This is the first time that a Lutheran-Canadian pastor has been appointed dean in an Anglican cathedral in Canada. A dean is the priest in charge of a cathedral (“mother church”) and occupies a senior position in a diocese.
In an email sent to clergy Sept. 27, the bishop of the diocese of Rupert’s Land, Don Phillips, informed clergy of Johnson’s appointment and said that the diocese was “looking forward to this new beginning in the life of our church.”
A rostered (ordained) Lutheran pastor of the Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), Johnson was previously the assistant to the National Bishop of the ELCIC, Ray Schultz from 2003 to 2007 and to his successor, Bishop Susan Johnson, from 2007 to 2009.
“In addition to being heavily involved in ecumenical work locally, nationally and internationally, Paul served several years as an Honourary Assistant at our Cathedral,” said Bishop Phillips.
Ordained a pastor in the Saskatchewan Synod of the ELCIC in 1987, Johnson also served pastorates in Regina, Winnipeg, and Emerson, Man.
Johnson begins his appointment on Jan. 16, 2012. He succeeds Dean Robert “Bob” Osborne, who retired last year.
Note: The second paragraph of this story has been amended. Rev. Paul Johnson is not the first Lutheran pastor, but the first Lutheran-Canadian pastor to be appointed dean of an Anglican Cathedral in Canada. In 2008, the diocese of Quebec appointed a pastor from the Lutheran Church in Germany, Rev. Christian Schreiner, as rector of Quebec and dean of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, in Quebec City.