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CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL An Episcopal Community in the Heart of Houston, Texas


The Year of our Lord A.D. 2013. We’ve entered a new date on our calendar. A surprising number of people believe that “A.D.” refers to “After Death,” signifying the time after the crucifixion of Jesus in an analogous way that B.C.—“Before Christ”— refers to the time before Jesus’ birth. This belief is curious for two reasons. First, if A.D. refers to THE REV. BARKLEY “After Death,” then how THOMPSON do we account for those thirty-three years of Jesus’ earthly life? What do we call the dates between B.C. and A.D.? Second, it would be odd indeed if we were to signify the first year of the new dating system by extolling Jesus’ horrendous death. If anything, we’d call the new system “A.R.” for After Resurrection. As it is, A.D. doesn’t mean “After Death” at all. A.D. is shorthand for Anno Domini, which means, “The Year of our Lord.” A.D. 2013 is The Year of our Lord, Two Thousand Thirteen. At least twice in the past two thousand years this system of dating has been questioned. The first time was during the French Revolution, when France’s secular regime attempted to supplant Anno Domini. We presently live in the midst of the more recent time of questioning. Today, scholars in virtually every field have agreed to refer to B.C. as “B.C.E.” or “Before the Common Era” and A.D. as “C.E.” or “Common Era.” The rationale for the new designation makes sense: In a world in which scholars of various religions and cultures interact, a Christian dating designation can seem triumphalistic. Even so, the fact remains that Year 1 is still considered Year 1, whether the designation is Common Era or Anno Domini. The universally agreedupon Year 1 is still the year of Jesus’ birth (or very close to it). Does this matter? For Christian people, it most certainly does. We are entering into the season of

A.D., inside

Jill and Barkley Thompson

Getting to know Barkley Thompson We asked our soon-to-be dean, the Rev. Barkley Thompson, some questions about himself and his ministry. His responses are excerpted below. The full interview and a video greeting are posted on the Cathedral’s website. What attracted you to the Cathedral and to Houston? Many, many things! Christ Church is distinctive even among cathedrals in the Episcopal Church in the combination of its size, vibrancy and location in the very center of a major U.S. city. Christ Church is able to serve as the agent of Christ’s love to an incredible range of people encompassing all walks of life. The Cathedral’s pursuit of justice, service, and hospitality kindles my heart. When Jill and I toured The Beacon, we were blown away by the tangible impact for good the Cathedral is making in the daily lives of Beacon clients. The search committee was also clear that the Cathedral sought in its next dean a compelling preacher and teacher. I experience my priesthood primarily as a call to preach and teach. The proclamation of the Gospel, I believe, should make explicit the points of contact between God’s vision for the world and our daily living. No other role is more important for a priest. Finally, our family connections both to Houston and to Christ Church served as a powerful lure. And, Jill and I fell in love with

Texas during our time at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin. Tell us about your family and how they play a role in your ministry. Our menagerie consists of Jill and me, our children Griffin (12) and Eliza (8), Wrigley the 14-year-old beagle, a puppy named Maggie (short for Mary Magdalene), and Sally the cat. Everywhere I’ve served, Jill, the kids and I have found our network of social relationships in and through the church. This was true of Jill and me even before I was ordained. Friendships first based upon a shared faith in Christ are true and abiding. Jill has engaged in the ministry of the church in her own areas of passion and interest. In recent years, she has helped with children’s ministry, and last year she co-led St. John’s “Club 45,” which is St. John’s preyouth group for fourth- and fifth-graders. In her professional life, Jill is a physical therapist. That and motherhood are her vocations. What have your previous parishes taught you spiritually and practically? Spiritually, my experience serving parishes has reminded me again and again that it’s crucial for the priest to pray. This may seem selfevident, but in the crush of activity at a large parish, it’s all too easy for prayer to be the

BARKLEY, back cover

Our Cathedral Family We celebrate with EE Adam and Susan Girling upon the birth of Emily Caroline Girling on November 10. Emily’s aunt is Cathedral member Katie Barnes and her grandparents are Dean and Barbara Barnes. EE Adrianne Morse and Jared Spain who were married November 10 in the Cathedral. Adrianne is the daughter of Cathedral members Harry and Mary Louise Morse. EE Rebecca Leggieri and Christopher Sowyrda who were married December 1 in the Cathedral.

We extend heartfelt sympathy to EE the family of Charles Franklin Doyle who died October 27. He was the father of Bishop C. Andrew Doyle and grandfather of Caisa and Zoë Doyle. EE the family of Cathedral member Deborah Cannon Crump who died December 5. Deborah was the wife of Jim Crump.

The Flowers on the Cathedral Altar EE on January 6 are given to the glory of God in loving memory of Dwight Ken Nishimura by his family. EE on January 13 are given to the glory of God in loving memory of Scott Cawley by his family. EE on January 20 are given to the glory of God in loving memory of Jean Paige Evans Galbreath by Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Avery. EE on January 27 are given to the glory of God in celebration of the birthdays of Bruce McDonald and Peyton Fowler.

