A great day to dedicate a new pro-cathedral for the mission and ministry of the Diocese of Los Angeles!
Here's St. John's Episcopal Church, at the corner of Adams and Figueroa ...
... which became St. John's Cathedral today, in a service that began with the Vestry and Clergy of St. John's welcoming the bishop with these words:
Jon, Bishop in the Church of God, and our Bishop, we welcome you, and on behalf of our Vestry and People of this Church, we accept this vocation to open our doors to you and all people of this Diocese. We welcome all who will come to this house as one body from far and wide; men, women, children, rich and poor, straight and gay, people from many nations. We ask you now to dedicate this place as a house of prayer for all people and as the Cathedral Church for our whole Diocese and our city, the symbol of your pastoral, liturgical and teaching ministry.
And then the bishop prayed: Lord Jesus Christ, make this temple of your presence a house of prayer for all people. Be always near us when we seek you in this place. Draw us toyou, when we come alone and when we come with others, to find comfort and wisdom, to be supported and strengthened, to rejoice and give thanks. May it be here, Lord Christ, that we are made one with you and with one another, so that our lives are sustained and sanctified for your service. Now, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, sanctify this place; For everything in heaven and on earth is yours. Amen.
From the bishop's sermon: A NEW HORIZON OF HOPE
- May we do liturgy in such a way that the Word comes alive as we celebrate the love of Jesus.
- May we be a community based in a commitment to gospel justice -- a place where we risk being a leadership people.
- And then it was time to gather at the altar ...
- I remembered singing in the choir at St. John's when my friend Scott Richardson was ordained priest (he's now the Dean of San Diego's St. Paul's Cathedral.)
- I remembered when +Chet Talton was consecrated bishop suffragan at Lake Avenue Congregational Church -- the first time I encountered pickets outside an Episcopal service and the first time I received communion from a woman: +Barbara Harris, the preacher du jour.
- I remembered when the new Dean of St. John's (Mark Kowalewski) was priested at All Saints, Pasadena -- and I remembered what a privilege it was to be the litanist at that service and looking out to see Mark with Jon Bruno -- one of his presenters for ordination.
- I remembered Cursillo weekends +Jon and I worked together with liturgies VERY different than the celebration we shared today at St. John's.
- I remembered my OWN ordination there in the sanctuary at St. John's -- ten years ago last month. And I remembered that morning there was a protest of some sort down the street and there were mounted police in riot gear assembling in the parking lot next to the church. And my 12-year old told his grandmother reassuringly, "those guys are here to make sure my mom gets ordained!"
- And I remembered all the other ordinations and confirmations and consecrations and celebrations that have been part of the warp and weave of the fabric of the liturgical life of this Diocese of Los Angeles.