Approximately 400 well-wishers gathered in Memorial Church yesterday to honor the Rev. Peter J. Gomes' 25 years of service to the University.
"This is as much your party as it is mine," said Gomes, before a crowd of students, friends and family members.
The Silver Jubilee celebration for Gomes, titled "A Service of Thanks-giving For A Ministry," included a performance by the University Choir as well as a sermon by Lord St. John Fawsley, former leader of the British House of Commons.
"Today is one of those great public dimensions in which we rejoice at any excuse to get together and share space and place," Gomes said.
Gomes' students praised him yesterday for his accessibility and his open mind.
"He'll invite students to his house," said Young Soo Jo '96. "We have dinner and he tells us stories about the church."
Gomes also hosts teas from five to six p.m. every Wednesday, which are open to both Divinity School students and undergraduates.
"He tries hard to make the church accessible to the community," said David C. Ables '95.
Fawsley described Gomes as a selfless and strong person who has "continually given of himself as guide, as shepherd, as minister and as pastor."
Also in attendance at the service were Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Jeremy R. Knowles and the College Dean of Students, Archie C. Epps III