October 9, 2020


Dear Good Samaritans,

It is with mixed emotions that I write to share with you that I have accepted a new call to serve as the Dean and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis.

I am incredibly proud of all we have done together over the last five and a half years in planting and cultivating the Church That Serves. Our consistent presence with and for our growing community and neighbors fills me with gratitude. At the same time, I am also filled with hopefulness and a desire to share all that we’ve learned with the people of Christ Church, so that they may better engage with and serve their neighbors in the growing communities of downtown Indianapolis and as a leader in our Diocese. After engaging together in a search process of mutual discernment, I am humbled and honored to accept their invitation.

As your planter and founding Vicar, I love each one of you. When I started this work at Starbucks on a snowy March 1, 2015, I prayed that God would send along interesting, talented, and energetic people to help me start a church that would not be priest or building-centered, but rather centered on the mission of loving, serving, and including all people, no exceptions. God answered my prayers, and tenfold! For every one of you, I am grateful. I will miss each of you.

Until recently, to ponder leaving you and accepting a new call seemed impossible. However, the wisdom I’ve received from several other church planters who have walked this road before me is that in the healthiest new church starts, there comes a moment between years five and seven when the founding pastor and planter should, literally, get out of the way in order for the church plant to grow into full fruition. While I had not been actively seeking to leave, to remain in Indianapolis and to serve our Cathedral and Diocese as Dean presented a truly unique opportunity. There will never be a good moment to leave you, but there is a faithful and healthy moment, and it is now.

The leadership of Good Samaritan is in very capable hands. Kevin Samples and Erin Tanner, your faithful Wardens, have already been in conversation with the Bishop’s office to discuss next steps in appointing my successor. (You can read more in their letter that follows.) Our staff is the most talented group of individuals I know, and they remain dedicated to empowering you for mission and ministry. Our Village Hub on 56th Street Project continues to make good progress and continues without interruption, led by our devoted Bishop’s Committee. We now have letters of interest in hand from nine fantastic nonprofit partners, and we will meet with potential demonstration grantors in November. I look forward to cheering you and this project on as your friend in the Diocese.

My last Sunday with you will be Sunday, November 29. Even in the midst of COVID, it is important to me that we say goodbye and thank you to each other well, and in a way that protects the health and safety of us all. Stay tuned for more information on those plans in the weeks ahead. For now, please know of my deep gratitude for the “yes” you’ve said to this community, the “yes” you’ve said to God’s mission, and for the good work you will do together in the future. You are amazing, Good Samaritans!

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Gray Lesesne, D.Min.



A letter from our Wardens


October 9, 2020

Dear Friends,

As you know by now, Father Gray has been called to be Dean and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis. As your Wardens, we are sad to see him go, but we are also incredibly grateful for his work in forming Good Samaritan. This is quite an honor for Gray, and we’re sure a testimony to his qualifications, experience, and success with founding Good Samaritan.

We are fortunate to have him continuing with us through November 29, 2020. This is an unusually long departure window, but is indicative of both his and the Bishop’s commitment to Good Samaritan to ensure a healthy transition. Unfortunately, this change will require Gray to forego his overdue renewal (sabbatical) leave planned for next spring, and he will instead begin his ministry with the Cathedral by taking a time of renewal during the month of December.

You should know that we have been assured by the Diocese that they are working toward a swift and smooth transition, with a well-qualified successor to Gray who will reflect our church’s values and build upon what God has done and will continue to do in our church. As a mission church, we will be able to forego the normal and sometimes lengthy search process because the Bishop will appoint our next Vicar, in consultation with the Bishop’s Committee. At this time, we are planning for a temporary guest clergyperson for December in hopes of having Gray’s successor on board early in the new year. We anticipate continuing with our 10:00 a.m. virtual services, with weather determining the availability of our outdoor services at 11:15 a.m. through October 18. Given the limited number of participants allowed to attend indoor services versus the cost of indoor rental, we do not anticipate a return to indoor worship at Harris Academy until it becomes a wiser choice. We are incredibly grateful for the people who continue to make the virtual services so fulfilling and rewarding. Good Samaritan is a terrific church home to so many that have been left wanting in other venues.

We will have a farewell for Gray with an appropriate event, given COVID precautions and the upcoming change of seasons. We thank each of you for your dedication and service to Good Samaritan.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to either of us with any concerns or needs.


Yours truly,

Kevin Samples & Erin Tanner

Senior Warden & Junior Warden



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