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The Rev. Susan A. Blain Obituary

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The Rev. Susan A. Blain

Hartford, Connecticut

June 12, 1953 - March 7, 2024

The Rev. Susan A. Blain Obituary

The Reverend Susan A. Blain of Hartford, retired Minister for Worship and Gospel Arts at the United Church of Christ national setting in Cleveland, peacefully passed away on March 7 after a brief and courageous battle with cancer, with her loving family at her side.


Sue was born in Bermuda on June 12, 1953 to the late Joseph C. and Ann L. (Burns) Blain, and she grew up in East Providence, RI. Sue graduated from St. Mary Academy - Bay View; Trinity College, Washington, DC, (BA, Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude); and Union Theological Seminary, New York City (Master of Divinity).


From a young age Sue was called to the church; shortly after college she joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, attracted by founder Saint Julie Billiart’s teaching of the “good God” and the order’s energetic mission to promote justice and peace. Sue spent 11 enriching years as an SND, primarily as a community organizer in Baltimore. Sue was an elected delegate to the 1984 SND General Chapter in Namur, Belgium, where she was a major writer of the Charism and Founding section of the order’s Constitutions.


Notwithstanding Sue’s deep and enduring love of her sister SNDs and the order, she felt called to the vocation of pastor-minister and left the order. New York City became her home while she worked as Director of Worship at Union Theological Seminary, followed by nine years as coordinator of worship for Riverside Church. Sue brought gifts of wisdom, imagination, and perceptive understanding about human possibilities to the Union and Riverside communities. Sue encouraged worshipers to discover more, to see what was between the lines in biblical and theological texts, and to broaden the naming of God through symbols, words, and images. The UCC’s “Imaging the Word” (Sue edited volumes 2 and 3) is beautiful evidence of her gifts. “Imaging” blends scriptural readings with art, stories, music, poetry, and Bible commentary to inspire pastors and laypersons to “enrich their faith and deepen their understanding of the joys of life.” Over time, and through her work at Riverside Church, Sue joined the United Church of Christ, where she found a community aligned with her vocation and mission to provide beautiful, meaningful, and inclusive worship.


After leaving New York, Sue committed herself fully to pastoral care in the UCC, enjoying her time as interim pastor at Broad Bay Congregational Church in Waldoboro, ME and Chapel Street Congregational Church in Saylesville, RI. Despite her love of parish life, Sue was called and became Minister for Worship and Gospel Arts at the UCC national setting, where her special gifts were shared with the 5,000 churches of the national denomination. Sue’s gift of hospitality - welcoming all - her love of worship and openness to praying in many forms, and her powerful way with words helped both pastors and their congregants deepen their faith and build community. In Cleveland, Sue was an active member of the UCC’s Amistad Chapel, and in Hartford she was a member of Immanuel Congregational Church.


In 2007, Sue was ordained a Minister of the United Church of Christ at The Riverside Church, a proud moment for her loving mother and family. Even as a Congregational minister, however, Sue never lost her Catholic identity and maintained a lifelong exploration of, and devotion to, the Blessed Mother.


Sue laid down her pen in 2021 and moved to Hartford to be closer to family and enjoy what turned out to be a too-short retirement.


Sue is survived by her three siblings: Mary Jo Andrews of West Hartford, CT (former spouse Greg Andrews); Jean B. O’Neil (John) of Atlanta, GA; and Joseph Blain of Milton, MA; and by four cherished nieces and nephews: Hannah O’Neil Klemm; Matthew O’Neil; Peter Andrews; and Christina Andrews. Sue is also survived by two great-nephews, Holden and Sawyer Klemm and by many loving cousins, godchildren, and friends, especially Sue’s best friend since their graduate school days, Mary Christine O’Connor-Thomsen and her family.


A celebration of Sue’s life will be held on April 5 at 11:00 am at Central Congregational Church, 296 Angell Street, Providence RI. Relatives and friends are invited to greet the family before the celebration, starting at 10:00 am in the church’s Fireplace Room, and for a reception following in the church hall. Click the link below to livestream the event, and for viewing afterward: 


This is a link to view and download the video for future use.

https://vimeo.com/mybizmedia/review/931239767/1ce3555a06



In lieu of flowers, donations in Sue’s memory may be made to Trinity College, Washington DC (now known as Trinity Washington University) at discover.trinitydc.edu, or by mail to Development Office, Trinity Washington University, 125 Michigan Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20017, or to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at sndden.org or by calling (978) 356-2159 for other options.