The Flowers in the Floor Vases EE on January 13 are given to the glory of God in loving memory of Forrester Carlyle Lord by his parents, Kathy and Tom Lord; his wife, Anne, and daughter, Ava; the Clark Stockton Lord family; and the Stacey Lord Murphy family.

A.D., from cover Epiphany, which marks those moments at which God makes himself manifest in our lives in ways that change us, alter our priorities, and shape our very identity. Think about the Scripture readings we study during Epiphany. We read about the Magi, whose entire lives are upended when God appears to them through the star. We read about Jesus’ own baptism, when the Holy Spirit reveals to him and those around him who Jesus is

Meet our 2013 Vestry nominees To be voted on at the Annual Parish Meeting on January 20 Nominated for three-year terms CHRIS BELL has been a member of the Cathedral since 1999. For the past five years, he has taught Sunday school for senior high youth. He has also served on the Cathedral Health Ministries Council and the Adult Education Council and has volunteered at The Beacon. This past fall, he and his wife, Alison, served as chairs of the Cathedral’s Every Member Canvass. TED DOM joined the Cathedral in 1984. He has actively participated in several of the Cathedral’s outreach ministries including as a Beacon volunteer, as a two-term member of the Mission Outreach Council, and as a COMPASS board member for six years including the last three as president. BILL MCKENZIE has attended the Cathedral since 1997 and was baptized shortly afterward. First attracted to the Cathedral by its music program, he has been an active member of the Cathedral Choir ever since, currently serving as choir president. He has also served on the Liturgy Council. SONIA VELAZQUEZ has been deeply involved in the life of the Latino congregation since coming to the Cathedral in 2008. She has been an organizer of the annual Latino conference and the MiniFolklórico. Sonia attended this summer’s Spanish-language Lay Leadership Conference at Camp Allen and has hosted posadas for the past two years at her home. BESS WAREING has attended Christ Church Cathedral for 23 years. In that time she has served on the Youth Council and the Adult Education Council, chaired the Every Member Canvass, taught Sunday school, and co-chaired May Fete. She also served on the Search Committee and a discernment committee and taught the Parenting Class as both leader and guest speaker.

Nominated for a two-year term ELLEN HARRISON was received into the Episcopal Church at the Cathedral in 1986. Completing the four-year Education for Ministry course inspired her to seek opportunities for active service. She is the outgoing chair of the Religion & the Arts Council and currently volunteers with the Cloister Gallery. For the past two years, she has served as a mentor in a writing workshop at The Beacon.

and where his destiny lies. In Epiphany, God claims people as God’s own. God makes Jesus the Lord of our lives. Just as God does this in the space of our lives, so God does with time. Of the designation Anno Domini, N.T. Wright says, “Like a great church bell ringing out over a sleepy town, every time someone puts a date on something it speaks of the lordship of Jesus, whether people listen or not.” Think about that the next time you write the date on a

check or pull up your iPhone calendar. This Epiphany season, does God claim you? Will your time become God’s time, to mold and shape for his kingdom? In your life, does 2013 promise to be The Year of our Lord? I look forward to joining you as your dean next month and beginning to explore such questions together. Grace and peace, The Rev. Barkley Thompson

CALENDAR OF EVENTS Visit or call 713-222-2593 to learn more about these and other events at the Cathedral. Registration recommended

Registration required JANUARY 6 (cont.)



New Year’s Day Cathedral offices closed. JANUARY 4


Bridge Night 6–9 p.m., McGehee Conference Room. Newcomers and all levels welcome. JANUARY 5


Parent Meet and Greet 4–6 p.m., Treehouse. Meet parents from the youth community and get to know Jeremy better. Food and drinks provided.




Adult Education Preview 10 a.m., Reynolds Hall. Learn about adult classes offered for the spring. Most classes begin Jan. 13.

Diocesan Youth Choral Festival 3 p.m. in the Cathedral. Music performed by young singers from around the Diocese of Texas.

First Day of Sunday School 10 a.m., Jones Building and BYC. Christian education resumes for children and youth.


Rhythms of Grace 1 p.m., Jones Basement. Worship experience for special needs children and their families. JANUARY 20


Annual Parish Meeting 10 a.m., Reynolds Hall. Meeting to discuss the business of the Cathedral and to elect new members of the vestry.

SUNDAYS Episcopal Youth Community (EYC) 4–6 p.m., BYC. Gathering of youth for dinner, games, teaching, movies and worship. Resumes Jan 6. TUESDAYS Women’s Bible Study 9:30–11 a.m., Jeffers Conference Room. Resumes Jan. 15. WEDNESDAYS


Cathedral 20s & 30s 6:30–8 p.m., Mellinger Room. Weekly discussion group and social gathering of young adults. Resumes Jan. 9.

Ash Wednesday Mark the start of Lent with the imposition of ashes at services at 7 a.m., 12:05 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Spanish).


