Farewell Fr. Ed

There was everything but the Phillie Phanatic as the 8 and 10 o’clock congregations joined together to celebratecommunion at the last service of Father Ed Zelley’s nearly 20 years at Holy Trinity. As you all know, Father Ed accepted a position at his boyhood church, St.Luke’s in Metuchen, N.J., and began work there on the 1st of August.

For his last service at Holy Trinity on July 26, a packed congregation rolled out the red carpet for a rousing send-off, presenting a number of gifts and having some fun in the process. Father Ed used his sermon to thank the congregation for its love and support over his long tenure here and asked in particular that we contribute to his legacy by continuing to support the IHN program.

Ironically, just after his departure, the church seamlessly hosted four families (eight adults and six children) for a week. Sean and Nancy Garvin have agreed to serve as point people for the program going forward.

Among the presentations; a set of four stoles (for each season) made by Joanne Hutchison and presented as a gift from the congregation; a home communion kit given by the ECW (Phyllis Joslin); a gift card to ShopRite from Paul Eldridge and Gary Henderson representing the Men’s Breakfast, as well as a large framed picture of Father Ed wearing a fruit pie on his face and shirt after a losing effort in this year’s July 4 Wenonah pie eating contest; a painting of Holy Trinity by our 95-year old resident artist Emma Holmstrom, a “tribute” from fellow bass Gar Miller who reminded the congregation that Meghan Trainer had released a song about our small Holy Trinity choir called “It’s All About That Bass;” a song by the Joyful Noise Choir rewritten to the tune of “Father, Thank You For Families,” and a skit from the Christmas Pageant of 2013 that captured kids’ reactions to references in The Christmas Story.

Finally, after being teased with a box of handme-down purses by Gar Miller, Father Ed actually got a real “purse” – a hefty check presented by Treasurer Mark Sienkiewicz representing contributions from nearly every member of the congregation.

Another highlight was the presentation of a scrapbook, made up by individuals and families that captured some of their church and personal experiences through the years.

The nearly two-hour service was followed by a fun lunch at one of Father Ed’s favorite spots, Carolina Blue in Pitman, where well over 100 parishioners had time to share food and say their thanks and goodbyes to Father Ed, Gail, and son Peter. Melissa Semmes-Thorne served as “master of ceremonies” for the presentation portion of the service, while Cheryl DeVoy headed a committee to plan the event at Carolina Blue. The scrapbook effort was executed by Cheryl, Lisa Carlamere and Marietta Hutchison.