By DEB WUETHRICH
The Rt. Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr., Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, was present Tuesday night, Jan. 4, for “A Celebration of The Life and Ministry of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.” The special service was held to close the church which has had a congregation in Tecumseh since 1833. Settlers that included Musgrove Evans, J.W. Brown and George Spofford invited Rev. William Narcissus Lyster to preach at the new church, the first Episcopal Church west of the Alleghenies.
Others who served during the last service were Rev. Robin Smith, St. Peter’s current priest in charge; Richard Boulter, Deacon, a former member who now serves Trinity Church in Belleville; Joyce Holden, Eucharistic minister from Grace Church in Adrian; and Jaymes Gibson. Dr. Howard Mahler filled the sanctuary with music from the church’s famous organ.
In his sermon, the Rt. Rev. Gibbs acknowledged that St. Peter’s has had a long history, and that some people are sad or even upset at its closing, but encouraged an attitude of celebration of the journey. The service was tied to a passage from Ecclesiastes 3 which states, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
“We’re here to celebrate life, to celebrate ministries past,” he said. “My friends when ministry ends in one place, it’s time to celebrate what’s gone before — the comforts, talents and energies of the people who made that ministry possible. It’s time to say, ‘thank you, God, for being with us,’ and to ask that He continue to be with us to show us the new path that we must walk.”
The rite included hymns and readings as well as an opportunity for the congregation to recite the Renewal of Baptismal Vows and take Holy Communion.