Photo by Salt Water New England

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Rev. William Sloane Coffin at Yale - Photos by My Father

Photos by My Father
“Spirituality means to me living the ordinary life extraordinarily well. As the old-church father said, 'The glory of God is a human being fully alive.'” 
“There are two ways to be powerful. One is to seek and acquire power, the other is not to need it. There are also two ways to be rich. One is to gain riches, and the other is not to need them.”  
- William Sloane Coffin


11 comments:

  1. My father had opinions about “Sloane Coffin” in the ‘60’s. They were not out of the ordinary for a veteran of Okinawa and Korea. Years later I noticed a book of Sloane Coffin’s sermons on his reading table. “Dad, what’s this about?” I asked. “Things change as you get older,” he said.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A legend. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Clearly the trick in life is to die young as late as possible."

    -William Sloane Coffin

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautifully written wisdom.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rev. Coffin would often stop by at Dwight Hall and visit with us. Dwight Hall, at Yale, was the center for many social justice programs, even 'way back then'. I was privileged to start and grow a program under which undergraduates assisted several New Haven Legal Aid offices from 1973 to 1982, long after my graduation in 1975. Reverend Coffin gave me inspiration to take on this task at the ripe old age of 20. He was, along with Kingman and Inky Clark, were the last of the patrician liberals, men who, out of good conscience and having experienced the horror of WWII decided that privilege was worthless without compassion. All of them made life-long impressions on many of us, not in our sixties and seventies as erudite, insightful, calm and caring men. One wonders how they would fare today. They were white, male, rich, aristocratic, probably heterosexual, smokers, drinkers, meat eaters and, well, smarter than the rest of us. They would be crucified today as elite, white men without a meaningful voice in the cancel culture. In short, they would be dismissed. Wie traurig.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, today Yale would have no place for anyone like Reverend Coffin.

      Delete
    2. True. We grew up in the shadow of old Eli. You needed be able to afford the tuition and, you had to be smart.

      Delete
  6. One family relative, my wife's uncle in fact, graduated university as an engineer and then served in the army. After leaving the army and selling dynamite for a while, he entered seminary and was ordained upon finishing. He really wasn't cut out to be a parish priest, so after a few years with parishes in Michigan, he worked as a social worker until his retirement, contenting himself by assisting and occasionally preaching at the church they belonged to. He was very much anti-war, though, and once chained himself to the Confederate statue (since removed) in the middle of South Washington Street in Alexandria, Virginia. That must have been at the time of the Gulf War or the invasion of Iraq. But the city gave him a certificate of appreciation, so I guess all was forgiven. The mayor presented it to him at his 90th birthday party.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Today we need to hear the reasoned voices of truth like William Sloane Coffin and not the shrill yelling

    ReplyDelete