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Christ Church Cathedral An Episcopal Community in the Heart of Houston, Texas

The kindled fire

Several weeks ago I was privileged to spend part of a Saturday morning with the Cathedral’s adult lay worship servers at their annual training session. My remarks to the group centered on the ways in which Celtic spirituality (one of my passions) pertains to our Anglican form of worThe Very Rev. ship. Barkley As I prepared my talk, Thompson I re-read many of the stories of the Irish saints. Of all those colorful tales, my favorite is the very first one about St. Patrick: When Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary bishop in the mid-400s after having fled years before as a runaway slave, his first stop was to a hill within view of Tara, the home of the Irish high king. There, on the eve of Easter, Patrick lit the Easter Vigil fire. The pagan Irish king saw the fire from Tara and called his druid priest to him, inquiring what it was. “Oh king, may you live forever,” the druid replied, “This fire will never be put out unless it is put out this very night. He who has kindled it will overpower us and you. It will spread over the whole country and will reign forever and ever!” And so it did. Beginning with Patrick, a long line of holy men and women evangelized Ireland with a form of Christianity that was equally potent and gracious. Rather than antagonize the locals, Celtic Christianity embraced and incorporated those spiritual beliefs and practices already present in Ireland that were good and true. Rather than declaring men and women unequal, Celtic Christianity uplifted both on their spiritual merits, granting holy (and female) St. Brigid the authority of a bishop. (The Pope in Rome was obviously unaware!) Rather than wall itself away from the

Fire, back cover

June 2013

Gifts of love, made by hand

Of all the ministries at the Cathedral, few can claim to be as comforting in the most literal sense as the Prayer Shawl Ministry. Knitters at the Cathedral have poured time, love and prayer into beautiful shawls and blankets, bringing cozy consolation to those in pain or transition. “The prayer shawl ministry is one of the warmest ministries at Christ Church Cathedral,” said knitter Roni Coulson. “You literally wrap yourself in love.” Several years ago, when parishioner Norma Jones was ill, she received a prayer shawl from another church. Ramona Bomar heard about this and suggested to Dean Joe Reynolds that the Cathedral start its own prayer shawl group, and she inadvertently became

the founder of a new ministry. Over the years, the ministry has produced countless prayer shawls, which have been sent all over the country and as far away as South Africa. “I think this is evidence of caring,” Bomar said. “And you would be amazed at the feedback.” The group keeps a scrapbook filled with letters, emails, photos and thank-you notes. People with all kinds of ailments or unfortunate circumstances fill the pages, wearing their shawls draped around their shoulders and contented smiles upon their faces. In February, the Cathedral received an email message from Mary Ann McKinney, a

Shawls, inside

Mary Arciniega knits a prayer shawl, which will be blessed and given to those in pain or transition.

Keep ear open for Vestry “comfort call-a-thon” Whenever his limousine stopped at a traffic light, former New York City mayor Ed Koch would roll down his window and ask the person in the car alongside him, “How am I doing?” Mayor Koch claimed that these conversations were the best gauge of the health and vibrancy of the city he served, and he always took to heart the feedback received from his fellow drivers. This summer at Christ Church Cathedral, your vestry wants to check in with you and

ask “How are we doing?” From your perspective, how are things going at Christ Church? What excites you about the Cathedral? What pastoral concerns do you have, and what hopes might you share? During June, July and August, your Vestry will be calling every parishioner on the membership roll. These are not stewardship calls, but rather they are your opportunity to make your voice heard. We hope you’ll answer the phone and share your thoughts with your lay leadership.

Our Cathedral Family We celebrate with EE new members John and Traci Arellano; Anastasia Stone; Eric and Karen Fryar; Kate Weyrich; Kathryn, Elaine and Gary Krause; Sophie Knobloch; Ken and Barbara Brown; and David Moore. EE Cathedral members David Beard and Jenny Hughes, who were married April 13 in the Cathedral. EE Cathedral members Amie Parker and Johnny Schexnayder, who were married April 27 in the Cathedral. EE Callie and Aaron Stewart upon the birth of Eleanor Ann Stewart on February 1. Eleanor’s grandparents are Cathedral members Terri and Andy DiRaddo. EE Lauren and David Cobb upon the birth of Avery Elizabeth Cobb on April 13. Avery’s grandmother is Cathedral member Mary Ann Cobb.

