplative worship services that exemplify the beauty of our Anglican tradition and with programs that nurture our spiritual lives. Many individuals are drawn to St. Paul's by our music, which has a profound role in the liturgy and the parish. Still, we are a parish and we worship together weekly in this sacred space, our spiritual home.
The report gives prospective deans an overview of our main areas of focus at St. Paul's: worship, music and ministry - with details about education, pastoral care and outreach. It discusses how strongly we feel about the value of the worship experience - the focus of what brings us together. It explains our tradition of music and how much we value the inspirational music - communicating at a depth that can touch us emotionally and move us spiritually. And, it highlights our Christian Education classes and the new staff- and lay-led spiritual growth offerings that are community-oriented and interactive - going beyond the traditional education model. The report outlines the many efforts in pastoral care and describes the ways we have reached out to parishioners, newcomers and potential members - and opportunity we have to do more evangelistic activities that bring in new, diverse members and to ensure they are welcomed at the front door and engaged in the community when they first join us.
To give candidates a sense of the setting, the report highlights our rich history, describes our governance structure, our clergy and staff, as well as the diocese and Western New York. It also describes our budget and endowment - and the need to preserve the endowment in order to safeguard the Cathedral for the future.
From the interviews and surveys, we ascertained what the congregation is being called to become. Your main goals were to:
Finally, we seek a dean who will reflect the strengths of our community, who with excellent teamwork and organizational skills will help us build on what we're doing well and guide us toward spiritual and congregational growth. We want someone who will become a leader and positive influence in our region.
We are searching for a dean who will show genuine compassion and sensitivity to parishioners and staff - someone who truly enjoys being with people. He or she will embrace pastoral care and demonstrate a heart-felt concern for members of the congregation. Our dean will have strong communication, administrative and business management skills, be organized and be a person of high integrity and deep faith. She or he will encourage the youth of the parish in their quest for adulthood; will be mindful of the needs of our aging parishioners and will value diversity. An open-minded individual with a broad perspective, our dean will be a responsible and responsive person.
We, as the Cathedral in Western New York hold a unique role and we are searching for a dean who can take us forward in a way that stewards our resources effectively and benefits the entire church in Western New York.
Our thanks to the
profile committee for their dedication and hard work in this process.
They include, Paul Beaudet, Stefana Cinta, Amy Keresztes, J. Michael
Lehman, Patrick Mc Namara, Lee Poole, Joyce Salvatori, Roger Seifert,
Priscilla Wiedl and Bruce Gillies, serving Ex-Officio. And three editors:
Vicki Fithian, Suzie Flickinger, and Karen Hoepfinger, as well as eight
parishioners, clergy and staff.
HIGHLIGHTS - APRIL
The main focus of the March 15, 2005, Vestry meeting was discussion about and revision of the as-yet-unfinished 2005 budget. The prudent formula used to determine the dollar amount of a 6% draw from our endowment income will result in an allowable draw which is $95,000. less than last year's (the formula is complicated but involves past time periods when the stock market fell and reduced our portfolio value). This, plus the fact that our pledge income is not increasing enough to meet the current program demands, forced the vestry to make some difficult and unpleasant cuts in spending. The budget is still a work in progress. Changes in our financial reporting procedures and difficulty obtaining meaningful cost amounts have resulted in this late budget. A balanced and final budget will be presented for Vestry approval in April. The Finance Committee is working to ensure that future budgets will be presented in a timely manner.
This led to an important discussion about how we can do better in the area of stewardship - how do we encourage our congregation to take more ownership of the programs that we all value highly? The vestry agreed that much work needs to be done in the area of stewardship. You'll be hearing more about that in the near future. Discussion about the financial effects of and plans for 4 Cathedral Park ensued. This is an issue the Vestry will have to focus on in the next year.
The other agenda item which was thoroughly discussed at this Vestry meeting was the proposed combined service which the Worship Committee presented to us for approval. Many reasonable explanations for this change were presented. The Vestry raised many thoughtful questions in anticipation of potential questions and concerns of the congregation. Ultimately the vestry approved of this on an experimental basis. Bishop Fricker will share the thoughts of the clergy and Worship Committee members with you.
AROUND THE CATHEDRAL
Nancy Marie Ryan has been appointed Watchman of the Shepherds at the Hamilton Shrine in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She is the first American woman appointed to this post. She will serve for one year.
combining of the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services is not new, for it has
been the practice for several decades at St. Paul's. Usually the combined
10 a.m. service started in mid-May, around Pentecost or Trinity Sundays.
On the recommendation of the Worship Committee and with the approval
of Wardens and Vestry, we have decided to experiment with an earlier
start to the
I am very enthusiastic about this experimental move to a combined service. Whenever we have experienced it occasionally, and apart from the summer, such as on All Saints, Patronal Festival, and as recently as last Sunday, it has been quite wonderful and energizing to see a full church and have all three choirs singing. I respectfully ask for your support of this experiment, and I will appreciate your comments.
and the Mothers' Union
Some Americans don't know about the Mothers Union. Visitors from Africa are shocked when they learn this -- How on earth do you get anything done? An Anglican fellowship of love and service worldwide, the Mothers Union has held life together in fierce, insistent hope in every country where the Church is. Through war and exile, famine, drought and plague, in places where it takes immense courage just to stand still, women together are able to do much more than that. They are able to move on out toward something better, and to take their families and their communities with them.
