Dean's Note: Jan. 31, 2021

This year, 2021 begins our sixteenth year at St. John's (Fr. Mark in January, Fr. Dan in May of 2006). As we prepare for our annual celebration of Candlemas and the celebration of the dedication of St. John's church building in 1925 and as the Cathedral in 2008, we've been reflecting on the years past and looking forward to the future.

Some of you were here before we came and have walked alongside us on this journey. We give thanks to the Lord for each and all of you. We especially remember all those who now dwell in a larger light and on a distant shore whose love, support and encouragement have blessed our ministry and strengthened the life of St. John's. We think also of those who came before us since 1880, who hoped and envisioned for this community of faith, and who have handed on this work of God to all of us.

Throughout these years there have been many joys and challenges. We have shared these together and will continue to do so. Perhaps the greatest challenges we have faced have come in the year just past and continue into 2021. Primarily, the pandemic continues to rage around us and we all still live in uncertainty as to when we will be able to worship physically together again. The political climate of our nation highlights the fissures between so many different groups and ideologies. In the midst of these and many other challenges we as the community of faith in this place still stand upon the firm foundation of Jesus Christ and as his disciples we face forward into the future in hope.

This past year we entered into an agreement to develop our property that will provide steady economic footing for St. John's for at least the next hundred years -- a project we began exploring in 2008. Many of you have come to be part of this community in recent years and give us hope for the future. We look forward to what the Holy Spirit might be doing in our midst, in the whole Church, and in the world in a new post-pandemic reality.

Finally, it is no coincidence that the day of our dedication celebration is the Feast of Candlemas, a celebration of light in a dark place, the day when Jesus came into the temple and was recognized only by two wise elders who had the eyes to see him. The hope for God's new creation was emerging almost imperceptibly in the midst of the old world. And so it is now. We have no idea specifically what the future holds, but we do know that God the Holy Spirit is already at work, creating new possibilities in the midst of the old and that you and we can be agents of that life and light if we open ourselves to it and allow God to act in and through us.

A hymn sung at the dedication service in 1925 prays in these words "Come to this temple now thine own, and let thy glory fill this place." Let these words not only be true of our beautiful church building but of each of us. Shine in through our hearts Lord Jesus.