St. John’s Church rector retires

SUMNER HILL—Anne Fowler, who has been at the helm of St. John’s Episcopal Church at 1 Roanoke Ave. for two decades and was part of the effort to legalize gay marriage in the state, stepped away as rector last month.

“I have loved my years here, and leave this very special community with profound sorrow, gratitude and love,” said Fowler, who is retiring at the same time as her husband Sam Allen, a professor at MIT.

She said during her leadership the church has stabilized and grown, but that it is time for a “new spiritual leader with new energy and vision.”

Dawn Tesorero, who sits on the church administration, said that Fowler was “extremely welcoming” as a rector, pointing to the fact that the church is open to the lesbian and gay community. Tesorero said St. John’s will take the next year to year-and-a-half to search for a new rector. She said an interim rector will be appointed in the meantime.

Fowler said St. John’s has doubled in size and more than doubled in budget under her leadership. She said that she is most proud of “fostering a loving, creative, responsible and fun community of faithful people.”

“I pray that that will be seen as my main legacy,” said Fowler.

During the struggle to legalize gay marriage in the state, Fowler chaired the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry, an honor she said she served with the full support of the parish.

Fowler is also a poet and writer who ran the Chapter & Verse Reading Series at St. John’s for 10 years.

Anne Fowler, who is retiring as rector of St. John’s Church. (Courtesy Photo)

Anne Fowler, who is retiring as rector of St. John’s Church. (Courtesy Photo)

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