An Update on the Transition as we Seek a new Dean


Sam Allen, Senior Warden

The Cathedral is at the beginning of a multi-stage transition process as we seek a new Dean to succeed Dean Shambaugh. For the immediate future, The Rev. Paul St. Germain, Transition Priest-in-Charge, is our clergy leader. Paul has a half-time appointment with us and also serves part-time at Trinity Church, Lewiston. Paul’s work at St. Luke’s is assisted by Associate Priest Suzanne Roberts, Deacon Rebecca Grant, and Assisting Clergy Anne Fowler and Christopher Worthley.

Your Lesser Chapter met on February 15, with Bishop Thomas Brown in attendance. Minutes of the meeting are posted on the Cathedral’s website, and include some routine business as well as a summary of the Bishop’s initial guidance about the transition period that will culminate in getting a new Dean settled into their role with us. I write to share key points of the Bishop’s guidance below.

Bishop Brown made it clear that the Wardens and Vestry would take charge of nearly all aspects of the transitions, including the search for an Interim Dean. The Diocese will provide the Cathedral with a Consultant to work with us as we go forward with the leadership transition, starting as soon as practicable. I will be meeting with a potential candidate for that role, recommended by the Bishop, next week.

The Cathedral will be seeking to appoint an Interim Dean to serve for a period of approximately one year, possibly beginning as early as Summer 2023. A committee of 5–6 persons will conduct the search for the Interim Dean. Membership of that committee will be decided by the Wardens and Vestry. Paul St. Germain will continue as Transition Priest-in-Charge until the Interim Dean position is filled.

The Vestry will determine membership of a Search Committee for the Dean’s position. Preparation for the Dean search will begin in Summer 2023 with a process of discernment that should engage the whole Cathedral community. Bishop Brown informed us about an organization that helps parishes conduct parish-wide surveys that has an excellent reputation, and that should help us begin to prepare a profile for advertising the Dean’s position to potential candidates. I hope we will be in a position to post the Dean’s position by late Fall 2023
and interview candidates in the winter and early spring 2024. If all goes well, we can expect to have a new Dean installed by September 2024.

We are in the earliest phase of this important process. I will write with regular updates to keep you informed as we proceed with the transition. There will be many opportunities for input and participation in this process. Your Wardens and Vestry welcome your thoughts at any time.
Please reach out to me, Junior Warden Claire Hammen, or one of our nine Vestry: Jane Briggs, Catherine Hyde, Alfred Nyarwaya, Dan McDonald, Oscar Mokeme, Michael Thorne, Nancy Brain, Jamie Cough, and Jamie Moore.

A transition of leadership can be a time of trepidation as we embrace new voices, discern ways to adjust our routines, and face uncertainties about the future. We are a People of Faith and find both comfort and inspiration in God and in our Cathedral community. Let us commit to working together to support each other, to listen, to imagine, and to create a vibrant future for St. Luke’s!

May God bless our work together.