As we build a bishop’s staff that continues to be dedicated to resourcing our congregations, I’m delighted to announce the Rev. Jessie Gutgsell Dodson has accepted the call to be Canon to the Ordinary, starting on August 1. In this position, she will be a partner in innovation, collaboration, administration, liturgy, and pastoral care.
Jessie holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Harp Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, graduated from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and has served in churches in Indiana, Connecticut, Michigan, and has been at St. Paul’s, Cleveland Heights since 2018. Throughout her leadership of the transition process, I, along with the rest of the diocese, was able to witness Jessie’s generous spirit, incredible ability to navigate complex situations, deep faith, and abiding commitment to the Diocese of Ohio. Every person who interviewed Jessie affirmed these gifts and saw in her a call to the bishop’s staff.
Jessie expressed her response to the call by saying, “My experience leading the Transition Committee was personally transformative. I saw the beauty and diversity of this diocese, the commitment of its laity, the creativity of its clergy. Coming together for the ordination and consecration was a beautiful glimpse of what the kin-dom of God looks like. Through all of this, I began to sense in myself a call towards diocesan leadership. I am delighted that I get to continue growing in relationship with Bishop Anne, the bishop’s staff, the parishes, clergy, and people of this diocese now as Canon to the Ordinary.”
I would also like to share the joyful news that Andrea Appling will be joining the bishop’s staff on June 26 as an accountant in the Finance Department. Christina Butterfield, incoming CFO of the Diocese of Ohio, and I agree that Andrea will be an incredible asset to the entire diocese, having more than 10 years of nonprofit accounting experience. She is a fourth-generation Episcopalian and is a current communicant at St. Andrew’s, Cleveland.
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow! I am grateful, excited, and joyful for this blessing from God. I look forward to beginning my new journey as an accountant at the Diocese of Ohio," Andrea shared in regard to accepting this role.
We hope you share in our jubilation at these calls and will keep Jessie, Andrea, and their loved ones in your prayers, along with St. Paul’s, Cleveland Heights and St. Andrew’s, Cleveland, as they navigate this transition. We are continuing in prayerful, thoughtful discernment around other staff positions and will keep you informed as we move through this transition process together.
The Rt. Rev. Anne B. Jolly