Newell Hendricks, longtime stalwart member of BNSM, passes away

 by Tim Groves, Church of the Covenant

Newell Hendricks

Newell Hendricks at the 2012 BNSM clergy breakfast

On Friday, April 3, Newell Hendricks passed away after a long siege with prostate cancer.  Newell has been an inspiration to our work at BNSM and a friend to so many in our larger community.

Newell connected with members in immigrant communities in Boston through a sister relationship his church, Church of the Covenant in the Back Bay, has with a community in rural Nicaragua, Dulce Nombre de Jesus.  He was welcomed as a brother in Nicaragua.  He saw economic unfairness on a scale new to him and saw the courage of the poor to organize and to struggle for life.  Throughout his life, Newell has always committed himself with great passion for what he believed to be right and fair.  He saw that same strength in the struggle of people both in Nicaragua and in Boston.

Newell understood how we must all organize to struggle together.  He learned to create workshops, lobby for legal changes, to write and to sing together songs of justice and liberation.  Newell loved music.  He was a composer, a singer, a pianist, and a performer.  He encouraged all of us to make music that needed to be sung.

Newell was a builder.  He learned from his brother how to build a house from stone and timber.  He learned how to build a garden to grow his own food.  He learned how to install solar panels to generate his electricity.

Newell was a father, a husband, a true friend.  His spirit needs to continue to inspire us all to meet each other across lines of language, of race, of class, of religion.  Newell celebrated the struggle with joy.  Newell Hendricks, ¡presente!

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