Banner of the Cathedral of St. Paul-San Diego
Motto: Praedicamus "We preach the crucified Christ"
Sunday was Cathedral Day at the Cathedral of St. Paul in San Diego, and I was honored to be with them for worship and an EPF forum. Virtually the entire social justice ministry participated in the forum, as did more than two dozen parishioners — pretty good turn out, for short notice! Coffee and conversation on a particularly full day for the parish was inspiring!
St. Paul’s was celebrating their patronal feast day — the Conversion of St. Paul. Dean Penny Bridges reminded the congregation that historically, at least in Europe, cathedrals have served as refuge and safe haven for communities during invasions, attacks or extreme weather, and as civic resource centers for visiting dignitaries, public addresses, and gatherings to grieve or celebrate events which affected all citizens — all this in addition to the cathedral’s primary purpose of serving as the heart of the diocese and the seat for its bishop. Noting that St. Paul’s is known as the "Cathedral for the City," Dean Bridges encouraged St. Paul’s members to stay open to the call to be sanctuary for those who need it, and to be a civic resource which invites loving connection and influence in the larger community.
What I observed during my short time with St. Paul’s was that they have internalized the message that, as baptized Christians and as citizens of the universe, we are supposed to turn the world upside down by loving God and our neighbors as God loves us. The "Principles for Social Justice" statement adopted by their Cathedral Chapter leadership in January, 2019, is a virtual manifesto of love. Among the many principles that St. Paul’s has adopted are (1) calling for a reversal of forces that are accelerating economic inequality and environmental degradation, (2) calling for support for the marginalized and rehabilitation for the fallen and (3) understanding that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives. The entire statement is worthy of consideration by every Episcopal church; indeed by every baptized Christian. Living into those principles is foundational for the radical, inclusive love we are called to share. Thanks for your leadership and witness, St. Paul’s. We are proud that you are an EPF Peace Partner Parish!
The work of EPF depends on the support of those who seek to do justice, dismantle violence and strive to be peacemakers. Your contribution to EPF will ensure that your voice for peace will continue to be heard in our Church and in our world. Click here to donate, and thank you!
Earlier this month we announced the election of four new EPF National Executive Council members. Below, we profile new NEC member Bruce Freeman of Dayton, OH:
Bruce is the co-convenor of our EPF Chapter in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a life-long Episcopalian and member at Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland. A graduate of Education for Ministry (EFM), Bruce is a V.I.S.T.A volunteer in Ohio as Juvenile Probation Officer, responsible for developing alternatives to incarceration for non-Criminal Youth and a Community Organizer for Youth Programs in low-income neighborhoods. He holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Studies and Public Administration and is a Senior Planner and Director for a planning agency in rapidly growing suburban county in northeast Ohio; is Assistant Director for Neighborhood Planning and Data Services Manager for Cleveland City Planning Commission; and is a Project Manager for Cleveland Public Safety Department. Bruce is President of a nine county non-profit Resource Conservation and Development organization in Northeast Ohio linked to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is an Adjunct Instructor for Graduate School and Community College teaching Citizen Participation and Community Organizing. At Trinity Cathedral, he is Co-Chair of parish Mission Committee (local and international) and participates in several youth work mission trips/projects in local areas and southwestern Pennsylvania. He
organized Habitat for Humanity “Common Mission Coalition”, with several local parishes working together on new housing in Akron, Ohio. He is co-leader of initiation of his parish — Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) — an effort focusing on criminal justice, education, and gun violence prevention. Bruce is Board Member of Ohioans to Stop Executions (O.T.S.E.) and manages monthly birthday mailings to death row inmates.
Welcome to NEC leadership, Bruce! We are happy to have you and your dedication to social justice and humanity with us!
St. Barnabas in Borrego Springs, CA, invited Steven and me in for a tour and history lesson last week. I was struck by the inspired view from the large picture window above the altar, when my eyes fell on the St. Barnabas banner hanging on an opposite wall. Could there be a more perfect artistic expression of their holy space and connection to God’s creation?
DIOCESE OF LOS ANGELES,
PLEASE JOIN US!
EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS COMING SOON!
For the sixth consecutive General Convention, in June, 2021, EPF will send young adults between the ages of 18-30 to General Convention to advocate for peace and justice by drafting legislation, testifying in committee, and building support for resolutions. Delegates will experience first hand how The Episcopal Church functions as the largest democratically elected governing body in the world. WATCH THIS SPACE for applications for delegates to General Convention to be available, coming soon!
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
congratulates EPF on 80 years of loving action and witness,
declaring that our activity is,
"Nothing less than the work of God!"
It’s not too soon to be thinking about General Convention, which will take place June 30-July 9, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland! Are you or your parish interested in helping EPF plan for our time in Baltimore? If you are in or near Maryland and wish to serve on our ad hoc committee to plan and make arrangements for our time at GC, please let Melanie Atha know. epfactnow. We’d love to have your energy, vision and connections to help our leadership have an effective and inspiring presence next year!
Our upcoming schedule:
Feb. 1 Christ Church, Coronado, CA
Feb. 2 St. Ambrose, Claremont, CA
Feb. 8 Diocese of Los Angeles (Cathedral of St. John)
Feb. 9 Cathedral of St. John, Los Angeles, CA
Feb. 16 St. Luke’s, Long Beach, CA
April 17-19 Detroit, EPF NEC meeting
Are you near any of our planned stops and want to visit? Just shout! Steven and I are planning to spend the rest of winter in California and then move into Oregon and Washington. We will come back east in time for our NEC meeting in Detroit in April, 2020. To schedule a visit, please contact me at epfactnow.
Until next time,
power to the peaceful!
Salvation Mountain and Slab City, CA. Heaven on earth? Who’s to say?