The Cathedral’s motto is “Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds.” That motto, based on the Cathedral’s values, vision and mission, is lived out in many ways. The Maundy Cafe and our activities in the world are seen as representing Open Doors, the different Sunday congregations and they way they seek to welcome and be inclusive to all represent Open Hearts, and the various faith formation series are seen as representing Open Minds. 

The new Cathedral Rector, the Rev. Dr. Christopher A. Pappas, was inspired by this motto. As is characteristic of his energy and spirit of adventure he started asking, “how can we go even further? How can we be the light on the hill?” Conversations with Archbishop Melissa Skelton and others brought inspiration and solidified a few ideas. 

Through those conversations an idea emerged: the Cathedral becoming a hub for excellence and leadership in various types of formation that can help people deepen their faith, or engage with faith for the first time and engage the world with their faith.

The answer: a Cathedral Institute. This institute could offer opportunities for parishioners of the Cathedral, the Diocese, and the wider community to learn and explore issues that touch on the big questions in life, as well as further develop new leaders.

With the Archbishop’s blessing our Rector is piecing together the framework for this Cathedral Institute. “The thought is to offer programs based on five pillars: Arts, Liturgy and Music, Leadership, Faith and the World, and something called the Cathedral Partnership Initiative,” he says, offering a hint at what the Institute will focus on. 

“This isn’t meant to replace anything that already exists, it’s meant to create something new by building on the Cathedral’s existing tradition of leadership, asking questions and engaging the community. We also know that we don’t have all the experts and knowledge in house and want to invite people from the Diocese, the Greater Vancouver community and the Anglican Communion to share their expertise through the Institute.  We’ll be the crucible for something that everyone can engage in creating,” he explains. 

Covid-19 means that it is still difficult to predict how these programs and opportunities might be rolled out. Working with clergy and staff from the Cathedral and others in the Diocese and Communion, a slate of programs is being developed that can be offered either in person with physical distancing, or virtually.   

Despite the unique challenges that need to be worked around, Chris is excited about the Institute. “The idea is to be the light on the hill, not just for parishioners but for the whole diocese and really, for the whole world,” Chris says. 

Stay tuned for details about the official launch of the Cathedral Institute and the first slate of programs to be offered this fall.