Clergy Celebrate 25 and 50 Year Ordinations

Clergy Celebrate 25 and 50 Year Ordinations

More than 75 people gathered at the Congregational Church of South Glastonbury on December 5 to celebrate the 25th & 50th ordination anniversaries of authorized ministers who have guided churches and congregations, been leaders in the Conference, and who have been chaplains and educators in their communities. The celebration included a special lunch, presentations of certificates to the clergy, and a keynote address from the Rev. Dr. Stephen Ray Jr., President of the Chicago Theological Seminary.
Those who celebrated 25 years of ordination were Rev. Denise M. Clapsaddle, Rev Virnette Hamilton, Rev. Dr. Mary B. Larson, Rev. Patricia A. Long, Rev. Dr. Virginia A McDaniel, Rev. John W. Silliman, and Rev. George Manukas (who could not attend).
Celebrating 50 years of ordination and receiving a commemorative plaque were Rev. Gary P. Brown, Rev. Kimball D. Cartwright, Rev. Robert S. Henderson, and Rev. Keith E. Jones. The Rev. Peter B. Grandy and the Rev. Ernest S Harris Jr. were also celebrated but could not attend.
Rev. Dr. Stephen Ray Jr.

Addressing the clergy after lunch, Rev. Ray spoke at length about the current social and political environments, particularly the conditions of the "public square." Ray suggested that there is an unraveling of society occurring, and that the church needs to act to restore civil society.
"When societies unravel, the weakest among us suffer grievously," said Ray. "In this particular moment, it has been placed upon us a special calling as people of religious conviction and people of good will to be about the salvation of our society."
He went on to say that the church will survive and that it is critical that church-goers and church leaders believe in that survival. He went further to say that the church has the tools to help repair our society.
"We have traditions and wisdom about how to form people who understand at the most basic level of their being what it means to belong to one another," said Ray.
He then charged those present to take up this calling of building and rebuilding community, and to view the public square as a place "as sacred as anything that goes on within the wall of our churches."
Photos of the event can be seen here.
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