The Rev. Jo Hudson is stepping down after nine years as senior pastor of the Cathedral of Hope, according to an email the church sent to its members Sunday afternoon.
Stacia Sims, chair of the Cathedral’s Board of Stewards, said in the email that Hudson’s resignation was voluntary and that the board will appoint an interim pastoral leader in the coming days.
Hudson, who took over for the Rev. Michael Piazza in 2004, made the announcement during the church’s 11 a.m. service today, according to Sims. Here’s what the pastor told those gathered for what is expected be her final sermon at COH:
“After prayerful consideration and conversations with colleagues and friends, some of whom are here today, and visiting with my soon-to-be 91-year-old Dad, I am announcing today my resignation as Senior Pastor of the Cathedral of Hope. I am asking that you, the people of Cathedral of Hope who have elected me, will accept my resignation to be effective on or before Pentecost Sunday, May 19.
“I want to be with you in the next few weeks to work with a great staff and a great Board of Stewards to make the transition, and I hope to do that in the next few weeks, taking care of appointments, shifting ministries and cleaning out my desk. I wanted to tell you today, because it is my estimation that today is my last Sunday in this pulpit. Ironically, nine years ago, on the third Sunday in April, 2004, I preached my fist sermon at Cathedral of Hope.
“In these nine years with you, I have sought to serve God and this church faithfully. This is all about an opportunity to move forward and into the future both for this church and for me and my family. I love you. I will always love this church.
“I will be grateful for the chance that I had to serve with you and among you.
“And while I can no longer serve you as Senior Pastor, I now do among the hardest things I have ever had to do, but it is the most important thing that I do: I entrust you to God’s care, and I know that you will continue as a strong, healthy, great, church making a difference in the life of others.
“I want you to know that you need to be here next Sunday and you need to bring your gifts because that will be the best way to honor me and to honor God. Keep being this church. Keep being a church that changes the lives of people who need hope more than anything else.
“I have prayed for this church just about every day since I became pastor here (well, some days not so much because I wake up late), but I have prayed for this church for its health, for its life, for its leaders and I will continue to pray as I make this transition. If you are able, I humbly request your prayers for me, for Stephanie, for Sydney as we a transition, too, to a new place in our lives.”