Rev. Burke writes:
This week my Wednesday Worship Class featured Ellen McGuire, our Music Director, speaking to us about hymns, music, and how music fits in the flow of our worship service. Thanks Ellen!
I attended the Standing Committee meeting Tuesday night (I’m ex officio), where board chair Andrea Fleck Clardy led us through the agenda in a record hour and a half.
On Wednesday I also had lunch in West Concord with our long time friend and former First Church Religious Education Director Rev. Lucinda Duncan and her husband Bob. Lucinda has just retired after many years as Senior Minister at the Follen UU Church in Lexington.
Carol Bell and Jane Ichord from the church Personnel Committee organized a lovely staff appreciation lunch on Thursday at Jane’s house. What a thoughtful thing to do! Good food and good company, plus, Jane and Mark’s 2 1/2 year old son Adam is seriously adorable.
On Thursday, I had been asked to pray at the beginning of contract negotiations between the security guards of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) 615 and the state Mass. Convention Center Association, which runs the Hynes and the Boston Convention and Expo Center, as well as the Boston Common Garage. I was told to pray “from the high ground,” but the lawyers of MCCA objected that prayer was not allowed at a state facility. I felt like pointing out that every session of the State House of Representatives and State Senate opens with a prayer, but didn’t. I quickly removed all the God and Spirit references from my prayer and was allowed to share my “remarks” as a “community leader.” I opened by saying with a big smile, “This is not a prayer, I promise, it’s NOT a prayer.” The lawyers for MCCA didn’t crack a smile.
Also on Thursday, at my Samaritans hotline shift, I helped train new volunteers with role plays. Afterwards I helped with the evening choir music sorting party – good soup, Ellen!
On Saturday night I am attending another production of Ibrahim Miari’s play In Between at Boston University. Ibrahim’s autobiographical play about his Palestinian/Jewish identity was performed at our church several weeks ago.
This Sunday bring an object to share in the 11AM service representing something that makes you feel more alive. After the service, I’m giving a talk on Unitarian Universalism that will include some of our best UU jokes. Then at 4PM I am attending memorial vespers for my friend Father Ed O’Flaherty S.J., who for many years was the Interfaith Officer for the Archdiocese of Boston, as well as a long time member of the Boston Ministers’ Club to which I belong.
My friend and neighbor Janice Regolsky, a wonderful artist, this Saturday gave Ellen and me a piece of religious art from her installation “The Town.” The collection of the art work of The Town is narrative and made from found objects. Janice created for us a wonderful work of Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus in a round cheese box cover. It makes me smile to think of it – you will probably see it in church soon!
Enjoy Spring! Terry