Rev. Margaret Jay's Retirement Service and Celebration of Ministry

Rev. Margaret Jay's last Sunday service with us before her retirement on July 15, 2019 was celebrated on June 30, 2019. Following the 10:00 a.m. worship service, church members and friends attended a reception honoring her ministry in Congregational Hall. Margaret was presented with tributes, gifts, delicious food and our best wishes as she embarks on the journey of retirement.

On June 16, 2019, Margaret and Kathy Cunliffe sat down in comfortable chairs and, instead of the usual sermon, discussed aspects of Margaret's ministry and the process of retirement and release.  Margaret shared some highlights and particular blessings she experienced in her time in Wallingford.

Margaret has been a such rich thread in the fabric of our lives for twenty five years: baptizing our children, teaching more than a generation of our Confirmands, joining couples in marriage, consoling the broken-hearted and offering comfort at funerals.

She has led women's retreats at Killam's Point, introduced us to fascinating books, encouraged our support of breast cancer research through the annual golf tournament, devised interesting Lenten series, encouraged the prayer shawl and Stephen ministries, and been deeply involved in our mission and outreach to the world, with a special commitment to the Bawa Health Initiative in Cameroon.

On Sunday, June 30, the sanctuary was full of members and friends wishing to be a part of Margaret's last Sunday leading worship among us.  The choirs, the Praise Band, soloists and liturgical dancers participated, and every bell rang out offering wonderful and meaningful music. 

Margaret shared her final sermon before she retires, which was full of memories and gracious thanksgivings for what her ministry has meant to her.

The service concluded with a slide show of many different aspects of Margaret's ministry, accompanied by the Chancel Choir.

Immediately following the service, Congregational Hall filled with family, church members and friends. 

Delicious and fun food representing two of Margaret's loves--the Red Sox and Maine--were served.  Hot dogs, Cracker Jacks, hot pretzels and chicken fingers at one table, lobster macaroni and cheese, fried clam strips, potato salad and baked beans at the other.  Homemade blueberry cobbler and whoopie pies completed the meal. 

Then the tributes and presentations were made.  Kathy Cunliffe shared a delightful tribute based on the letters in Margaret's name.  A very special hand-painted "card" with Victorian flowers and their meanings was given, and also a hand-painted milkcan with symbols of Margaret's home in Maine.

Knowing that Margaret is looking forward to spending time in her garden, enjoying the butterflies, birds and wildflowers, gifts from the congregation included a butterfly mobile and garden butterfly, a certificate for a garden tractor accessory, and a wind chime that sounds the notes of "Amazing Grace".  She also received tickets for a Red Sox game and specially designed Red Sox T-shirts for both she and Andy.

We also presented Margaret with a donation to the Bawa Health Initiative, as well as a monetary gift to use for something special in her retirement. 

We all sang along to the tune of "Jesus Loves Me" with revised lyrics, and closed the festivities gathered in a circle to sing "Go Now in Peace."

Margaret has been a wise, quiet, and deeply kind presence in our church, and will be sorely missed.

As sad as we are for her parting, we wish Margaret and Andy every joy and blessing in her retirement.

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