Grahamstown

Dean’s Letter October 29 2017

Dear Cathedral family

Thank you very much indeed to all who came and supported and helped and served at the St George’s Fair yesterday. Our particular thanks to Michelle Burger, the co-ordinator, for her hard work and attention to detail. Thank you so, so much!

Our scripture readings this morning have been especially chosen with the theme of thanksgiving in mind. 1 Kings 8:62-68 is part of the story of the blessing of the temple, built by King Solomon. It is a story of lavish generosity, celebration, and feasting – a real festival of joy and accomplishment, because the temple had finally been built and the work done. Although we have Solomon as a key player in all this, it was the work of the nation, the entire community. The success and achievement belonged to everyone. The Cathedral is a happy and creative space, and we are able to do much and see ministry grow, because we have made this happen together.

Psalm 107:1-9 is a prayer of thanksgiving and deliverance. It has a refrain, which is repeated several times: “Let them thank the Lord for his goodness: and for the wonders that he does for the children of men…”. It is a testimony to the goodness of God.

Luke 17:11-19 is the story of the healing of the ten lepers, and the surprise when only one thinks to return to Jesus to say thank you. “And he was a Samaritan.” The point of that? Samaritans were not considered to be part of the chosen people of Israel; they were the outsiders, the excluded – yet it was this person who said thank you, while the chosen people did not do so. Why was it, that they could receive so much, and so readily, yet simply choose to walk away? It is a strange picture of ministry, sometimes: the many who receive the gospel and the support and ministry of the church with open hands and appreciation – yet we seldom if ever see them again…why? Our Patronal Festival and open mic is our chance to acknowledge God’s grace and love, and to say thank you.

I ask each and every member of the Cathedral to give regularly and generously, as far as possible, to the life and work and ministry of the Cathedral. Our generous giving and financial support makes things possible; and the opposite is also, sadly, true: when people withhold their support, their resources, their money, things cannot happen, and we are unable to sustain the ministry. Our giving makes all the difference.

My love to you all