ACTING DEAN'S WELCOME
WELCOME TO OUR ACTING DEAN
St. James welcomed Samuel S. Colley-Toothaker as our Acting Dean December 15th. Here is his letter to the congregation.
Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ:
I send you greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I am more than honored and feel truly privileged, to be called into ministry with you at Saint James Cathedral and in the Diocese
of San Joaquin by Bishop David.
What’s next? This consequential question is one I ask Almighty God…often. What does the future hold? What is the work you are calling me to engage in? My understanding is that Saint
James has faced significant challenge and change. Experience tells me that all change, whether intended and planned for, or unexpected and surprising will create anxiety, even struggle.
Change takes us into a place of unknowing and for many…a place of fear. That is the way of it.
As I reflect on and pray for you…the people of Saint James Cathedral…in this time of transition, I am reminded of what seventeenth century French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, philosopher and saint Blaise Pascal wrote: “somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” That is where you are…you are on the threshold of something incredible and brand
new…something that is waiting to be known. Now, together, we will discover what is next.
My hope, as I enter into your midst, is to humbly serve God and each of you. My call is to walk with you, as we…the people of Saint James Cathedral, serve each other, serve our diocese,
serve our neighborhood and serve the greater community of Fresno/Clovis. I will be starting with you on December 15th. In the interim, Bishop David will be the Acting Dean.
I come to you with vast and varied experience in the ministry of transition. I have served in cathedrals, large parishes and smaller ones, as well. I am currently the Chair of the Board for Interim Ministry in the Episcopal Church and I am a member of the faculty of the Interim Ministry Network, the institution that teaches clergy from all denominations how to lead communities
through times of change and transition.
My wife, Linda and I have been married for thirty-six years and have three sons who are thriving in different parts of the world. We are avid animal lovers and we are the people who belong to
our thirty-pound Maine Coon cat, Oliver. Normally we have a dog too but are waiting for the right time to welcome a retriever of some sort into our life. We are readers and lovers of nature and I love to fly fish! I work at staying fit and like to get a run in when I can.
We are both excited about what the future holds and we are looking forward to getting to know you. My friends, if you had said to me a month ago that Linda and I would be heading to the Fresno/Clovis area soon, I would have said, “you’re kidding me!” Still that is how God works, isn’t it… “somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” I can’t wait to
discover, with all of you, what’s next!
Faithfully yours in Christ,
The Reverend Samuel S. Colley-Toothaker
Acting Dean, St. James Cathedral