May 29, 2020
Since Melinda’s arrival this past autumn, many of you have generously shared with us your reflections on how the Cathedral might become an even more vibrant and energized community of faith. Thanks to your ideas, hopes, and feedback, the Chapter has charted a path forward that will include more partnerships in our community, more children’s and youth ministry, and more collaboration with other communities of faith. Today we have exciting news that will help make this vision possible.
With the support of the bishop and Diocesan Council, the Chapter has formed a collaborative partnership with St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Erie. Under this new arrangement, which begins July 1, the Cathedral and St. Mark’s will share a half-time associate priest, a director of children and youth ministries, and a full-time administrator. These new staff positions will provide us with more capacity for ministry and outreach and provide Melinda more time to focus on the Christian formation, liturgy, community outreach and congregational development that will help revitalize the Cathedral and strengthen the diocese.
We know that embarking on a new partnership during a global pandemic is an unprecedented decision, but we are convinced that we must respond with creativity and energy to the ways in which COVID-19 is reshaping our world. This new arrangement with St. Mark’s is not a merger; we will maintain our own building, liturgical style, and culture. The Cathedral and St. Mark’s will retain their identities, a point that the bishop emphasized as he helped the two congregations start on this path of collaboration. But we believe that by sharing resources, we can increase our ministry in ways that build our congregation, expand our role in Erie and allow us to re-envision the role of the Cathedral in the post-pandemic world.
We are delighted to announce that, as the first step in this new partnership, the Rev. Kathleen Moore will join the Cathedral and St. Mark’s on July 5 as a half-time associate priest. Kathleen, whom some of you already know through her work at Canticle Communications, is a transitional deacon in the Diocese of Vermont and a 2019 graduate of Church Divinity School of the Pacific, where she won the Lawrence Kristin Mikkelson Preaching Scholarship and participated by faculty nomination in the Episcopal Preaching Foundation’s Preaching Excellence Program. Her ordination to the priesthood has been delayed by the pandemic, but it will take place later this summer as soon as it is safe and practical. Before seminary, Kathleen, who holds a B.A. in history from Kenyon College, spent two years as the social media manager for The Orvis Company and eight years working in the television industry in Los Angeles. She will move to Erie later this summer and continue working half-time at Canticle Communications, where she has been communications manager since 2014.
Even as our building remains closed due to the pandemic, we are continuing to search for the right people to fill the other new shared positions. We are sorry to say that Cass Shimek has chosen not to accept the new position of administrator for the Cathedral and St. Mark’s and has resigned her current position with the Cathedral, effective June 30. We are grateful to Cass for her nine years of service to the Cathedral community, and particularly for her ministry with our food pantry clients and other people in need in downtown Erie.
We are excited to begin this new season of ministry at the cathedral, and we hope that if you have questions about these upcoming changes, you will let us know via email. We will keep you updated as our new collaboration unfolds, and we look forward to introducing you to Kathleen soon, even though that must happen online.
The Very Rev. Melinda Hall