Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Roof for the Inn" -- a Cathedral Christmas Challenge

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” – Luke 2:7

Wandering through the desert, Mary and Joseph wanted only one thing that night … a roof over their heads so they could give birth to their son, the child named Jesus.

We remember that night with crèches and carols. But what if this year, we did more than just commemorate? What if this Christmas, we gave our sisters and brothers in the desert what Mary and Joseph needed that night … a roof over their heads so they could meet the Son of God?

Earlier this month, Bishop Stephen Dokolo from our companion diocese of Lui in the Republic of South Sudan led us in worship and thanked us for the prayers and support that have helped sustain his people through a trying and exciting period of reconstruction after decades of civil war.

Then he said that Fraser Cathedral … our sister Cathedral in Lui … has for more than a decade had a roof that leaks profusely during the rainy season and traps the heat in during the heat of the dry season (I've been there ... he wasn't kidding!). He asked for our help again. He asked Mary and Joseph’s question: Can you give us shelter?

Has there ever been a better opportunity for us to embrace the spirit of Christmas than this?

So this year, let’s make two gifts of thanksgiving this Christmas. One gift in this envelope to support the mission and ministry of Christ Church Cathedral … and one to go toward putting a new roof on Fraser Cathedral in Lui.  You can give to CCC by sending a check  made out to Christ Church Cathedral and sending it to 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO. You can give to Lui by going to www.diocesemo.org/donate and clicking on the CCC/Fraser Cathedral option.

It’s no secret (or it shouldn’t be) that we are having financial issues of our own. We’re running a deficit of more than $70,000 and are facing serious financial challenges for 2012 as we are still far behind our pledge goal. But Jesus teaches us that salvation lies not in focusing on ourselves but in trusting God and loving those who have the least. And especially at Christmas, Jesus calls us to rejoice in the joy of doing what he did … giving ourselves for the life of the world.

So please give generously. Let’s help turn Fraser Cathedral into an inn worthy of the birth of the Prince of Peace … and for his people to gather to praise him. 

In Christ’s love,

The Very Rev. Michael D. Kinman

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