Nothing unusual about that. Deans come and deans go ... kind of like rectors and bishops do. When one goes we thank them and send them off ... when one comes we welcome them and celebrate a new ministry.
So here [pictured left] is the now Very Reverend Dr. Jane Shaw ... the new Dean of Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill in San Francisco. I've had the privilege of working a bit with Jane ... some during our run-up to Lambeth Conference 2008 and some with mutual colleagues in The Chicago Consultation. I found her bright, insightful, faithful and occasionally funny ... all nice features in a dean. She's also a very credentialed academic and (I understand) quite a fine preacher.
Oh ... and BTW ... she's a lesbian. With a partner. Named Sarah.
Which was so interestingly "not an issue" -- in the press or on the blogs or really anywhere else that I could find. And how refreshing is that???? I love that "Cathedral Elects Lesbian Dean" is not only NOT "breaking news" ... it's barely news.
I did find one article, though. From the Bay Area Reporter ... and interestingly enough the feature concludes with some observations about how "non-newsworthy" Dean Shaw's election has been:
"There's been very little press hoopla around the fact that [Shaw] is an open lesbian," and that "speaks to the fact of where the Episcopal church is today, that sexual orientation has little to do with the choice of people for this position," said [Integrity Board member Louise] Brooks.And let the people say, AMEN! ... right after they say "Welcome to the neighborhood, Dean Shaw!"
She said Shaw "will be the voice of a different type of Christianity ... conveying a message that everyone is a beloved child of God, and that there is no asterisk that says 'unless you're gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.'"