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June 20, 2013

Church members bid farewell to reverend and his wife

Reception celebrates a decade of service

A small gathering of people congregated on Saturday to honor the Rev. Sundar Samuel and his wife, Deb, at the United Methodist Church in Cooperstown.

Sundar Samuel has served as reverend at the Methodist Church for the past 10 years and will be missed by many as he leaves for other opportunities. The Samuels will be moving to Clifton Park and Sundar Samuel will be the new reverend for the East Greenbush United Methodist Church in East Greenbush.

Tara Santello, who has been a member of the church for the past 13 years, said she will especially miss: “How they were unbelievably good with (her) son, who’s 12.”

“They make breakfast for the kids older than fifth grade during the weekends and they spend time with them and talk,” she said.

Santello said the Samuels are “full of love and happiness.”

“They’re always smiling and making people feel good,” she added.

Lorie Hillhouse, a church member for the past 10 years, said she will miss how warm and caring they are.

“They made everyone feel welcome and we will miss them a lot,” she said.

People at the gathering said they will miss Sundar’s kind words and sermons.

“He has just such a gentle spirit,” said Barbara Monie, a church member since 1975. “He is such a good listener.”

“I will certainly miss the sermons,” said Jane Hanson, the chairwoman of the staff parish committee and church member since 1980. “He’s a wonderful speaker.”

The Samuels have been the spiritual leaders of this church for the past decade, said Lona Smith, one of the organizers of the event and church member since 1976.

“They’re very committed to the community as well,” Smith said.

She said that Samuels also participate in Relay for Life and the Rotary Club of Cooperstown.

“They’re friends, they’ve been friends to everyone here,” Hanson said.

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