Articles

A Message from the Dean

AUGUST 25, 2016

Dear Friend and Colleagues,

This is to inform you, following a period of deep reflection and prayer, that I will step down as Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine at the end of June 2017.

For more than 15 years, and with two Bishops of New York, I have had the privilege of serving arguably the world’s most unique religious, cultural and civic institution. At a time of polarization and violence in the name of religions, this Cathedral has gathered people in constructive conversations to build more just societies.

When I was first elected as Dean in 2001, in the aftermath of 9/11 and just a month before the terrible fire that struck the Cathedral, there was much to do. Since then, we have worked together to stabilize the Cathedral financially, embarked on a multi-million dollar restoration of this magnificent structure, and established an important strategic planning process to take the Cathedral community into the future. But, while much has been accomplished, there is more to be done, and this is an ideal time for the Bishop to bring in a Dean who will build on this foundation. I look forward to working over the coming year with the Bishop, the Board, the new Dean that may be selected during that time, and the dedicated Cathedral staff on an orderly transition. I also will take some sabbatical time to discern, with Anne, the next chapter in our lives.

The Cathedral is one of the world’s iconic places of worship, where people from around the block and around the world come together. It is an enduring community of faith. I will have many opportunities between now and next summer to express my deep appreciation to all of you—the Cathedral's wonderful staff, volunteers and neighbors, and my fellow clergy—but let me take the opportunity now to say that it has been an honor to serve alongside you.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

With my best wishes,
Jim