Reflections on a Time of Transition and Chapter Notes for May 2012

Mark Lester writes:

Since my last report to you we have learned that our Dean and our Canon for Hispanic Ministries, Scott and Mary Moreno Richardson, will leave St. Paul’s at the end of June. Their ministries at the Cathedral have given spiritual nourishment to so many, and their rich invitation to “all, all, all,” to participate in our Christian life together has led to an unprecedented period of inclusivity and growth for St. Paul’s. We love them and will miss them. But please join in sharing their joy at returning to their families, and to a region that nurtured them and that they love. Until June 30th, I hope that we will focus as a community on celebrating Scott’s and Mary’s ministries at St. Paul’s and on wishing them all the best in the future. That is our real work right now.

Transitions in the Episcopal Church are spacious and unrushed. This is by design, and is necessary for a genuinely healthy process of celebrating the ministry that is ending, for congregational self-assessment, for planning, and finally, for recruiting a new dean. This is Bishop Mathes’ advice to us, and as a veteran of two previous transitions at St. Paul’s, I can testify that he is right. I am greatly honored to be the senior warden at this important juncture. A new junior warden will be elected by Chapter at our June meeting. My role in this transition (at least as I can see it so far) will be to lead Chapter during the interim period, and to work with Chapter, the junior warden and Bishop Mathes to initiate the transition processes, including appointing an interim dean, and the necessary profile and search committees, and finally, with Chapter, and Bishop Mathes’ consent, to call the new dean. We are blessed with an exceptionally strong staff that will ably handle day-to-day operations of the Cathedral. Thanks be to God for all of them!

If you have comments or questions about the transition process, let’s talk. I can be reached at

Now onto those Chapter Notes, remembering this meeting was before the transition announcement…

Field trip! For the May Chapter meeting, we convened in the LUV Lounge on the eleventh floor of the “tower” at St. Paul’s Manor. Cheryl Wilson, Executive Director of St. Paul’s Senior Homes and Services, and members of the SPSH staff were our very gracious hosts. The Cathedral Chapter is the “sole member” of St. Paul’s Senior Homes and Services. So while SPSH has its own board of directors (on which the Dean and two members of Chapter serve), Chapter elects the members of that board based on their Cheryl’s recommendations to us. So there is still a very specific relationship between the Cathedral and the incredibly active social service agency that St. Paul’s parish members founded many years ago.

While we ate a meal prepared by the SPHS kitchen, we received an audio-visually illustrated report from Cheryl Wilson on the history, growth, and services provided by SPHS. Among the exciting things Cheryl reported is the growth of the PACE program to the South Bay area. PACE means Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly. This new expansion will allow services to be provided to seniors in an area that SPHS had not been able to serve previously. If you want to find out more about SPSH, check out their website at

In the Finance Committee report it was noted that pledge income was behind projections. Members will be encouraged to complete at least 50% of their pledge by June. Expenditures are on target for the year. It was moved, seconded and approved that we move one of our Cathedral accounts to Neighborhood National Bank. This is a bank that makes socially responsible investments. Thanks go to Chapter member Cassie Lewis for doing the necessary research and encouraging us to take this step.  (Note:  Cassie will tell us more about the NNB on the blog next week.)

In old business we heard a progress report on the organ restoration project. It looks like the complicated process of re-installation will be completed around Christmas.

Joyfully, the meeting concluded with a motion, seconded and approved, to sign the Certificates of Minister and Vestry for our seminarians, Laurel and Colin Mathewson. All chapter members present duly signed both forms.

Mark Lester
Senior Warden

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