Grahamstown

Dean’s Letter, June 11 2017

Dear Cathedral family

My very sincere thanks to all who helped make my 60th birthday celebrations such a special and memorable event! Cooks and decorators; waitrons; speech-makers, song-writers and performers; those who worked in the kitchen to prepare and to clean up afterwards; those who prepared the hall, did the flowers, laid out and decorated the tables; those who contributed to the food; those who brought gifts; and all who came to join in the celebration! It was for me a most wonderful experience of being surrounded by love and laughter and happiness and joy. Thank you!

Today is Trinity Sunday. It is a halfway mark in our liturgical (church) year. Each year, we spend six months telling the story of our salvation – from Advent to Christmas to Epiphany, to Ash Wednesday, Lent, Holy Week, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost; and we spend the other six months hearing and responding to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. We have a three-year cycle for our Gospels: this year we are reading through the Gospel of St Matthew. The gospel readings from now until Advent invite us to open our hearts and lives to God’s grace and love. St Matthew’s Gospel was used to teach new Jewish Christians; the Gospel has a strong emphasis on Jesus’ teaching ministry, particularly his parables. We shall read a number of those in the weeks ahead. There is also a healing event, invitations to the disciples (and therefore to us) to continue Jesus’ ministry, one reading taken from the denunciation of the scribes and pharisees, and two miracles by which Jesus revealed himself. We witness by our lives to the reality of the kingdom of God in our troubled world.

Trinity Sunday is a time to stand back and reflect on the nature of God as revealed to us in creation, in salvation, and in sanctification: God the Father who created us; Jesus Christ the Son who died to save us; the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us and makes us holy.

All this – our life of faith and trust in God and God’s love – is in the context of a deeply troubled, angry, hurting, frightened world: the dreadful and cruel attacks in Manchester, London, Paris and Terhan (Iran); the crisis in leadership and governance in our own country; the personal and community crises following the huge storm in the Western Cape, and the fires in Knysna and along the N2, with many homes and public buildings destroyed; the ongoing drought and water shortage here in Grahamstown and the Eastern Cape; our own private struggles. We continue to pray for our land, for our world, for our church, our community, and for one another. May we find, in Christ, the path to peace and life.

My love to you all