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Garden City Clergy Breakfast With Village Officials

An eminent group of Garden City officials and civic leaders met with local clergypersons at the annual Garden City Clergy Fellowship (GCCF) holiday breakfast meeting. This meeting took place on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at the Garden City Hotel.

After the GCCF president, the Reverend Debbie Low-Skinner called the meeting to order, she offered the opening prayer. Then the breakfast attendees each introduced themselves and were encouraged to share what they were most thankful for in their lives and what they are looking forward to in 2010.

Some mentioned the joy of spending quality time with their grandchildren. In fact, Village Administrator Bob Schoelle is expecting the birth of new grandchild any day now. A couple of people said they were grateful that their parents, who are well into their 90s, are still doing well.

Many present mentioned the extraordinary accomplishments of the Garden City young people, some of whom recently won leadership awards, many of whom are volunteers at Winthrop-University Hospital, and the GCHS Key Club which is collecting coats for a dozen needy families being sponsored by the Presbyterian Church in Garden City.

The mayor and others commended the great work of President Robert Scott for all his rebuilding efforts to make Adelphi University such a wonderful asset to the community.

Mayor Robert Rothschild, who has lived in Garden City since 1985, remarked on how he is enjoying his time as mayor (four months so far) and how he is truly appreciating how many good things are going behind the scenes, all of which contribute to making Garden City such a wonderful place to live.

Rabbi Dr. Linda Goodman will be receiving an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 2010 from her alma mater, Hebrew Union College, in recognition of her 25 years of ordained ministry. She and her husband, Rabbi Stephen Wise Goodman, will be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary next year with a trip to France.

Pastor Jim Adelmann recently celebrated his 30th year at Garden City Community Church. He spent part of his sabbatical this past summer by taking a course on the Early Christian Desert Fathers/ Mothers and also taking a course on blacksmithing. He and his wife celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary with a Mediterranean cruise.

Pastor Wanda Lawry Hughes noted that she has been at the Presbyterian Church in Garden City for seven years now. The congregation is celebrating their 80th anniversary by encouraging their members to do 80 good works. Many members are actively participating in the church’s outreach project to help a dozen Central American families, whose fourth grade children are attending a local elementary school.

Deacon George Browne will be celebrating his 72nd birthday next fall and will be winding up his 10-year tenure as Deacon at St. Anne’s Parish. He is open to where God next calls him to serve. In addition, George mentioned the satisfaction he has been getting out of running a career transition support group at St. Anne’s. This is a group of persons who are coping with being unemployed and looking for work. Local resident and therapist, Dr. Thomas Demaria, is the group facilitator.

As the breakfast drew to a close, the Rev. Lynn Sullivan announced the upcoming GCCF Interfaith Bible Study in January 2010. The four-part study series, offered on Wednesday nights, will look at how different faith traditions look at the New Testament, especially the parables.

“The Garden City Clergy Fellowship is most grateful for the exemplary work and dedication of all our village civic leaders. In addition we sincerely thank the following officials who took time in this busy holiday season to come and ‘break bread’ with us: the Honorable Robert Rothschild, mayor of Garden City; Mr. Robert Schoelle, village administrator/treasurer; Dr. Robert Feirsen, GCUFSD superintendent of schools; Dr. Peter Osroff, principal of Garden City Middle School; and Dr. Robert Scott, president of Adelphi University,” said a representative.

The GCCF members in attendance were: the Rev. Debra Low-Skinner, GCCF president pro tem; the Rev. James Adelmann, GCCF treasurer and senior pastor of the Garden City Community Church; Deacon George Browne and Fr. Rudy Pesongco of St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church; the Rev. Lynn Sullivan, associate pastor of Garden City Community Church; Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman of the Garden City Jewish Center; the Rev. Jill Bowden, director of Pastoral Care at Winthrop-University Hospital; and Rabbi Barry Dov Schwartz, Hillel Chaplain at Adelphi University.

The Garden City Clergy Fellowship extended sincere thanks to the management of the Garden City Hotel for generously hosting and providing breakfast for this special meeting, especially Banquet Manager Sonny Bishop and his staff who provided such service and warm hospitality. This is the ninth year in a row that the Garden City Hotel has hosted the December breakfast meeting of the GCCF. This tradition started in 2001, as the Hotel’s way of showing thanks after 9/11 to the local clergy and Garden City civic leaders for their many good works benefiting the local community.