My friend Rev. Jamez Terry, ordained by the Christian Universalist Association, sent me this description of Trans Celebration Day this Sunday at Metropolitan Community Church where he is Interim Pastor. After annual meeting I’m planning on going.
Several of the awesome performers at the evening event made music at our Parental Advisory cafe last month. A description is below.
If you plan on attending the farewell potluck for our wonderful administrator Julia Terry, which will be held at church this Saturday 5:30 – 7:30 PM, would you please RSVP Rev.Terry Burke what you plan on bringing? That way we won’t have all quinoa, or, hemp ice cream. Email Terry at BerryTurke@gmail.com what you are bringing, and please try to join us in thanking Julia!
Group prayer before church, 9:15 – 10:30, in the large room upstairs from the parish hall. Four Sundays beginning May 19th and going through June 2nd. Beginners welcome. Follow the signs!
In the wake of the recent tragedies in our city and in the world, and as you carry your own personal heartaches, perhaps you find yourself wrestling with God, in anger or in doubt. questioning your relationship with the higher power you thought you knew. In this 7 week peer-led prayer group, we’ll provide one another with support and encouragement in discovering, recovering, and strengthening our connection to the god of our own understanding.
Come to one session, or come to all seven. All are welcome, no experience necessary, and no particular faith tradition or beliefs required.
Contact Sarah Hawkins with questions.
This Sunday our congregation will gather to grieve, support one another, and seek sources of hope in light of the ongoing tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombings. Rick Yoder’s important sermon on climate change will be rescheduled later in the Spring, as will the showing of the 350.org “Do the Math” tour film. The scheduled potluck on climate change following the Sunday service will simply be a time for us all to be together. Please join us on Sunday when we as a church family will reflect, pray, and share our hearts.
Our church member and dear friend Jane Lewis died this morning after a long illness.
May light perpetual shine upon her.
Arrangements for her memorial service at the church are being made, and we will let you know as soon as they are complete.
On a practical note, Jane had two beloved cats, Melba (as in peach) and Alger Hiss, who need adopting. Melba is sweet and middle aged and Alger is older and more standoffish. If you could provide a home for either of them (they are not terribly fond of each other), please contact Andrea Fleck Clardy at either 617-522-8085 or 617-435-1521.
It’s not often—maybe once in a lifetime—that one could say of a single person that they are simultaneously your minister, your friend, your colleague, and your mentor. But I am lucky enough to be able to say that about Terry Burke—he is all of these things to me. Terry balances all of these roles effortlessly, and with a lightness of spirit.
I first met Terry in 2001, when I called him up out of the blue as a ministerial intern, looking for a congregation that would serve as my internship site. So Terry agrees to meet with me and after our interview together he says sure, First Church can do this.
I didn’t know that a congregation could be that warm. Of course, this is because there are a lot of wonderful people who attend this church. But it also says something about Terry and the culture of caring that he has fostered among us. His big-heartedness is infectious. It brings out our big-heartedness. And that is a real gift.
I’ve learned a lot of things from Terry. Things he probably has no idea that he’s taught me. Joni Mitchell has a line in one of her songs that goes: “The times that you impress me most are the times when you don’t try. When you don’t even try.” Terry—you have impressed me many times without even trying to. And so since you probably don’t even know how many things I’ve learned from you, I thought I’d come up with a list. So here they are, in no particular order:
–conflict doesn’t end relationship
–apologize when you’re at fault, and sometimes even when you’re not really, but an apology will help. Apologies cost you nothing.
–receive others’ apologies with grace, forgive, and move on
–care deeply, but don’t take yourself too seriously
–answer the phone
–introduce people to each other and extol their virtues as you do
–tell jokes, even when they’re bad ones
–value people over things
–try hard to understand another person’s point of view
–be an activist. Our actions may be only drops in the bucket, but every drop matters
–bestow credit lavishly
–continue to walk your path; stay the course if the course is true
–there is always more to learn
–rejoice in the success of others
–write a novel
–encourage others not to be more like yourself, but to be more like themselves
–believe in First Church
–share the bread you bake
–don’t be afraid to appear foolish yourself in service of a larger good
–go on retreat
–offer reminders that perfection is not required
–there are 12 days of Christmas
For these lessons, and for many, many more, thank you, Terry.
We come together this evening to recognize our minister, Terry Burke, and to give thanks for his 30 years of ministry to this church.
We pray that you may open our hearts in this moment, so that our gratitude may overflow, one to another, and that we may express it with abandon.
We pray that you may open Terry’s heart as well this evening, that he may receive our expressions fully and trust in them.
Dear God, we give thanks for Terry’s belief in this church and his longstanding faithfulness to this community, through good times and bad.
We give thanks for this community of love and support and for the way we hold one another, knowing that when we honor our leader we also honor ourselves.
God, fill us with a spirit of thankfulness for 30 years of Terry’s fidelity to our community. For the long hours of ministry; the six, sometimes seven day weeks; for the hospital visits; the late night calls taken; the babies christened; the couples married; the couples counseled; the loved ones eulogized; the prayers prayed; the tears cried and dried; the jokes told; the classes taught; the anxieties eased; the sermons preached; the marches led; the vigils organized; the doors opened; the meetings attended; the invitations accepted.
For all this, we are truly blessed.
Let the congregation say Amen.
In the traditional quest of a fairy tale, the handsome and brave prince travels to a far land, where he meets a beautiful and resourceful princess. They fall in love, then are separated by evil forces, and must go through difficult trials, fight dragons and monsters. Through their faithful love they are finally reunited, so as to be married and live at home happily together. Continue reading