Membership and Ministry
Membership at Sunshine Cathedral
Membership to Sunshine Cathedral is “open.” There are no doctrinal requirements to become a member. Anyone who wishes to join may do so. All members are asked to make a pledge of time, talent, and treasure meaning that we encourage and expect that you will share your unique self and your unique gifts with our community. Membership classes are offered quarterly. For more information about the next class please contact Rev. Kevin Tisdol by phone (954.462.2004 ext. 213) or email him at Kevin@sunshinecathedral.org
We are answering the call to live and model a progressive spirituality by offering worship that is open to all people, regardless of what they believe. Our sacraments are symbols of God’s love and grace, which we believe are unconditionally and universally offered. One need not be a member of our church or any church to receive Holy Communion at Sunshine Cathedral.
We are answering the call to live and model a progressive spirituality by offering affordable, adult religious education. Our educational arm, The Samaritan Institute, offers certificates and degrees as well as courses for personal enrichment. The Samaritan Institute faculty includes graduates from some of the best seminaries in the U.S. So, whether one is wanting to learn more about the bible, prayer, theology, or “test the waters” before enrolling in an accredited seminary, or simply study to be a better informed and more effective lay leader within the church, The Samaritan Institute offers wonderful learning and growth opportunities.
We are answering the call to live and model a progressive spirituality by offering intercessory prayer, free of charge, for anyone who requests it. The Cathedral staff meets weekly to pray for everyone who has been added to our prayer list. And, we continue praying for each person for 30 days! There is never a fee for prayer, and one need not be a member of our church or any church to be added to our prayer list. To be included in our daily prayers or to add a loved one to our prayer list, simply go to www.sunshinecathedral.org, click “Special Prayers” and fill out and submit the prayer request form.
We are answering the call to live and model a progressive spirituality by offering ministry to local Assisted Living Facilities, correction facilities, and a rehabilitation center. Again, without asking anyone to pay or to conform to certain beliefs, we simply take love and hope to people who could not come to us.
We are answering the call to live and model a progressive spirituality by speaking out for justice. Our clergy and lay leaders can often be seen at rallies, community meetings, World AIDS Day services, transgender advocacy events, and demonstrations for full equality and inclusion for all members of society. Our Senior Pastor, Durrell Watkins, often writes to and meets with community leaders speaking out on matters of social justice and he responds to various injustices or crises with press releases and open letters to the public. Our church collects food for the local food bank and we collect school supplies to for students in our local neighborhood, Crossaint Park. In these ways and more, we are trying to model compassion, justice, and reconciliation.
We are answering the call to live and model a progressive spirituality by saying that at Sunshine Cathedral, every member is a minister and every ministry is a team. We are trying to offer every member of Sunshine Cathedral an opportunity to serve the church or the community so that by sharing time, talent, and resources, we can collectively make the world a better place.
We are answering the call to live and model a progressive spirituality by Sharing the Light with the World! We broadcast sermons on the Internet. We have over 120 members living in Jamaica to whom we provide worship and educational resources. We publish a booklet of daily devotionals called Spirit & Truth which we offer at no charge. We offer our annual Christmas Eve service at the Broward Center so that as many people as possible can share the holiday with us. And our Fort Lauderdale location serves as the home for over 20 community groups and organizations, including three worshiping communities, two choral organizations, a youth group, a holistic wellness center, the Sunshine Community Foundation, and Sunshine Social Services (SunServe).
We are answering the call to live and model a progressive spirituality by celebrating who we are, engaging the world in which we live, by affirming the sacred value of all people, and by living in the power of indomitable hope. We call our spirituality progressive, positive, and practical and we invite you to join us in this progressive, positive, and practical way of conscious living!
Ministry at Sunshine Cathedral
Our goal at Sunshine Cathedral is for every member to be a minister and every ministry to be a team. We are dependent on and grateful to the volunteers and financial contributors who make ministry possible day after day here at Sunshine Cathedral. In addition to our volunteers, the Cathedral has a Board of Directors and a professional staff.
The Board consists of 10 members of the congregation and the Senior Pastor. The Board “shall raise funds for the operation and administration of the Cathedral and administer these funds through the setting of budget and policy.”
The Senior Pastor is the personnel director for the staff and is “responsible for the duties of teacher, preacher, and spiritual leader” of the Cathedral. As the spiritual leader, the Senior Pastor (aka “Canon Pastor”) is expected to cast the vision for the Cathedral.
Additionally, the Senior Pastor “shall organize all of the Worship Services and ritual of the Cathedral and shall have direct responsibility for the administration of staff.”
Serving with the Pastor are the Canons who make up the executive staff. “Canons of the Cathedral shall serve as senior management of the ministries of the Cathedral.”
Sunshine Cathedral also has a Dean who serves “as a symbol of unity” and who participates in the life and ministry of the Cathedral at the invitation of the Senior Pastor. Our current Dean is one of our rotating homilists and celebrants, and he works closely with the Sunshine Community Foundation in the area of fundraising.
Inclusive Language at Sunshine Cathedral
Since 1981 MCC has had a policy of using inclusive language. This means that we are intentional about not using only masculine names and images for the Divine, nor do we use masculine pronouns to refer to both women and men. For example, we don’t refer to God as “Him” or “Father” unless we balance those with feminine images (“Her” and “Mother”). Some people find using gender-balanced language for God/dess too cumbersome, so they choose to use gender-neutral language for the Divine (avoiding gendered pronouns entirely). Additionally, we do not say “mankind” when we mean humankind / humanity. Another reason for this expression is that we believe God is a greater mystery than can be contained by a single gender.
We also try to avoid language that is insensitive to ability. For example, we ask people to rise as they are able, or, we might avoid asking people to “walk with us” since some people aren’t able to walk. Instead, we would ask them to “journey with us” or to “go with us” toward our lofty goals.
Inclusive language also avoids using language that is racist. For example, we would never say that God’s love washes us “white as snow” — because the indication is that white is good and colors other than white are not good. The racist impact (regardless of innocent intentions) becomes fairly obvious. The purpose of inclusive language is to avoid excluding people by using words and images that privilege whiteness or maleness or youthful vigor. Sunshine Cathedral, as a member church of MCC, should model at the leadership level the use of inclusive language.