To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of The Rev. Susan A. Blain hosted by Ahern Funeral Home, Inc.

The Reverend Susan A. Blain of Hartford, retired Minister for Worship and Gospel Arts at the United Church of Christ national setting in Cleveland, peacefully passed away on March 7 after a brief and courageous battle with cancer, with her loving family at her side.


Sue was born in Bermuda on June 12, 1953 to the late Joseph C. and Ann L. (Burns) Blain, and she grew up in East Providence, RI. Sue graduated from St. Mary Academy - Bay View; Trinity College, Washington, DC, (BA, Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude); and Union Theological Seminary, New York City (Master of Divinity).


From a young age Sue was called to the church; shortly after college she joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, attracted by founder Saint Julie Billiart’s teaching of the “good God” and the order’s energetic mission to promote justice and peace. Sue spent 11 enriching years as an SND, primarily as a community organizer in Baltimore. Sue was an elected delegate to the 1984 SND General Chapter in Namur, Belgium, where she was a major writer of the Charism and Founding section of the order’s Constitutions.


Notwithstanding Sue’s deep and enduring love of her sister SNDs and the order, she felt called to the vocation of pastor-minister and left the order. New York City became her home while she worked as Director of Worship at Union Theological Seminary, followed by nine years as coordinator of worship for Riverside Church. Sue brought gifts of wisdom, imagination, and perceptive understanding about human possibilities to the Union and Riverside communities. Sue encouraged worshipers to discover more, to see what was between the lines in biblical and theological texts, and to broaden the naming of God through symbols, words, and images. The UCC’s “Imaging the Word” (Sue edited volumes 2 and 3) is beautiful evidence of her gifts. “Imaging” blends scriptural readings with art, stories, music, poetry, and Bible commentary to inspire pastors and laypersons to “enrich their faith and deepen their understanding of the joys of life.” Over time, and through her work at Riverside Church, Sue joined the United Church of Christ, where she found a community aligned with her vocation and mission to provide beautiful, meaningful, and inclusive worship.


After leaving New York, Sue committed herself fully to pastoral care in the UCC, enjoying her time as interim pastor at Broad Bay Congregational Church in Waldoboro, ME and Chapel Street Congregational Church in Saylesville, RI. Despite her love of parish life, Sue was called and became Minister for Worship and Gospel Arts at the UCC national setting, where her special gifts were shared with the 5,000 churches of the national denomination. Sue’s gift of hospitality - welcoming all - her love of worship and openness to praying in many forms, and her powerful way with words helped both pastors and their congregants deepen their faith and build community. In Cleveland, Sue was an active member of the UCC’s Amistad Chapel, and in Hartford she was a member of Immanuel Congregational Church.


In 2007, Sue was ordained a Minister of the United Church of Christ at The Riverside Church, a proud moment for her loving mother and family. Even as a Congregational minister, however, Sue never lost her Catholic identity and maintained a lifelong exploration of, and devotion to, the Blessed Mother.


Sue laid down her pen in 2021 and moved to Hartford to be closer to family and enjoy what turned out to be a too-short retirement.


Sue is survived by her three siblings: Mary Jo Andrews of West Hartford, CT (former spouse Greg Andrews); Jean B. O’Neil (John) of Atlanta, GA; and Joseph Blain of Milton, MA; and by four cherished nieces and nephews: Hannah O’Neil Klemm; Matthew O’Neil; Peter Andrews; and Christina Andrews. Sue is also survived by two great-nephews, Holden and Sawyer Klemm and by many loving cousins, godchildren, and friends, especially Sue’s best friend since their graduate school days, Mary Christine O’Connor-Thomsen and her family.


A celebration of Sue’s life will be held on April 5 at 11:00 am at Central Congregational Church, 296 Angell Street, Providence RI. Relatives and friends are invited to greet the family before the celebration, starting at 10:00 am in the church’s Fireplace Room, and for a reception following in the church hall. Click the link below to livestream the event, and for viewing afterward: 


This is a link to view and download the video for future use.

https://vimeo.com/mybizmedia/review/931239767/1ce3555a06



In lieu of flowers, donations in Sue’s memory may be made to Trinity College, Washington DC (now known as Trinity Washington University) at discover.trinitydc.edu, or by mail to Development Office, Trinity Washington University, 125 Michigan Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20017, or to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at sndden.org or by calling (978) 356-2159 for other options.



To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of The Rev. Susan A. Blain hosted by Ahern Funeral Home, Inc.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of The Rev. Susan A. Blain.