Almost three-quarters of the people of Burundi live below the poverty level. Malaria is the leading cause of death, and its incidence has increased fifteen fold in the last twenty years; three million people in Burundi currently have the disease. HIV/AIDS is the second highest killer:there are 200,000 HIV/AIDS orphans in Burundi. Episcopal Relief and Development works with the Mothers Union in Burundi to make it better. The Mothers Union's approach to problems is always an interesting blend of creativity and pragmatism: besides the obvious provision of mosquito netting and medical supplies, for instance, it has begun a microcredit program, offering small short-term loans to women to start and grow small businesses to support their families.If the women at the foot of the cross were afraid, they didn't show it. They were too stubborn to leave the one they loved, dying so young and so unjustly, and so they banded together and stood their ground with him. Centuries later, the women stand there still, too stubborn to leave their children comfortless, too full of trust in God to despair. Stubborn love that refuses to leave and refuses defeat: the first Mothers Union.
To learn more about
ERD's work with the Mothers Union in Burundi, visit www.er-d.org or
call 1-800-334-7626, ext 5129.
EASTER EGG HUNT PARTY
On Sunday, April 3, the Junior Youth Group is holding an East Egg Huntg Party. All children are invited to join the junior youth group for a fun Easter Egg Hunt/April Fools Day party in the Cathedral. We will start with lunch in the Walker Room following Church School. Then after lunch, everyone will be invited to search the over 400 Easter eggs hidden in the Cathedral. Please bring your own basket. The eggs you find could contain candy, stickers, an empty candy wrapper (April Fools!) or perhaps some coins. One lucky egg will have some paper money in it.
Parents of the Junior Youth - Please try to be present as we will be presenting for your consideration a "Start Something" program developed and funded by the Tiger Woods Foundation. Research shows that the program helps reach, motivate and empower youth ages 8 to 17 in a variety of settings to take an active role in creating their own future.
The Start Something curriculum combines three national education priorities: character development, service learning and career exploration. Youth who complete the program also receive a Certificate of Completion and Scholarship application.
The program takes
about 30 hours and is structured in short segments of 15 to 20 minutes.
Start Something helps to inspire and guide youth in the belief that
they can act on their dreams, make a difference in their community and
realize their potential. The program is in its fourth year and has changed
the lives of over 4 million youth.
THE DIOCESAN DEPLOYMENT OFFICE
The Profile Committee has been hard at work creating our profile from questionnaires and personal interviews. it has been strenuous, since we've been under some time constraints. However, by the time you read this, a printed profile should be available.
Archdeacon Bruce Gillies, our search consultant and Deployment Officer for the Diocese has been to a Deployment Ministry Conference, and there presented St. Paul's Cathedral to nearly 40 Deployment colleagues, most from the East Coast, Chicago and Northern Indiana. This group meets twice a year to discuss and present parishes seeking a rector/vicar, as well as clergy looking for new challenges. A few names came out of the conference and will be presented to the Search Committee for consideration. We will keep you all informed as the process proceeds.
The music department has launched a pilot program aimed at reaching out to the Buffalo Public Schools. "Organ Works" began on March 15th and will run through April. This project involves 16 students from the Buffalo Arts Academy, a Buffalo-based composer (David Hanner), as well as Cathedral musicians and guests from the Philharmonic and the University at Buffalo.
The students and
the composer work together over a period of four weeks to compose a
new piece for organ and instruments based on the ideas and activities
of the students and guided by the techniques of the composer. There
are two sessions left-April 5 and 12 at 12:30 in the Cathedral-so stop
in and see for yourself! There will be a performance of the new piece
sometime this spring. Contact Andrew Scanlon in the music office (842-6933)
for more information.
It has become necessary to postpone the Hymn Festival scheduled for 8-9 April 2005 until the Fall. Any paid registrations will be refunded promptly. We apologize for any inconvenience and we will be in touch with singers as soon as the event has been rescheduled.
Youth Group Events
April 3: Easter Egg Hunt in the Cathedral for all children at any
age. Bring a basket and come help celebrate Easter with an Egg Hunt.
Over 100 eggs filled with treats and surprises will be hidden throughout
the Cathedral, don't miss this fun adventure. Meet Sharon Bass and Vicki
Fithian in the Walker Room following Church School.
Drumming and Games, Games, Games: Come join us for some fun in the Youth Room. We will meet in the Youth Room following Church School. Lunch will be served. Questions about Junior Youth Events? Please call Youth Advisor Sharon Bass: 837-9060
Sunday, April 10: Game Night with the 20s/30s Group. Join us in the Youth Room at 6 p.m. Questions? Please call Youth Advisor Leyla Kamalick: 883-8307
Meeting on Saturday, April 9th at 9 a.m. in the Church School Room
Please note the new time for Christian Education. Church School will begin following the 10 a.m. Eucharist at 11:20 a.m. on the Third Floor of the Parish House.
Doubting Thomas, John 20:19-31
9 a.m. Opportunities
Reading Acts: Please join Canon Ethan Cole for fascinating look at the people and events that shaped early Christianity. Don't miss this opportunity to study key stories found in the Book of Acts. The class will meet 9:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. in the Holy Spirit Chapel.
April 10: Acts 6:1-8:3 (The story of Stephen)
April 17: Acts 17:1-34 (Paul and Silas in Thessalonica, Paul in Athens)
April 24: Acts 8:26-40 (Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch)
May 1: Acts 1:1-14 (The Ascension of Jesus)
May 8: Acts 2:1-47 (The Day of Pentecost, including Peter's sermon)
of the Bible:
Many women have been forgotten or are a nameless presence in Scripture, others have helped save nations. Come help us uncover the voices of these amazing women. The sessions will be held in the Scaife Room and led by women of the Cathedral.
Tamar and Dinah
St Paul's | Chimes directory
�2005 St. Paul's Cathedral, Buffalo New York