HARTFORD - Friends, board members, colleagues, and family members gathered at Immanuel Congregational Church on Sunday to celebrate the 17-year service of Cecile Gilson, Executive Assistant to the Conference Minister. Gilson is retiring in August.
The Rev. Dr. James R. Harrison, Gilson's former pastor at First Congregational Church of Woodstock, honored Gilson's passion and convictions. "She has rattled cages that needed to be rattled. She has spoken up when others have failed to speak out," said Harrison. "She has befriended other who are different in all kinds of ways. And although she has been warned, and although she has been given an explanation, nevertheless she has persisted."
The Rev. Gordon Bates, a former Conference staff member, referred to Gilson as a trusted "confident," a title echoed by Former Conference Minister The Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree and Conference Minister The Rev. Kent J. Siladi.
Noting that he thought Gilson was the only Commissioned Minister to Conference Ministry in the United Church of Christ, Siladi said, "She is a trailblazer, has been a trailblazer, and I believe will continue to be a trailblazer."
Gilson's last day is August 4. You can learn more about her time in the Connecticut Conference and her plans for retirement here