Sunday, September 30, 2007

Salt Lake City

We went to the Episcopal Cathedral this morning. Then to the One World Cafe for lunch.

St. Mark's Cathedral had a very interesting welcome/explanation statement on the back of their bulletin. It is long, but worth sharing here...

"If you are passing by and feel intimidated or angry because of religion, please know that there is immunity granted when you enter St. Mark's Cathedral. Immunity from the ravages of religion and misuse of Divine revelation.

We live in a time of religious zealots, abortion clinic bombings, and TV evangelists attempting to take power in our land. How do you find persuasiveness rather than coercion and will-to-dominate in religion? An answer is St. Mark's Cathedral. Here operates an unconditional surrender to the freedom of God to speak to whomever in whatever language is understandable to you. Immunity from religious control is granted you upon entry. St. Mark's offers sanctuary to everyone and promises this glorious freedom of God as the climate to explore the healthiest living that religion affords.

If you are passing by and feel hesitant to join in the ranks of a particular denomination or buy into the creeds of millions, please know that most people who enter St. Mark's every week are practicing no regular religious discipline. The rule of St. Mark's is the stranger making himself or herself at home. All names are sacred here but none must place one's name on a membership list to be taken seriously.

Perhaps you quietly dropped by wanting to reconnect in your relationship with God, or to surrender a burden. Or to pray for a loved one. Or to meditate on a hard personal dilemma. Or find a moment of peace. A cathedral has a high ceiling and long aisles to allow the contained soul an opportunity to venture forth in multiple directions without the encumbrances of forced community. St. Mark's offers ages of spiritual space to which anonymous individuals may be on pilgrimage.

If you are passing by and feel that life is fragmenting into a vast number of irreconcilable, shattered pieces, then please know that St. Mark's holds an outrageous hope that, in God alone, all aspects of life are in unity. We believe that God is the Alpha, the beginning and that God is the Omega, the ending of all things.

So we are called to extravagant hospitality in the confidence that a gracious welcome is central to a cathedral's purpose. And yes, we are part of a specific religious tradition. We are so, not because one religious tradition exclusively contains all truth, but because when one goes on a long journey toward ultimate unity, one has to depart form one specific place. St. Mark's Cathedral, Episcopal Diocese of Utah, is our point of departure. And our companion and ultimate confidence in the journey is Jesus Christ. We believe Him to be the clear manifestation of God's love for the whole world and the expression that all of our lives are in ultimate unity even beyond the finality of death.

In the midst of what appears to be an ever-increasing fragmentation of life, St. Mark's offers a House of Prayer for all people, an abiding hope that there is a Oneness at the center of human life.

Enter, pray and may your time here be blessed."

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