Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint John's Cathedral,
The bishop of Colorado, Robert O'Neill, and the vestry of Saint John's in the Wilderness have called me to be your dean and rector. I am both delighted and humbled.
I live in Memphis, Tennessee, where I have served for seven years as the rector of Grace-Saint Luke's Church and School (
).I am married to Katherine, who works in higher education. Katherine and I have two children whom we cherish: Adaline (age 16) and Evans (age 15). As you might imagine, moving to Denver from Memphis and our deep roots in the South will be a great adventure for all four of us.
Saint John's draws me for many reasons. The Cathedral's architecture and the intimate beauty of Saint Martin's chapel move me. Your range of liturgies and musical traditions are inspiring. I also look forward to the opening of the Saint Francis Apartments at Cathedral Square, which will provide 50 units of permanent, affordable housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. With God's help, it will be an honor to be a steward of these relationships and of the Cathedral's communities, in addition to your sacred places.
||Click here for a video message.
I look forward to getting to know you and working alongside your wonderful staff and engaging lay people, as well working closely with Bishop O'Neill, whom I know to be visionary. As a rector, I enjoy collaboration and working creatively with people. I delight in the cultivation of a culture marked by creativity, trust, and kindness. I love preaching the good news of Jesus Christ and teaching about the sacraments, but I also love listening and gaining inspiration from the personal stories and dreams of the people around me. Therefore, most of all, I look forward to learning more and more about your own dreams for the Cathedral, and for your individual lives.
I have a number of responsibilities in my parish and school from now until the end of May. Grace-Saint Luke's Church and School is filled with people whom I love very much, and it will take two months to complete my work with them. Then, my family will take a few weeks of vacation before moving to Denver. I will begin work full-time at the Cathedral on July 17. However, I am delighted to be able to attend Cathedral Camp at Cathedral Ridge in June. In the meantime, I will be spending time individually and collectively with the Cathedral's staff and meeting with the vestry. Your excellent and enjoyable wardens, Tom Keyse and Amy Davis, are in touch with me regularly, too. This preliminary work will make for a graceful entry when I officially begin in July.
Please keep me and my family in your prayers, and know that you are in mine, especially in this reflective season of Lent. Above all, know that I so look forward to meeting you in person in July.
The Reverend Richard Lawson