St. Peters says farewell to Brian Roberts

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Sandra and Brian Roberts (center) say farewell to Tony and Nancy Caine, Cathy Finnegan and Mildred Mott at their bon voyage Party. Sandra and Brian Roberts (center) say farewell to Tony and Nancy Caine, Cathy Finnegan and Mildred Mott at their bon voyage Party.

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the Cape Shore Chorale presented a dance extravaganza featuring songs from roaring ’20s through the 1970s.  

I caught up with Ruth and Paul Anselm in the parking lot at Holly Trinity Episcopal Church.

Director Scott Breiner sported a black shirt and slacks while the 55-member Chorale looked festive in pastel color shirts as they lined up before the concert. I stopped to take a couple of pictures and Loretta Stewart showed off her necklace from the ’70s. Ginny Coco and Pat Angarano didn’t budge from their seats when I took pictures. With the concert about to start I took a seat in the third row between Ruth and Bill Kruger, who I used to see at Masonic blood drives, and Ralph Cooper and Ed Wismer, who had sketch pad ready to draw a picture to go along with his review of the concert. The program opened with “Come and Dance, My Friend” featuring Lori Jo Jamieson on flute, followed by music from the 1920s that had everyone’s toes tapping. My older son, James Finnegan, and Christine Piper were soloists in “Cheek to Cheek” and Maryanne Franz and Phil Heck were vocalists in “Satin Doll.” Featured soprano Lexis Petrella, OCHS ’11, wowed the audience with her rendition of “I could Have Danced All Night” and “Saper Vorreste” followed by Carlos Bedoya on guitar performing “Andreina”, “Natalia” and “Valse.”

“Rock Around the ’50s” featured vocalists, John Rose and Phil Heck; “Save the Last Dance for Me” highlighted Beth Nardone and Robert Johnson. “Just a Little Soft Shoe” showcased Claire and Oliver Thies and Missy Schenck received high praise and a standing ovation as she and the chorale closed the concert with “Disco Survives.” Scott Breiner has led this group for 10 years. It’s evident Scott loves music as he tickled the ivories and led the chorale with gusto. After the concert everyone enjoyed light refreshments and I caught up with Harriet Reardon Bailey, Pat Ogle and Judy Perkins who loves music but doesn’t sing. Kay and Bill Sundermeir just had to walk across the street after the concert and they were home.  The Cape Shore Chorale will be performing with the Ocean City Pops Aug. 12 and 13.  

Next stop Sunday was St. Peter’s United Methodist Church where members gathered in the sanctuary for Senior Pastor Brian Roberts’ bon voyage party as he becomes the district superintendent of the Cape/Atlantic Conference. I joined Irene and George Reeves and Bob Goudie in their pew in the middle of the church with the sun shining through the beautiful stained glass windows. Gayle Robbins served as master of ceremonies for the festivities and after Mayor Jay Gillian thanked Brian for his work feeding so many at St. Peter’s after Sandy and what an integral part of Ocean City Brian has been during his nine years as senior pastor at St. Peter’s, musical interludes were provided by John Bate, Carolyn Lothian, Kathy Heller and Sue Park. Joan Morris read a proclamation from Macedonia UMC. In keeping with the nautical theme, Brain was invited to come to the altar and sit in the captain’s chair while members presented gifts to their pastor. First up were Caroline, Kelsea and Katie Bowman with a T-shirt that said “Captain Awesome” then Christian Bickings gave Brian a cCaptain’s hat and shirt. Chris Sauer presented Brian with a bell to ring if he ever needed anything followed by Keith Grim with a lantern and salt. Nick Purcel, who serves in the military, held up a flag that will be flown in Afghanistan in Brian’s honor. Kathy and Tom Thompson gave Brian a survival kit in remembrance of all the people Brian fed and cared for while at St. Peter’s.

Steve Croft gave Brian a telescope to recall the visions he had for St. Peter’s in Phases, I, II and III and to help him when guiding the 64 churches he will be in charge of as district superintendent in the Cape-Atlantic District. Marilyn Hughes presented an anchor to help Brian remember his days at St. Peter’s and Phil Young gave Brian beach tags for each of the years he served at St. Peter’s together with four 2014 Beach tags to make sure he returns to the local beach. Richard Rink presented a conch shell to Brian so he can always hear the ocean. Brian received a hiking stick engraved with “Walk With God” from Kathy Fogerty. Gretchen Bingham gave Brian a gavel to help him keep order at the 64 District Conferences he will conduct while Della Ostien presented him with a communion set. Robie McKinnon and Heidi Pursel gave Brian an engraved gold name tag to wear to all his charge conferences. Julie Bickings and Katie Grim called Sandra Roberts up and having discovered Sandra had been Miss Ocean City a number of years ago they placed a rhinestone crown on her head together with a “Miss District Superintendent’ sash she wore the rest of the evening.  Eli Guseman gave Brian and son, Nathan, a picture of New York Yankee Derek Jeter and Ralph Bingham and Donna Schempp gave a love gift from a grateful congregation to Brian and Sandra. Anne, Matt, Lydia and Luke Dice, who have spearheaded a group from St. Peter’s building homes in the Dominican Republic, reported the 50th home will be built in June. Everyone enjoyed a video of pictures of Brian and his family “Through the Years” followed by a time of fun, food and fellowship with the Roberts family in the Stainton Room.

