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Wrong Lucinda Laird?
Rev. Lucinda Laird Rawlings
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
3940 Grandview Avenue P.O.Box 7097
Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, and part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. We combine the traditional Catholic worship and sacramental life with the Evangelical emphasis on a personal relationship w...
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Click here to see the bulletin from Lucinda Laird's Induction and Institution as the 10th Dean of the American Cathedral in Paris.
Click here to see an article from the American Cathedral
in Paris about Lucinda Laird
Welcome to the American Cathedral in Paris
"Your profile has engaged and energized me," Lucinda Laird wrote last June in her first contact with the Cathedral's Search Committee.
She was referring to the Parish Profile that had been developed as our Cathedral began the process of choosing a new Dean.
"The line that I like best," she wrote, "is on the first page: 'a palpable sense of expectancy and joy ...'
"Christianity is about joy," she
"We know about suffering, we know about disappointment, we know about failure, but finally, most of all, we know about joy.
I want to be in a place that recognizes this."
Over the following months, the conversations with Lucinda
engaged and energized the members of the committee and then the members of the Vestry.
Called last week, she will join us in March as our 10th Dean.
Lucinda Rawlings Laird
, who just turned 60, grew up in New Orleans.
father was a marine insurance executive, first at Chubb and then Marsh & McLennan
, and her
mother taught high school English.
She went to college in New York at Barnard (Columbia University) and then began an MFA in acting at Temple University in Philadelphia.
But the priesthood drew her away from the theater and she earned her M.Div. at General Seminary in New York.
Several jobs followed - as curate in Pelham, New York; as Assistant for College Ministries at the Cathedral of St. John
the Divine in New York; and then for 11 years as rector at St. Mark's Church
, an ethnically and racially diverse parish of 350 members in Teaneck, New Jersey.
She comes to the Cathedral from St. Matthew's Church in Louisville.
15 years as rector she
is gratified by a number of accomplishments - among them a food pantry for the needy, two community ministries, a new pre-school.
Making the school and the ministries possible was a building program (following a successful $3.5 million fund-raising campaign) that doubled the usable space.
Of course, Lucinda
got the most attention two years ago as the first priest in the Diocese of Kentucky
to bless same-gender unions.
With a mild correction of the record, she
said, "I wasn't the first, I was just the first to do it publicly.
There had already been a couple of blessings sub rosa at other churches in Louisville."
Although there was a stir in the diocese, and enough in the press to give her
a certain Google identity, there was less noise at St. Matthew's
, described as a bridge builder and not a bulldozer, is endowed with abundant patience as well as striking grace.
At the time of the blessing the church had engaged in a discernment process lasting a dozen years.
By the time the blessing happened, she
said, "The Vestry was unanimous in their support, as was the great majority of the parish.
Perhaps equally importantly, those parishioners who were not in support remained in the parish, knowing that their opinions were respected and their ministries valued."
The abundant patience is evident in her
In meeting Lucinda
, in listening to her
and conversing with her
, the qualities that impress are warmth, a quiet charisma, a confidence absent any arrogance, a deep spirituality, and a disarming candor.
conducted a private vespers service for the Vestry as part of the interview process in November, "authenticity" was the word that came to mind and resounded there.
That and the other assessments were borne out throughout the interviews by the Search Committee members, in the conversations with her
colleagues and parishioners, in multiple reference checks and in her
own ministry portfolio.
Said Bishop Peter Lee, our Interim Dean and Rector: "I've known Lucinda Laird for many years and know her to be a faithful, loving and visionary priest.
"Like everyone," said Lucinda
, "I grew up with only men as priests and I never realized that something was missing until I went to a Eucharist where the priest was a woman.
The Louisville Institute! -- Grant Summary
Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church