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.
as Connie played the Prelude.
he expressed surprise at the large attendance.
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.
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".
in which Howard symbolically returned the baptismal font, the chalice and platter,
and finally the keys to Summerlea.
leaving him in his shorts (no, not those shorts!).
Several youngsters in the congregation took delight in exploring.
We snapped two of them.
As peoples' appetites became satisfied, Keith Field took on his MC role.
Tom and Lois Pavlasek in the first two photos recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.
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.
with assistance from granddaughter Myra.
The sailboat on the cake conjures up thoughts
of Howard sailing off into the sunset.