Rev. Celena Duncan

posted in: Memorial | 2
Rev. Celena Duncan
23 January 1946 – 19 March 2019
Rev. Celena Duncan was an active member of MCC Topeka where she served as Volunteer Clergy, and more recently as coordinator of Adult Education.
Prior to her retirement, Rev. Duncan was the pastor of Good Shepherd MCC in Chicago, Illinois, USA, and MCC of Johnson County in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. She was also a veteran and served in the Air Force.
Rev. Duncan is survived by her husband of 40 years, Jack Boren. They openly and proudly identified as bisexual, and in so doing made a profound impact on the lives of many.

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2 Responses

  1. Mark S Hahn

    Celena had a profound impact on my personal and my spiritual life. She was always there with a warm smile – and a tough (teaching) question. We shared a love for science fiction (especially British sci fi), detective stories and adventures. She, Jack and I loved Disney and visited Disneyland together. We scouted movies and TV series for each. She was giving to a fault, with her crocheted / knit fisher hats, stoles, blankets and prayer shawls. How many of us have a Rev Granny crocheted keepsake in our homes? We were friends for over 35 years: Chicago and Shawnee. There is a hole in my heart, and a soaring joy in my soul, knowing we will get to be together in the fullness of time.

  2. Dan Leatherman

    When i was coming out gay in 1980, in northern Indiana, I’d take a vanload of guys 120 miles into Chicago every couple of months to MCC’s Good Shepherd Parish. These last forty years, I’ve often recalled/shared the powerful sermon Celena gave on our July visit on the Raising of Lazarus: Everything society dislikes (e.g. LGBTQ) it wraps up and tries to place out of sight like Lazarus’s dead body. When Jesus arrives, his 1ST command (invitation?) is to the one who is bound–“Lazarus, COME OUT!” After we become visible, He gives 2ND command to SOCIETY (relatives, friends, neighbors gathered round–“Loose him and let him go.” Someone once asked, “What if those bound come out, but society doesn’t loose them? I replied, “That’s what Bonhoffer called ‘the cost of discipleship.'”

    I Googled Celena to find contact info to thank her for what that sermon has meant to me these forty years, only to learn she died last April, so I’m sharing it in her memory.

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