We extend heartfelt sympathy to EE the family of Randall Furlong who died April 19. He was the husband of Caroline Shipp Bowles Furlong. EE the family of Philip R. Neuhaus who died April 23. He was the father of member Joan Neuhaus Schaan. EE the family of Cathedral member Mary Ann Boyd who died May 13. Mary Ann was the wife of member Lawrence “Larry” Boyd.

The Flowers on the Cathedral Altar EE on June 2 are given to the glory of God in loving memory of Joseph Adam Harris Scott and Harvey Shepherd, and in thanksgiving for their parents by Norman and Frances Kittrell. EE on June 9 are given to the glory of God in loving memory of Clifton E. Speir by his wife, Barbara Speir, and his family. EE on June 16 are given to the glory of God in thanksgiving for the Ordination of the newest Deacons in the Diocese of Texas by the Commission on Ministry and the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Texas. EE on June 23 are given to the glory of God in honor of Grace Holland and Camille Holland on their birthdays by their grandparents, Antha and Bill Holland. EE on June 30 are given to the glory of God in loving memory of Zinkie and Fox Benton by Jane and Bill Curtis.

Parish Choir welcomes all to sing during summer Add something new and fun to your summer Sundays by singing with the Parish Choir at the 9 o’clock Eucharist. No musical experience is required. Simply come to the second floor of the Latham Building by 8:20 a.m. any Sunday you wish between now and the end of August. A hymnal, a vestment and a warm welcome will be waiting for you. For more information, call the canon for music, Robert Simpson, at 713-590-3311.

Town hall on St. Luke’s transfer Bishop Andy Doyle will hold a town hall meeting on Tuesday, June 4, from 7–9 p.m. in Reynolds Hall to discuss the transfer of St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System to Catholic Health Initiatives. The transfer, which will be finalized early this summer, will provide more than $1 billion to establish the Episcopal Health Foundation in the Diocese of Texas. This will be one of the largest

health foundations in the state of Texas. Bishop Doyle will discuss the 11-month-long study undertaken by the Health System to review the changing healthcare landscape, the options considered, along with the guiding principles for the process, the creation of the new Episcopal Health Foundation and future strategic goals to meet the new opportunities now before the diocese.

The supreme aim of a Cathedral During the first generation after be doing? William Temple, a former Christ, the whole Church could usually Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote that fit in the largest room of a house; the “the supreme aim of a cathedral is, by its own beauty and by the serbishop and all the presbyters (a vices held within it, to give conGreek term meaning “priests”) tinuous witness to the things and deacons would preside at unseen and eternal, and to offer the community Eucharist every continuous and reverent worLord’s Day with all the baptized ship of God on behalf of all.” present. And then growth hapAnother former archbishop, pened. Rev. Canon Michael Ramsey, added, “There Congregations soon needed TheEd Stein is always a struggle between to gather in additional places around the city. The bishop would des- two leading conceptions of a cathedral. ignate a priest to preside in each place, One represents the cathedral as a worand would himself visit occasionally. shipping community, the other as cenBut the place where the bishop main- tral power station, so to speak, of the tained his permanent teaching seat (or diocese. Some large elements of the for“cathedra”), from which he presided mer conception can be combined with regularly, remained the central gath- it and indeed ought to be.” Our task as a cathedral in the sprawlering point for the whole region. As purpose-built churches appeared, the ing Diocese of Texas is more difficult town’s “cathedral” would often be built than it would be in a geographically on the site of that original house or hall, compact English diocese. Marble Falls, Marshall and Matagorda are a good with the bishop living nearby. In America there were no bishops, long way from Houston. So a big part of our mission is to be much less cathedrals, for the first centuries of colonization. Cathedrals did not welcoming and engaging hosts whenbecome part of the Episcopal Church ever the whole community of the diountil the late 19th century. In our dio- cese gathers here. This means coming cese, Christ Church lived its first centu- forward to volunteer for hosting duties, ry as a parish church — granted, as the and it certainly requires that we show oldest church in Houston and second- up and meet people. On Saturday morning, June 15, the oldest in the state. Not until 1949 was it designated by the bishop and council bishop will ordain all the new deacons of our diocese as the cathedral church for the whole diocese here at the Cathedral. This is a major diocesan event. for all. People from all over will come to see So what does that mean? In a frivolous sense, it means we — someone they know being ordained like most American cathedral churches that morning. Consider attending the — began to take on the trappings of an service, even if you don’t know any of English cathedral, with purple cassocks the ordinands. Think also about comfor the clergy and choir (the color of ing forward to help greet and host and bishops); and special titles for the cler- usher — for these and all things that go into serving as the cathedral for this gy (dean and canon). But what should a cathedral really diocese.

