On April 25 the Presbytery of New Brunswick honoured The Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery with the title Minister Emeritus at St. James (Hanwell), Knox (Harvey), and Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (Fredericton).
In 2011, The Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery celebrated his 50th year of ordination. Having served in other congregations throughout Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, he retired from St. James Presbyterian Church in 2001 after serving as the minister of St. James for 12 years. (He actually served there as a student minister too and was my minister at Bethel in Riverview!)
Although he is retired from ministry, Rev. Lowery continues to be a great ministerial support to the congregations and ministers of St. James (Hanwell), Knox (Harvey) and Saint Andrew’s (Fredericton). He provides pulpit supply to these three congregations, as well as others within the Presbytery and the United Church of Canada. When St. James was without a minister between 2009-11, Rev. Lowery provided stated supply. In addition, Rev. Lowery assists when needed with pastoral care (including funerals and hospital visits), and he is a fountain of wisdom to many presbyters. He has been an active contributor to congregational life in each of our congregations, whether serving on the Board of Managers (St. James), singing in the choir (Knox), and attending the various activities organized by each church.
The bond Rev. Lowery has with each of our congregations is strong. We have all been blessed abundantly through his gifts of preaching, pastoral care, wisdom, and presence. His faith and ongoing service to Christ’s ministry is inspiring.
On top of that, Rev. Lowery continues to attend a number of Presbytery meetings throughout the year and is active on the Presbytery of New Brunswick’s General Committee, which is made up of elders and clergy from the Greater Fredericton area, as well as The Presbyterian Church Building Corporation. He has even attended Synod meetings from time to time.
Recently, Rev. Anne Boudreau and I approached the sessions of Knox, Saint Andrew’s, and St. James with a request to jointly honour the Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery for his distinguished and faithful service in ministry. As such, the following motions were approved by each session with the intention of presenting a joint request to the Presbytery:
- On March 22, 2018, the session of St. James passed a motion to request that the Presbytery of New Brunswick honour the Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery with the designation “Minister Emeritus” at St. James Presbyterian Church, Hanwell.
- On April 16, 2018, the session of Saint Andrew’s passed a motion to request that the Presbytery of New Brunswick honour the Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery with the designation “Minister Emeritus” at Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Fredericton.
- On April 18, 2018, the session of Knox Presbyterian Church passed a motion to request that the Presbytery of New Brunswick honour the Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery with the designation “Minister Emeritus” at Knox Presbyterian Church, Harvey.
We have consulted with Don Muir, Deputy Clerk for The Presbyterian Church in Canada, who confirmed it would be acceptable for the three sessions to submit a combined application to the Presbytery of New Brunswick asking Presbyters to bestow this title on Rev. Lowery within the three congregations.
Wednesday April 25 , the Presbytery of New Brunswick met. Rev. Boudreau and I recommended the session requests be passed. The Presbytery of New Brunswick unanimously voted in favour of this motion.
It took a bit of coordinating to make sure this honour was a surprise… and we succeeded at that! And while yesterday’s Presbytery meeting gave fellow Presbyters opportunity to honour Basil, a special event organized jointly by these three congregations will take place at St. James in the near future (date to be determined) so that family and friends may come together to celebrate and give thanks for Basil’s faithful and most inspiring ministry.
Rev. Wendy MacWilliams
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