SCARBOROUGH – Rev. Peter Winston Mercer died on April 25, 2021. Peter was born in Newton, Mass. in 1939. After attending Andover Newton Theological School, he took a position at Governor Dummer Academy where he met his wife, Ellie. For 50 years, Peter served as a minister with UCC churches in Maine and Massachusetts. He also served as the chaplain at Suffied Academy in Connecticut for seven years.Early in his life he found a home on Star Island, a UUA, UCC conference center off the coast of New Hampshire – a community that also became a summer sanctuary for his family.A quiet commitment to human dignity was the organizing principle of Peter’s life. Social justice was something he did not just talk about; it was something he lived. In every deliberation, Peter strove for authenticity and compassion. Some acts of kindness were small: a stack of five-dollar bills in his car found their way into the hands of any homeless person who asked. Other acts were bigger: he offered his family’s home to an immigrant family of six for over a year. While Peter was an introvert, preferring the quiet of his home to a social gathering, he had an extraordinary capacity to tune in and understand others. Peter knew how to ask questions. He was curious and thoughtful – to be engaged with him was a deeply validating experience. Inclusivity and nonjudgement were the foundation of his ministry. Throughout his long career, Peter never wavered from his bold determination to remain open to all who sought community in the church. He spoke up for people on the margins of society. He was a staunch advocate for the LGBT community and created an open and affirming environment in every church in which he served.Peter was never pulled along by the current of material gain and preferred substance over swank: Becky’s Diner, L.L.Bean and Subarus were his extravagances. He lived a life of audacious authenticity and radical kindness. He was exceptional in his humility. The memory of him is a beautiful reminder of what it means to be human. Peter leaves behind his wife, Ellie; his children – Tim, Erik and Erik’s husband, Sandro; as well as his grandchildren, Rachel and Eli Sechi Mercer; his sister-in-law, Fee Mercer; and many nieces and nephews. His spirit continues to teach and inspire. A memorial service will be announced later. In place of flowersdonations may be sent to: First Congregational Church of Durham773 Royalsborough Rd.Durham, ME 04222

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