Sunday, March 15, 2009

(UPDATED WITH LETTER) Leadership struggles continue at Calvary Cathedral, Sioux Falls

Word is out that contract negotiations have fallen through with the Rev. Susan McCann, who had been called to serve as Dean at Calvary Cathedral.

This is the second such outcome in three years. A previous search ended in contract dispute after a new Dean had been announced .

An interim Dean had to step down for medical reasons in the same period.

Please pray for Calvary Cathedral, Sioux Falls.

Here's the official announcement from their site:

Search for the Cathedral's Dean

Search Committe Reopens Search Process

Dear Member of Calvary Cathedral:

It is with a great sense of disappointment that I write this letter to bring you up to date on the search for a Dean of the Cathedral.

As you will recall, after a thorough process by the Search Committee, and after prayerful consideration by the Vestry, the Reverend Susan McCann was selected for the position of Dean. She accepted the position and indicated that she would asume her duties on April 1st in time for Palm Sunday and Holy Week services.

During the past several weeks, Mo. McCann requested a number of changes and/or additions to the Ministry Agreement between her and the Cathedral. Of particular concern to her was the degree of authority she would have in the Dean's position relative to both the Vestry and the Bishop. Many of the issues asked for Bishop Robertson to assign to her much of the authority normally reserved to the Bishop, and he graciously agreed to her requests. However, as each issue was resolved, others seemed to surface.

In a phone call to Canon Wagner on Friday and confirmed by letter, March 11th, Mo. McCann withdrew her agreement to come to the Cathedral.In consultation with the Bishop and the Vestry, it has been decided to re-open the search process. The Search Committee will be reconstituted and will work with Fr. Hussey to identify other candidates. Several candidates previously considered will be asked to re-apply as well if they are still interested. In the meantime, Canon Wagner has agreed to assist us with liturgical and pastoral leadership as he had done previously. Dr. Larry Ort has agreed to reassume the leadership of teh Search Committee.

While we do not always understand the ways of God, we are confidant that the Holy Spirit is guiding us in this process. With our continued prayers, we will find the best person to lead us in our spiritual growth and make Calvary Cathedral a beacon of faith in Sioux Falls and the Diocese.


Loyd R. Wagner, MD

Senior Warden


Piedmont said...

Susan McCann is currently the rector of Grace in Liberty, MO a suburb of Kansas City. This parish hosts an Integrity chapter.

TLF+ said...

Thanks, Piedmont.

The issue at Calvary isn't ideological - the dean who resigned three years ago was toward the revisionist end of things, and the congregation hosts an LGBT group led by a (former?) Lutheran pastor.

It is not an easy place to be dean. On the one hand, the vestry of the Cathedral congregation is big into "democracy" - they view the dean as a "pastor" and employee and themselves as the leaders/bosses.

Then there is the idiosyncrasy that the bishop is rector of the Cathedral. This goes back to the missionary origins of the diocese.

So a dean here is squeezed between an assertive vestry and the bishop as direct superior.

It is an unhealthy situation because it hasn't been thought through or clarified. All parties wind up frustrated, and of course unhealthy bases of power emerge when this kind of chaos is allowed to continue.

Anonymous said...

I'd be curious as to how one would go about making a change in this "unhealthy situation" when the diocese has suffered through years of dismal leadership from the bishop. Can't wait to see that delayed announcement on the bishop candidates.

Scott said...

1. A woman cannot be a priest, so therefore could not have a real "calling" for this position. Period. End of discussion.

2. I will give this priestess credit however. She seems to have been able to sniff-out rubbing points that have driven out several prior deans.

3. You'd have to be nuts to want to come work for this "bishop", even for a ladder climber wanting the title.

So, the pinkos at the Cathedral have found themselves in a quandry. The very leftist libs they'd love to hire don't want to come here...and an orthodox Christian priest with a real calling isn't going to be welcomed.

They might as well move into a "mutual ministry" model....and start buying mothballs.