Beloved Cathedral Family,
As Christmas approaches and 2016 closes, I want to tell you how grateful I am for you. This Cathedral became family to my family and me the moment we walked through its doors nine years ago this coming February. Your respect for God’s Word and your heart for worship that is rich in sacrament and symbol converted me to “the Anglican way.” You have persisted in loving one another through the national economic hardships of the late 2000’s and through our own local controversies in the mid-2010’s. In all that, you have done what the apostle Paul asked of the church in Rome: to hear Christ singing among the nations, and answer back “with one voice” in worship (Romans 15:6,9).
Lately I have been pondering the early American Quaker Edward Hick’s painting The Peaceable Kingdom, a scene that he rendered perhaps 100 times. Over and over, he sought to capture the essence of Isaiah’s vision of the Messianic era when enemies would become friends. Although Quakers were known for their belief in pacifism, they quarreled among themselves and experienced painful schisms. Frustrated even with himself for being a part of the problem — he knew himself to be a cantankerous and contentious “lion” —, Hicks nonetheless kept painting and preaching peace through Christ.
This Christmas I find myself grateful for your persistence in modeling peace and in offering the welcoming arms of Jesus to me, to one another, to those impacted by Pulse, to Ugandan and Honduran orphans, to both the homeless who line up for appointments with Deacon Nancy and to well off neighbors who find in you a friend who knows there’s more to life than “stuff.”
As you ponder God’s gift of his Son this Christmas and if you are in a position to do so, I ask you to consider making a gift to the Cathedral.
The Cathedral’s finances were hit hard in the late 2000’s, and only recently have the Chapter and the Endowment Board felt they could make decisions to set some things aright financially. Starting this next year, the Chapter has decided to budget a surplus to begin replacing savings that had been reduced during lean years. And last year the Endowment Board decided to move more aggressively to pay down our mortgage — if they can stay on track, we will be debt free in nine years.
I believe that the Lord has allowed us to assemble an amazing team of priests and deacons — one of the most gifted I know of — that bears promise for seeing great things happen in the next few years. And our lay staff is energetic, omni-competent, eager to support you and one another … and frugal. But you need to know that our efforts to return to financial stability mean that all our staff — clergy and lay — are having to work under severe budget constraints and with programming cuts. Thankfully, due to the tight control on spending by the Chapter and staff, and due to the extra-generosity of parishioners, the end of November found us at a break-even point for 2016.
Typically and historically, we receive about 20% of our annual income from plate, pledges, and Christmas offerings in December. This year, not only do you have the opportunity to help us end the year a little ahead, but to do so knowing that you are helping to restore us to long-term financial stability and health.
If you are looking for alternate ways to give to the Cathedral before year end — such as donating appreciated stock or doing a direct charitable distribution from your IRA if you are 70 ½ years old or older — , please contact the Cathedral Administrator Anne Michels before the end of the year. She would be delighted to hear from you!
Whether you are able to make a year-end gift to the ministry of the Cathedral or not, my heart’s desire for you this season is to know, increasingly, the surpassing richness of God’s gift of His Son, the peaceableness of his Kingdom, and his unchanging love and care for you.
Yours in Christ’s service,
Reggie M. Kidd+