NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 22, 2013

Stepping down from the pulpit

Seabrook pastor retires -- for the third time

(Continued)

“For the next six months, we’re going to go to different churches to reconnect with friends,” Beddie said. “I’m just going to see where God takes me.”

He could take him back to Trinity United Church occasionally, for Beddie’s already told church officials that he’d be willing to help out on Sundays until the congregation finds its next pastor. Perhaps that’s because he found so much joy in ministering in Seabrook, where the people welcomed him unconditionally.

At times, he said, pastors can be restrained from really being themselves because a congregation may have preconceived notions of the way ministers should act. But that never happened in Seabrook, Beddie said, which was something he found liberating.

“I have a very casual sense of humor and, at some places I’ve been, they haven’t appreciated that so I had to repress it, or they haven’t liked my choice of contemporary music,” Beddie said. “That never happened in Seabrook. I love to laugh. I love to sing. And in Seabrook, they let me be me.”

Beddie can appreciate having to hold back how he really feels, for he realized his religious calling late in life, when he was in his 40s, already a father and married to his first and late wife, Loretta. It was at a Sunday service when both he and she heard God calling him to pastoral ministry.

At the time, the Beddies had two teenagers and he was running a metal manufacturing company in Epping, N.H. But with the blessing of his late wife, he set out on the new course. Still working in Epping, he set out to earn his bachelor’s degree at Franklin Pierce College, which he got in 1988, while also working towards his master’s in divinity at Boston University, received in 1989.

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