In Your Midst


Fall 2000

In This Issue:
Dear Friends,

When we published Setting Our Path: A Vision Statement for St. James Cathedral, we took a bold step into a future known only to God but entrusted to us. I am excited about it, and I hope you are, too.

Sometimes, when a parish sets forth a vision for the future, the vision remains only printed words on a page. But there is far too much life in this cathedral parish to allow anything to remain locked in print. I believe together, we will breathe life into those words.

As a first step toward accomplishing this, we have recently formed three action groups whose tasks will be to develop plans to (1) meet the increasing needs of children and families in our parish; (2) attract and retain young adults in our parish by giving them opportunities to be active in parish ministry and have their unique needs met; and (3) create a tangible symbol of St. James Cathedral’s presence in the community by using our property and resources to address the needs of the poor and homeless.

We live at a time of unparalleled opportunity. Never before has the cathedral parish been larger or more diverse; never have we had such an increase of families with young children; never has there been such an influx of people into this neighborhood (to say nothing of the continuing influx of parishioners from some 79 postal ZIP codes around the Puget Sound region!); and seldom, if ever, have human needs been more critical. In the face of unprecedented economic prosperity, the needs of the poor grow unchecked. And as government continues to espouse a rather minimalist view toward poverty and human services, the churches find themselves on the front lines of what our government once called the “war against poverty”.

Someone asked me not long ago whether I wasn’t ready to coast a bit and to enjoy what all of you have helped make this cathedral and its parish become. My answer was that I probably enjoy coasting as much as the next person, but that this doesn’t seem the time for coasting. There is work to be done. There is great potential to be realized. And there is a marvelous community of faith here ready to run the next lap and turn the vision into reality.

I think we should all feel fortunate to have in our company the patron of pilgrims, St. James, and the first American saint (and former cathedral parishioner), St. Frances X. Cabrini. With companions like these, and with God’s gracious Spirit as our guide, we can’t possibly lose.


The Very Reverend Michael G. Ryan,
St. James Cathedral Pastor

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