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    A Loving Brother and Friend to All

    Brian Murdoch

    A loving brother and friend to all he met, Brian touched the lives of many people inside and outside of the Mission.

    From Brian's obituary:

    MURDOCH, Father Brian J.P. April 3, 1954–October 16, 2016.

    In a very short two years, Father Brian Murdoch cut a wide swath of joy and grace offering the experience of deep spiritual engagement on Sundays at Grace Episcopal Church on Martha's Vineyard, as well as every day where he extended the ministry of Grace Church beyond its walls into the island community where he became well-respected and deeply loved. Fr. Brian died peacefully at his Vineyard Haven home October 16.

    Father Brian's first vocational assignment was as Priest of St. John's Episcopal Church in Charlestown, MA from 1985 – 1990. Beginning in 1991, and for the following ten years, Fr. Brian was the Director of Recovery for the Suffolk County House of Correction in Boston. He then founded and directed the Malcolm-Garrison-King House, a recovery-centered community in Boston until 2014. During that time, he also served as interim director of St. Paul's Church in Hopkinton, MA for a year. From 2002 – 2006, Fr. Brian was an Adjunct Professor in Sociology, Psychology, and Group Dynamics at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, MA. Between 2004 and 2011, Fr. Brian was Priest-in-Residence at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in West Roxbury, MA, and then served as Chaplain at the Barbara McInnis House in Boston. In 2011, Fr. Brian took a position as House Staff Agent for Boston Rescue Mission's Safe Haven Homeless Veterans' Program in Boston. The following year, he worked as Street Priest for Common Cathedral in Boston where he bore a ministry of presence on the Boston Common to un-housed and poor people to help sustain their hope and dignity. In 2014, Bishop Alan Gates of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts appointed Fr. Brian Priest-In-Charge of Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard where he was currently serving when he died.

    Brian grew up in the midst of a great Irish-Catholic clan of aunts and uncles and thirty-three first cousins who all lived in seven houses on Connors Road in West Peabody. As a high school student athlete, he was privileged to receive a full scholarship to Boston College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree and was a linebacker and defensive lineman for the BC Eagles for several years. A year abroad in Ireland and the Middle East brought Brian a variety of experiences in ministry. On his return to Boston, Brian co-founded Many Mansions, Inc. and continued work there as Cafe Manager.

    Brian's spiritual journey took him on a quest to deepen his personal faith which had grown out of a conversion and profound commitment to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, whom he followed with all his heart for the rest of this life. This led him to the General Seminary in New York City where he earned a Masters of Divinity. Gregarious and engaging, his upbringing in a crowd of loved ones set the stage for his life-long dedication of creating communities of support. His spiritual guidance was infused with humor, offering everyone he met his undivided attention, and lifting them up with his uncanny ability to resonate with them. As a result of his embodiment of the light of the Gospel, Fr. Brian lived his life espousing the joys and hard work of grace, and in grace he carries on.

    He is survived by six siblings and their spouses, Bill (Sally), Kevin (Gail), Kate (Tom), Donna, Karen, and Maureen (Chris), fourteen nieces and nephews, seven grand-nieces and nephews, and numerous cousins, and by John Bradley, and his life-long best friend, Philip Mangano.

    Visiting hours will be held at The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 138 Tremont St., Boston, on Fri., Oct. 21 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, and a Funeral Service will be celebrated on Sat., Oct. 22 at 4:00 pm at the Cathedral. Contributions and gifts in lieu of flowers can be sent "In Memory of Fr. Brian Murdoch" to the Fr. Brian Memorial Fund, Grace Episcopal Church, PO Box 1197, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. Contributions may also be sent to the Father Brian Fund at Boston Rescue Mission, PO Box 12009, Boston, MA 02112, or go online to donate at brm.org.

    We are all very grateful for your kindness and remembrances of Brian.

    Safe Haven gets Landscaping Makeover

    Safe Haven

    We're always amazed at how much "a little goes a long way" when it comes to volunteers.

    At a place like Safe Haven that doesn't have a dedicated groundskeeper, simple outdoor maintenance can be challenging enough. So when the spring comes, and weeds and grass sprout up and want to take over, the yard can quickly turn unsightly. Add some downed trees to the mix and we were so grateful for the volunteer crews that helped beautify the house for our veterans.

    On three different days, we hosted the First Parish Federated Church of South Berwick, Maine, the First Church UCC of Lombard, IL and the UCC Community Church of Wapping CT. Crew members painted railings, cut and removed downed trees, pulled weeds, mowed the lawn, planted flowers, and did some general cleaning around the area. What used to be a thick tangle of encroaching vegetation is now a clear path around the side and rear of the house. The flowers in front add a nice finishing touch.

    Safe Haven landscaping

    Thanks so much to our helpful volunteers for sprucing up our Safe Haven house!

    Wear Hope on Your Sleeve!

    The long-awaited new batch of Mission t-shirts is here!

    You asked for 'em. We got 'em. New Mission t-shirts!

    We kept the same great classic designs on the front and back for a simple, understated look. This time we added two new colors - a royal blue and an Irish green in addition to black and orange.

    Shirts are $10 apiece and available in sizes small through 2XL. Contact Mauricia at (617) 338-9000 ext. 1230. or volunteer@brm.org. Pickup only please.

    Healing via Relaxation, Expression, & Creativity

    Attendees follow a painting activity in a monthly R.E.C. event at the Mission.

    Recovery is serious business. Focused, intensive work can leave program memmbers depleted.

    When case worker Abner Maldonado wanted to bring art therapy to Mission program members, he scheduled one evening per month devoted to relaxation, expression, and creativity for the community. Dubbed R.E.C. for short, the program brings in volunteers from local churches and colleges to lead programs of cooking, music, art, dance, and more.

    Many evenings, easels come onto tables and attendees will follow a painting or drawing suggestion, be it a still life, portrait, emotion, or abstract pursuit. After a break, a full band usually appears, running a gamut of genres from classical to jazz, rock to hip hop. Poetry, spoken word and storytelling are welcome, and spiritual exploration is common. Activities can center on individuals, small groups, or the entire group, and volunteers are trained beforehand to interact with guests in a therapeutically positive manner.

    You can help to sponsor an evening of R.E.C. programming! Drop a line to info@brm.org and we'll make sure your contribution brings healing to our guests.

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