Saturday, February 02, 2008

Rejoice with us!

It was a beautiful day in the Los Angeles neighborhood ...

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.

[blurry photo credit: Susan Russell]
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 ...
    And I remembered other celebrations -- the "ghosts of liturgies past."

    • 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.
So rejoice with us. Rejoice in the dedication of this historic church to serve as we move together into God's future -- as we glimpse this "new horizon of hope" the bishop preached about and as we risk being "a leadership people" committed to living out gospel justice in the City of Angels!


Ann said...

What is the purpose of 2 cathedrals? Tired of the old one? I don't understand.

nacinla said...

Truly a day that the Lord hath made.



ann ... thanks for the chance to clarify.

We have actually been without a "cathedral" (in the big church condusive to diocesan liturgy sense) since (somebody help me with the date???) sometime in the 70's when our "Old Cathedral" was deemed earthquake unworthy and beyond retro-fitting.

+Fred Borsch built our current "Cathedral Center" ...,_Los_Angeles
... which has ably served as a center for mission and ministry in the inner city but not so much for liturgy.

So desigating St. John's (a hop-skip-and-an-urban-jump) from the Echo Park Cathedral Center as our liturgical center for Diocesan liturgy really just expanded the Los Angeles "cathedral campus" and gives us the best of both worlds as we work to live out the gospel both in prayer and action in the City of L.A.

Padre Mickey said...

Were the protesters outside at Bishop Talton's consecration protesting that event or something else?
Maybe I'm ignorant, but I can't imagine why people would protest +Chet.

Paul said...

Sorry I cannot provide the dates but I was invited by Dean Ev Simson to lead adult ed at St Paul's Cathedral at 6th and Figueroa around 1976-77. It was in the late 70s that it was deemed unsound and deconsecrated. The congregation moved to All Saint's Chapel at Good Sam Hospital. My ex and I moved to the Bay Area in 1981 and it was after that that St Paul's congregation merged with St Athanasius, Echo Park, oldest church in the diocese, to form the emerging cathedral center. I have fond memories of ordinations and many an Integrity Eucharist at St John's. The Theotokos mosaic remains in my heart and I rejoiced to see it on a banner here today.

Much joy to your diocese, in which I became an Episcopalian, and to St John's and its continued ministry in the city of the Queen of Angels.

Lindy said...

What a great day for you all, and thanks for defining pro-cathedral. I had no idea.


Thanks, Paul! Ev Simson rocked ... his wife, Mimi, was my spiritual director for a number of years ... great people!

As for Padre Mickey's question, they weren't picketing +Chet so much as the whole Episcopal Church. It was 1991 and, if memory serves me, were gearing up for the Phoenix General Convention and +Fred was taking flak around issues of (stop me if you've heard this one before) HUMAN SEXUALITY!!

nebrshugyo said...

For no good reason I find myself curious about the church building itself. When was the church built? How big is it? I went to the St. Johns Cathedral web site and I could not find a physical description of the building.