Update September 7
Update September 10, 2011
For sometime now (three months) I've wanted to notify friends and former congregants in Brooklyn and Valley Stream of noteworthy milestones. The time has come, the photos have been gathered, and herewith are certain celebrations.
Beginning with the retirement of a United Methodist pastor, once an eleven year old child in Sunset Park Norwegian Church, Brooklyn NY, on my arrival in February 1956: Roy Edgar Jacobsen bade farewell to his congregation of eighteen years in Windsor CT on Sunday, June 12th. They honored him, they roasted him, they showered him with gifts and, in the doing, made it apparent that he was, in the words of his old, old pastor, born to the vocation and beloved for it.
I've been looking for additional photos from Roy and Mary Ellen's reception. So far I've come up empty, except for this one taken with my cell phone.
Two Valley Stream Methodists achieved very significant birthdays this past August. Peg Keller, Bert's beloved Kansas bride, celebrated her 95th natal day. At the time she was at Orzak Rehab following a fall at home. Peg and I regularly exchange Emails. Who says computers are a young person's game? Peg writes a newsy and grammatically correct Email with the same skill she once cooked meals for thousands in the church kitchen... and baked scrumptious peach pies for her pastor.
Ned Mahoney, a member of the PPR Committee in 1973 when I was chosen as the senior pastor of Grace Church, was surrounded by his family on August 15th, the date of his 100th birthday. Willard Scott named him on the Today Show. Look for Ned's picture on a Smucker's label. Ned, once a soloist with the Goldman Band, served as Lay Leader and in every other important capacity at Grace Church; and once, many Methodist Men's breakfasts ago, provided me with a personal example of what a real man is.
A recent Email carried this attachment, a photo of the choirs of Christ United Methodist Church, Brooklyn, presenting a spring concert under the direction of Jean Rebenstorf. It was sent by Ruth (Ebenezer) Mosso whose mother, Enid, can be seen in the middle of the photo. Ruth wondered if I could identify the choristers. The names of the adults, most of them, came easily to mind. The children were harder to identify. Here's the photo. See how you do in naming names. The children in the front row left, except for our Gwen, left me nameless. Four adults escaped me. Not bad, nonetheless for a forty year lapse.
Saturday, October 1st midday, we shall return to a scene of several celebrations, to Coxsackie NY, on the Hudson, to the estate of Dr. Edward ("Sonny") Dalland and his bride of thirty plus years, Lynette Herwig Dalland. This gathering is occasioned by the baptism of the Dalland's granddaughter, Emmaline, second child of Eric and Karen Durgee Dalland. The setting will be the same as for her sister, Abigail, (seeAbigail's Baptism) and for her her aunts and uncles, a baptistry grandpa established long ago and subsequently reconfigured on the lawn in front of the house. The good doctor, turned landscaper and carpenter, has erected a large cross within view of the baptistry. Which (the cross) will provide the officiant with a theme for his opening remarks pre-baptism.
As often happens in these years of my retirement I'll open my Email and find a greeting and news from a former congregant who may not have been in the forefront of my mind but who is readily and sometimes keenly remembered. On June 18th Comcast and Outlook brought a Blackberry message from Keith Cochrane, Grace Church, Valley Stream MYFer and standout trumpeter in another century. So I did what I always do when a name from the past appears, I Googled. Here's the bio and photo from the college at which he is a professor and music director:
Dr. Keith Cochrane - Director of Instrumental Music, San Juan College, Farmington NM
Professor Keith Cochrane received his Bachelor's of Music Education at Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1982. He taught public school for six years in Colorado, conducted a community orchestra for five years and played with the Grand Junction Symphony. After two years serving as Assistant Director of Bands for Mesa State College, he went on to receive his Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Northern Colorado, in Greeley. Dr. Cochrane has been on staff here at SJC since 1993, and serves as Director of Instrumental Music. Courses taught include: Concert Band, Summer Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, World Music, American Pop Music, Classical Music History, and Elementary Music Education. Dr. Cochrane coordinates the annual Jazz Festival and conducts the Spring Musical.
Another serendipitous Email arrived a few months earlier, from Richie Wiger, University of Oslo professor, now retired. He and wife Donna (also an educator) divide their time between Norway and the States with mission side trips to India and Nigeria accompanying a Norwegian dentist providing free dental care among the poor in distant lands. When at home in Oslo, he regularly babysits his grandchildren whom he describes as having pumpkin-orange hair, teaching them English, while their mother, his and Donna's daughter, pursues a medical career in public health. In February 1956 Richie was the eighteen year old president of the Sunset Park Norwegian Methodist Church Youth Fellowship, for which a twenty-four year old senior at Union Theological Seminary had just been named pastor. He's still Richie to me, despite his age and attainments; and I, once Pastor, am Bob to him.
Long overdue is this photo of Gladys Passaro's first grandchild, Ryan Anthony, son of Phil and Denise Passaro, born May 10th, 2010 in Danbury Hospital. Gladys was the church secretary when I arrived at Grace Church in July 1973, leaving that fall to begin her family. Two children arrived, Linda and Phil, each of whom I confirmed and at whose weddings I officiated, reports of which are on this website. Congratulations to all concerned, even if I am woefully late.
Looking through my file I discovered an additional photo of interest to some in "My Electronic Congregation."