Growing in loving our neighbors
Each Sunday, amongst the first words in our bulletin are, “We worship God in the heart of the city. We are surrounded by the poor in an area of town that is often neglected. In his life, Jesus often ministered to the poor and needy, and we believe that by worshipping God in the urban core, we can catch a glimpse of God’s love.”
It is these glimpses that help us grow into God’s fullness and give “hands” to our vision—Love at the Core. St. John’s Cathedral has had a long history of sharing God’s love within our beautiful cathedral walls, but also outside in our downtown neighborhood. Helping our neighbors in need is the hallmark of such thriving nonprofits as Volunteers in Medicine, the Cathedral Arts Project, Aging True and CathedralCare—all started by the cathedral.
Earlier this year, St. John’s Cathedral invited several neighboring churches, businesses and nonprofits to talk about the future of our neighborhood—the Cathedral District—and how to return it to a thriving community. Then in a follow up meeting, the four other historic churches in the District—First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville, First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and Historic Mt. Zion AME Church—joined with St. John’s Cathedral and agreed to support and be actively engaged in sharing God’s love through urban revitalization. It is unique and unprecedented because the revitalization impetus is not one of displacing the poor and the non-profits ministering to them, but instead one of moving working class people, businesses, and students into the district, beautifying the area and slowing the traffic so that a true village is born.
Under the leadership of Ginny Myrick and the cathedral’s Campus Council, a not-for profit corporation (The Cathedral District—Jax) has been formed to spearhead these efforts, following a similar model as the cathedral has used to launch its other successful nonprofits. It is a model underwritten by prayer and the untiring commitment of many dedicated St. John’s parishioners. We ask for your continued prayers and guidance in these revitalization efforts.
As a parish and a cathedral, we have a rich heritage dating back to 1834 in this very neighborhood. And as such, we have become more than a place for Episcopalians throughout the diocese to worship. We are a place for hospitality and renewal; we are a center for learning and formation where all are welcome; we are place where community organizations gather. In short, the cathedral is a place where we, as well as our neighbors, can see and grow in God’s love every day.
Gloria Miller, Director of Program Development
Tags: Buildings and Grounds / News / Newsletter / Stewardship