Joanne Christ, Senior Warden
It’s been a busy year in our church on Loring Pond. There is much to reflect with gratitude upon and even more to anticipate. And I thank God for all of that, and also for the challenges that we faced and will face again and again. One of the joys of serving as warden(s) is to see the many, varied, talented ways in which you work to make the World and our church a better place. You know who you are and I thank you and hope you give yourself the credit due you.
There has been much said about our new governance ideas put into action this year. It has been great fun and very invigorating to watch the ideas take shape. But I must hasten to add that it has also been very difficult work. Especially challenging has been the job of each of the committee and commission chairs and of our communications representative. There was not a well-developed play book for each of them and they had to create both the template for operating as a committee or commission and the scope of works to try to accomplish, all the while dealing with the urgent issues that arose organically. As you know, one of the aims of our particular form of governance is to spread out the responsibility and the authority over the entire council and this has worked well. Our hope was that the hard work of running the laity’s part of the church’s work would be done at the committee level so that the council could, with confidence, give or withhold its approval based on the good efforts of each group to understand and offer informed guidance to the whole council. And this group of chairpersons was not just willing but able to take this kernel of an idea, run with it and do more than you might imagine possible. As shopworn as it may be, the word awesome comes to mind when thinking of the work of the Council this year.
Another aspect of our model of governance is that we walk beside and in concert with the Bishop of Minnesota and the chapter led by him and beside our Dean (and before him our Transitional Spiritual Leaders) and the church staff. This has also worked very well in practice.We are so fortunate to have received such a high level of care and guidance from Bishop Prior and others in the ECMN community. I really cannot imagine a better transitional leader for us than Bishop Caldwell was when we really needed such a one. He set a brilliant course and we are so much better for his good, hard work. And John Rettger, with great humor, a guiding hand and good understanding of this church and its people, kept us moving while happily anticipating the arrival of a new Dean and change ahead. The church staff was steady and careful to see that the church ran well through the many changes in leadership and we are so very grateful for the excellent and creative work they all perform. And now, what a delight and an inspiration Dean Lebens-Englund is. He not only walks beside the Council, he dances. So let’s get with the rhythm and dance along. I firmly believe we can look forward to all of our connections becoming stronger within and outside of the Cathedral. As those connections improve, so will our effectiveness.
One of the most striking aspects of this year has been the strength and vitality of the prayers offered by all of you and by those groups formed intentionally to support all of us and the people we love and the work we do here. We thank each of you for your prayers, for your hard work, for your patience and for your companionship.