After 11 years of splendid ministry, St. Clement's was very sorry to say good-bye to the Rev. Dr. Lynne McNaughton on April 27; that did not, however, stop anyone from having a good time at the farewell party.
In deference to the occasion, the parish rented the community hall adjacent to Lynn Valley Park and even splashed out for rental dishes. The theme of the evening was "journeys" and table decorations included tent cards with fun facts about the towns that Lynne will have on her patch as Bishop of the Diocese of the Kootenay. Parishioners interpreted the theme liberally, arriving in garb representing journeyers from times ancient and modern; ecclesiastical and "tacky."
Ian Gunn offered a stirring grace to begin the sumptuous potluck meal, which included a mini potluck-within-a-potluck for the vegans in the crowd. The good food kept everyone well-fed, and hearts were made full by the number of warm accolades from parish representatives. Wardens Phoebe Yong and Delayne Sartison read a letter from Archbishop Melissa and presented Lynne with the congregants' gift to be used to purchase a purple cassock and some new episcopal attire; the Revs. Elizabeth Mathers and Peggy Trendell-Jensen offered a tribute, which included the presentation of a singing bowl that will be used at St. Clement's on Sunday mornings in honour of Lynne's ministry; a large youth corps gave Lynne their heartfelt thanks and a beautiful memory and photo book; Caroline and Alice Battista and Kath Biebrich sang a song that made listeners misty-eyed; Art Tinker said a few words on behalf of the congregation; and the evening (which had been very ably MC'd by Caroline Battista) was capped off with a rousing chorus of a farewell song created by Lynley Lewis, to the tune of "She'll be Coming 'Round the Mountain."
Lynne was moved by all the loving tributes; in offering her thanks and some heartfelt words of her own, she expressed her appreciation to the supportive congregation for always "letting me be me." Lynne beautifully conveyed her delight in the healthy, happy community of St. Clement's and her assured conviction of its continued success.
Lynne and husband Gerald planned to hit the highway the following day, having just wrestled the final moving boxes into the truck scant moments before the party started. Many of the congregants look forward to seeing both of them again at Lynne's consecration and installation on May 16 in Kelowna.
Many thanks to Kath Biebrich for her photos!
More late-breaking photo additions of various parish party-goers follow on from that! Thanks again to our amazing in-house photographer, Kath!