New Episcopal dean to be installed In Northern Florida today

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You'd think being a wife, mother, author and blogger would be enough to keep someone busy.

But not the Very Rev. Katherine Bingham Moorehead, who will be installed today as dean of St. John's Cathedral and the Jacksonville-based Episcopal Diocese of Florida.

As dean, she'll oversee the 1,500-member cathedral parish and serve as Bishop Samuel Johnson Howard's second-in-command of a diocese of 77 congregations in 25 North Florida counties.

As the cathedral's first female dean, she'll also be hitting the Internet and pavement to promote existing cathedral ministries to the homeless and other needy people, expanding educational offerings and working with city officials to revitalize the urban core.

Read it all.

Update: Some statistics on the Cathedral are here.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

Posted January 10, 2010 at 8:17 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

second to the bishop in authority

Is that correct? Perhaps actually on the Cathedral grounds that is true, but Standing Committees and Canons to the Ordinary usually have more overall authority, at least in my diocese.

January 10, 11:02 am | [comment link]
2. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

And I’ll grant you, this was a newspaper article, so who knows whether the reporter actually knew anything about the subject.

January 10, 11:03 am | [comment link]
3. Sarah wrote:


“What are your career goals - are you interested in ever being a bishop?

I am a mother of three little boys, and I’m married. I believe God has called me to be a mother as well as a priest. ... I don’t really want to be a bishop. It’s a rough job; it’s a tough job. I don’t like all that politics and stuff.”

What an odd odd quote, when Kate Moorehead was widely spoken of in my diocese as being a candidate in our bishop search and getting pretty far too.

[I’m not certain whether other dioceses are like this, but nominators chattered pretty darn openly to all and sundry about whom they nominated, so the talk was a free for all.]

January 10, 12:09 pm | [comment link]
4. Jeremy Bonner wrote:


Couldn’t one regard “It’s a rough job; it’s a tough job. I don’t like all that politics and stuff,” as a refreshingly honest take on the current state of the House of Bishops and its members? I’m sure the former Bishop of the Rio Grande feels that way.

January 10, 1:35 pm | [comment link]
5. Sarah wrote:

Hi Jeremy—so she decided that she doesn’t “really want to be a bishop” in the final three or four months of 09—but not prior to that when she allowed her name to be placed in the process and got fairly deep in the process?

January 10, 2:17 pm | [comment link]
6. libraryjim wrote:

False modesty? Which could have been cured by “well, if you don’t really want the job, thank you for applying and good luck in your other endeavors.”

Jim Elliott <><

January 10, 2:37 pm | [comment link]
7. Jeremy Bonner wrote:


I misunderstood. Point taken.

January 10, 2:57 pm | [comment link]
8. BMR+ wrote:

This is just part of the current culture.  As when politicians resign “to spend more time with my family.”  (Folks thought it quite remarkable this week that Senator Dodd announced his coming retirement from office with reference to his diminished political prospects.)  Postulants in the ordination process describe how they are being dragged in kicking and screaming, clergy nominated to other parishes or offices follow the vocational protestations of Moses and Jeremiah. 

The reality is that when anybody says that they feel called to any position that might be understood as an “advance,” there will follow backroom chatter about ambition.  My guess is that the vast majority of nominees for the episcopate in Sarah’s diocese and elsewhere at one time have said something similar to what Dean Moorehead says here.  That they were simply acquiescing to the strong urging of others to present themselves for consideration.

When I participated in Standing Committee Candidacy interviews it was always something of a refreshing suprise when someone would say something like, “I really want to be a priest and am excited by the idea of someday being the rector of a parish.”  Usually, though, you get the “kicking and screaming” language . . . .

Bruce Robison

January 10, 3:39 pm | [comment link]
9. Sarah wrote:

Well, since I don’t know the details and only have access to the chatter, maybe she came to her conclusion that she didn’t “really want to be a bishop” and withdrew from the Upper South Carolina bishop search process.

That would be the only way I know of to make sense of the proclamation.

January 10, 3:41 pm | [comment link]
10. Sarah wrote:

RE: “My guess is that the vast majority of nominees for the episcopate in Sarah’s diocese and elsewhere at one time have said something similar to what Dean Moorehead says here.  That they were simply acquiescing to the strong urging of others to present themselves for consideration.”

BMR, Exhibit A in our diocese was Phil Linder’s campaign—the rhetoric was truly remarkable both in the various written communications and the walkabouts.

January 10, 3:42 pm | [comment link]
11. samh wrote:


Its prevalence doesn’t make it right.

January 10, 4:59 pm | [comment link]
12. Statmann wrote:

The Diocese of Florida could really use an upbeat item of news.  For 2002 through 2008 the diocese lost about 22 percent of Members. 29 percent of ASA, and 27 percent of real (adjusted for inflation) Plate & Pledge. No other TEC diocese had a record quite that dismal. Ageing is a factor with less Infant Baptisms than Burials, but in Florida is Ageing good or bad? And of 66 Parishes (not 77 as reported) in 2008 about half had Plate & Pledge of less than $150 thousand which means that there was one “large” parish to help each small one. I would expect the furure is be better. BUT, recent turmoil has created a fair number of ACNA parishes. These and more ACNA parishes could well cause continued losses for the diocese.    Statmann

January 10, 5:02 pm | [comment link]
13. BMR+ wrote:

#11— I suppose I agree.  I guess I just actually don’t think it is or should be that big an issue. 

What the new dean says is actually quite true.  We in this era have made quite a mess of the episcopal office, and I suspect most of these guys spend most of their days in a highly politicized and hyper-critical environment trying to balance budgets in the midst of catastrophic decline (pace Neal Michell’s fine piece this week in the TLC and elsewhere on T19) and managing essentially unmanagable conflict and and refereeing grievances of one sort or another.  So on most days indeed, who *would* want this job?  Yet our Lord continues to call faithful shepherds. 

I would in fact prefer it if folks would simply say, “it’s a ministry I feel called to, for all its challenges.  It would be fun, I think, and I hope I’ll be elected.”  Yet apparently we’ve created something of a paradox, because the feeling seems to be that to say that makes it *less* likely that you’ll be elected.  People will say you’re “ambitious.”  Apparently better politics to grumble: “let this cup pass from me,” etc.

Bruce Robison

January 10, 6:18 pm | [comment link]
14. Andrew717 wrote:

I wish her well. The previous dean was a great speaker, and a great guy.  Never got a real read on his theology, he seemed to be a reappraiser but I’m not sure how far along the spectrum.  Lots of good folks there, including the ones who woke me up from being a pew-snoozer.  St. John’s will continue to be in my prayers.

January 11, 10:56 am | [comment link]
15. flaanglican wrote:

Statistics are no longer available.  Interesting. . .

January 11, 4:24 pm | [comment link]
16. flaanglican wrote:

Just figured it out.  The statistics are generated based on the time accessed.  After that the link times out.  Try this link instead:

Then click “Florida” for Diocese.  Then click “View Diocese Chart.”

January 11, 4:29 pm | [comment link]
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