On behalf of the Chapter, we are delighted to announce that the Reverend Penelope M. Bridges has accepted our unanimous call to ministry at St. Paul’s Cathedral as our fourth Dean. Dean Elect Bridges will begin at St. Paul’s on February 24, 2014. We look forward to welcoming her among us!
Here is a brief biographical sketch that she has provided: Penny has served as rector of St. Francis Episcopal Church, Great Falls, VA, since 2003. She is the mother of two adult sons. Penny grew up in Northern Ireland and England. A lifelong musician, she studied music as a choral scholar at Clare College, Cambridge. In 1985 she immigrated with her husband to New Hampshire to pursue opportunities in information technology. After discerning a call to ordained ministry, Penny received her Master of Divinity degree (summa cum laude) from Yale Divinity School in 1997 and served as associate rector of Grace Church, Alexandria, Virginia, for six years before being called to serve as the third rector of St. Francis Church. Penny has served on the diocesan Standing Committee and as the Dean of Region Five of the Diocese of Virginia, and as co-chair of the Great Falls Ecumenical Council. Penny plays viola in the McLean Orchestra and sings with the Amadeus Community Singers. Penny is the recipient of a 2008 Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal grant and a 2010 Austin Seminary College of Pastoral Leaders grant.
We owe a profound debt of gratitude to our dedicated and tireless Search Team: Laurie Gunn (chair), Jeff Bates, Helena Chan, Ana Garcia, Margret Hernandez, Guin Kerstetter, Paula Peeling, Bart Smoot, John Walsh, and their devoted chaplain, Christie Fleming. Their work was truly guided by the Holy Spirit. Please join with us in thanking them for their extraordinary service to our Cathedral community, and for their care in bringing us a Dean, who so closely as Penny does, reflects the shared values and aspirations that we affirmed in our self-study process and the Cathedral Profile.
Finally, we want to thank our insightful and loving Interim Dean, Rebecca McClain, for her voice of reason and experience throughout the call process. We have been blessed by her presence among us, and while she will soon leave us, we are a richer place, with a stronger self-knowledge, thanks to her ministry among us.