Transition of Interim Dean Laura F. Gettys

An Announcement from the Interim Dean 

Friday, May 8, 2020

Dear Cathedral Family,

I greet each of you in this season of Easter joy which finds us living into God’s promise of new life in surprising new ways.  

At our annual meeting in January, our faithful lay leaders and I shared a lot of news with you, and among other things we celebrated the good, hard work done during this transition time around finances. The Cathedral is clearer about where we are financially, and we have a better grasp on the scope of our budget and expenses. Still, as we shared with you then, we know that we do not have the financial ability to support two full time clergy. Though I hoped to remain until the new Dean arrived, I also recognized that I needed to begin discerning my next calling because there could be no overlap of my tenure with the next Dean.  

With prayerfulness and hope, I have accepted the call to become the Associate for Outreach and Engagement at Grace-St. Luke’s Church, Memphis, beginning July 1st. My last day at the Cathedral will be Sunday, May 31st. This means, of course, with Bishop Phoebe’s decision to continue with no in-person worship until June 1st, we will have to be creative through Zoom and other ways to honor our ten years of ministry together. Know that I long for the opportunity to be with you all face to face to express our farewells, and the Bishop has given her blessing that I return in person at a later date when we can all gather together more fully. More details will be coming in the next week about how we will share in our important goodbyes.

Recognizing that my time could not coincide with the new Dean’s, please know that I have been preparing the ground for the Cathedral’s next Dean and will remain a resource for him or her. The Cathedral boasts an extraordinary vestry and a depth of lay leaders who will guide and support you, and they will need your support as will your next Dean. Bishop Phoebe is also committed to shepherding the congregation through these transitional waters. She cares deeply for this place. Additionally, the Reverend Eyleen Farmer will join the St. Mary’s family beginning June 1 on a part-time basis to serve with Canon Patrick Williams.  

We have shared so much in these ten years. I could never have dreamed how much we would grow together as we all learned how to care for one another. I am a better priest because of you. It has been my honor to share in more-than-I-can-count sacramental moments in worship and in walking beside you through your most tender times. I also have loved blowing bubbles with you and brushing angel dust from the ceiling from our shoulders. I’ve been inspired over and over again by your capabilities of radical welcome and love to all God’s children. Together, we have deconstructed many social barriers and helped bring together so many people for a higher cause. And I will always remember how you cared for me and my family through the fire at our house, as well as the daily challenges of raising a family, and made a way for our family to make a home here in the pews. Thank you for the ways you have loved us. 

Serving as your Canon Pastor, your Interim Dean, and as a fellow traveler, I have seen so much strength in our beloved community. I know God has wondrous things in store for all of us, and I’m glad that I’ll be a nearby witness to the Cathedral’s next chapter. May we recognize the Holy Spirit closely with us as we take our separate paths, and may our eyes open wider to the magnificence of Divine Love. 

With my deepest gratitude for the journey,

Laura F. Gettys 

Interim Dean