In case you missed it, yesterday, July 3, I announced my intention to retire as the Rector of Christ Church Cathedral and Dean of Columbia, effective October 31. Please see the bishop’s letter to the parish here.
These are never easy decisions, and there is never a good time to step away from ongoing plans and ministry – only “less bad” times. I step away knowing that we have an excellent leadership team in place – consisting of staff, the Cathedral Management Team, and the Cathedral Council, not to mention the countless people who give of themselves week in and week out to ensure that our cathedral ministry is robust and relevant. I am also thrilled to know that the Reverend Canon Jeannine Friesen (a “cathedral canon,” an honorary assistant, and a member of our Cathedral Council), has been appointed as the interim priest-in-charge.
My last Sunday will be October 16, and I will work alongside Jeannine for the two weeks following to introduce her to the working groups and committees with whom I relate closely in my capacity as rector of the Cathedral – e.g. staff, communications, liturgy, finance, stewardship, music, Building for the Future, management team, cathedral council and so on.
I know people will be anxious to know about what happens next. There will be lots more information coming in due course about the selection process for a new rector and dean. The most important points for now are that I haven’t left yet! We have also assembled a fantastic staff, so we will be in good hands during the period of transition. Please know that ours is a very desirable cathedral community to prospective clergy, and you can “have” almost anyone you want. But (big but!): there is no hurry to get this solved. Better to do it right than fast!
I close by noting that I am so grateful to this cathedral community and diocese for the opportunity to have provided service and leadership over the past 7 years. Together we have made big decisions, and endured difficult challenges. We have risen to the occasion, and – no less – lamented losses. In other words, we have been faithful disciples: and I, for one, have no doubt that we have viable, important and relevant ministry in the years to come.
With many thanks and much admiration.
(The Very Reverend) M. Ansley Tucker
Dean and Rector