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I am REV. LUTHER C. PIERCE, a retired United Church of Christ pastor living in Gainesville in north central Florida. I served churches in Connecticut, Florida and Massachusetts, and was Executive Secretary of the Greater Miami (FL) Council of Churches back in the 60's. In early life, I grew up in Brooklyn, Connecticut, a life to which I returned in 1946 with a new bride, a gift from the military since I met her while stationed near Dothan, Alabama. My love affair with Frances continues 63 years later. We became busy, raising a family of four sons while I worked in my fatherís poultry hatchery business. In high school. I had thought about an engineering career and learning to fly. WW II disrupted the first thought, but I did learn to fly. Youíll learn more about that in the first poem I post below.

Thanks for looking (and that photo is NOT current!)


An autobiographical poem

Every life knows its struggles,
knows the pull of competing interests,
often interests of vocational values, or
religious values that give meaning to life.

As a boy, I enjoyed going to church,
to Sunday school and worship.
By their example, my parents
led me to love my church.

As a boy, I loved airplanes,
thrilled to their sound overhead,
longing to be up there,
pilot in command.

I see it as the struggle of my loves.

Both loves continued into adulthood.
In college and in the Army of World War II,
church attendance remained important,
a natural part of daily and weekly life.

Early adulthood found me at home,
in the church of my Connecticut childhood,
enjoying its close and friendly community
as I served as Sunday school superintendent.

I became a pilot, and enjoyed
thousands of hours of flight.
I earned my Airline Transport Rating
and was a Certified Flight Instructor.
I crossed the continent, flew into Canada,
Cuba and the Bahama Islands.
I taught Frances to fly
and we carried our children with us
as we explored our land and its skies.

There came the day that Pastor Jim
told me he had a job for me.
A job I didnít think I wanted.
But soon I heard the still small voice
say quite clearly Go. Go and work with Jim
and put your Christian education experience
to work full time helping rebuild a weak church.

Sadly, gradually, I left airplanes behind
to take up ministry that began in Christian education,
moved into ecumenical ministry in the great city
of Miami, and then on into pastorates
in Florida, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Flying days are far behind me now,
though I still look up when a plane
appears in the sky overhead..
The old longing wonít go away.

Retirement age came some
twenty years ago, years to explore
the writing crafts that in prose and poetry
probe and expand the meaning of my faith.
They have been years to continue
serving my beloved church,
the Christian community,
in whose embrace
I find the best in life.

My struggle is long over.
Or is it?

July 2009

My 1956 F35 Bonanza

Monroe Congregational Church, UCC
Monroe, Connecticut