Congratulations to Mary Hunter Rouse!
We welcomed Mary Hunter to the Cathedral almost ten years ago. She has done many things since then, and is now our Canon for Education.
The time has come, though, for Mary Hunter to answer a different call. She has accepted a position teaching religion at St. Martin’s Episcopal School here in Atlanta.
Although we will miss Mary Hunter’s creative energy and generous spirit, we will continue to enjoy the many gifts that she has given to us.
It is not too much to say that Mary Hunter has changed the way we think about spiritual formation.
Some of what she has done can be seen in the practices and programs that she put in place. She built a Godly Play program; recruited and managed paid and volunteer staff; organized community building events and systems; reorganized our youth and young adult ministries; helped to establish a “mothers’ morning out” program; and directed our participation in the LaAmistad afternoon tutoring and mentoring program.
Some of what she has done can be seen in the other leadership positions that she held. Mary Hunter served on the Board of Directors of the Cathedral Preschool, and on the Board of Directors of the Godly Play Foundation (a position she will continue to hold).
Some of what she has done can be seen in her determination that we have the benefit of the latest developments in education and formation. While she was with us, Mary Hunter earned a Masters in Christian Formation from the Virginia Theological Seminary, and studied the spiritual guidance of children at General Theological Seminary. For the last several years, she has taught a course in Christian Education at The School of Theology of Sewanee, The University of the South.
The image that sticks in our minds, though, is the delight on Mary Hunter’s face when she’s teaching. Whether she is telling a Godly Play story, blessing backpacks and costumes, leading the youth in Compline on the bus as they return home from their latest adventure, or dancing her way through vacation Bible school, Mary Hunter has a way of making faith fun!
Mary Hunter will be with us until the end of June.
We will be announcing soon how we will continue our thriving children and youth ministries. Some of what Mary Hunter was doing will be reassigned among existing staff members, and some of it will be given to given to new staff members that we will be looking to hire.
For now, though, we thank you, Mary Hunter. Thank you for the love and commitment that you have given to this community, and especially our children and youth! Thank you for you for the joy and wonder that you have shown in all that you have done! And, thank you for the inquiring and discerning heart that you have brought to our common life – even if it now calls you away to another place!
We will miss you, and we will look forward to seeing what you will do next for the Kingdom of God.
Grace and peace to you,
The Very Reverend Samuel G. Candler
Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip
The Rev. George M. Maxwell, Jr.