Ministry at the Walpole Unitarian Church
Rev. Elaine Bomford
The First Universalist Church in West Chesterfield, The First Unitarian Congregational Society in Wilton, and The Walpole Unitarian Church. She is a member of the UU Society of Community Ministers and UUMinisters Association.
A native Oklahoman, Reverend Elaine is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. As an undergraduate, she studied the Great Books program, with a minor in green chili, at St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Her daughter, a linguist, lives and works in Paris, France. Her partner, with whom she makes her home in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, is a lay preacher, musician and librarian. Her dog Percy is a registered AKC Canine Good Citizen and lover of all things edible.
Here in Walpole, where she is in the pulpit twice a month, Reverend Elaine also provides pastoral care for our congregation with visits to homes and care facilities as requested. She is available to perform rites of passage (marriage, memorials) for members and friends. She
will be leading a study group centered on the Unitarian Universalist "Sources" beginning October 2017, meeting every other week and followed by a fellowship lunch to which all are invited.
I write this newsletter column on the 20th anniversary of my ordination into Unitarian Universalist ministry. As I look back on my career thus far, the cartoon here comes to mind:
Right?? Naturally, our notions of what constitutes “Success” and how it looks change over the years. But I note that however convoluted the path to success may actually be, the trajectory of success ends up in the same direction –– a doggedly optimistic onward and upward towards greater success.
The phrase “onward and upward” –– and maybe the direction of success –– is more nuanced and inspiring than one might think. It was coined in 1825 by poet and Episcopal Bishop George Washington Doane in this fragment from his poem entitled “What is that, Mother?”
“What is that, Mother?”
“The eagle, boy!
Proudly careering his course of joy,
Firm, on his own mountain vigor, relying,
Breasting the dark storm, the red bolt defying,
His wing on the wind, and his eye on the sun,
He swerves not a hair, but bears onward, right on:
Boy, may the eagle's flight ever be thine,
Onward, and upward, and true to the line.”
The Reverend Elaine Bomford is a Universalist with Unitarian overtones. That is to say, she affirms "God is Love" and there are "Many Windows, One Light." Reverend Elaine has served a number of Unitarian Universalist congregations in New England in varied roles: religious educator, musician, parish minister and guest preacher. She currently preaches regularly in three rural New Hampshire congregations: