An interim time for Grace Cathedral: A season of planting

Posted on September 17, 2008

The Rt. Rev. Steven CharlestonThe Rt Rev Marc Handley Andrus has announced a plan to ensure a smooth transition at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral following the retirement of the Very Rev Alan Jones as dean. Jones will begin his retirement on February 1, 2009, and the bishop and cathedral trustees plan an 18-month interim period to secure his successor. Andrus joined transition committee chair Valerie Crane-Dorfman on Wednesday, September 10, 2008, to announce transition plans to the cathedral’s staff.

Jones’ successor is expected to be in place by Michaelmas (September 29), 2010, after an extensive, international search. During the interim time Andrus is looking for ways to strengthen the cathedral and more fully integrate it into the life of the diocese. To achieve these goals he will fill the role of dean and has appointed the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, Assistant Bishop and Ethnic and Multicultural Minister for the diocese, as provost. Under Charleston’s supervision, day-to-day management of the cathedral will be conducted by a team that includes the cathedral’s Canon for Administration Bruce Bearden, Canon Sacrist Kathryn Kirkpatrick, CFO Lori Coleman, and the diocesan Canon for Congregational Ministries, the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe.

In Charleston’s role as diocesan ethnic and multicultural minister, he will work to enrich the cathedral’s outreach to the broad diversity of San Francisco’s residents, while elevating the necessity for mission and spiritual renewal for the many ethnic and multicultural communities of the diocese as well. He will also continue a schedule of episcopal visitations to congregations as he gets to know the people and places of the Diocese of California.

"In the Cathedral community we have come to a season of planting,” Charleston told the gathered staff of the cathedral. “It is a time to prepare the soil and work together for the harvest ahead.”

Charleston encouraged the staff to think creatively and to take this opportunity to rise to the challenges that the changes might bring. “Like all those who seek to nurture new life from the ground of their being, we will face many uncertainties and challenges, but we will also experience the joy of sharing with God in the unique act of creation.”