The journey of faith will take each of us to places we never expected to be
—Rev. Dr. Leonard Hamlin Sr., Canon Missioner, Washington National Cathedral

Throughout my life I can recall the words of the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews being read aloud, quoted and shared: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

It is with this belief, extraordinary joy, boundless excitement and great faith that I enter into this season of life and service as part of the Washington National Cathedral Community. The blessing of coming together as a community while seeking God is a privilege and an opportunity that I am looking forward to sharing.

The journey of faith will take each of us to places we never expected to be and call upon us to do things that were never in our carefully crafted plans. God has a way of redirecting our paths and shifting our plans. It is through our faith and our coming together as witnesses of God’s love that “all things become possible.” My journey of faith has not followed a traditional path and as the announcement of my coming to the Washington National Cathedral became public, there were numerous persons that asked, “Why the Cathedral?” It was after meeting Dean Hollerith, members of the Staff and being in the midst of the Cathedral Community that the call of faith, the challenge of faith and the vision of faith became overwhelmingly apparent. Being able to take up the mission of our faith as a community that allows our world to witness the Kingdom and Beloved Community is not only an opportunity but a responsibility that I am excited to experience and embrace. The charge against the first century church was that they had ‘turned the world upside down.’ It is my prayer that together that same charge will be lifted as we worship, witness and serve together. What a testimony to the power and influence of God’s church as a community united in faith together.

The Macedonia Baptist Church of Arlington, Virginia, blessed me with the privilege of serving as their Pastor for twenty-two years. This was a season that was not expected or planned but a season where I was blessed to see God working through individuals, families, organizations and communities in extraordinary ways. Together we were able to do what some conceived and called “impossible.” As I now join with the Washington National Cathedral Community, I remember the words often shared with me while growing up in my faith community of Brooklyn, New York: “The task ahead of us is not as great as the POWER behind us.” This has been a truth revealed to me as I have walked in faith with the numerous persons God has blessed me to share with throughout my life.

We grow in our walk with Christ through the partnership of others as we walk in faith.  When we encounter things that would challenge us in life, we find strength and encouragement in the sharing of our faith with others.  What a blessing it is to experience the joy of Christ through the common bond of the love we share in Him. It is my sincere prayer that as we enter into fellowship and service together, the world around us will discover a community of loving individuals that will help everyone achieve their goals for spiritual growth and experience a compassionate community.

My wife (Machell A. Hamlin) and I are looking forward to becoming better acquainted with each of you as we share our common bonds through faith. We count it a great honor to commit ourselves in fellowship with Washington National Cathedral Community through the love we share in Christ Jesus.  We are thrilled to have this opportunity and extend our enthusiastic and warm-hearted prayers for each of you and your families.

Rev. Leonard L. Hamlin Sr.