The Rev. Norman Cram Honored

The Rev. Norman Cram Honored

Rededication of St. John’s Parish Hall Honors Father Norman Cram
Everyone was welcome!

by Victoria Temple, a member of the Vestry of St. John's, Petaluma

On November 17, one hundred friends of retired Episcopal Priest, Father Norm Cram, gathered to celebrate the renewal of the congregation at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Petaluma, and to gratefully acknowledge his role in the transformation that had taken place.

Together with his wife, Dierdre; their daughter; son-in-law and two granddaughters; Father Norm arrived early for a first look at the refurbished Parish Hall. New paint and refinished maple floors lent a warm glow to a room lovingly decorated with the riches of autumn’s harvest. It was a glorious setting for the rededication of Father Norman Cram Hall.

Father Daniel C. Green, priest-in-charge of St. John’s since 2009, led a simple ceremony that opened with the hymn, Sing a New Church, which begins:

Summoned by the God who made us
rich in our diversity
Gathered in the name of Jesus,
richer still in unity.

After a prayer, as incense filled the space, Father Norm cut a red ribbon and threw open the doors. Then Dierdre unveiled a plaque, and Senior Warden Marti Shortridge read its words aloud:

This place of assembly was rededicated on November 17, 2012, extending Christ’s welcome to all, to the glory of God and in thanksgiving for the ministry of Father Norman Cram, Priest-in-Charge of St. John’s Petaluma, 1995-1997 and 2007-2009.

The plaque now hangs under a photograph, published in the Petaluma community newspaper, of Father Norm celebrating an outdoor Easter sunrise service for the once homeless Episcopal congregation. Father Cram served as Priest-in-Charge of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Petaluma, from 2007-2009, when he stepped out of retirement to guide the continuing Episcopal congregation through difficult times.

With Father Cram as priest and pastor, St. John’s rebuilt its membership and successfully fought to reclaim the historic church property at the corner of 5th and “C” Streets in downtown Petaluma.

After dinner, in an open microphone tribute to the power of Father Norm’s vision and leadership, Canon Britt Olson recalled how the odds that St. John’s could recover from such a rending of the fabric of a church community were stacked against it. And yet, after three years of steady growth in membership, resources and joy, the task of refurbishing the 2,400 sq. ft. social hall was undertaken in order to provide an attractive and convenient gathering place for the entire Petaluma community.

When father Norm threw open the doors of the Parish Hall, the meaning of the hymn resounded:

Let us bring the gifts that differ
And, in splendid, varied ways,
Sing a new church into being,
One in faith and love and praise

Photographs by Frank Prim; reprinted with permission.

2 comments (Add your own)

1. The Rev. Ted Ridgway wrote:
Having watched the continuing leadership of Fr. Norm Cram,as Priest in Charge of a small but hopeful and energetic "Continuing Episcopal" members at St. John's Petaluma,I'm encouraged to see the success of the parish in faith, worship and new growth.

Wed, December 5, 2012 @ 3:07 PM

2. The Rev. Ted Ridgway wrote:
Glad to see the new growth at St. John's under Fr. Norm Cram's leadership

Wed, December 5, 2012 @ 3:09 PM

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