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Parade of 200 Honors 30 Years Combined Service

Rev. Elea Kemler and husband Alan Hurvitz

In appreciation for the many years of service given by its church leaders Minister Elea Kemler and Director of Religious Education Liz Davis-Chaffin, First Parish Church of Groton members staged a drive-by parade Saturday, June 27.
     More than 100 cars and more than 200 people participated in this socially-distanced event. They drove from the Middle School parking lot through downtown Groton to specially decorated tents for the guests of honor on the grounds of the historic Groton Meetinghouse.
     The Reverend Elea J. Kemler has been the minister to First Parish for the past 20 years, while Liz Davis-Chaffin has directed its religious education programs for 10 years. Elea shared her “tent of honor” with husband Alan Hurvitz; Liz shared hers with her guests, husband Jay Chaffin, daughter Bailey Chaffin, and her dog Casey. Member of the Board of Trustees, Diane Hewitt, led off the parade with remarks to the Guests of Honor. Noting the wide social distance kept by all, she said, “... we should not mistake that space as empty. It is completely filled with the living spirit of our connection to the two of you and you to all of us.”
     Led by Chief of Police Mike Luth and Lt. Ed Sheridan, cars kept their horns in “worship” mode. Chair of the event Cyndy Premru and her team provided kazoos and bubbles to each carload of celebrants to make sure the event caused minimal disturbance to neighbors.
     By the end of the parade, each guest had received cards, posters, balloons, flowers and the good wishes of many grateful parishioners. A fundraising gala event originally scheduled for this month has been postponed to a date uncertain where everyone can congratulate the honorees in person.
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