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Dean's Corner
Dean Judy on our Health Crisis
March 27, 2020
 
My beloved Cathedral family, 
 
Although we find ourselves in unprecedented times, we are not the first faith community to experience the sorrow of physical absence. Nor are we the first to discover that the bonds of our affection and shared commitment to our faith transcend both distance and time. With the help of God and one another, we will see this through to the other side. I look to words from the prophet Jeremiah which have been comforting and encouraging to me in the most difficult times of my life, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” That future with hope is profoundly realized for us in the promises of God in Jesus the Christ who knew the pain of suffering and loss. Through Christ, God is ever present with us, slowly, lovingly, constantly, and inevitably transforming all things, including you and me and the world around us. The light of Christ which we proclaim each Easter cannot be overcome by any darkness, as heavy as it may seem right now, and we place our trust in this hope. We look to the light. 
 
The Cathedral staff and I are meeting regularly and praying for you daily. I am awed by their love and by their dedication to serving Christ in you. It is my great privilege to serve with them, especially in these times. We are brainstorming ways in which our community may remain vitally and immediately connected through technology, some of which is quite new to us. We welcome your ideas!
 
I have had an opportunity to speak with many of you individually on the phone and to join with an emerging regular group in Morning Prayer each day at 9am. Please note that Paul Reese is also leading a Zoom Compline service at 10pm; the details are below. This Saturday morning at 10am, we will host a Cathedral Family Zoom Coffee Clatchat which we will reflect on the surprising gifts of this surprising time. It will be a first for us as a congregation and a wonderful way for you to see each other’s faces in real time and to share in conversation. Please don’t be afraid of Zoom! You can do it! After consulting Lynn’s Zoom Tipsfound below, pour yourself a cup, settle back in a comfortable chair, and prepare to click on the link on Saturday morning. If you wish to maintain a sense mystery, you can participate through audio only! We are committed to doing this every Saturday until we are able to meet again in person, which may be a while. Livestreaming worship in the Cathedral on Sunday mornings at 10am will continue for the duration. 
 
Please look for other opportunities for virtual gatherings which we will put before you, including spiritual formation. After Easter, Deacon Pam Nesbit will be leading a book discussion of The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr. If you have a little time on your hands, why not get a jump on this terrific book! Since we are not physically in the Cathedral filling bags on Sunday morning for Cathedral Table Ministries, please consider filling bags virtually for the hungry and homebound through the link to Project Home’s Grocery Lifeline which may also be found below. 
 
As Stephen Colbert likes to say, “meanwhile”, I encourage you also to reach out to one another to check in and catch up in all the creative ways that you can think of safely from home. If you should need an updated directory, please let Dan Tomko know. Most of all, please pray. Together, we share prayers for strength, courage, patience, and the healing of our world. 
 
Meanwhile, I carry with me your love, care, and presence through the very vivid memory of our sharing of The Peace of Christ on Sunday mornings. We an do that virtually, too, and please remember that the clergy is only a phone call away if you should need us. 
 
Yours, in the love and peace of Christ, 
 
 
 
Dean Judy+
 
Dean's Message of Welcome

Sullivan PicThe Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral is a place of unconditional hospitality and we want to help you find a spiritual home among us. Many come through our doors seeking something more: A way to serve, or to be challenged in their developing faith, or to find solace and relief. Many come seeking caring community or a way that is different from the harsh materialism of the world. Whatever your reason, know that you, your questions, and your journey will be honored and respected. 

We find that the deep diversity among the members of our congregation is a strength and joy. The members of our community are of varying ages, socio-economic backgrounds, races, sexual orientation, and education levels. We come from many different religious traditions or none at all. Some of us live in the city and some live in the surrounding suburbs. Some of us come alone or with spouses or partners or young families. As different as we are, we share so much in our desire to love and serve God and one another. Our welcome is wide and sincere.  

When you visit for the first time, someone in the community will greet you warmly at the door and then provide as much support and guidance as you would like. You should expect to move throughout the liturgy. We often form a circle at the font and at the altar table for Holy Communion. We sing as we move throughout the Cathedral space.

Following worship, please join us for a time of fellowship and conversation. You are also invited to attend one of the many opportunities to gather in small groups to talk about ideas and experiences relating to God and the world. We frequently offer small group discussions for those who are interested in becoming members of the Cathedral.