Organ Recital 4:15 p.m. Featuring organist Sigurd Melvær Øgaard. Epiphany Evensong 5 p.m. Sung by the Cathedral Choir.


Buscando la Luz 6:45–8:30 p.m., Mellinger Room. Spanish-language discussion group.

JANUARY 6 SUN Feast of the Epiphany Epiphany commemorates the visit of the “Magi,” the Three Kings, and celebrates the first adoration of God in Christ by the gentile nations.

JANUARY 20 (cont.) SUN Organ Concert 6 p.m. Featuring duo organists Elizabeth and Raymond Chenault. JANUARY 21


Martin Luther King Jr. Day Cathedral offices closed.

FEBRUARY 12 TUE Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper 6–8 p.m., Reynolds Hall. Feast and make merry on the night before Lent. Wear your Mardi Gras best and dance to live Zydeco music.



Choir Cabaret 7 p.m., Reynolds Hall. Silent auction, dinner and a show in support of the Cathedral Choir’s 2013 tour.



African-American Music Gala 7 p.m. (Sat.) and 4 p.m. (Sun.) in the Cathedral. Concert of works by black women composers featuring the Houston Ebony Opera Guild Chorus. FEBRUARY 24


Barkley Thompson’s First Sunday 10 a.m., Reynolds Hall. Welcome our new dean at a reception between services on his first Sunday at the Cathedral.

SUNDAY EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS, SPRING 2013 All classes are offered on Sundays at the 10 o’clock Education Hour. Classes for children and youth begin January 6; most classes for adults start January 13. CHILDREN


Lighthouse Classroom for Special Needs Jones Building, Basement

Junior and Senior High Ballard Youth Center

Two-Year-Olds Jones Building, Room 102


Three-Year-Olds to First Grade Jones Building, Second Floor

Dean’s Class Reynolds Hall

Second to Fourth Grade Jones Building, Second Floor

Basics of the Faith Jeffers Conference Room. Introduction to Episcopal faith and history. Required for adult confirmation.

Fifth Grade Jones Building, Basement

Parenting Class McGehee Conference Room

Exploring the Connections Mellinger Room. Seminar and study of the book “Saving Jesus from the Church” by Robin Meyers. Christian Meditation Bride’s Room. Teaching and practice of contemplative prayer. Open to all regardless of experience. Encountering the Wisdom Jesus Dean’s Conference Room. A new look at the historical Jesus as a master wisdom teacher. Finding Darwin’s God Small Rehearsal Room. A spiritual journey towards reconciliation of Christian faith and scientific reason.

Non-Profit Organization U.S. POSTAGE PAID Houston, Texas

1117 Texas Avenue Houston, Texas 77002-3183

PERMIT No. 6404


Did you know you can read The Bulletin on our website? If you’d like to go “online-only,” contact Anne Shepard at or call her at 713-590-3301.

BARKLEY, from cover thing that’s nudged off of the priest’s daily agenda. It can’t be allowed to happen. Only by regularly centering oneself in God can the priest — rector or dean — shepherd the congregation toward that same center. Practically, I am reminded again and again in my vocation that we never know the inner struggles of those we meet. The parishioner whose life seems the most together is often the one barely hanging on to faith. Approaching fellow Christians with a dis-

Barkley, Eliza and Griffin Thompson

cerning ear and an open heart can, quite literally, be the difference between life and death. The smallest occasion of grace can be lifechanging to one in need. What do you see as the greatest challenges and opportunities in urban ministry? In Roanoke, St. John’s (where I presently serve) sits equidistant between the Wells Fargo Tower and Roanoke Memorial Hospital (a level-one trauma center), which means that the parish exists in the very heart of the commercial, banking, governmental and healthcare center of southwestern Virginia. When the bells of St. John’s ring each hour, they serve as a reminder that God resides not only in Sunday worship, but also in the midst of each of these parts of our collective lives. God has something to say about how we do business, how we treat our citizens, and how we care for those who are hurting. God lays claim to all of us, and because the incarnate God abides among us, all of life is holy. Urban, downtown parishes bear the responsibility for reminding the city of this truth, and that responsibility is a challenge, an opportunity and a privilege.

In the Cloister Gallery: Survey in Wax During January Keith J. R. Hollingsworth investigates the use of Crayola crayons as a viable medium for artistic expression.

In the Bookstore: Chenault Recordings The Bookstore reopens Sunday, Jan. 13. We have CDs of duos by organists Elizabeth and Raymond Chenault, who perform at the Cathedral on Jan. 20.

What else would you like us to know about you? I love traditional Southern barber shops. In Southern culture, the barber is akin to the priest. He lays on hands; he hears confession; he dispenses pastoral counsel and advice. As soon as I move to Houston, I’ll begin my quest for just the right barber shop. Finally, what I want you most to know is how excited I am to be joining you in shared ministry. God is good, and God has good things in store for us together!

The Bulletin: January 2013  
The Bulletin: January 2013  

News and events from Christ Church Cathedral