I got word this morning that my friend and mentor John Schaefer is retiring at the end of this year. I knew the time would come, but I still feel like I’ve been punched in the gut . . . .
Good for John and Leona, though! They have labored long and mightily and to great effect.
From the Dean of Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral:
With thanksgiving to God for a remarkable ministry, I share with you Canon John Schaefer’s intention to retire as Organist and Director of Music at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. Canon Schaefer plans to conclude his ministry at the end of this year.
John has been lead musician at the Cathedral and a key player in the Kansas City music scene for forty years. Since October 1976, John has continued and expanded the Cathedral’s reputation as a place known for excellent sacred music. He has artfully adapted the music program over time, gathered and formed capable musicians, and taken his part in caring for the Cathedral community.
As we make ready for John’s retirement I am appointing two ad hoc committees in consultation with the Wardens: A search committee to identify suitable candidates for Cathedral musician, and a transition committee to make plans to honor John and to welcome a new musician. Our plan is to fill this position by late summer to assure consistency in the music program.
I ask that you hold John and Leona in your prayers in the coming days. Let us hope the best for them as they make this life transition. Please hold the Cathedral in your prayers as well as we seek to find the next person to lead this critical piece of ministry.
Faithfully, Peter DeVeau