'Civil' words to live by from retired Pastor Ted Brothers
Ted Brothers served churches in Brighton, Pittsford and Canandaigua in the 1970s and 1980s
LAKE GEORGE -- It’s been nearly three decades since the Rev. John Theodore “Ted” Brothers lived in Canandaigua.
But this part of the world still holds special significance for Brothers, a Korean War veteran now 92. His son, Peter, recently helped his dad reconnect with the area, through a phone interview from Lake George where Ted Brothers has lived since he retired and moved from Canandaigua in the late 1980s.
Ted Brothers and his wife, Noel, and their children, lived in Canandaigua during most of the 1980s when he was pastor at First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Canandaigua. Before that, he served at churches in Monroe County, as associate pastor at Brighton Presbyterian Church for most of the 1970s, and pastor at Christ Clarion in Pittsford for a brief period.
Like many people during these times of pandemic and national turmoil, Brothers is worried.
“The racial, political strife is unfortunate — the uprisings that are occurring, racial divisions, divisiveness of the political system,” he said. What is lost in the process, he said, is the need to address issues “before they get out of hand.”
Of course, Brothers has lived through many troubling periods of American history including the Korean War, where he served in the Marines and returned home as a first lieutenant.
One thing that bothers him greatly these days is what he calls a loss of civility. He sees many contributing factors, including the explosive use of the internet and social media. He views these advances as no excuse for people to be self-serving and cruel.
Brothers grew up in Virginia and graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Lehigh University, where he starred on the wrestling team. After Marine Corps service, he married Noel and worked as an engineer for several years before his studies toward a doctorate in theology took the family to St. Andrews, Scotland. The family also lived in Portugal, where he was dean of the Evangelical (Ecumenical) Seminary of Theology in Carcavelos. They returned to the United States in 1970 and settled first in the Rochester area, then lived in Canandaigua while spending summers on Lake George.
Peter, who lives with his father on Assembly Point on Lake George, jokes about keeping up with his dad. A favorite father-and son pastime is golf, though you won’t find Ted Brothers on a golf cart. He prefers to walk the course.
“He’s in good spirits, doing most things one might enjoy — such as golfing and eating raw oysters to name a few,” Peter said.