Weekly Update | June 4, 2023

What does it mean to be the church? What is required of me? Is attending church services on Sunday morning enough?

No, not even close; though showing up is really important. First, let us be clear, the church is not the physical building. Rather, we are the body of Christ, we are the church. We, the people who follow Jesus. We are his hands, feet, voice, conscious, here on earth, in this time and place. We listen and learn from the teachings of Jesus; then we are called to act: to show up, to advocate, to teach, to preach, to heal, to proclaim, to love.

Showing up as the church is a fine first step, but it is simply not enough. For instance, St. John’s is beginning the process to discern how God is calling you to be the church, and who is needed to lead this congregation as your new Dean. To engage the Cathedral in this process of discernment, the first step is the formation of a Parish Profile Discernment Committee to create a profile describing the people who attend, how we are called to serve and minister, and who is needed to lead.

If you have thoughts and feelings about the future of this Cathedral, it is not enough to keep them to yourself or voice them to fellow parishioners, friends and family. Instead, please consider volunteering to be a part of the committee and process – or forever hold your peace. All voices and perspectives are needed to be heard and considered. Please do not count on someone else showing up, if you’re not willing to do so yourself. This is your chance to live your faith, and be the church.

In the same way, if we think of ourselves as LGBTQIA friendly and welcoming, how are we going to demonstrate our love this month for Pride? In LA, we have a challenge. Anyone wishing to participate in the LA Pride Parade must miss Sunday church at 10am to attend.

I wonder why the parade organizers did not take church services into consideration when planning this citywide celebration for many people like us, and allies? Perhaps, it’s because the church has failed to show up for them – for us?

Is it enough simply to say we welcome our LGBTQIA siblings here? How do we demonstrate

our acceptance and love? One thought would be to combine services next Sunday at 8am, and go together as a church to the parade – to walk, watch, or ride on the float if walking is not an option? We could be the church that shows up, living our faith, and acting on our beliefs. How else will people know?

I would welcome the opportunity to be with all of you for Pride LA next Sunday on June 11th. Wouldn’t that be amazing – a church showing up to demonstrate our love, acceptance and support? If you are in support of this idea, this Sunday in the back of the church will be a notepad for you to express your opinion, either for or against. Those who act, by voicing your opinion, will make the decision for all of us. In response, I will follow your lead.

Again, the question on the table will be to combine services at 8am, so that we as a church can demonstrate our love by showing up at the parade as the people of St. John’s Cathedral. Please let your voice be heard.

Then on Tuesday, your Vestry will select the Parish Profile Discernment Committee as the first step toward calling your next Dean. If you care about the future of this Cathedral, how we worship, or what we do, please volunteer to serve on this committee. You matter greatly to this church, and collectively all of you will discern what happens next. Be the church, we are called to be.