A letter from The Rev. Dr. Paul L. Gaston, Trinity Cathedral’s Acting Dean

A letter from The Rev. Dr. Paul L. Gaston, Trinity Cathedral’s Acting Dean

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is a coincidence — but a fortunate one — that our ministry together begins on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, a season in which we emphasize self-examination, a focus on what matters most, and the anticipation of Easter. We seek a change of direction so that we may hear with joy, as though for the first time, the glorious news of the open tomb.
The message of Lent is therefore a positive one. As I will mention in my homily on Wednesday, the name of the season itself points (at least in our hemisphere) to the ever-longer (lengthening) days of what an Easter hymn refers to as “the queen of seasons.” That awareness in no way minimizes the importance of our traditional emphasis on reflection and repentance, but it offers an important perspective on that emphasis. As the Quaker hymn reminds us, the whole point of “turning, turning” is to “come round right.”
These emphases — self-examination, discernment, the search for new directions — are all relevant for the work we now undertake, first to seek a thorough and accurate understanding of Trinity Cathedral, then to seek and recruit a dean well-qualified and committed to lead this congregation and this church into its next, even more glorious century.
I am grateful to the Bishop and to the Wardens for their confidence in my interim ministry, and I am profoundly aware of its importance. At Trinity, as in several of my earlier assignments, my ultimate responsibility is to make myself “redundant,” having worked with you to provide a welcoming and stable platform for your new dean. But, in the meantime, we all have much to do. Significant responsibility will fall to the search committee, of course, but its members will doubtless be reaching out to all of us for support and counsel as they make progress.
Like the journey through Lent, the journey of the search will be hard work. It is not meant to be easy. But, then, we are not asked to be faultless.

The Anglican poet and priest, George Herbert, refers to Lent as a “deare feast.” Ever the thoughtful pastor, he understands our limitations in Lent even as he encourages our efforts in words that could apply just as easily to the challenges before us.

It ‘s true, we cannot reach Christ’s fortieth day;
Yet to go part of that religious way,
Is better than to rest:
We cannot reach our Savior’s purity;
Yet are bid, Be holy ev’n as he.
In both let ‘s do our best.

Indeed, asking for God’s help, let’s do our best.

 

The Rev. Paul L. Gaston
Acting Dean