In Memoriam: Reverend Terry Mark Burke

November 13, 1953 – August 15, 2015

 

 

 

When Terry spent time in Maine he often attended the church of St. Brendan the Navigator in Deer Isle.  This is the prayer of St. Brendan.

 

Help me to journey beyond the familiar and into the unknown.

Give me the faith to leave old ways and break fresh ground with You.

Christ of the mysteries, I trust You to be stronger than each storm within me.

I will trust in the darkness and know that my times, even now, are in Your hand.

Tune my spirit to the music of heaven,

and somehow, make my obedience count for You.

 

 

 

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Boston Globe Obituary

 

BURKE, Rev. Terry Mark

Age 61, of Roslindale, died surrounded by his family on Aug. 15, 2015.  Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, Terry came to the area in 1971 and never left.  He graduated from Harvard College in 1975, and in 1982 he graduated from Harvard Divinity School, was ordained a Unitarian Universalist minister, and married Ellen McGuire. 

 

In January 1983 he began his ministry at First Church in Jamaica Plain, Unitarian Universalist, a small congregation where his wife was organist, which Terry led for 31 years through its revitalization.  Since retirement last summer, he has been Assisting Clergy at Trinity Episcopal Church in Canton. 

 

Terry loved to travel; he visited El Salvador and Nicaragua during the 1980s, studied icons and the Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg, Istanbul, the Sinai, and Venice, walked the Camino in 2012 with his daughter Amelia, and twice visited Jerusalem to meet with religious leaders working for peace. 

 

Terry had a deep commitment to social justice; he worked with Jobs for Justice and Interfaith Worker Justice and on environmental issues, and was a Samaritans phone volunteer.  He is survived by his brother Tim and wife Cindy of Saginaw, Michigan; his wife, Ellen McGuire; three daughters, Willow and her wife Laura Hughes of Jamaica Plain, and Amelia and Lucyanna of Roslindale; and many close friends. 

 

The memorial service will be at 11 am on Wednesday, August 19, 2015, at First Church in Jamaica Plain, Unitarian Universalist.  Donations may be made in Terry’s memory to Samaritans or Jobs with Justice.

 

 

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Memorial Service Eulogies
 
Order of Service

 

Memories of and Tributes to Terry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Remembrance of Terry

Three days after your death

A rosebush---

in all appearance lifeless

from the weighty snow and killing salt

of the harsh winter past

(but not yet uprooted)—

Sent up a red, late-summer shoot of new life.

Resurrection!

 

Nancy W. Ahmadifar

 

 

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I keep picturing Terry opening worship, arms raised and welcoming, and saying “Peace be upon this house and all who enter herein, and upon the whole family of humankind.”  May you be held in the font of holy love, kindness, fierceness, and wisdom that flowed through you to us, Terry, now and forever more.

Rev. Parisa Parsa

 

 

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When Terry was in Deer Isle, Maine he often attended the church of St. Brendan the Navigator.  This is the prayer of St. Brendan read at the close of terry’s memorial service.

 

Help me to journey beyond the familiar and into the unknown.

Give me the faith to leave old ways and break fresh ground with You.

Christ of the mysteries, I trust You to be stronger than each storm within me.

I will trust in the darkness and know that my times, even now, are in Your hand.

Tune my spirit to the music of heaven, and somehow, make my obedience count for You.

 

 
 
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This excerpt from Maya Angelou’s poem When Great Trees Fall was read at the story circle (November 1, 2015) honoring Terry’s ministry.

 

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines,
gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken.

Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us.
Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened as reduced

to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves.

And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms,

slowly and always irregularly.

Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be.

Be and be better.

For they existed.

 

 

 

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Poem contributed by Thalia McMillion

 

 

Those we love don't go away.
 

 

They walk beside us every day.
 

 

Unseen, unheard, but always near,
 

 

So loved, so missed, so very dear.
 

 

Author Unknown

 

 

 

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A Remembrance from Margaret Suby-Dorney

 

I have many wonderful memories of Terry, but the one that pops up first comes from the time when gays and lesbians were granted the right to marry in Massachusetts.  Ever the one for inclusion, Terry stood at the front of the sanctuary and said, "Well, all you heterosexuals who want to get in on the fun, you can have a recommitment ceremony."  And so David and I celebrated 10 years of marriage with another commitment and a great party.  We plan  to do it again next May to celebrate 20 years.  Thanks, Terry!

 

 

 

 

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To Terry's Family,

 

I first met Terry when my sons were 7 and 9 years od.  I saw a pamphlet on the bulletin blard in the church that had his name and phone number listed on it.  I thought to myself, "maybe he can help me find a way to get my bous some Christmas presents.".  I called Terry and asked him for help, which he gave wholeheartedly and from that day on Terry was part of our lives helping out whenever and wherever he could.

 

I recently lost my mother after a long battle and Terry was there supporting and praying with me for the whole time, even while he battled his own ilness.  The last words that my mother said to me were, "I'm gonna miss you, take care of your brother and the boys.:  Then she asked, "How's Terry?".

 

Terry was a true friend and a great Reverend.  He was responsible for returning me and my sons back into God's grace.  I will always be extremely grateful to him for that.  For twenty years Terry was always there for me and my family and I just want you to know that I am tryly blessed to have met him and extremely proud to call him my friend.

 

Love, Brenda, Jason, Carl and Family

 

 

 

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First Church in JP, UU

is located at:

6 Eliot Street

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

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617-524-1634

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