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Tributes to Fr. Harris

The Parish of Trinity Church paid tribute to the
Rev. Lyndon Harris, associate for ministry at St.
Paul's Chapel, on Tuesday October 8, ahead of Fr.
Harris's return to the General Theological
Seminary, New York, to complete his doctoral
studies.

Lyndon Harris
From left to right: The Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard, vicar, the Rev. Dr. Frederic Burnham, director of Trinity Institute, the Rev. Gayanne Silver, associate for education ministries, the Rev. Lyndon Harris, associate for worship at St. Paul's, the Rev. Dr. Daniel P. Matthews, rector, and Mr. David Jette, head verger, at a parish gathering saying farewell to Fr. Harris.

Fr. Harris was recruited to the parish in 2001 to
begin a new ministry to young people at the
18th-century chapel, but the attack on the World
Trade Center across the street, a week before the
formal launch of the ministry, forced the
cancellation of the plans.

St. Paul's was closed to the public and opened to
rescue and recovery workers, serving for eight
months as a refuge from ground zero, where meals,
counseling, and health services were available.
Fr. Harris achieved nationwide renown for his
role at St. Paul's.

Speaking at the Trinity farewell, the Rev. Samuel
Johnson Howard, vicar, spoke of Fr. Harris
warmly. "It's been a privilege and an honor to
work with Lyndon," he concluded.

Head verger David Jette told Fr. Harris: "In a way you created for us the Annunciation. You brought St. Paul's out of its dusty past...into something new." The Rev. Gayanne Silver, associate for worship and education ministries, noted how Fr. Harris had been challenged in both his Trinity ministries by a steep learning curve. "God has got many things in store for you," she told him.

The Rev. Dr. Frederic Burnham, director of the
Trinity Institute and an authority on the
eight-month ministry at St. Paul's, cited Fr.
Harris's "ability to adapt" and "to ride with the
punches," but said that, above all, "he was just
plain an authentic and faithful presence."

As for his the next step -- completing his
dissertation - Dr. Burnham said of Fr. Harris
that his previous training and his ministry at
St. Paul's had prepared him, and "now you are the
person who can put all that together and reflect
upon its meaning to the church in the 21st
century."

Fr. Harris said he was "flattered, honored, and very humbled" by the comments. However, he saw the ministry to ground zero workers as an example of "all of us working together...it's something that came to us and together we made it happen. It just about killed us, but it was a great privilege."

Fr. Harris will also undertake teaching duties at
General.

Fr. Harris has also been awarded the Young Alumnus of the Year award from his alma mater, Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and the "Faithful Alum" award from the seminary at which he trained for the priesthood, the School of Theology at the University of Sewanee.

Posted on Trinity News October 9, 2002

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