Dear Cathedral Community,
On November 1st, I start a long-awaited sabbatical which has been due since 2018. The past three and half years have been filled with God’s grace and blessings to us as a community, and to me as your priest and Dean. There are milestones to remember and celebrate. It has also been a fast-paced time for me, nineteen months of which included supporting and leading our community and staff as we adjusted to doing church in new ways due to the pandemic and overseeing the Cathedral Redevelopment Project.
God’s Kairos is not our Chronos. I am confident my sabbatical is taking place just at the right time. A right time for our Cathedral and for me, personally.
I am delighted to share that the Rev. Dana Campbell accepted my invitation to serve as Interim Priest, bearing the role and many of the responsibilities of my office. My gratitude to Dana is profound. I would also like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Bishop Douglas, the Cathedral Chapter, and the Cathedral staff for their support to make this sabbatical a reality. My heart is full.
Our clergy team, Cathedral staff, and lay leaders will be working in consultation and collaboration with Dana. They will be blessed by her ministry and authentic care for God’s people.
On October 2nd, Canon Pallares, Deacon Bonnie, the Rev. Dana Campbell, Marianne Vogel, members of the Congregations Committee, lay leaders, and I met to pray about and plan our mission activities for the next four months of our common life. I have posted below a link to our calendar which will give you a glimpse of God’s wonderful work among us. I will pray for you as you serve God’s people in the upcoming months.
During the past four months a portion of my time has been utilized in making connections and preparing and planning various initiatives to take place in our renovated space, including Body and Land of which information about its grand finale I am posting below, along with other opportunities that are developing and will be taking shape upon my return from sabbatical
An important part of sabbaticals is to keep good and healthy boundaries. I intend to do so to create the space for our Cathedral to also use that time to reflect on our common ministry. This is important and comes with a cost. I will terribly miss the celebration of our Christmas Eve service and other notable events happening at our Cathedral during my time away, including the hosting of the Hartford Opera, Deacons Quiet Day, a livestream concert Marianne is hosting, and First Night. This makes me appreciate our new live-streaming equipment even more!
In my absence, Dana will be responsible for clergy and staff supervision, as well as liturgical and programmatic oversight. Cindy Hursty will be responsible for day-to-day operations, working in consultation with Dana. Canon Pallares and Deacon Matthews will continue overseeing their respective areas of ministry. Marianne Vogel will be managing our side of Music Moves Hartford and will take on parts of my portfolio in engaging the arts, including coordinating our Cathedral’s participation in First Night. My assistant, Kathy Frisoli, will be responsible for use of space and will be supporting Rev. Campbell as needed.
The first four days of my sabbatical, I will be in Vancouver leading a silent clergy retreat for the Diocese of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada, followed by a trip to Montreal to spend a few days with family and friends. I plan to spend quality time with my husband and sons, cook a meal or two for the boys, read them stories and tuck them in bed as many nights as possible! I also hope to spend time in NYC visiting museums, something I have hoped to do for years when I worked in Midtown at The Church Center and was never intentional about doing so.
I will visit my home country, attend the wedding of a dear friend in Texas, spend time in personal silent retreats, and dedicate time to continue writing about my infertility journey. I pray the restrictions in this time of pandemic allow me to do all I have planned and hope, with God’s help.
As is expected during times of sabbatical, Dana will share brief updates of my sabbatical journey with you from time to time.
Please pray for me as I will pray for you. You are in good hands. You are in God’s hands and journeying with a wonderful group of capable and loving people.
The Very Rev. Miguelina Howell