Rev Stephen Kendrick, Minister Emeritus
When I began my ministry in Boston in early September 2001, I believed that all my previous life experiences–as a minister, son, father, husband, writer–were leading me to this place. My first service at First Church was immediately in the aftermath of 9/11, and we got to know each other quickly in the pain of that time.
Since then, so many positive and happy experiences have deepened our connection, and I look forward to more years of “dwelling” among you. It is a privilege to be your minister, and (most days) a great joy. My goals are still clear: to raise the morale and affection and effectiveness of a vibrant urban congregation.
We have exciting and important work ahead of us, and I can’t think of better company to do it with. I have been a Unitarian Universalist minister for more than thirty years, and it’s still the best job in the world, though maybe not the easiest. As any minister of the free faith knows, it is our job to help others live out their faith–not to tell others what to believe and to think. So we encourage, support, and help each member (and I am proud to be a member of FCB) in this self-discovery.
That means, in preaching and in teaching, I am honor-bound to honestly share my own faith journey–in as loving, humorous, and dynamic a way as possible. Plus a little wisdom–gained mostly from you and from my family, especially my wife Liz, a social worker at Children’s Hospital, Boston. I am a father to three (mostly) grown children, Paul, Anna and Elizabeth.
Previous to my ministry here, I served churches in West Hartford, Ct., Columbia, Md., and chapels in the Birmingham area of England. Liz and I have also led numerous UU seminars at Manchester College, Oxford. I have taught UU Ministerial Ethics and Effectiveness (Polity) at Andover Newton, and served on the UUA’s Funding Panel for eight years.
I have published four books, Holy Clues, Night Watch (a novel) (both Pantheon), and with my son Paul, two books of history, Sarah’s Long Walk (Beacon Press) and Douglass and Lincoln (Walker & Co.). I have also written an illustrated book for older teens (and anyone else) about our UU history called A Faith People Make. As well, I have published in the UU World, Utne Reader, American Heritage, the New York Times travel page, and editorials in the Boston Globe and the Hartford Courant.