This Sunday is “Pack the Pantry” Sunday at Cathedral of Hope. Besides the amazing worship that we provide, our counselling and spiritual support, small group ministries, Hope Day School, providing excellent day care for pre-school Children, Believe OUT Loud, our international online platform to help people connect their sexuality and spirituality, and so many other programs that are a vital part of our ongoing work, Cathedral of Hope also operates a food pantry that is open every Monday.
Once a month we are invited to bring goods to help keep the pantry stocked and to help those who face housing and food insecurity. You are incredibly faithful to this ministry, and we have been able to successfully operate this, and our many other food programs throughout the pandemic.
Today, I received this email from someone who benefits from your generosity. They wrote: Reverend Neil, I am one of the lucky people who receive Cathedral of Hope’s meals, and those around me. I am wearing my Cathedral of Hope shirt under my sweater, your leadership of the church, during these trying times are well appreciated. Thank you.
Stories like this remind me of how impactful our ongoing faithfulness to the work that we are called to is making in our local community. We are seriously making a difference and making HOPE come alive for so many. This Sunday, I invite you to bring something from the shopping list and, together let’s fill the pantry once again. I will conclude our current sermon series this Sunday, “Its all about Hope” as we remember that “Hope is Who We Are!” I want you to know that your presence, both in person and online is important, not only to me, but to those who are seeking out the kind of hope that we have preached these past 52 years.
Thank you for your faithfulness and living, more fully into what being a follower of Jesus is all about.
The current sermon series speaks to being a people of hope. Our faith talks about the hope that lives within us, leading us to be a more hopeful and hope-filled people. And certainly, in our world today, hope is an ingredient that many hold onto as we navigate the ongoing and changing landscape on so many levels.
Hope is what led the Israelites out of Egypt to pursue the Promised Land. Hope is what led the early disciples to hear the call of Jesus to “Come, follow me”. It was a hope for a more inclusive church that called Cathedral of Hope into existence, and it is hope that continues to challenge us to live more fully, to create a world of justice and equality.
I like to be a hopeful person and, I know that there have been times in my life where hope has not always been as present as I would like. I have certainly had the opportunity to allow others to be my hope at these times, holding space for me to both discover, and rediscover the hope that I find in my faith in God. I am grateful for the times that others have been the hope that I needed, and for the times when I have been the hope for others. That is one of the gifts that we can offer to each other as community, as a people of faith.
As I have said many times, Christianity is not so much a religion as a lifestyle choice – to put on faith and hope and love every day!
This Sunday we will hold space for people in our midst who are finding hope difficult right now. We will speak life through the words of Jesus and those early disciples who had to be reminded of the hope that is available, and we will come to understand the value of community in our ongoing journey of faithful living. Hanging in and hanging on is sometimes all that we can do.
Cathedral of Hope has certainly been a place of hope for many over the years, specifically those who struggle reconciling their sexuality and their spirituality. Next week we will begin an online study course which will look at this very issue. I have invited one of our online viewers to join this course. He lives in the Caribbean, and we spoke via zoom. He is coming out and it is dangerous for him to do so, living where he does. He has found hope and courage by watching us every week and is excited to have the opportunity to join us. We are changing lives and our stewardship, which is a vital part of our discipleship, makes things like this possible. You are changing the world, one life at a time.
I look forward to welcoming you again this Sunday, either in person or online as we discover, together, the God who offers us hope for today, and tomorrow.
Last Sunday I was able to take a some time away from church. I have preached almost every Sunday for quite a while and it was good to take a break and listen to Reverend Andria and Reverend Andre continue our current sermon series, “All About Hope.” In their unique voices they shared their heart and experiences in growing hope in times when things seem hopeless.
Hope is a powerful force, and it needs to be cultivated and cared for. It is something that fills us with aspirations, dreams, goals and visions for the future and it is certainly something that keeps me moving forward in both my personal, spiritual, and professional life – it is the gift that keeps me encouraged in our church life here at Cathedral of Hope.
This Sunday we gather again, in person and online to remember and celebrate the hope that inspired the leadership of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We will remember the vision he cast for a better and more equal world. It was his faith that led him to believe that justice was something that God desired for the world; that change, and transformation was, and is, possible.
Our whole relationship with God is about change, transformation, and a commitment to make this earth more like God’s heaven. Our shared work is about healing the world and repairing what is broken. It was this vision that inspired the founding of Cathedral of Hope in 1970 and it is this vision that inspires us, even today. We are not finished – indeed, in the brokenness of the world today, our work, it seems is just beginning!
Last night (Wednesday) both the Finance Committee and Development Committee met. In both of their meetings they made clear their hope and desire to ensure that our beloved community was both financially secure and moving forward in the vision and mission that has been set before us. They shared the concern of a changing world, changing habits and the ongoing need for us to keep safe and well. At the same time, they also recognized the need for everyone us to make fresh our commitment to remain faithful in our attendance and offering of time, talent and, yes, our treasure. Making a commitment to give, financially to our unfinished work of justice, as well as the work of ensuring that people are taken care of in both their physical, spiritual, and emotional needs.
It is imperative that we feed the hungry, visit the sick, clothe the naked, as Jesus would say, as well as provide a safe space for worship, and lead with a moral voice of justice and change. This work can only be done by all of us, together, making good on our commitments to sacrificially give to the work of God that continues to unfold in and through the church we know as COH.
That is why, today, I am asking you (and me) to think about our commitment to this beloved community and, on Sunday, or during the week, not only pray for our work, but to step up and give of our time, our talent and, yes, our treasure.
2022 will be a transformational year for our church. It will also be a challenging one as COVID-19 continues to impact our daily lives and decisions for ourselves and our neighbors. Please stand with me. Pray with me. Step up with me. And let us prove, once again, that God is bigger than our fears, our challenges, and allow God to rise again among as we build again a church that has proven, over and over, that God is still in the miracle business.
Please know that I appreciate everyone of you and, if you are ready to step up with me, and haven’t already done so, make your pledge to the work and ministry of COH in 2022, and beyond. (click here)
Finally, please know that I am praying for you, as we live into our name more fully. HOPE, it is not just in our name…it lives in our hearts!
Happy New Year Everyone!
We are now one week into the new year and already I am excited about what this new year offers us. Yes, even amid all of the worries of the world, I am hopeful of the future and our new sermon series, which starts this Sunday called “All About Hope”.
As we embark on a new year, we may be filled with aspirations, dreams, goals, and visions for the future. We also know that living into our dreams and goals doesn’t always come easy. Our faith reminds us that we are a people of hope. This sermon series is meant to help us to find the hope that will be our source of inspiration, our rock when things get difficult and our guiding purpose for life.
On this first Sunday we will explore how we grow hope, planting seeds of hope for our lives, for our church and for the world we live in. Reverend Andria Davis will be preaching this Sunday and I am taking a planned rest from the pulpit!!
Hope is what we have offered throughout this season, and it is offered in both physical and spiritual ways. This Saturday, January 8, 2022 in the Fellowship Hall we are once again invited to come and help put together “Blessing Bags” that are then taken out into the community to offer a little bit of hope to those who are food and housing insecure. It is, in my opinion a tragedy that anyone finds themselves in this situation, but grateful that we come together to offer a blessing, a little ray of hope in what could be a very hopeless situation.
“You’ve got to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come if the pressures of home are too great” – words spoken by Harvey Milk in the 70’s. “My name is Harvey Milk and I’m here to recruit you.” Well, today, and everyday I want to recruit you as people of faith to keep hope alive. Let’s do this together and come again, this Saturday and Sunday to breathe hope into a world that needs us.
Learn about our current COVID protocols here.