A joyous and inspiring Service of Installation of The Reverend Hilary McLellan as pastor of the Higganum Congregational Church and the First Congregational Church of Haddam was held on Sunday, March 13, 2022.
Over 70 members and guests joined to celebrate and confirm the covenant between Reverend Hilary and our churches. Guests included friends, colleagues, and family of Rev. Hilary. Many guests were members of the
First Congregational Church of Bristol R.I. where Rev. Hilary formerly served. Susan Brosnihan, from that church, invited those in attendance to share special memories of and stories about Hilary. Through this sharing it was very evident that Rev. Hilary holds a special place in the hearts and lives of numerous people.
The service was led by The Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick -Nager, Associate Pastor at the Old Lyme Congregational Church. She was representing the South-Central Region of the Middlesex Association of the United Church of
Christ. Heidi Lee, a lay leader from the First Congregational Church of Deep River, participated in the service representing the Executive Committee of Church and Ministry of the Middlesex Association. Several minsters from the Middlesex Association of UCC were in attendance including: The Rev. Dr. Chris Hovath from The First Church of Christ Clinton, The Rev. Alan Froggatt from the United Church of Chester, and The Rev. Amie McCarthy from The Congregational Church of East Hampton. The Rev. Soon Ahn from the Higganum United
Methodist Church was also present. The Rev Isaac Lawson, the Area Conference Minister of the South-Central Region of The Southern New England Conference of the United Congregational Church of Christ gave a
sermon. He reflected on what we were, who we are and who we can become.
The Rev. Mary Aberg was an important mentor to Rev. Hilary when Hilary was a seminarian in hospital placement and church field education. Rev. Aberg gave the Pastoral Prayer and the Charge to the
Mark Soneson, the Chairman of the Search Committee and representing the moderator of FCCH and Greg Shields, moderator of HCC, participated in the installation and presented Rev. Hilary with a gift from the churches. It was a gift certificate for a stole of her choice embroidered with the Installation date and names of the two churches. The choir’s contribution was beautiful and inspirational.
The music, readings, prayers, flowers and a special banner added to this festive and joyful experience. A free will offering was taken. Over $300 was received which will be the first donation to the Churches’ Refugee Resettlement Project. After the service, attendees enjoyed a delicious potluck dinner held at the parsonage.
This wonderful service reflected the joy, spirituality, excitement, and optimism in this new stage in the life of our churches as we officially welcomed our new pastor, Rev. Hilary McLellan.