Martha Peck Steps Down from the Pulpit

NEWPORT, VT - Sunday, June 10, 2012, marked the last day of Rev. Martha Peck’s 23-year tenure at The United Church of Newport. The church, situated on Third Street, ministers to the Newport area’s United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church populations. Though she started with three co-ministers, Rev. Peck has been tending her flock solo for the past four years.In her farewell sermon, Rev. Peck asked the congregation to be open to new leadership and guidance. At the end of the service, a visibly emotional Rev. Peck bid farewell to the members of her congregation for the final time as their minister.Sunday evening brought an appreciation dinner hosted by members of the church. With more than 130 attendees, the dining room of the Newport Country Club was full, with guests spilling onto the balcony. Live music, performed by members of the church, was followed by dinner and cake. Then several speakers took the podium to speak about Rev. Peck. Patty Thomas, Alan and Kathy Aiken, and Ruth Marquette broached topics as diverse as Rev. Peck’s guidance, singing of the Benediction, and blueberry pie. After comments being opened to the floor, Dr. William Peck stood and said a few words about his wife.Steve Jungkeit seemed to sum up the sentiment of the evening when he said, “I didn’t see you so, so much, but I saw your effects everywhere…. I look at you as a mentor, and as an artist of the craft."