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May 5, 2018

Words from Your Minister for May 2018

Dear Friends:

April was a busy month, both for me and for the congregation. As many of you know, I successfully defended my dissertation on April 26th. I am now officially the Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen! The completion of my doctorate was the result of six years of hard work. I am grateful to the many people who have supported me throughout the process including you, the members and friends of First Parish Church. It has been a privilege to serve as your minister during the final year of my process and I really couldn’t have made it across the finish line without the support and encouragement you all have given me.

April was also a busy month for the First Parish Church. The congregation hosted an Earth Day event which was well attended by both members and people who live in town. The annual meeting took place as well. Attendance was better than it has been in the recent past. I think that’s a good sign of the increase in energy that seems to be present in First Parish Church. There’s excitement about the congregation’s social justice and public events. In addition, Sunday morning service attendance is holding steady and the stewardship campaign has been the most successful in several years.

My own personal busyness has meant that I have fallen behind on posting my sermons online. I will rectify that next week. When I post tomorrow’s sermon and April’s sermons online I will send you an email to let you know they are available. I apologize for my delay but in addition to submitting and defending the dissertation I also spent part of last week traveling to consult with a private philanthropic organization about the future of social justice organizing. It was an interesting experience, and one that I will happily discuss with you, but it meant that I fell slightly behind on my work with you.

Tomorrow my sermon is inspired by Taoism and titled “Zhuangzi and the Butterfly.” I will be back in Ashby on May 20 to preach a belated sermon in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is titled “The Most Notorious Liar in America.” In the near future one of our services will also be featuring a new members ceremony. It seems that there are a few people who want to join First Parish Church. I am excited about welcoming them into congregational membership.

This month’s sermons don’t use poems for their readings. And so, rather than offering you a poem that we will read as a part of service, I simply offer you one of my favorite poems:

Recuerdo by Edna St. Vincent Millay

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, “God bless you!” for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

I hope to see you soon!

love,

Colin

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