Calling a New Dean of the Cathedral

Dean Bill Ellis retired at the end of June. Check here for updates on our progress in calling a new Dean.

Late summer update

The Dean's Call Committee – specifically, the Profile Sub-committee – has not taken the summer off. We have spent weeks and multiple meetings working material from the Symposium and creating the Profile.

The Profile itself is a comprehensive description of us. Based on two surveys and the Symposium dialog from June, it is our best effort at articulating who we are and what our needs and desires for the future are. Once approved by Chapter and leadership, this Profile becomes one of the primary sources of information in the formal announcement of the vacancy for Dean of the Cathedral. It will also be added to this section for all to read.

The full-length transcription of the Symposium comments is now posted on the bulletin board in the hallway by the Great Hall. We have edited the material into a two-page Executive Summary, which will also be available on the bulletin board.

Questions may be addressed to Karen Martin or Eric Baldwin, Committee Co-Chairs, or any member of the Profile Sub-committee: Peggy Johnson, Andrea Olson, Nina Beegle, John Wallingford, Jenny Brown.

Our next task? Reviewing the website for accuracy, adding photos, and shaping the consistency of text that will be necessary to support our Profile.

Pray for us? Yes, please. We are all engaged in creating the essential background for the call and response process that will result in a new Dean. Wisdom, patience, humor and relying on the presence of the Holy Spirit in all our deliberations.

The Dean Call Committee

We have co-chairs! Eric Baldwin and Karen Martin are the co-chairs of the Dean Call Committee.

We have a committee!  In late April the Chapter approved the following persons to serve on the Dean Call Committee: Nina Beegle, Peggy Johnson, Corliss Newman, Skyler Oberst, Andrea Olsen, Charlie Pepiton, Kay Rafferty, Judith Shadford, and John Wallingford. The Rev. Barbara Novak is the Chaplain.

Results of January 2017 Survey

Thank you for your participation and interest in the Parish Survey that was conducted in January 2017. The purpose of the survey was to ascertain basic demographics of the Cathedral Congregation, and to reveal what is important to us at this moment in our community. The results have been extremely valuable in launching the search for the new Dean. The following is a summary of the information received. Some of the information will be used to populate the Dean Call Committee, and some of the responses will be used to form questions for upcoming focus groups.

Number of surveys received - 166

  • Note, not all persons answered all questions

Age of parishioners was nearly evenly distributed by thirds in these age groups

  • 18-49.....50-65......66+,
  • Which means that 70% of respondents were over the age of 50

Gender – 58% female, 42% male

Marital status – 74% married or partnered; 6% divorced; 12% single; 8% widowed

Children at home; 29 respondents with children; 52 children identified

  • 2 and under – 8
  • 3-5 – 5
  • 6-12 – 22
  • 13-18 – 17
  • Most children do not participate in programs or Church School

Years attending – 37% 5 years and under; 15% 6-10 years; 17% 11-20 years; 31% 20+ years

  • 90% are frequent attenders
  • 5:30pm (Sat) 10%     8am (Sunday) 19%     10:30am (Sunday) 84%
  • Majority prefer a traditional service

80% make an annual pledge

89 responders volunteer more than 2 hours per month, with 30 volunteering over 11 hours/month


  • Most persons rarely or never attend Sunday Adult Education
  • 50% do not attend Wednesday/evening programs, or Children's Church
  • 81% attend music concerts

What activities do respondents participate in? (# of people, you could select multiple activities)

  • 45 – Worship service participant (lector, chalice bearer, usher)
  • 32 – Committee member
  • 30 – Guilds
  • 28 – Choir
  • 20 – Outreach

Why do people initially come? Because of worship and music. Why do they stay? Because of sermons and music

Role of Dean – Preaching and' liturgical leadership were highly ranked. Administration was a distant second

Leadership Characteristics of Dean

  • #1 Liturgical Leadership/Preaching
  • #2 Pastoral Skills
  • #3 Visionary Leadership
  • #4 Administrative and Management Skills

Personal Characteristics of Dean

  • #1 Inspirational
  • #2 Leader
  • #3 Compassionate and Charismatic

Important aspects of church life

These items had highest number ranking as Very Important

  • Sermons (highest number, tied with worship)
  • Worship (highest number tied with sermons)
  • Children education, Age 0-12
  • Children education, Age 13-18
  • Music – Worship services
  • Outreach – local
  • Pastoral care

These items had highest number ranking; as Not Important

  • Evangelism
  • Bible study
  • Fellowship groups
  • Outreach – international

Satisfaction with church life

These items were ranked as Very Satisfied

  • Music – Worship services (highest number)
  • Sermons (close second to Music/Worship)
  • Music – Concerts

These items were ranked as Dissatisfied

  • Children education, Age 0-12 (highest number)
  • Children education, Age 13-18
  • Bible studies
  • Evangelism


  • 89% agree that this is a welcoming place, but most have been here more than 10 years
  • The people who don't feel welcome, may be few, but they don't feel welcome at all
  • Several respondents expressed difficulty joining established groups

What would you change

  • Welcome (20)
  • Growth (16)
  • Children & youth programs and presence (8)

What would you preserve

  • Liturgy, including its traditional nature, and the overall worship experience (liturgy, sermons, music) (77) which reflects the high satisfaction with worship services
  • Building (20)
  • Welcome (6)

Goals – These goals were mentioned:

  • Growth (40)
  • Outreach (19)
  • Children and youth programs (17)
  • Relationships (11)
  • Community (9)

Most pressing need/issues – growth and the upcoming transition were most frequently mentioned. 

General observations:

  • Sunday worship is the cornerstone of our community. Many respondents attend worship, but do not participate in other activities. Sunday worshippers are satisfied with their church experience, due to the traditional nature of the service as well as inspirational preaching. Respondents are concerned with growth, particularly among young families with children. Availability and quality of children and youth programs was a top concern. Growth in this demographic is not possible without programs that attract and keep families.
  • There were many comments about the difficulty of replacing Dean Ellis, whom we hold in high regard.
  • A survey such as this can illuminate organizational issues. Our respondents indicated a high level of general satisfaction, from which it can be inferred that we have a healthy community. There are areas of improvement, but fundamentally we are in a good position to begin our transition to a new Dean.