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We had a Rebekah Celebration!
Saturday, March 15, 1997
Eric and Evelyn had a celebration to mark the success of Rebekah's radiation treatment for retinoblastoma, to celebrate her life and the recovery of some of her sight, and to declare an end to the "crisis" chapter of our lives and the beginning of a new life.
Planned by Evelyn and by the Rev. Joanne Graves, a colleague and friend from Greenfield, Massachusetts, the service recalled the story of Moses and the Exodus side by side with the story discovering Rebekah's retinoblastoma, her treatment and recovery. Held at the Northford Congregational Church, UCC, the participants included church Moderator Judy Bannon, readers John Wasilewski and Dorothy Churchill, the Rev. Gordon Rankin of the Madison Congregational Church UCC, Rev. Graves, the Rev. Don Sevetson, Interim Regional Minister for the Connecticut Conference, and the Northford church choir.
Rebekah responded to the service as any self-respecting eighteen month old who had finished her nap would do: she ran all over, climbed on the rostrum, and stood laughing in the aisle as Rev. Rankin asked, "Doesn't it make sense that the daughter of two ministers would be the star of the day?"
The service included a prayer of thanks for all who had served Rebekah as family, friends, medical providers, and pray-ers, asking each group to stand as they were recognized before God. Rev. Sevetson led the family and the congregation in making promises to support each other and take care of themselves with the help of God. And Rev. Graves led the worshipers in a powerful prayer asking for God's continued help in the days to come.
Some of those who attended the service were Dr. Philip Silverstone and members of his staff, United States Representative Rosa DeLauro, Rebekah's godparents William and Linda Yee, her grandparents Lynn and Shirley Anderson and Edith Ann Eddy, members of the churches in Northford and Oxford, and many friends and colleagues. The party which followed was great fun, and included a special song written and performed by Rebekah's great-aunt Carol Whalen with the refrain "Say a Prayer for Rebekah."
For more information, contact:Evelyn Eddy or Eric Anderson
And as if that weren't enough...
On Friday, March 14, at 7:00 pm, there was a coffeehouse at the North Haven Congregational Church, UCC, to benefit Rebekah's Fund for her medical treatment. Planned by the Revs. Paige Besse-Rankin and Leigh McCaffrey, the event raised over $4,000 from a free-will offering and food sales.
Although some performers were unable to attend due to foul weather, there was a good crowd on hand to applaud the sounds of folk guitar, hammer dulcimer, jazz guitar, and enjoy the wonders of illusion. A special highlight was the Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree, Minister of the Connecticut Conference, who read a selection from a book of the 1870s detailing a wife's firm, clear, and logical refutation of her husband's insistence that women should not vote. She was, of course, followed by the "Boys in Hats" duo of Eric Anderson and Paul Bryant-Smith, including the highly sexist song "Dad's Got that Look" by John McCutcheon, which further demonstrated the logic of having women vote.
Matt McCaffrey, Interim Minister of Communications for the Connecticut Conference, has placed a story on the weekend on the Connecticut Conference's web site as well.
|Special thanks to:
Woodmont United Church of Christ
1000 New Haven Ave.
Milford, CT 06460
And at the North Haven Congregational Church, we thank:
North Haven Congregational Church
28 Church St.
North Haven, CT 06473