The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith
The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.
As a boy growing up across the Potomac River in Alexandria, Va., I often visited the Cathedral during its long construction, amazed and transfixed as the workers set the gargoyles and stained glass windows in place. Now, six months into my tenure as dean, I remain amazed and transfixed by this Cathedral—by the dedicated staff and volunteers who put our mission into action, by the outreach to veterans and commitment to racial justice, and by the open door that calls new generations to experience a touch of God’s love and grace in this place.
Though I am relatively new in this position, I can report that the Cathedral is stronger and more vibrant than at any point in our recent past. Our finances are healthy and thriving, and our staff and volunteers—from the Altar Guild to the ushers to the docents and everyone in between—are energetic and excited about our future. Our calling to be a witness to God’s reconciling love in the world is needed now more than ever before.
As you review the impact of our most recent fiscal year, you will encounter an institution that is deeply engaged in our city and across the country. We are immersed in the issues of our day, constantly striving to model for others the love and embrace we have found in God. We are honored to be called as the stewards of this national treasure, both in it mission and its architectural glory.
Two people deserve recognition for the work accomplished in these pages. Dean Gary Hall ably and bravely led this Cathedral during his three years with us, and we are grateful for his legacy. Our Bishop, Mariann Edgar Budde, courageously stepped in as interim dean and shepherded this institution with grace and vision. Together with the leadership provided by John Donoghue and the rest of the Cathedral Chapter, I have inherited an institution that is strong and healthy, and I am grateful.
When I arrived last August, I preached my first sermon on the Prophet Isaiah’s call to be “the repairer of the breach.” That passage has become a guiding theme as your eleventh dean. We are called to repair the divisions of race, class, status, orientation and ideology. God has called this Cathedral to act as a center of reconciliation to help bind up the nation’s wounds. We are called to be a safe space for difficult conversations, and a bulwark against hatred, injustice and violence.
Yes, we have work yet to do. But this Cathedral is well positioned to do the work before us. By living into our call to repair the breaches in our national life, and to restore the streets around us, God will continue to bless this place. May God bless you, and this Cathedral, in the work before us.
Faithfully in Christ,