Dear Cathedral family,

As we live into this season of change and transition, I wanted to update you on an exciting change that will benefit our common life together.

Since last June, the Cathedral has been blessed by the presence of the Rev. Stuart Kenworthy, who agreed to come out of retirement to serve as our Interim Vicar. Stuart is a calm, wise and reassuring presence both in the nave and in the administration building. Until now, his primary focus as vicar has been the Sunday congregation and weekend services.

I have asked, and Stuart has agreed, that he expand his portfolio to serve as Interim Vicar of the Cathedral as a whole, not the congregation alone. In this expanded role, Stuart will oversee the departments of worship, music, programs, outreach and, of course, congregational care. Most important, he will assist in further integrating the congregation in the Cathedral mission and governance, and to promote greater collaboration and common purpose throughout the Cathedral. Stuart has agreed to extend his time with us, tentatively through June 30 and the end of the current fiscal year.

Why the change? First, this will enable us to retain Stuart in a key leadership position as Gary transitions into retirement at the end of the year and as we search for a new dean. Second, as I assume new responsibilities as your Interim Dean, I want to establish a leadership team and structure that will serve the Cathedral’s mission going forward. And third, Stuart is too strong and gifted a leader to lose at the end of his original six-month contract.

All other reporting structures will remain in place: the Rev. Canon Jan Naylor Cope will continue her primary focus on development as Provost, and Rob Sokol remains in his pivotal role as our Chief Operating Officer. Jan, Rob, and Stuart will report directly to Gary through the end of 2015, and starting on January 1, each will report directly to me as Interim Dean.

I want to say one more thing: In times of transition, we are bound to feel our anxieties rise. We wouldn’t be human otherwise. But I am confident in God’s guiding presence. While the season of Advent officially begins in six weeks, in some ways our Advent time has already begun. And while Advent seasons require waiting and uncertainty, it is ultimately a hopeful time. God is both with us now and up ahead, beckoning us toward new life.

As we walk this journey together, please pray for Gary and Kathy Hall as we give thanks for their presence in our lives; for Stuart Kenworthy as he takes on new responsibilities, and for me as your interim leader. Please pray for this entire Cathedral community. Remember that God is in charge and all will be well.

The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde
Bishop of Washington