Summerlea United Church
225 50th Ave, Lachine, Québec, H8T2T7, Canada. 514-634-2651
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Farewell to Howard 28 June, 2009
Posted 29 Jun, 2009
Sunday, 28 June 2009 marked Rev. Howard Clark's final service as he heads for retirement after 31 years in the ministry, the last 6½ years at Summerlea. As he left the choir to open the service he expressed surprise at the large attendance, having assumed that many people would be away for summer activities. The congregation included not only Summerlea folk but also family from Toronto, wife Sharon Moon and other members of Cedar Park (where Sharon is the minister) and representatives from Montreal Presbytery and Montreal and Ottawa Conference.

The service followed the standard format, but included a "Commissioning" (Decommissioning?) time in which the congregation released him from his duties as the Summerlea minister. We thought we heard one or two brief catches in his throat, but no obvious tears were shed.

Following the service a reception was held in St. Andrew's hall, with luncheon goodies prepared by the Summerlea ladies. Summerlea Board Chairman Keith Field acted as Master of Ceremonies to thank Howard for his work at Summerlea and to oversee the presentation of gifts and cards to mark his departure and his new lifestyle. Coincidentally, the bulletin cover for this Sunday features a sailboat, and Howard recently acquired such a conveyance to keep himself busy in retirement.

From the Summerlea congregation and friends, we wish Howard a healthful and happy retirement.

The front of the sanctuary was festooned with Happy Retirement balloons,
as Connie played the Prelude.
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009

As Howard left his place at the rear of the choir after the Introit,
he expressed surprise at the large attendance.
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009

Marion Golden read the scripture lesson,
and Howard gave his last sermon, about love.
He said it was a reprise of one of his first sermons,
and it lasted more than the three minutes
he had been told many years ago was adequate.
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009

Following the sermon, Howard and Philip Freud sang "Magic Penny",
by Malvina Reynolds, one of Howard's favourite songs.
Philip sang it at the close of his parents' wedding the day before.
The theme of the song goes:
"Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more".
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009

While the offering was received we took a couple of shots of the congregation.
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009

Keith Field and Undeg Edwards led the "Commissioning" (Decommissioning?) portion of the service,
in which Howard symbolically returned the baptismal font, the chalice and platter,
and finally the keys to Summerlea.
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009

The members of Montreal Presbytery in attendance then removed Howard's stole and robe,
leaving him in his shorts (no, not those shorts!).
Several youngsters in the congregation took delight in exploring.
We snapped two of them.
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009

Leslie Field and Connie Osborne played a pensive Postlude to close the service.
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009

A sumptuous buffet greeted the throng in St. Andrew's hall after the service.
As peoples' appetites became satisfied, Keith Field took on his MC role.
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009

Some "shotgun" shots of the attendees were taken as the proceedings went on.
Tom and Lois Pavlasek in the first two photos recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009

Howard received a photo by Gordon Osborne of the
park by the lake where the Easter sunrise services are held,
and a card signed by the Summerlea congregation.
During his subsequent remarks he mentioned
the "elderly" ladies of the Serendipity Group.
Despite this slur, Mary Guynan made a presentation
from the mature ladies of the Serendipity Group.
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009

Finally it was time to cut the cake, which Howard did
with assistance from granddaughter Myra.
The sailboat on the cake conjures up thoughts
of Howard sailing off into the sunset.
Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009 Farewell to Howard Clark 28 June 2009
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