Washington National Cathedral Announces New Dean—Canon Gary Hall

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Cathedral Chapter is pleased to announce the nomination of the Rev. Canon Gary R. Hall as the tenth dean of Washington National Cathedral. Hall has been an ordained minister for more than 35 years and currently is serving as rector of Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. A search committee recommended him from among a diverse pool of candidates from across the country in a process that spanned more than seven months....

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

16 Comments
Posted July 31, 2012 at 7:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Oh my. The man who bankrupted and liquidated Seabury-Western Seminary, and then after preaching to us seminarians about left wing social justice issues every Tuesday, went off to take a cushy job in the rich, white suburbs. He’s perfect for D.C.

July 31, 9:11 am | [comment link]
2. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Expertise to match the new female bishop for DC?  Perfect pairing!

July 31, 10:30 am | [comment link]
3. Dick Mitchell wrote:

Those of us at the National Cathedral welcome Father Hall as the new Dean, and look forward to hearing and meeting him.  He seems to have a strong background in Christian education—and that may be a new slant in Cathedral leadership.  Back in 2007, he made some waves on the issue of “open Communion,” which practice he defended at Seabury-Western.  See the article at http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/liturgy/
Despite the recent discussion at GenCon, and the resulting resolution, the National Cathedral proudly announces each day that it practices “open communion.”

July 31, 6:13 pm | [comment link]
4. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

As a Seabury grad from his tenure, I can only tell you that there was a reason why we called the chapel the “Seabury Doobie Room.”

July 31, 7:17 pm | [comment link]
5. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Well, time will tell.  How much staff is left to fire to balance the budget?  Perhaps Elton John would like to rent a party venue?  Maybe suggested donations of $10,000 dollars-a-blessing for SSBs in an impressive venue to help repair the earthquake damage?  Lots of possibilities in DC.  Just don’t worry about the theological chasms and all will be well.

July 31, 8:26 pm | [comment link]
6. MichaelA wrote:

“He seems to have a strong background in Christian education—and that may be a new slant in Cathedral leadership.”

Dick Mitchell, if you and your fellow parishioners at the Cathedral want to be still in existence as a denomination in ten years’ time, you don’t need “a new slant”.  Rather, what you need is a slant that is 2,000 years old.  That is how churches survive and grow.

Have you thought about what uses you would like to see your cathedral put to when it is sold? (which is likely to happen in the next ten years if TEC doesn’t change its ways and start winning back parishioners and, therefore, income).  Perhaps a convention centre, or a museum?

July 31, 11:57 pm | [comment link]
7. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Actually, in Gary Hall’s defense, he did teach a dean’s seminar class on church leadership and curriculum making that I took my senior year in seminary. It was actually a pretty good class. He had some resourceful ideas on how to create adult forum and confirmation classes. While I didn’t agree with him on various things, it was one of the few upper level classes I took at Seabury that I have actually looked back for ideas from time to time.

August 1, 7:25 am | [comment link]
8. Sarah wrote:

Hopefully Gary Hall will do for the Washington National Cathedral what he did for Seabury Western.

For a look at his spectacularly disastrous reign—plummeting a seminary into the ground—you can check out these links of failure, incompetence, and heresy; I’ve tried to find equivalent T19 links as well:
Dean Admits Canonical Violations in Communing the Unbaptized at Seabury Western
http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/4567

Seabury Western Ends Residential MDiv Program, Suspends Recruitment & Admissions
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/10287
http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/10294

A Note from the Dean of The School of Theology, Sewanee, Concerning Seabury-Western
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/10300

Report on Panel Discussion at Seabury-Western Concerning Communion for the Unbaptized
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/10364

Seabury Gives Faculty Notice, Cuts Staff
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/12001
http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/11995
http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/12027

The Dean of Seabury-Western Offers a Homily on Awards Night
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/13168

Seabury-Western Theological Seminary offers a Course on Faith and Ethics at Life’s End
http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/31155

TLC:  Northwestern Buys Seabury’s Land, Buildings
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/24403

August 1, 12:38 pm | [comment link]
9. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

On the Seabury Open communion thing, I was at Seabury for Gary Hall’s first 3 years as dean. While I am now not surprised, I never knew Open Communion was being practiced. It was never advertised as such, at least when I was there. Conversely, it is not that there was ever a problem with unbaptized people receiving because no one outside the Seminary even knew chapel services were going on because Seabury did absolutely zero evangelism. I can’t tell you how many people I ran into from Northwestern University (which was literally right across the street) that had no idea what was Seabury, much less that there were 3 chapel services a day.

August 1, 1:17 pm | [comment link]
10. stjohnsrector wrote:

What kind of a priest goes to a prestigious parish, like Christ Church Cranbrook, and then LEAVES within 2 years?  http://www.christchurchcranbrook.org

August 1, 2:45 pm | [comment link]
11. stjohnsrector wrote:

Sorry - he was there 2.5 years…

August 1, 2:52 pm | [comment link]
12. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

No. 10, I think he was there as an interim (or priest-in-charge or whatever they call that these days.) At least to those who get the Seabury Alumni newsletter, that was how it was spun.

August 1, 4:38 pm | [comment link]
13. stjohnsrector wrote:

As a priest of the same diocese I know he is rector of Cranbrook.  Both Christ Church’s website and the Cathedral’s press release refer to him as such.

August 1, 6:10 pm | [comment link]
14. francis wrote:

Hall has been in more places than the Holy Spirit, unfortunately with disastrous consequences.

August 1, 9:12 pm | [comment link]
15. Dick Mitchell wrote:

@MichaelA - I made my comment somewhat tongue in cheek.  At WNC, we need strong liturgy, we need financial resources, and we need the commitment of hundreds of volunteers to keep the place functioning.  I did not realize “Christian Ed” was in the “profile” for the search for a new dean, but I am always in favor of CE, and I am not disparaging it; I am simply uncertain that Father Hall brings the gifts that the Cathedral needs.  No, the Cathedral will not be sold off in 10 years, or in 20 or 30, but it does have significant problems that Hall will have to address.

It sounds as if he left Seabury as it was crashing, and then has left his next position after a two-year stint.  Makes you wonder…

August 2, 9:55 am | [comment link]
16. MichaelA wrote:

Dick Mitchell, agreed.  My comment was also somewhat tongue-in-cheek, although the way things are going these days, nothing would entirely surprise me.

August 2, 6:46 pm | [comment link]
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