Week of the Feast of the Ascension 2022
Dear Cathedral Family,
Greetings to each of you as we approach the Feast of the Ascension, a time when the Church around the world commemorates Christ’s physical departure and return to Heaven. This was a major transition time for Jesus’ disciples. However, thankfully, Ascension Day is celebrated shortly before Pentecost, which is often seen as the “birthday of the Church,” and a time when God’s Spirit came upon them afresh, to enable them to serve Christ with new vision and mission.
In this regard, during this Ascension Day week, as we look to this coming Pentecost, our cathedral finds itself entering into a new phase in its historic ministry and mission, as a result of the announcement by Dean Brian Gross that he believes God is calling him to serve in another context. Speaking personally, it has been such a gift and joy to serve with Dean Brian and his wife Julie since I have been here in Wyoming. I thank God for both their friendship and special ministry among us.
Due to the pandemic, it was a very difficult time to lead a cathedral ministry, but throughout it, Dean Brian led our cathedral in an exemplary, strategic and inspirational way. It is clear God sent Dean Brian to the cathedral to minister to us all through the upending time of the pandemic that was so difficult for churches everywhere around the world. God is now calling both Dean Brian and the cathedral to new chapters, which I profoundly believe will be fruitful and joyful for each.
We will miss them deeply, and we pray for God’s blessing on their new ministry, wherever God’s call leads them. There is not yet a determined date for Dean Brian’s departure. However, I believe God is inviting us, as we begin to prepare for the cathedral’s future ministry, to first celebrate together Dean Brian’s ministry at St. Matthew’s. This is now a special time for us all to give thanks for Dean Brian and Julie’s ministry among us, and let them know how grateful we are for them.
As we think about the future, I will be working closely with the vestry on next steps for the cathedral. Along this line, I encourage everyone in the cathedral to trust that God is at work in all of this. I know in my own life, at important times of discernment, I have relied deeply on God's beautiful promise in Psalm 32:8 - "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you." And God has always been wonderfully faithful.
Soon, the vestry and I will be in touch about establishing a search process for the next dean, as well as making provision for the interim time. However, as I mentioned above, I believe our primary concern right now is to pray for Dean Brian and Julie as they prepare for a transition, trusting that God is preparing for them and for our cathedral more than we can ask or imagine.
Bishop Paul-Gordon Chandler