Dean of the Cathedral of the Advent steps down over tensions with TEC

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Fellow Adventers,

With significant sadness, the Vestry of the Cathedral Church of the Advent has accepted the resignation of Andrew Pearson as our Dean and Rector. Andrew has discerned that the ongoing tension he feels serving in the Episcopal Church makes him no longer able to serve as the spiritual leader of the Advent. Although saddened, we are grateful for the significant gifts which he has shared with us for nearly ten years, and remain confident that those gifts will continue to be exercised for our Lord’s kingdom, leading people to Christ. In that sense, we are excited for him and continue to love and support Andrew, Lauren, and their girls, wishing them Godspeed as they move to this next chapter in their lives. 

Andrew’s last Sunday as our Dean and Rector will be May 16. He will preach at both services, and also teach the Dean’s Class. We look forward to a reception for Andrew and Lauren that afternoon, after the 11:15 service, in the Rector’s Garden. 

Although the Advent has its own tension with the Episcopal Church, we are hopeful that the new leadership of Bishop Glenda Curry has provided an opportunity to build a foundation for a continued and generational peace between the Advent and the Diocese. Accordingly, the Vestry of the Advent appointed a team to talk with Bishop Curry to find a better, amicable path forward while protecting the essential attributes of the Advent. During these discussions, the Bishop has affirmed the Advent’s ability to express its theology and its ability to call, develop, and maintain clergy who are committed to the Advent’s theological expression. This work is still ongoing, but we are hopeful that these efforts will ultimately be fruitful and will provide a clear pathway for the Advent to continue its gospel ministry with a living, daring confidence in God’s grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the Cathedral of the Diocese of Alabama. We look forward to sharing this work with you when we are able.

In the interim, we will continue forward with the same living, daring confidence and the exact same gospel ministry that has been a mainstay at our church for so long. The Vestry has called the Rev. Canon Craig Smalley to serve as the Interim Dean and Rector of the Advent. In addition, we have asked Gil Kracke, the current Director of Ministries and Programs, to take on the role of Chief Operational Officer. Finally, Don Menendez has agreed to serve as the Chair of the Search Committee to find Andrew’s successor as our next Dean and Rector.

We are deeply appreciative of Andrew’s faithful ministry among us and look forward to expressing our appreciation to him in coming days. Please join us as we pray for Andrew and his family, as well as for our Advent church family, remaining confident in the Lord’s certain and sure grace (Romans 8:38-39).

Faithfully,

John Hargrove, Senior Warden


Jay Ezelle, Junior Warden