Shawls, from cover

parishioner from Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston. In 2011, a Cathedral priest visited and delivered a shawl to McKinney’s mother-in-law, Thomasine, during the final stages of her life. “I just want to thank all of the people involved in this wonderful ministry,” McKinney wrote. “[The prayer shawl] kept her warm and brought so much comfort to her, my husband, and me. It was her constant companion during her last few weeks of life. “She received last rites from our priest, Jim Nutter, and peacefully died a few hours later. However, since that time, the shawl has become a great comfort to my husband. He uses it quite a bit and finds comfort in it just being on the bed or on the back of a chair.” The knitters of the prayer shawl ministry are overwhelmed with similar stories. They are eager to share tales ranging from an elderly man leaving hospice after receiving a shawl, to a newborn with heart defects who has found a way to survive. But the purpose is not necessarily to incite a perceived miracle, but to simply give someone the much-needed comfort of knowing they are cared for and loved. “How can you describe that type of love?” Coulson said. “It is intangible. It is really a gift from God to be doing it. It gives me goose pimples to think that we are able to offer this to people.” Each prayer shawl is blessed at the altar and then tagged with a short note detailing who made that particular shawl and when it was blessed. The knitters are an exceptionally welcoming and caring group that can be found at the back of Reynolds Hall every Sunday during the education hour, knitting and handing out shawls to anyone in need.

“Sing over me”

Every Monday afternoon, Beacon volunteers lead a group of homeless men and women in a writing workshop. One of our writers, Michael Crawl, writes deeply inspiring poetry. Most often, he has a pen tucked behind his ear to capture those spontaneous verses. The workshop is a celebration and a reminder to Michael and his classmates that no matter where they sleep, they are writers and artists and poets, and most importantly, children of God. To hear Michael read one of his poems, visit

Hot dogs and fellowship at Episcopal Night at the Ballpark It’s summer break, and you’re looking for fun things to do. We’ve got you covered for the evening of Friday, June 28. Gather in the Bishop’s Courtyard starting at 5 p.m. for a free hot dog cookout, followed by a rousing good time at Minute Maid Park for Episcopal Night at the Ballpark. If it rains, no problem, we’ll head to Reynolds Hall for a “cook-in.” You’ll also have the opportunity at the cookout to mix and mingle with parishioners from across the diocese, 125 of whom joined us last year. For some of these guests, it was their first time at the Cathedral, and so this year, a guide will be on hand to provide a tour of our beautiful, historic worship space. We’ll plan to walk to the ballpark (just five

easy blocks) at around 6:30 p.m. so you’ll be in your bullpen box seats in time to see Bishop Jeff Fisher throw the first pitch and to hear the national anthem sung by an Episcopal church choir. After you’ve cheered on the Astros, hopefully to a victory over the Los Angeles Angels, sit tight for the “Big and Bright Friday Nights” colorful fireworks display. Reserve your tickets online now at or in person on Sundays through June 23 in the cloister. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under, including free parking in the Cathedral garage. Pick up your tickets in the cloister on June 23 or at the pregame cookout. Let’s go Astros!

