Very Rev. Scott Richardson
How can we live together when we believe different things?
It doesn't take many days reading the lectionary to know the people of the New Testament churchand the Hebrew tribes before
themfaced profound conflicts about practice, strategy and even fundamental identity. The church today is no exception. Can
our faith and tradition bind us together when we believe different things? The Very Rev. Scott Richardson, Dean of Saint Pauls
Cathedral, San Diego, thinks the process through which we move through conflicts and disagreements in the church is probably
more important than the eventual outcome. How we treat each other along the way is critical, he says.
In this presentation of the McMichael Lecture Series at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Richardson reflected
on his experience as a church leader in a region where diverse and strongly-held opinions are legendary.
Earlier in his career, Richardson was the rector of an evangelical, charismatic congregation with rather traditional values
in a small town. He was also on staff at a large parish that has 15 years of experience with the blessing of same-sex relationships.
He sees himself as a participant and a pastor in the churchs work about same-sex relationshipsa work that is still in process.
In his view, part of the church is transfixed on the issue and part of the church is burned out on it. Richardson wants the
church to work hard to care for one another as we walk through conflict.
Scott Richardson grew up in a Lutheran (Missouri Synod) household in the bay area of California. He moved to Santa Barbara
in 1975 to complete his B.A. in Religious Studies, graduating with High Honors from UCSB. After college, Richardson spent
ten years in youth work, first as a residence counselor at the Ojai Valley School, then as the Program Director of the Santa
Paula Boys and Girls Club, and finally as the Director of Youth Ministry at Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Ventura. Richardson
became a confirmed Episcopalian at Saint Paul's and there began the discernment process that led to priesthood.
In 1986, Richardson began his theological studies at General Seminary in New York City. While there, he also served as
a chaplain at Saint Lukes Hospital and as an intern at Bailey House, a hospice for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS. After
graduating in 1989, Richardson was called a curate to Saint Wilfrids in Huntington Beach. Three years later he answered a
call to become the rector at Saint Marys in Lompoc and six years after that he went to All Saints Church in Pasadena, where
he eventually became the Associate Rector. He left that congregation to answer the call to become the third dean of Saint
Pauls Cathedral, San Diego, in the spring of 2003. He is passionate about spiritual practice (worship, prayer, learning, service
and generosity), multi-cultural process and creating an environment at the cathedral wherein everyone is welcome and where
all are agents of deep reconciliation.
Richardson is married to the Rev. Mary Moreno Richardson, a deacon in the Episcopal Church who is currently serving as
the diocesan coordinator of Hispanic Ministry in the downtown San Diego area.