Spotlight on New Members
Rebecca and Jim Kennedy
Jim and Rebecca Kennedy became FUSF members in April 2015.
Rebecca grew up on the North Shore in a chaotic ‘yours, mine and ours’ household of 5 girls, 1 boy, 2 parents, 1½ bathrooms, 1 cat and 1 dog. Whew! Then off to UMass Amherst she went, majoring in psychology and working at Headstart, where she helped link people up with the services they needed.
Jim grew up in Holyoke, and came from a family of Irish and French Canadian immigrants. He was Jesuit educated through college and after school settled in Boston working with mentally ill adults. He was active in the Paulist Center and volunteered on a homeless feeding van called Stone Soup.
After a couple of years working with special needs children at St. Ann’s Home and School in Methuen, Rebecca settled in Cambridge where she worked at a large human services agency that ran houses for recently de-institutionalized adults. Rebecca was the house manager of one of the group homes. During the day the clients worked in a sheltered workshop where they also participated in a day treatment program. Guess who was the counselor at that day treatment program? Yup, Jim Kennedy!
Daughter Sarah came along in 1986. (Many of you may have met Sarah and her finance Charley at the FUSF Thanksgiving dinner, pitching in where ever they were needed!) Rebecca began working for the anti-poverty agency in Cambridge where she managed an emergency food program and provided program and funding assistance to all the food pantries in the city. Jim went off to grad school in Manhattan, and got a job working at Fountain House-the mother ship of programs for working with people who are mentally ill. Jim lived in a 5th floor walk-up in a tiny apartment in Soho-with a roommate-where Rebecca and Sarah visited from Cambridge every 2 weeks. For 7 years they did this! Jim later worked for a program in Manhattan that provided housing and job counselling to mentally ill homeless women.
Meanwhile, Rebecca was still at the same agency, but took over the childcare programs. Jim finally moved back to Cambridge and went to work helping mentally ill homeless folks in Boston. After more than 11 years Rebecca left her job with the anti-poverty agency and tried the private sector for a few years. She later began working at what turned out to be her favorite job-as Case Manager for a company that sent social workers bedside in Psych wards and inpatient units helping patients complete Medicaid and SSI applications to get the services they needed. Jim turned to technology (always having been one of those ‘early adopters’!), worked at several area start-ups and finally landed at Comcast, where he worked for 13 years.
Jim and Rebecca became very involved in the UU church in Medford. They both served on the Board, Rebecca taught RE, was on the interim minister search team, fundraising committee, and taught a cooking class for 10-year-olds. Luckily for FUSF, Rebecca and Jim can share their experiences of what it is like to go through the process of getting a new minister.
Jim and Rebecca moved from Medford to Uxbridge last January-then 2 weeks later were buried by snow all winter! They started church shopping in the spring, but after visiting FUSF in March, they ended their search! Rebecca and Jim find FUSF a place full of kind-hearted people. They have jumped in to FUSF by getting involved-with hospitality, the Thanksgiving dinner, providing snacks at coffee hour, even a campfire! And they started Home Made, the FUSF Food Group. They meet on Thursdays at 6 pm in the Cook Room. Join them! And join me in welcoming Jim and Rebecca Kennedy!