Stephen Salts & the Cathedral Choral Academy

October 2019 will mark the inaugural season of the St. John’s Cathedral Choral Academy - a fully funded music education program for children aged 7-13. We are excited to announce that Stephen W. Salts has been named the Director of the Choral Academy. Stephen comes with over 4 years of experience successfully directing the chorister program at St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church in Huntington Beach. Prior to his appointment at St. Wilfrid’s, Stephen was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship in the United Kingdom, where he earned a Master of Music degree from the College of Royal Holloway. He also holds degrees in music from California State University Long Beach, as well as Florida State

"How good and how pleasant it is..."

The Psalms are songs for our lives, but they emerged out of the very real experiences of the Jewish people. They still speak to us because they come from the human experience we all share. Last week, Fr. Dan's sermon noted that Christians have sometimes used passages in the New Testament as a way to build walls of separation and even prejudice and hatred against Jewish people. Yet, nothing could be further from the call of the Gospel for our lives. The kind of tribal mindset that places "us" against "them" is the antithesis of the mission of Jesus and his way of love. His call, the call of the story of the prodigal Son, is to open our eyes to God's great banquet to which all people are invit

God wants the worst of you.

Professor Bill Countryman, who led our conversation on the Psalms last week, reminded us that the poetry of the Psalms reflects every human emotion. We are comfortable with many of the prayers and poems of the Psalms that reflect love and trust in God and other people like, “I love the Lord for he has heard my cry," or "The Lord is my shepherd," or "How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity." We may even make room for the Psalms of lament and sorrow: "My soul is in anguish... My eyes grow weak with sorrow." What we are far less comfortable with are the Psalms that complain against God: "Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself!" And what about Psalms

Swimming in overwhelming waters.

One of the great disciplines of Lent is to spend time listening to the voice of Christ in the Holy Scriptures. So often on Sundays we are immersed in a rich range of biblical readings and Psalms. This is even more true in Lent. Sometimes this biblical water in which we are swimming can seem overwhelming. That's why this year we are intentionally focusing on Psalm 51 and the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke's Gospel (chapter 15) over the next three Sundays. We invite you to read these passages throughout the next three weeks and chew them over -- there's a lot there to ponder. We also have the opportunity over the next three weeks to focus on the Psalms as prayer for our lives. These 150 p

The challenge of Lent for children

Imposing ashes on the foreheads of people on Ash Wednesday is one of the powerful experiences of priestly ministry. Looking to the eyes of an elder for whom those words take on one meaning and a young adult for whom they might mean something very different provides an opportunity to think of the whole spectrum of life and how we address the issues of our own mortality. Yet the most profound experience happens when a mother or a father comes forward with young children and even infants and presents them to receive ashes and to hear those words spoken over them: "Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return." How do we unpack the profound message of Ash Wednesday and the themes of

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