The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

Canon for Global Justice and Reconciliation

John L. Peterson is the Cathedral’s first Canon for Global Justice and Reconciliation. In this position Canon Peterson is responsible for the international and interfaith ministry of the National Cathedral.

Canon Peterson served from 1995 to 2004 as the Secretary General of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, headquartered in London. The Anglican Communion Office is organized to provide support and counsel to the Anglican Consultative Council, the Primates Meeting, the Lambeth Conference, and the role and person of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Before his appointment as Secretary General, Canon Peterson was the Dean of St. George’s College, Jerusalem, for 12 years. He is also the Anglican Canon at St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and an Honorary Canon in St. Michael’s Cathedral, Kaduna, Nigeria; All Saints, Mpwapwa, Tanzania; St. Dunstan’s Cathedral, Benoni, South Africa and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Canon Peterson is a Board Member of the Anglican Communion’s Compass Rose Society, a Society which he and Archbishop George Leonard Carey founded to support the global ministry of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Canon Peterson serves on the Board of the Spafford Children’s Center in Jerusalem, a Board on which he served for 12 years as chair. He has been a member of the Advisory Council of the Anglican Observer at the United Nations as well as a member of the American Friends of the Anglican Center in Rome. As a member of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, he works on the Long Range Development Committee. Canon Peterson is also on the Churches for Middle East Peace’s Leadership Council.

Since 2010 when the Washington National Cathedral hosted the first Christian-Muslim Summit, Canon Peterson has been an active member of the Steering Committee to plan future summits. The next summit will be hosted by Sheikh Malek Shaar, Mufti of Tripoli and North Lebanon, in June 2012 in Beirut. For the last four years Canon Peterson has served on the Brookings Institution’s Working Group planning the Religious Leaders Section for the annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum.

In Canon Peterson’s retirement, Kirsten and he make their home in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and they attend St. James’ Episcopal Church. Canon Peterson is a regular participant on the American Religious Town Hall, a weekly ecumenical cable television program. He has also accepted an invitation from the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem to support the international ministry of the Church in Jerusalem four to six months each year.

past cathedral appearances

Sermon: The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

January 30, 2011

Epiphany IV: Jesus would have been a student of a rabbi, and the means of teaching in the synagogue was didactic: teaching and discussing, most likely arguing.

Sermon: The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

December 27, 2009

Christmastide I: Jesus shows us a king concerned about the poor, the oppressed, those living in bondage, the sick, the infirm, the lonely.

Sermon: The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

September 13, 2009

Pentecost XV: From the disciples’ understanding, the Messiah would lead a popular uprising that would overthrow the Roman government and establish a new political structure.

Sermon: The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

August 9, 2009

Pentecost X: For me, the most incredible part of the life of Jesus is that Jesus shows to us God’s nature—who God is. God becomes personal.

Sermon: The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

June 7, 2009

Trinity Sunday: We as Christians have to be careful not to be idolatrous as we celebrate the perfect manifestation of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ.

Sermon: The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

April 19, 2009

Easter II: In our more honest moments, I suspect all of us want to see and touch Jesus.

Reflection: The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

April 10, 2009

Good Friday :...the truth is Jesus is our King, our King who calls us to live a radical lifestyle in opposition to terrorism, a king who pleads with us to banish war, a king who calls us to righteousness, a king who challenges us to wave an olive branch.

Sermon: The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

March 29, 2009

Lent V: Am I really willing to stand up to the religious and political authorities so I can see Jesus today? Am I really willing to give up my life for Jesus?

Homily: The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday: Lent helps us recognize that we are imperfect and yet we are called to be perfect.

Sermon: The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

December 28, 2008

First Sunday after Christmas Day: There is no question in my mind that the Word /Jesus came into this world to reveal that God calls his people to be generous with open arms to all of God’s people.

Sermon: The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day: Imagine a God who cries with us, in our fears, in our emptiness and in our anxiety.

Sermon: The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson

August 24, 2008

Pentecost XV