I chatted with Sue and Ozzie Jordan, Marion and Ned McCaughey and Don Pileggi as we headed into the Stainton Room. Jennifer Bowman had lots of help in the kitchen organizing the food for this large crowd while Arlene Stryker and her staff from Arlene’s on Asbury served hors d’oeuvres throughout the Stainton Room. I spotted Mildred Mott and Annette Dungan sitting in chairs around the perimeter of the room while Andrea and Don Paul sat at one of the long tables set up at the far end of the room and Nancy and Tony Caine enjoyed the fare standing at one of the tall tables in the Stainton Room.  I couldn’t resist dipping some goodies in the chocolate fountain where I caught up with Margaret Schock, Lois Werner, Mary Mohr, Joy Powell and son, David, who told me he was at the Cape Shore Chorale Concert earlier in the afternoon. Evie and Bob Bachich were on hand to say farewell to their neighbors, Brian and Sandra, who have all had a good time learning to play bridge. I joked with Candy Young about being a celebrity after her picture appeared in the Real Estate section of The Press along with husband, Phil, in front of their new home built to FEMA flood requirements. Charlie Bowman was celebrating his 51st birthday and after everyone sang “Happy Birthday” Jennifer cut one of her delicious cakes for all to enjoy. Beth Bowman insisted I attend the Miss New Jersey Pageant since daughter, Tricia Branch, and granddaughter, Siena, would be on stage during competition. Mary Ann Kull and Joan Walker are glad to be home in Ocean City for the summer. When Irene Reeves and I walked slowly down the stairs from the Stainton Room we recalled running up and down these same stairs back in the 1970s when we taught first and second grades in Sunday School. After we left the party George Reeves remembered he was on the clean-up committee but figured they had enough help and kept driving home.  cott Breiner (second from right) poses with Mike Kozak, Rich Kurtz, James Finnegan, Lexis Petrella and Carlos Bedoya before Cape Shore Chorale Concert. Scott Breiner (second from right) poses with Mike Kozak, Rich Kurtz, James Finnegan, Lexis Petrella and Carlos Bedoya before Cape Shore Chorale Concert.

Cecelia Dugan, Maryanne Franz, Helen O’Brien, Mary Jane Weissenberg, Pat Ray and Loretta Stewart line up before the Cape Shore Chorale concert. Cecelia Dugan, Maryanne Franz, Helen O’Brien, Mary Jane Weissenberg, Pat Ray and Loretta Stewart line up before the Cape Shore Chorale concert. Brian Roberts joins Praise Band singers, Judy Kelly, Melinda Mayne and Rody O’Rourke at his bon voyage party. Brian Roberts joins Praise Band singers, Judy Kelly, Melinda Mayne and Rody O’Rourke at his bon voyage party.    Candy Young, Dave Wagner, Helen Miller, Rich and Shirley Hawthorne, Donna Schempp, Carol Schoff and Pat Custard dine at the bon voyage party. Candy Young, Dave Wagner, Helen Miller, Rich and Shirley Hawthorne, Donna Schempp, Carol Schoff and Pat Custard dine at the bon voyage party. Judy Stephenson, Dave Bavuso, Ann Landolfi and Dallas and Di Krapf enjoy the bon voyage party. Judy Stephenson, Dave Bavuso, Ann Landolfi and Dallas and Di Krapf enjoy the bon voyage party. Marion McCaughey, Kendall Becher, DJ Rossiter, Tricia Audino, Carol Hadtke and Maribeth Neall check out Cabi outfits at the home shopping party. Marion McCaughey, Kendall Becher, DJ Rossiter, Tricia Audino, Carol Hadtke and Maribeth Neall check out Cabi outfits at the home shopping party. Candy Leonard, Tara McGinnis, Alice Wolf, Joanne Budnick, Denise Jessel and Barbara Russell are ready to try on Cabi fashions. Candy Leonard, Tara McGinnis, Alice Wolf, Joanne Budnick, Denise Jessel and Barbara Russell are ready to try on Cabi fashions.


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