My remaining time as Interim Dean at St. Andrew's Cathedral is getting shorter by the day. It's a big transition for me, not simply because I'm saying farewell to people I have grown to love and respect, but also because I have notified the Church Pension Fund that I am ready to retire. I've never looked forward to retirement because I love what I do and I love the people with whom I am honored to work for the building up of the Church during healthy transitions.
This transition for me marks the end of a way of life and service that I've known all of my adult life. But it also marks the beginning of a new series of adventures, serving the Church in different ways - consulting, supplying, mentoring, coaching, and a few other possibilities. Gay and I will finally start living in the house we've occasionally stayed in for the last four-and-one-half years, get to know our neighbors, and explore a part of Texas we've barely visited, even though it is our home state.
The chorus from W.H. Auden's Christmas Oratorio is on my mind today as I reflect upon my life and ministry and the people and places I have known. It describes the journey into a new kind of normal with all its dangers and surprises, traveling with our memories and the Lover of our souls.
He is the Way.
Follow Him through the Land of Unlikeness;
You will see rare beasts, and have unique adventures.
He is the Truth.
Seek Him in the Kingdom of Anxiety;
You will come to a great city that has expected your return for years.
He is the Life.
Love Him in the World of the Flesh;
And at your marriage all its occasions shall dance for joy.
(W.H. Auden – 1907-1973)
This poem is set to two different tunes in The Hymnal 1982 of The Episcopal Church. Here's a beautiful choral setting: The Way, The Truth, The Life (Royal Holloway Choir, University of London, Samuel Rathbone & Rupert Gough)
Please hold us in your prayers and stay in touch. We are excited for you and your new Dean and will be watching with eager anticipation as you begin a new era of mission together.
I'll see you in Church (one more time)!
The Very Reverend Ronald D. Pogue
St. Andrew’s Cathedral