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Longtime religious leader steps down

Keeping the church and its members part of the community has been the central tenant of Deyss' ministry, and he said he hopes that it stays that way as he hands over the reins.

"I think that we're living in a time when it's particularly important for us to keep on affirming community," he said. "Sometimes when people get so busy relationships can slide, but I think community is extremely important and I think we should support it."

About 150 current and past members of the church recently gathered at Normanside Country Club to honor Deyss.

"For 30 years the members of the Delmar Presbyterian Church have been truly blessed to have Larry Deyss as their Pastor," congregation member Mark Hansen said. "He has helped our community, nourished our spirits, strengthened our faith and enriched our lives. Everyone in the congregation wishes Larry a long, happy and healthy retirement."

Deyss said he has no special plans for retirement, but looks forwards to birding, writing and spending time with his grandchildren. His wife, Christine, is the executive director of Prevent Child Abuse New York and they plan to continue living in Delmar.

Robert Foltz-Morrison has been selected to serve as Interim Pastor, and will assume that office July 5. A search will be conducted to find the next pastor of the congregation.

"We are excited to have been able to attract an individual with Bob's talent, education and energy. We look forward to working with him during this important time of transition in our church," said Doug Hamlin, a member of the Interim Pastor Search Committee.

The search is expected to take one to two years.""

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