|The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, New York City|
By David Todd, Verger at St. Richard's Episcopal Church, Round Rock, TX
David Todd, named outstanding student for 2014 at Texas A&M University, and Verger for Lay Eucharistic Ministers at St. Richard's Episcopal Church in Round Rock, TX, was in New York City this past weekend. He reports on his experience visiting the largest cathedral in the United States, and by square feet, the largest in the world.
"This week I visited New York City for the first time to see my sister. She lives very close to the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. I decided I would visit the cathedral and attend Morning Prayer.
"I arrived quite early and found myself alone under the 124 foot height of the nave. This cathedral is truly massive. If you have not been there, make it #1 on your "bucket list". Under construction since 1892, the Cathedral’s highest point reaches 232 feet and has an interior foot print of 121,000 square feet."
"As I stood there looking around, I remembered from a college art history class that cathedrals such as this one were built on such a large scale to convey the power of God and the Church to the masses. Standing there, I kind of felt like it worked. I felt quite intimidated and small; even lonely. It did not seem inviting at all, which a church should be. Right?"
"Soon a handful of other people arrived and welcomed me with open arms. Morning Prayer was held in one of the absolutely beautiful chapels. The service was small, intimate and I was a part of it. I no longer felt intimidated and lonely. In a little nook of that massive structure I celebrated and worshiped God with complete strangers from other cities, states and countries."
"After the service, I found a small bakery across the street to have coffee. As I sat there, watching the church and the area around it come to life, I thought about the loneliness and the "togetherness" I had experienced that morning. I thought about the thousands that have been involved over the life of the Cathedral to bring it into existence and the love that pours out into the community around it through the multitude of services offered and events held there. It is really not a lonely place at all. I was the one that had made it that way because of my own smallness."
"This Cathedral does convey God’s power, just not in the way my professor described it. Such is the power of God that I was reminded by this place it does not matter that I am small because the people inside remind me that where ever we go, we are not alone. We are a part of the family. We all belong to in Jesus. This to me is at the heart of being a Verger."
Register for the 2014 Annual Conference being held September 25th through 28th in Burlington, Ontario by clicking on the big red button below. You'll have a great time and bring home a ton of memories that cannot be had any other way. Registration fees increase in two weeks so register today.
Abstract: An experienced litigator, who grew up in the Diocese of Dallas as an Anglo-Catholic Episcopalian goes to the Big Apple for the first time. Find out where he landed for Morning Prayer and the extremes of emotion that he experienced.
Please send your story ideas, anecdotal notes on your verger experiences or fully developed stories about your own verger ministry to [email protected]. There are more than a thousand stories out there. We'd like to publish yours.
Status of Verger's Voice Team Building Campaign: Two on board. So raise your hand to be the final Verger's Voice publication team member (for this time of asking) who will help find and contribute stories, shepherd our story contributors, envision ways to improve our blog publications and take on new themes as we expand our coverage. Write and tell me about your background and how you'd like to be a part of The Verger's Voice team. Use my Verger's Voice email address: [email protected].