Ask those who knew Dennis Lin what they remember most about him and they will likely recall his infectious smile and laugh, his appreciation of the little things in life, his clever sense of humor, and his well-known presence in the Concord community. Simply put, Dennis was a friend to all who brought people together. As a student at Concord-Carlisle High School and a member of the Pathways program, his contagious energy and happiness made him beloved by his peers and teachers. When Dennis received his diploma and community service awards at CCHS, the entire ceremony paused due to the applause.
After graduation, Dennis moved out of his parents’ home and continued to pursue a life filled with connection. Dennis started coming to worship at West Concord Union Church (WCUC) on his very first Sunday in West Concord and soon became an active member of both WCUC and Sunday Fellowship, a ministry for adults of all abilities. It was not unusual for Dennis to attend worship on Sunday morning and then return later in the afternoon for Sunday Fellowship, often serving as a greeter and liturgist for both services. Dennis also loved traveling via commuter rail each weekday to volunteer in Arlington elementary schools. In signature style, Dennis learned the names and corresponding stops for all of his fellow train passengers, delighting them with his enthusiastic announcement of each person’s stop.
Sadly, Dennis died from the complications of Prader-Willi Syndrome on September 25, 2017, just three short years after moving to West Concord. While it has been heartbreaking to lose Dennis, shortly after his death, his family, friends, and teachers were inspired to establish the Dennis Lin Fund. In memory and honor of Dennis, the Dennis Lin Fund will provide financial support for the continued development of Sunday Fellowship and other communities like it. We can think of no better way to honor Dennis than by helping Sunday Fellowship continue to provide and inspire the kind of heart-warming, fun-producing and spiritually-inspiring communities he enjoyed so much.
Know that your gift will have double the impact thanks to an anonymous donor who has agreed to match the first $6000. Specifically, Dennis Lin Funds would be divided among the following areas: 1. New efforts designed to build relationships among people of all ages and abilities like “Food and Fun,” a fellowship-based program being offered by Sunday Fellowship this winter. Session themes include: Play, Music, Creativity and Biblical Storytelling. 2. Offering Sunday Fellowship in the summer for the very first time! 3. Visiting similar programs like visiting Parables, a multi-pronged ministry for people of all abilities at Wayzata Community Church in Minnesota. 4. Sharing Sunday Fellowship’s journey and practices in order to inspire more congregations to go beyond “mere inclusion” to create communities where people of all abilities experience “true belonging.”
There are at least three ways to contribute to the Dennis Lin Fund. The first is to donate through this GoFundMe, the second is to mail a personal check to West Concord Union Church, 1317 Main Street, Concord, MA 01742 with "Dennis Lin Fund" in the memo line, and the third is to bring your contribution to a special celebration in honor of Dennis’ thirtieth birthday.
Sunday Fellowship would like to invite all of Dennis' family, teachers and friends to come together at WCUC on November 25 at 11am to celebrate his birthday and all of the contributions to the Dennis Lin Fund. Come dressed for dancing!