When Jimmy Carter was running for President of the United States, one of the more vivid moments in the campaign passed by almost unnoticed. One Sunday morning, candidate Carter had been worshipping at the Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia. When the service was over, he exited the church into the swarm of press encamped on the church's front lawn. Cameras whirring, video lights glaring, microphones thrust forward, the media mavens moved in for interviews, pushing themselves to think of clever questions to ask a presidential candidate on the way out of a Southern Baptist Church -- "Did you like the sermon?" "Did you enjoy the choir this morning?" "Do you plan to remain a Baptist in Washington?" -- On and on the banal questions spewed.
Suddenly, a reporter, probably in a stroke of luck, shouted out a question that genuinely mattered: "Mr. Carter, suppose when you are President, you get into a situation where the laws of the United States are in conflict with what you understand to be the will of God. Which will you follow, the laws of the state or the commandments of God?"
Carter stopped, looked up, and blinked into the bright Georgia sun, obviously turning the question over in his mind. Then, perhaps still "in the Spirit on the Lord's Day," perhaps with the Spirit gently whispering the lyrics of the gospel into his ears, he turned toward the reporter and replied, "I would obey the commandments of God." Alert aides, alarmed by this candor, unnerved by their candidate's near-treasonous remark, hurriedly whisked him away from the press and into a waiting car. Carter the politician should have avoided the question, or hewed closely to the law of the land, but Carter the Christian had the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ whispering in his ear, "Do you love me? The world cannot see or know me, but do you love me? Do you keep my commandments?"
Although most of us have little concept of the challenge and responsibility that comes with being a head of state, I suspect many of us have experienced the challenge posed to the man who would become the 39th President of the United States, in terms of witnessing, not only by what we say but by what we do, to the saving love of God through Jesus Christ. We daily have opportunities to proclaim that love and grace in the world around us, although the current culture may not be as receptive as we would like. As it was on that first Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit empowered the followers of Jesus to spread the Good News to all around, so it does for us today. Listen for that Spirit which spoke to those earliest followers; listen for that Spirit which spoke to President Carter; listen for the Spirit whose power, working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine… and show that love to world that desperately needs to hear about.
If this is your first visit, it is a joy to welcome you to our parish web site. Perhaps you are one of those who are looking to find the presence of God in your own life journey, a search that in the midst the noise and confusion of our age, can at times seem overwhelming. Maybe we can be of some assistance. Contained within this site are examples of the ministry that we share as the Cathedral Church of St. Paul’s, London Ontario. We enjoy a wonderful mix of young and old, those who are new to the faith, as well as those who are mature Christians. In the midst of a wonderful blend of personalities comes the blessing of a variety of gifts and ministries. May the information you find here encourage you in your own faith journeys.
We invite you to come and make your spiritual home with us at St. Paul’s, but pray that wherever you are, you will find a Christian community where you can deepen your faith, and put your talents and gifts to work. Wherever you are, your prayers for the ministry of the people of our parish are appreciated.
We are thankful for all who give of themselves in the ministry of the church and for their commitment to carry out the commission that our Lord gave to us all. We are also thankful that you have visited our web site, and invite you to come and get to know us better.