La Misa en el Parque

Church in the Park

La congregación Latina observará la primera Misa en el Parque el domingo, el 16 de junio en el Bayou Parkland Pavilion en Hermann Park, en lo que esperamos será una celebración anual. Vamos a reunirnos para las 12:00 p.m. para la convivencia y refrescos. Tendremos la Santa Misa a la 1 p.m. como usual con toda la música, oración y celebración, dando gracias a Dios para todas sus bendiciones, especialmente nuestros padres. Después de la misa, aprovecharemos la tarde para comer, tomar refrescos, y jugar. Todos participarán en proveer la comida para su familia y quizás un poco para compartir. Todos pueden traer cualquier juego familiar que deseen. También habrán juegos organizados. Los instrumentos musicales también son bienvenidos. ¡Vengan todos!

The Latino congregation will observe the first Church in the Park on Sunday, June 16, at Bayou Parkland Pavilion in Hermann Park in what we hope will become an annual event. We’ll meet around noon for fellowship and refreshments. The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 1 p.m. as usual with music, prayers and celebration for the many gifts God has given us, especially our fathers. Afterward, we will spend the afternoon eating, drinking and playing games. Everyone should bring food for their families and maybe a bit more to share with others. Bring whatever favorite games you want. There will also be some organized games. Bring your musical instruments, too. Everybody come!

May Fete, Tulip Reception and Destination Unknown

In Pictures

Right: A reveler takes a spin on the “Wheel of Clergy,” hoping to land on Canon John Logan’s picture to win a prize. Far right: The standardbearer for the nursery leads her classmates into the courtyard.

Right: Alice Puccio pins a crown of paper flowers on the head of a maypole dancer. Far right: Dean Thompson and Lisa Puccio, the minister for children and families, watch the procession of children.

Below: The maypole dancers admire their handiwork as the May Fete crowd looks on.

Left: Attendees of the Tulip Reception share their stories of life at the Cathedral. Below: Angie Spivey and Ellen Harrison enjoy the fellowship of the reception.

Above: The Cathedral youth enjoy fun around town at the Destination Unknown lock-in, including food-truck dining, bat-watching, go-karts and bowling, and visits to the Art Car Museum and David Adickes’ sculpture studio.


“ Take me with you!”

Carry Christ Church Cathedral in your heart and Bishop “Flat Andy” Doyle in your pocket on your summer travels. Take your photo with Flat Andy at the churches you visit outside the Houston area and send the pictures to us. We’ll collect them in an online gallery so everyone can see the worship spaces you blessed with your presence. Send the photos by email to or post them to the Cathedral’s Facebook page. (Or both!) You can also use the hashtag #flatandy to share your adventures on Twitter and Instagram. Safe travels, and may God protect you along the way as you enjoy the intentional break from work and school that summer brings. And, when you’re not on vacation, we’ll see you in the Cathedral pews!

Calendar of Events Visit or call 713-222-2593 to learn more about these and other events at the Cathedral. Registration recommended

Registration required

Registration closed June 26–29


Convergence Austin. Leadership gathering for highschool youth across the diocese to grow in confidence and spirit. ($)


Rhythms of Grace 1 p.m., Jones Basement. Worship experience for special needs children and their families resumes with lesson: “Paul Spreads the Good News.”

June 15 SAT Diaconate Ordination 10 a.m. in the Cathedral. Seminarians from the around the diocese will be ordained as deacons. Dean Thompson will preach. June 16

June 2 Sun Immigration Workshop 2:30 p.m., Reynolds Hall. Attorney Margarita Hernandez will discuss existing immigration law and implications of the Dream Act. Presented in Spanish. June 4


Church in the Park 12–4 p.m., Bayou Parkland Pavilion in Hermann Park. The Latino congregation will celebrate Eucharist and enjoy games, food and fellowship outdoors. June 19

Vestry Meeting 4:30–6 p.m., Jeffers Conference Room.



Bridge Night 6–9 p.m., McGehee Conference Room. Newcomers and all levels welcome. June 14–16 Fifth-Grade Mission Trip Current fifth-graders experience their first mission trip, serving the underserved in Houston. ($)

Wednesdays June 29 SAT RSCM Morning Prayer 10 a.m. in the Cathedral. Sung by young choristers in the Royal School of Church Music’s summer workshop.


