Bernard Drew’s retirement as senior minister was formally announced at a meeting of the congregation at the church. Drew was not present at this meeting. A special committee to search for the next pastor was also appointed.
Neat Little Tidbit
Church members had known about Drew’s plan to retire for more than a year, and this announcement made it finally official. This would place Drew’s decision to retire at some point during 1971.
Trust but verify
The Courant article did not include who was meeting, but it seems likely that it was the Asylum Hill Congregational Society.
Put into context
Drew said that he wanted to retire when more of the church members would be around, so he picked Easter 1973 instead of the summer. While that may be true, it’s also true that Easter and Christmas are typically the two best attended services in any church. Leaving that cynicism aside, there certainly would be symbolism involved in retiring on Easter, with a sense of renewal accompanying the next minister (who wouldn’t be selected until closer to Christmas 1973), but Drew also gave his first sermon at the church on May 1, 1949. It was four months before he would be installed as pastor, but there would be symmetry in giving his last sermon at nearly the anniversary of his first.
Unattributed, “Minister to retire in April from Asylum Hill church,” Hartford Courant, December 7, 1972, page 90.