God always shows up.
Every October for the past ten years, we have organized a festive gala in the nave of the Cathedral to raise funds for our thriving outreach ministries. It is always an evening of good fellowship, good food, and doing good. Needless to say, 2020 has turned out differently than any of us imagined, and the COVID-19 pandemic has required us to re-think how we do just about everything.
So this year, when most of us are weary of Zoom meetings, Zoom church, and Zoom galas, we have decided to give everyone a break. The 2020 St. James Cathedral Gala: At Home Edition, simply put, takes the form of this letter, a web page, a short video, and the hope that you will make a generous donation sometime in the next two weeks. Our fundraising goal is $50,000.
A few years ago, as St. James Cathedral was in the process of searching for a new Dean, I met the people of St. James Cathedral for the first time. What was clear from the start is that you are a faithful community of people passionately committed to social justice and outreach ministry. The last five years have reinforced this truth for me on an almost daily basis, and it has been a precious delight to watch our ministries flourish and grow. Summer in the City has touched many young lives, and this year, under the skillful direction of Program Director Tony Santiago, has shown ever more creativity in the face of the pandemic. Our Meals Ministry annually serves upwards of 3,600 guests, again, something we have sustained even during these difficult months.
All of this would be Good News at the best of times. But this is not the best of times, and the coronavirus is seeing us live out Jesus’ stark warning that, “to those who have, more will be given…but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away” (Matthew 13:12). Both domestically and internationally, it is widely reported that the gap between the rich and the poor has been exacerbated by the pandemic, and the need for our ministries is ever the more urgent.
So, how can you help? By making as generous a gift as possible for your outreach ministries. Watch our moving, five-minute video that tells the story of Summer in the City and Meals Ministry in the words of the people we serve and the leaders and volunteers who serve them.
You can give online, text, or by check, mailed to the Cathedral offices. And you can give at several different sponsorship levels that will be acknowledged.
I am sorry we will not be meeting in person this year, but I hope you will find enjoyment of a different kind in watching the video as a reminder of what we do and why we do it. When you watch, you will be reminded by Anna, our Associate for these ministries, that, “God always shows up”. This fall, I invite you to play your part in helping us at St. James Cathedral continue to show up as well.
Your priest and friend,
The Very Rev. Dominic Barrington
Dean of the Cathedral