Today was an eventful today. First off, the kids’ school was closing at 5pm today, instead of 7pm. In order to make the pickup in time, one of us would have to leave work early to get there by 5pm. In the evening, we had the big farewell dinner for our rector (25 years of service) at Pierre’s Restaurant in South Brunswick. My wife was decorating, so she had to leave work early to help decorate, then get home and dress up. I left just before 4pm, and rushed through traffic to get home. Why are the busy days always the busiest they could ever be?
Somehow, everyone was home and in various stages of getting ready by 6:30pm. One of our friends came over to babysit, and we were out the door to get to the restaurant by 7pm. We made it with some sanity. How, after all that complexity? I have no idea.
Back to the big dinner. Yes, our church rector announced a few months ago that he would be moving on to other work in the diocese. Why does this stuff always happen just after we join and get settled? Aw, I guess stuff is always happening at one point or another. I really liked our pastor, and now there will be a long search process to find someone else to replace him. We’ve been attending St. Barnabas Episcopal Church for the past two years, but we’re getting more involved this year.
I don’t have all the statistics, but Rev. Hubbard had done a lot of work in the past 25 years since 1984. He helped double the average attendance to around 100 people per most Sundays. A larger congregation led to more Sunday services for people to choose from. The creation of a regular choir. A multitude of outreach programs. Certainly one of the most significant successes was leading the fund raising and final renovation of the church. Before our time, the church was smaller. In the 90’s and the early part of this decade, they built up an entire new chapel, converted the old chapel space into a fellowship hall / kitchen, office, and classrooms, and enlarged the parking lot to accommodate the larger church congregation needs.
The dinner featured a slew of guests speaking anecdotally about what Father Hubbard has done, and what’s he has meant to them. There were plenty of gifts. The neatest, I think? They presented him with a plaque, which will hang over the fellowship hall, as they are dedicating the hall in his honor — The Rev. Francis A. Hubbard Hall. I wish I had the stats, because what he’s lead the church to do in the past 25 years is so admirable in my book. I couldn’t have thought of a nicer way to show our appreciation for building up the church, figuratively and literally.