Pastor Robert (Bob) W. Howard, 1931 - 2017
The family thanks all Bob's readers who enjoyed his comments on life in his essays connecting our day-to-day foibles and triumphs, always using the example of Jesus, to the grandeur of God.
Pastor Robert (Bob) W. Howard, 85, of West Hartford, CT, died peacefully of heart failure at home on October 30, 2017. He was born in 1931 in Stamford, the only son of Harold and Evelyn Howard. He attended Stamford Public Schools and earned a BA from Williams College. He graduated from Union Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity, and was ordained as a minister in the United Methodist Church. Pastor Howard began his fifty-year ministry in West Redding and Sandy Hook, followed by eighteen years at Christ United Methodist Church, Brooklyn, NY, and twenty-nine years as senior pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in Valley Stream, NY.
Bob was active in the community, leading church youth groups, serving as the Chaplain of Valley Stream Fire Department, President of the Board of Brooklyn United Methodist Nursing Home, and more. Bob was also an avid basketball player, builder of a Vermont cabin, computer webmaster, writer, landscaper, cook, and handyman. He leaves his beloved wife of 61 years, Barbara Davis Howard; his daughters Elizabeth Carnes of West Hartford, Gweneth Mahoney of Cockeysville, MD, and Kathryn Curtis of Shrewsbury, MA. He is also survived by eight grandchildren: Henry and Robert Carnes; Jessica, Craig, Jack, and Ben Mahoney; and Alanna and Sohani Curtis.
Friday, Nov. 24, 2017
Asylum Hill Congregational Church,
814 Asylum Ave,
A memorial service will be held on November 24, 11 am, at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Ave, Hartford, CT 06105. A private burial will be held in Stamford. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Pastor Howard's memory can be made to Asylum Hill Church or Hartford United Methodist Church, 573 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105. For directions and online condolences please visit: www.taylorandmodeen.com
A Reconsideration of the Most Important Qualification for Being a Pastor
During the past seventy years of serious thought about the pastoral ministry (yes, at fifteen I pondered such things) I have topped the list of qualifications with good preaching. My retirement has affirmed this priority. I am not going to sit for twenty minutes or so every week and listen to someone tell me how to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ when it is clear they don't know what they're preaching about, or doing so in a boring formulaic way that encourages this insomniac to go somewhere else...
Festival of the Incarnation
The Festival of the Incarnation
When God came among us as one of us.
Beginning the way we all began, issuing from a woman's body, as a helpless babe, mewling and puking. Scandalous, right? A stumbling block to holy thinking, right? But that's what it was. That's what it was meant to be. Eternity cradled in time. The ruler of the universe a bare naked baby wrapped in the spare cloths his mother had at hand.
Pretty it up. And we have. Made a grand spectacle of it what with bright stars, camels and astrologers, angelic choruses. As if we, those from the beginning telling the events no less than you and me, felt an obligation to clean it up...