St. Luke’s Town Hall 7–9 p.m., Reynolds Hall. Diocesan meeting with Bishop Doyle to discuss transfer of St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System to Catholic Health Initiatives. June 7

Sundays Sing with the Parish Choir 8:20 a.m., Latham Auditorium. Sing with the Parish Choir any Sunday this summer, no experience required. Hymnal and vestments provided.

June 28 Fri Episcopal Night at the Ballpark 5 p.m., Bishop’s Courtyard; 7:05 p.m. Minute Maid Park. Pregame cookout and special seating and prices for the Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels. ($)

June 29


Texas Music Festival Outing 7:30 p.m., Moores Opera House. Orchestral performance of music by Strauss and Prokofiev. Register by June 23 for Cathedral group rate. ($)

Cathedral 20s & 30s 6:30–8 p.m., various locations. Weekly discussion group and social gathering of young adults. Will not meet June 5. Thursdays Buscando la Luz 6:45–8:30 p.m., Mellinger Room. Spanish-language discussion group.

Upcoming July 21–27


Middle-School Mission Trip Bastrop. Helping those affected by last year’s wildfires. ($)


August 4–10

Summer Place 10–11 a.m., Reynolds Hall. Fellowship hour with refreshments hosted by ministries and councils of the Cathedral. June 2, Community Life; June 9, Justice and Peace; June 16, Children’s Ministry; June 23, Religion and the Arts; June 30, Membership and Evangelism.

High-School Mission Trip New York. Urban ministry and Hurricane Sandy relief work. ($) September 25


Come to the Table Annual fundraiser and gala dinner in support of The Beacon. Underwriting opportunities are available. ($)

In the Cathedral Bookstore For adult summer reading, The Light Between Oceans is a tale of love and loss, right and wrong and what we will do for the happiness of those most dear. It has become a popular book club choice and, having read it, we can attest that it is in fact a book that will keep you riveted from the first

page. This is a compelling yarn about good people, tragic decisions and the beauty found in each of them. Keep a tissue handy! For children of all ages, the Life Picture Puzzle Across America book, which asks the reader to “spot the differences” in levels from novice to genius, may be what you need for

your airplane and car time. Don’t forget that we have cards, books and a few gift items for occasions such as Father’s Day, the diaconate ordination and weddings. Summer, vacations, and books go hand-inhand. We will be open through June to assist you with your reading selections. The Bookstore will be closed during July.

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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.

In the Cloister Gallery: Pamela Ruth Taylor

In June Pamela Ruth Taylor’s mixed media art seeks to portray the vision of inspiration and memory through color, light and movement.

Cathedral reaches crosswalk agreement For years, many of us have crossed San Jacinto Street midblock to get from our cars to the main campus. For a while, we had traffic cones to alert drivers, but those were removed a few years ago because of city ordinance. Now, thanks to the work of two of our members, Melissa Noriega

and Chris Bell, we have written approval from the city for our police officers to direct traffic midblock on San Jacinto on Sunday mornings before and following our services. Please be extra careful when crossing, even in crosswalks, and cross with the traffic lights.

Fire, from cover

world behind stone battlements in cathedrals and convents, Celtic Christianity kept its church boundaries porous and its gates open to any and all who had need. How might the Christian world be different if the Irish model of faith had taken hold everywhere those many centuries ago? In our own day, in our own city, we at Christ Church Cathedral can still kindle a fire. We can proclaim that those who enter here will not find a dogma that insists they forget everything they already believe to be good and true, but rather will discover how those

things are completed by the grace of Christ. We can model a church in which all are welcome to kneel before God and receive God’s love. We can be a community whose doors are open and whose people daily engage the world around us in faith, proving that church is who we are in every encounter of our lives and not just a place we go for two hours on Sunday. If we will kindle this fire, with God’s help it will spread over the whole community and will reign forever and ever. May we have courage, and may God make it so.

We still need your help! Of the $2,500,000 in budgeted pledges for 2013, there are $2,268,347 actual pledges recorded through April 30, with $231,653 in pledges outstanding. If you haven’t made your pledge, please do so now.

The Bulletin: June 2013  
The Bulletin: June 2013  

News and events from Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, Texas.