Canon Eric Cooter Retirement

Canon Eric Cooter Retirement

As you will see from his message below, Canon Eric will be taking early retirement at the end of October as a proactive response to increasing health concerns that both he and his wife Terri are facing. Canon Eric, who joined the diocesan staff not long after I started, has been an integral part of this early phase of my episcopate, and has done much important work for our diocese over the past two years, especially in clergy deployment, and the ordination process. Beyond that, he has been a wise and trusted counselor for me, not to mention my chaplain at many diocesan liturgies! The staff and I will miss him tremendously as both colleague and friend. As we all pray for Canon Eric and Terri in their health challenges, we can rejoice over the care and discernment evident in this difficult decision. May each of us show such wisdom in the ordering of our own lives. We also rejoice that retirement will allow Canon Eric more time caring for family, pursuing his passion for flying, and exercising his vocation as a military chaplain with Civil Air Patrol. I know that many of our clergy and lay leaders who have benefited from Canon Eric’s ministry will want to reach out to him individually to thank him, and to wish him and Terri well in their next chapter. And we will soon announce other opportunities to share our thanks and bid farewell and Godspeed.

A message from Bishop Poulson


Dear Friends in Oklahoma,

As you will see from his message below, Canon Eric will be taking early retirement at the end of October as a proactive response to increasing health concerns that both he and his wife Terri are facing. Canon Eric, who joined the diocesan staff not long after I started, has been an integral part of this early phase of my episcopate, and has done much important work for our diocese over the past two years, especially in clergy deployment, and the ordination process. Beyond that, he has been a wise and trusted counselor for me, not to mention my chaplain at many diocesan liturgies! The staff and I will miss him tremendously as both colleague and friend. As we all pray for Canon Eric and Terri in their health challenges, we can rejoice over the care and discernment evident in this difficult decision. May each of us show such wisdom in the ordering of our own lives. We also rejoice that retirement will allow Canon Eric more time caring for family, pursuing his passion for flying, and exercising his vocation as a military chaplain with Civil Air Patrol. I know that many of our clergy and lay leaders who have benefited from Canon Eric’s ministry will want to reach out to him individually to thank him, and to wish him and Terri well in their next chapter. And we will soon announce other opportunities to share our thanks and bid farewell and Godspeed.

Blessings,
Bishop Poulson


A message from Canon Eric


My last day serving as Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of Oklahoma will be October 31, 2022, at which time I will enter early retirement from active ministry. The primary reason for our decision to retire early now is because of the significant health issues Terri and I have been dealing with over the last few years. I experienced my own health concern recently, which became the impetus for a time of deliberate soul-searching and prayer. Over the past few months, Terri and I have discerned that it is time now, rather than later, to move into a new chapter and retire early from active ministry. 

I wish to offer heartfelt thanks to Bishop Poulson Reed for providing me the opportunity to serve as one of his Canons these last two years. It has been a great gift and a humble honor to work alongside him in the first years of his episcopacy. He has taught me much these last two years, and I do regret that I will not have the opportunity to support his ministry directly in the coming years. Bishop, I am grateful for every opportunity you gave me to learn from you and serve you. I will always cherish this time serving as your partner in ministry.

As Canon to the Ordinary, I have labored to serve with integrity, dedication, directness, clarity, and pastoral sensitivity, all of which have been the core values that defined both my secular and ministerial service.  My lifetime career spans over 36 years with 19 years as a retail executive, pilot-flight instructor and as a business owner. My 17 years of service to God and church began in 2005, and includes positions as a paid lay professional, seminarian, and priest (12 1/2 years). 

During my tenure in Oklahoma, my primary responsibility was to administer the ordination and transitions processes on behalf of the Bishop, but I also worked on other projects and assignments. Alongside Bishop Poulson, we created and facilitated an effective and efficient process for managing clergy transitions. We re-developed the structure of the diocesan ordination process, aligning it with the requirements of the Canons. We re-organized, renewed, and empowered our Commission on Ministry to guide the ordination process. Finally, on the Bishop's behalf, I oversaw the management transition of St. Crispin's Conference Center and Camp.

In retirement, I will continue to serve in priestly ministry through my work as a military chaplain in the Civil Air Patrol (USAF Auxiliary). I serve now on National Headquarters staff as the Deputy Chief of Chaplains. As some of you know, aviation has been my lifelong passion, which began when I first soloed in an airplane at the age of 16. Upon entering retirement in addition to my CAP Chaplaincy work, I will spend my time as a professional pilot, serving as a First Officer for an on-demand airline located in Florida.

Although my tenure with the diocese has been a little over two years, my hope is that the work we have accomplished together has brought vitality to our congregations and institutions. I will continue to keep God's people in Oklahoma as well as Bishop Poulson in my prayers. Terri and I ask for your prayers as we move into this time of early retirement.

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