Friday, July 10, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,

I want to thank the Cathedral Profile, Applicant Review Committee, and Vestry for their hard work and spirit filled discernment. The Holy Spirit was clearly guiding us all during this time, and we have all been blessed by this experience.

I am delighted with this news and look forward welcoming Matthew to a collaborative partnership. Matthew brings experience in theologically grounded stewardship, rebuilding church facilities, and keeping the focus on mission and ministry.

Please welcome Matthew to the diocese.

Bishop Megan Traquair
Meet Rev. Matthew Woodward
Matthew grew up in England, and after a diverse faith journey became an enthusiastic Episcopalian by choice. He believes the Episcopal spiritual tradition has a unique contribution to make to the conversation about faith that is going on in our culture right now. We are faithful and thoughtful, open to science and mystery, and we praise God with our hearts, souls and minds. 
 
Born Pentecostal, Matthew became a member of the Church of England when his theological and social questions could no longer find a home there. In particular he appreciated the pastoral care of Church of England Priests when he realized he was gay and God still loved him deeply. He retains a love of scripture and emotionally connected worship from his upbringing, but he has added to that an appreciation for the rich traditions of the Episcopal Church and liturgical worship in particular. 
 
Matthew studied Theology at the London School of Theology, King's College London and Westcott House in Cambridge, where he was prepared for ordination in the Church of England. His academic interests lie in early childhood spirituality and lifelong Christian formation. He loves family ministry and has founded and developed children and youth work in all three parishes where he has served. 
 
He is an avid sci-fi fan, a cook, a runner and the proud parent of an Australian Shepherd mix rescue pup: River. Incidentally, River’s name comes from his favorite Science Fiction TV show, Doctor Who, where “Professor River Song” was a super fun character for about four seasons. His own River will only get to take on the title “professor” when she graduates puppy classes.
 
His favorite color is red, his favorite thing to cook is Coq au Vin and his favorite Bible verse is 1 John 4:7, which reminds us that God is Love, so we should consider loving one another as a top priority. 
 
Matthew is excited to join the Trinity Cathedral community and the Diocese of Northern California in the middle of the culture changing events that are COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. He believes that these events invite us to deeper contemplation of what it means to live into the Baptismal covenant of the Episcopal Church where we promise to: “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.”
A letter to Trinity Cathedral and the Diocese by the Rev. Matthew Woodward, Dean-Elect
 
Dear Trinity and Diocese of Northern California Family,
 
I am excited to be invited to become your Cathedral Dean and look forward to meeting you all in the fullness of time (perhaps virtually at first, if shelter-in-place keeps us from meeting in person). 
 
The call from the Vestry and Bishop Megan felt truly spirit-led and I am humbled and excited to accept it. Trinity Cathedral has a depth of spiritual formation within its membership, and an active community of volunteers that work to support one another and share the love of God with the world around them. This is a community I am eager to join and work with.
 
I am so grateful for the service of Jim Richardson, your interim Dean, and Canon Lynell Walker, Associate Dean, who will both have retired by the time I arrive. I am aware of the great heritage of pastoral care and Cathedral ministry they will be handing to me and I want to cherish that heritage. 
 
I also believe that a Cathedral is a public space, whose focus is on three horizons: the gathered congregation, the dioceses family and the wider world. I am excited to get to work with Bishop Megan and our Diocesan family and hope to make sure Trinity feels like a home for the whole diocese. It is also my hope that we can be a conversation partner with all of our neighbors in Sacramento, and that we might provide a venue for important conversations about life in our city and state. If you are interested in this kind of public conversation, let me know and let's talk about it.
 
I am excited to join the Trinity community and the Diocese of Northern California in the middle of the culture-changing events that are COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. I believe that these events invite us to deeper contemplation of what it means to live into the Baptismal Covenant of the Episcopal Church where we promise to: “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.”
 
Finally, I am aware that there are questions about the buildings at Trinity, and I want to enter into a conversation with you about that. I am very keen to know how you most want to serve your fellow congregants, and also our neighbors in the wider community. When we have established that, we will know how we want to develop spaces that can serve the community and share the Love of God with them.
 
Well, I cannot wait to join you, and my pup, River is excited to come also. I will be with you from Sept. 1, and I am really looking forward to it.
 
Love,
Matthew+, Dean-Elect