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) 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 a few words of her own, she expressed her appreciation to the supportive congregation for always "letting me be me." Lynne expressed 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 minutes 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!
Lynne is welcomed into the hall by a drumming chorus. She was invited to join in with a drum bearing the St. Clement's logo, previously given to the church by former curate, the Rev. Vivian Seegers, who was in attendance.
Wardens Delayne and Phoebe read a letter from the Archbishop.
The attendees enjoyed the natural light and spaciousness of the Lynn Valley recreation centre - with no pillars to block the view!
Lynne and Gerald offer a toast.
The youth offer accolades.
A lovely tribute from Hannah Greenfield.
Lynne listens with affectionate attentiveness to the speakers.
"Journeyers" included a "traveller" wearing an authentic djellaba from Morocco, purchased while visiting in 1965, a time-travelling visitor bringing greetings to Lynne from the Council of Nicea, two warm-weather tourists (there were a number in the crowd!) and "Artaban," the other wise man imagined by Henry van Dyke in 1896.
Peggy and Elizabeth offer their thoughts on Lynne's departure, as well as a singing bowl to replace her personal one she is taking with her to Kelowna!
Lynne reflects on her time with St. Clement's with gratitude and love.
More toasting at the bishop-elect's table.
Art Tinker offers a farewell thank you from the congregation.
St. Clement's is blessed with a group of youth that is grounded in faith, and appreciative of their formative years with Lynne.
Last photo ... a tuneful trio had people reaching for their hankies as they sang a ballad about friendship.
More late-breaking photo additions of various parish party-goers follow on from that! Thanks again to our amazing in-house photographer, Kath!