Diocese of Massachusetts

Remembering Bishop Coburn

In John B. Coburn on August 10, 2009 at 11:09 am
Bishop Coburn at 1984 diocesan bicentennial celebration on Boston Common (Boston Globe photo)

Bishop Coburn at 1984 diocesan bicentennial celebration on Boston Common (Boston Globe photo)

“John Coburn was a giant among us.”

“He was a great leader and a graceful man.”

“Caring friend…one of the reasons I became a priest.”

“Leader in the church’s participation in God’s global mission.”

“Blessed to know and love him.”

You are invited to add prayers and remembrances, and read those shared by others, using the Comment button below.

Life of “friend and pastor” to be celebrated

In John B. Coburn on August 10, 2009 at 11:07 am

The Rt. Rev. John Bowen Coburn, retired 13th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, died on Aug. 8, 2009, in Bedford, surrounded by his family.  He was 94.

His life was celebrated at a funeral service on Friday, Aug. 14 at St. Anne’s-in-the-Fields Church in Lincoln; a subsequent service of thanksgiving will be celebrated on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3 p.m. at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (138 Tremont Street) in Boston.

The Rt. Rev. John Bowen Coburn (Karsh, Ottawa photo)

The Rt. Rev. John Bowen Coburn (Karsh, Ottawa photo)

Leader of the House

In John B. Coburn on August 10, 2009 at 11:00 am
John B. Coburn presiding over the House of Deputies, 1976

John B. Coburn presiding over the House of Deputies, 1976

Updated 08/17/09:  Two reflections follow.  In “Minneapolis to Minneapolis,” the 31st president of the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies, the Very Rev. George L. W. Werner, reflects on two momentous General Conventions, nearly three decades apart, and how the 27th president, John B. Coburn, influenced them both.  

In “Before and After We Seized the Microphone,” the Rev. Canon Edward W. Rodman, professor of pastoral theology and urban ministry at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge and for 30 years the canon missioner of the Diocese of Massachusetts, recalls some of what went on behind the scenes to bring about changes in the way the Episcopal Church made space for voices of people of color.