Dear Church Family,
Some younger and newer people in Strafford are not aware of the connection the church and town have to Bill Coffin, and may not be not aware of who he was and what he did and said.
I would like to institute an annual celebration of his life and work and words to keep his legacy here alive. I hope it could be an opportunity to reflect on how we are doing as a congregation and as a wider church at fulfilling the prophetic role he modeled and called the church to embody.
If you are interested in helping organize this event or participating in any way, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have spoken of this idea with some who knew Bill well and have been encouraged by their enthusiasm. Below are some possible components of the event. These would take place over the course of a Friday through Sunday, possibly as soon as this fall:
1. Showing the documentary with discussion afterward, maybe inviting someone involved with the film or with Bill’s work to participate in the discussion;
2. A piano/violin performance in remembrance of those Bill gave;
3. A youth “speak-chorus” of Bill’s words;
4. A William Sloane Coffin Church Leadership Conversation, a day or part of a day for clergy and other church leaders to talk strategically about how to engage with issues that the church needs to address in the world, partly to encourage leaders to speak out and become active themselves and partly to think about what our congregations can do. This could be local, regional or eventually national in scope.
5. A keynote by a leading prophetic pastor, either local, regional or national in stature.
6. A worship service in Bill’s spirit, similar to what we do on Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday.
Thank you for sharing your interest or ideas about this!
Grace and peace,
Pastor Tom Kinder