Dietrich Bonhoeffer will be Portrayed at First Parish on Sunday, April 14


Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Performance artist Al Staggs will bring theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer to First Parish on Sunday, April 14

Performance artist and ordained minister Al Staggs will bring German pastor, theologian, spy, and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer alive in “A View from the Underside: The Legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer” at 10 am on Sunday, April 14 in the sanctuary of Bedford’s historic meeting house, First Parish Unitarian Universalist on Bedford Common.

Born in Prussia in 1906, Bonhoeffer came of age as Fascism and Nazism spread through Europe in the run-up to World War II.  As an ordained Lutheran minister serving churches in Berlin and London, Bonhoeffer’s activism was as much theological as it was political. He saw the duty of the church as thrusting “a spoke into the wheel“ of injustice.  He advocated ”costly grace,” that which requires sacrifice, instead of “cheap grace“ which offers lip service without resistance.

Bonhoeffer’s view from “the underside,” aligned with the point of view of the oppressed, the marginalized, immigrants, the poor, strangers, and in his circumstances especially, Jews.  He conspired to assassinate Hitler and was executed on April 9, 1945.  The Allies accepted Germany’s surrender on May 8, VE Day, about a week after Adolf Hitler had committed suicide, ending World War II in Europe.

Staggs’ performance will be the entirety of the First Parish service, and there will be a discussion afterward.  All are welcome.

First Parish is located at 75 The Great Road, on Bedford Common and is fully accessible to the differently-abled.  For more information: 781-275-7994 or

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