Cathedral Church of St. Paul
Dean and Rector
|Date Posted||July 31, 2019|
Vermont (Lynn Bates)
|Health Benefits||Full Family|
|Communicants in Good Standing||128|
|Average Sunday Attendance||148|
|Child Population in Church School||15|
|Adult Population in Church School||20|
|Teacher Population in Church School||12|
A deep love of community shines through at St. Paul’s—it is part of the lived everyday (not just every Sunday) experience of our members, and it is immediately evident to newcomers and guests, to whom the warmth of that community, and the invitation to join, is freely offered. The love we have for God and for each other is also expressed in the richness and meaningfulness of our liturgy, and transcends the inevitable differences of opinion that exist in a community of this size. Our deep experience of community also contributes to our ability to listen to the calls for change that come from within and from without, as well as to our capacity to weather those changes with resilience. We number as one of our strengths the blessing of a deep and sustaining relationship with the Diocese, and especially with our outgoing Bishop Thomas Ely. It is with great anticipation that we look forward to entering into a similarly meaningful relationship with our new Bishop-Elect, Shannon MacVean-Brown.
Our challenge is one felt by many Episcopal churches in the twenty-first century: how to manage our abundance in an environment of shrinking resources. We have an abundance of aspiration to live into our identity as an urban cathedral: a sacred space that is truly open to the greater community. But in order to be responsible stewards of our limited financial resources, we have down-sized our staff such that it is a challenge to live into those aspirations. We are blessed with a spectacular building, but also with the maintenance challenges it presents to us, as well as our desire to use it to greater capacity. We recognize that it will require great wisdom and courage to journey into the decisions that will shape the future of our mission and its relationship to our property. We have explored these challenges as a community with undiminished vitality and hope, but also with the knowledge that we need a brave and forward-thinking spiritual and worldly leader to steward us toward a vibrant and sustainable future as a Cathedral for the twenty-first century.
In our discernment process we followed St. Benedict's advice to leaders. Whenever an important decision was to be made, the whole community, from the most junior to the most senior was to be consulted. We have done this. Sunday School teachers asked the children. A special effort was made to consult young families as well as members of long-standing. We hosted group meetings. We listened to individuals. We used online as well as paper surveys. This is what we found:
- We want a Preacher who can touch both head and heart. We want to be able to take home something to feed our souls during the week.
- We have come to realize that much of our growth in Christian discipleship occurs in small groups, whether prayer, study or work. We want a Pastor who can support existing groups as well as foster new ones.
- Over the past fifty years, St. Paul's has accomplished much. We are coming to understand the limits of our financial and human resources. We are looking for a Steward and Administrator who can oversee our efforts to make the most of all our resources – both those provided through our modest finances as well as through our people.
Canon Lynn Bates
Canon to the Ordinary and Transition Minister