It was a bittersweet service at Newtown Congregational Church on June 15, when the Reverend Allysa De Wolf took to the pulpit to offer the morning’s sermon.
Ordained just one week earlier, Rev De Wolf was offering her first sermon as an ordained minister as well as her final while serving at NCC. She was assisted during the worship service by NCC Senior Pastor Matthew Crebbin.
Rev De Wolf has already been hired as pastor of First Congregational Church in Santa Barbara, Calif. On Sunday she delivered a message called “The Great Commission,” filled with both laughter and a few tears, and promised that Sunday was “not good-bye, but farewell for now … see you later … auf wiedersehen, adieu.”
Following a standing ovation at the conclusion of her message, the Rev De Wolf asked those in attendance to make a circle around the sanctuary. Holding hands, members and their church leaders sang “We’ve Come This Far By Faith” as the morning’s closing hymn.
A native Californian, Rev De Wolf does not begin her new commission until August, but she departed for the West Coast following Sunday’s worship service. That was after she received countless hugs, kisses and final wishes of congratulations, beginning with the youth of the church. The first photos she stood for following the service, in fact, was with many of the young adults she has been mentoring during the past three years.