Dear Friends in Christ,
I am writing to you today because I have accepted a call to serve as the next rector of the Episcopal Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in San Francisco. Our final Sunday at Saint Paul’s will be on June 24th and our last active day at the Cathedral will be Saturday, June 30th. We will then take some vacation time before moving to San Francisco in early August, with the intention of beginning there on August 15th.
While it is hard to leave this community we have come to love, we do so to take up an exciting new ministry opportunity in the city that formed both of us as children. As many of you know, Mary grew up in Santa Clara and I came of age in the East Bay. We will soon be reuniting with family members and old friends. This, I expect, will be the last place of full-time ministry for me, the place from which I retire in the years to come.
We leave Saint Paul’s with a sense of tremendous gratitude for the wonderful support we’ve enjoyed while here. This is a very special place and our hearts have been deeply touched by the love you have shared with us and with one another. We will miss you terribly and we are confident that the leadership team in place will serve you well as you search for your next Dean. I have absolute confidence in and profound gratitude for the Cathedral Staff and the Chapter – I have never worked with a group of people who so skillfully weave together such broad competence and holiness of purpose.
A word about the transition: Bishop Mathes will be working closely with your Wardens, the Executive Staff, and the Chapter. After we move, an Interim Dean will be appointed to help steer the ship while the search process proceeds. In time, your next Dean will arrive with all the energy, vision, and love needed to take Saint Paul’s to the next level, by the grace of God.
Our work now has to do with saying thank you and good-bye. Let us all take this important step seriously – healthy partings are a sign of a healthy church. I have asked Judy MacDonald to set thirty minute appointments with anyone who would like to touch base or clean up unfinished business or say a more personal farewell. You can give her a call at 619.298.7261 to set that up. This will be our primary focus in the weeks ahead as it would now be unhelpful for Mary or me to be involved in any deliberation having to do with the future of the Cathedral.
In this same vein, please know that after leaving we will be unable to be with you for pastoral or sacramental purposes, not because we don’t care but because it is necessary to make space for the Interim Dean and then, in time, for the fourth Dean of this great Cathedral. But we will always cherish your friendship and keep you in our prayers.
May the Lord of all be with all, this day and in the days ahead.
(TVR) Scott Richardson, Dean