Weekly Update | June 18, 2023

Dear Friends In Christ,

This week on reflection, I find myself looking back, looking forward, and acknowledging the present.

Looking back, I will not soon forget the countless parade goers standing on the side of the streets last Sunday as members of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles traveled by in Pride LA. In this day and age, I suspect that the vast majority of people on the sidelines do not attend church, and may not feel welcomed. But as we walked beside the big yellow flatbed truck with large banners on both sides, most people paused to read what we proclaimed:

We are the Episcopal Church

Jesus teaches us
Strive for justice and peace among all people

Respect the dignity of every human being

No exceptions

You are loved

As we scooted along, you could see them reading the banner, smile, make gestures of gratitude and many said thank you – “we love you” in response. The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles was the only religious organization I saw – all 55-60 of us from a handful of parishes. I was grateful that St. John’s Cathedral was there.Looking forward, some of you may have seen this picture of Mel Soriano and I online from the Episcopal Diocese of LA’s ordination of Transitional Deacons we hosted last Saturday. I am pleased to announce that Deacon Mel will be joining us in August on Sundays and will engage in various forms of ministry at St. John’s Cathedral. In January, then Rev. Mel will be ordained to the priesthood God willing and the people consent. Mel joined us on Pentecost, is a graduate of USC among other institutions of higher education, founded his own software company, is walking the Camino right now, and is a joyful, gifted, faithful soul. Please help me in welcoming him to St. John’s.
Lastly, in this present moment we are in the midst of a transition in leadership at St. John’s, and it is never easy moving through this process. Please be kind to yourself and each other, including me, as we journey together. Part of my job is “to help a congregation work through issues and identify weaknesses that may undermine a new rector/dean if not addressed during the interim” (Vestry Resource Guide, CPG). The Vestry has selected a wonderful, diverse group of parishioners to begin the parish profile. Stay tuned for more announcements to follow. During this time, it is essential that we care for each other as members of this faith community.

May God give us strength, courage and peace.