With a mission and ministry nearly 175 years old, St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral set a tone architecturally downtown.
Now 'revitalization' is the word in this weeks "Faith in Focus".
The Sunday service on May 12 celebrated baptism but it also welcomed new members to the Episcopal community in Jackson.
"My wife and I are here so we can be confirmed into the Episcopal church," Michael Boswell said.
"To us I think it comes down to not only a focus on Christ but also just a complete attitude of acceptance and openness and love as well that we have found at this church," Boswell said.
The Very Reverend Edward O'Connor, Dean of St. Andrew's Cathedral, reports the parish has roughly 2,000 members.
Of those there are 1,200 active members and a quarter of them are under age 32 - young with high energy, O'Connor said.
"This is a place where you might find a home and be filled so you go back out into the world and be light in the darkness," O'Connor said.
Parish leadership has made it a goal for church-goers to take messages learned during services and apply them in downtown Jackson.
They hope is to benefit the area not just spiritually but also economically.
"So we think that this cathedral can have a say-so in creating a real authentic community in downtown Jackson. And that is diverse in every sense of the world: socio-economically, ethnically. We want to be a proving ground of sorts," O'Connor said.
In one way that means donating time at places like Stewpot Ministries - a charity developed at St. Andrew's.
But in another way it means challenging yourself to be sincere with others and yourself, O'Connor said.
"It means letting go to all of the messages of this world that tell us we're not quite good enough: that staggering shame and guilt and fear and all of the others things that we ingest that turn us into something that we are not ... to me, the heart of Christ, the new creation, is returning to that pure essence in which we were created," O'Connor said.
New Members, like Boswell, said messages like that are why they want to be a part of the community.
"When you give love to other people it returns back to you in some way shape or form. It may not be the way you were expecting but it comes back to you eventually," Boswell said.
Dean O'Connor said he believes downtown Jackson is nearing a boom in re-development projects and it's one of the churches responsibilities to prepared the city's "state of being" for that to happen.
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