The Feast of the Epiphany
Dear Members and Friends of the Cathedral Community,
We celebrate today the Feast of the Epiphany, remembering the three wise ones who were led by a bright star, a beacon of God’s hope, to share their gifts and to worship the Christ child. It is a high honor to begin ministry today as your Dean and Rector. To be able to serve once more a church that I love, whose mission is to be that same beacon of God’s hope for a city that I love, makes my heart sing with joy. I am grateful that your Vestry has entrusted me with this honor, and I especially thank your Search Committee, whose careful and thoughtful discernment process invited us into this new chapter of new ministry together.
Based on the consistent feedback each of you offered during the search and transition process, there are three initial priorities I plan to focus on during the first few months of our life together to help us be an even more vibrant beacon of God’s hope on Monument Circle for our city and for our Diocese. They are:
- Redeveloping and deepening the Cathedral’s spiritual life. Above all, a Cathedral must be a community of robust prayer, of beautiful, inspiring worship, preaching, and music, and of nurturing and tending to our inner spiritual lives so that we can outwardly love and support our neighbors as followers of Jesus Christ. I will work with our clergy, choirs and musicians, and lay leaders to ensure that both our virtual worship now and post-pandemic worship in person is dynamic and life-giving. We will honor the best of our Anglican heritage and tradition while continuing to innovate for a post-COVID world.
- Overhauling our communications ministry to offer you more transparency, clarity, and opportunities for connection. Look for simpler, fresher emails that tell more stories about our people and explain the “why” of our ministry, along with more consistent messaging on our social media platforms. Expect clearer invitations directly asking for your participation in our ministries and offering you opportunities to make meaningful connections with other Cathedral members. As well, look for regular, transparent communications from me and your Vestry about major decisions we make on your behalf, and expect us to ask for your feedback and input beforehand.
- Forging better connections with our downtown neighbors and community partners. The Mile Square neighborhood around the Cathedral is the fastest growing in Marion County, with new apartments and condominiums going up everywhere. We will begin to make connections with the many new people who are now calling downtown home. We will also build stronger relationships with community partners such as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Downtown Indy, Inc., with social justice and social services organizations such as Black Lives Matter and CHIP, and with local retailers and government agencies and IMPD as downtown re-emerges post-pandemic.
To be able to lead this work, your Cathedral staff, Vestry, and I will need your guidance, wisdom, encouragement, and regular feedback. I look forward to getting reacquainted with those whom I already know and to getting to know those I’ve not yet met. I want to hear why you regularly say “yes” to being an active part of our Cathedral community and how you understand our mission of widening the circle of God’s embrace. I invite you to please sign up as soon as possible for one of our get-acquainted virtual gatherings in January and February, either by clicking on the links below or by calling the Cathedral office (317-636-4577). These small “meet and greet” groups via Zoom in both English and Spanish will offer a fun, conversation-oriented way for us to learn more about each other.
Sign up for English language gatherings: https://forms.gle/NGk7Art3rqCxGT6t5
Sign up for Spanish language gatherings: https://forms.gle/11Bo37RCjsFFKD5A8
Once the weather warms up, I promise we’ll do another round of get-to-know-each-other gatherings in person, in a safe, socially distant, outdoor setting.
In the meantime, in hopes of getting started on the best spiritual footing possible, I’ll be sharing with you by email a Dean’s Daily Devotional each weekday during the season of Epiphany, starting today. These short meditations are based on the Sunday Gospel readings we’ll hear during this season, and I hope they’ll be a bit of inspiration and encouragement to each of us as we begin this new chapter together. If you’re not already receiving a daily prayer email from the Cathedral and you’d like to sign up for these devotions, you can sign up on our website (cccindy.org) or call us at 317-636-4577.
I seek to be a Dean who is approachable, accessible, and a true partner and collaborator with you in ministry and mission. Please know that my “door” is always open to you, and that I welcome your phone calls, emails, and I am eager to hear your ideas for our life together. Once the winter weather clears and COVID abates, I look forward to in-person appointments with you. And, of course, I cannot wait to worship safely with you again in our beautiful Cathedral on Monument Circle.
Yours in Christ,
The Very Rev. Gray Lesesne, D.Min.
Dean and Rector