An Installation and Commissioning service for the Rev’d Neal Buffett was held on April 30th, 2023, at St. Andrew’s Church in Fogo. It was an island-wide service with a potluck to follow to celebrate his ministry.
The parishes of Fogo East and West have a shared ministry with Rev’d Neal as their rector. Each parish came together to support Rev’d Neal, and the parishes worked together to make this special event memorable. The service was a spirit-filled event with powerful readings, prayers, plus uplifting hymns sung by choir members from each congregation; St. Andrew’s long-time organist, Margaret Oake, played the pipe organ. Individuals from each parish participated in the ceremony, and the youngest reader in the parish, Martin, presented Rev’d Neal with his licence. In addition to Rev’d Neal’s celebration, we welcomed long-time worshiper Barbara Theresa (Mary) Jacobs into our fold today.
The Rt. Rev’d John Watton, Bishop of the Diocese of Central Newfoundland, encouraged both parishes to show love to each other. He supported and validated Rev’d Neal’s and Rev’d Beverly’s team ministry, saying it is a blessing that they have had this team ministry over the years, and will now continue their team ministry on Fogo Island. Bishop John also noted that the parishes are very fortunate to have two priests, one deacon, The Rev’d Neil Coffin, and a retired priest from the Western Diocese, The Rev’d Joan Coles, who resides in Deep Bay.
Rev’d Neal shares his and Rev’d Beverly’s story about Fogo Island ministry. “This island has always had a spot in our hearts, and we thought we would be here twenty years ago, but at that time, it was not a part of God’s plan. It is all in his time—we just open ourselves to him and follow, letting the Holy Spirit lead us in what the future holds as we journey the road that he has set for us.”