A celebration of pastoral leadership

Reverend Keith and Cynthia Stuart. Photo by Amamda Hughes

Dover United Church of Christ honored retired pastor Keith Stuart and his spouse, Cynthia, with a gala celebration on Saturday, Nov. 12, at Wagner’s of Westlake event center.  

Reverend Stuart's 10-year leadership has been recognized for his exemplary contributions while enhancing an open and affirming mission within the church and community. Cynthia is a retired Ohio educator, guidance counselor and member of P.E.O. (Philanthropic Education Organization). She was a devoted member of Christian Education at Dover UCC.

Special guests and speakers included Reverend John Dorhauer, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ; Rev. Scott Patterson, Pastor Emeritus; Rev. Dr. John Rinehart, Minister of Justice; Jane Coil, Director of Christian Education and Office Administrator. Larry Coil served as Master of Ceremony.

Reverend Stuart’s remarks were highlighted with the theme of the church congregation allowing him to lead with his strengths and he will always have the parishioners in his heart.

The evening was organized by the DUCC Transition Team. Music was provided by pianist Moss Stanley and an ensemble of musicians and choral members from the UCC included Michael Simile, Anthony Steward, Jamie Kunselman, Kia Frank and Allison Turnbull.

In their retirement, Keith will be training to assist in disaster relief programs, writing a new novel and playing golf, while Cynthia will be pursuing her talents in painting. Both will be spending more time with their children and grandchildren. 

The theme for the event was a quote from St. Augustine, which is a favorite of Reverend Stuart’s: “I am not far from you. I am just on the other side of the road, and everything is fine.”

Michael DiLauro

Michael Angelo DiLauro earned an M.F.A. in Film Studies from Ohio University. He served as Director of the Academic Media Center and Associate Professor of Media Arts (2006-2018) and retired with Emeritus status at Robert Morris University. A celebrated director and producer of documentaries and television programs, DiLauro has earned five EMMY Awards, a Blue Ribbon from the American F.F. and the prestigious Gabriel Award for outstanding television programming. Michael has received funding from the Bill of Rights Commission, Catholic Communication Campaign, National Italian American Foundation, Pennsylvania Arts and Humanities Councils, Ohio Educational Television Network and the Public Broadcasting Service. In 2013 he received a grant through Robert Morris University from the R.K. Mellon Foundation to produce and direct “We Built This City: How the Allegheny Conference Remade Pittsburgh”. His feature documentary film, “Prisoners Among Us: Italian American Identity and WWII”, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the New York International F.F. and Montreal F.F. DiLauro’s “La Mia Strada” an ethnic journey, was screened at the Palestrina F.F. in Italy, Atlantic City F.F. and was awarded a Silver Medal from the Media Communications Association-International F.F. “Prisoners Among Us” and “La Mia Strada” have been screened at several cultural centers and universities throughout the United States and Europe. His passion for Italian American culture and identity was recognized by the University of Pittsburgh’s “Italian American Heritage” award. Additionally, UNICO (the largest Italian American service organization) awarded Michael a “Mille Grazie” award for his cultural contribution to the Italian American community. He currently lives in Westlake, Ohio with his wife of 41 years, Janet.

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Volume 14, Issue 23, Posted 10:56 AM, 12.06.2022