Grenfell, John M.

April 05, 2018

The Rev. Dr. John Millard Grenfell, 76, of Worcester, MA, passed away on Thursday, April 5, 2018, in hospice care at his daughter's home in Marlborough, MA, surrounded by his children and grandchildren. John was born in Bethel, CT, to Dr. Clarine (Coffin) Grenfell and the Rev. Jack Grenfell.

The Memorial Service will be held on April 28, 2018 at 26 Juniper Road, Marlborough, MA, with the following (loose) schedule, for people to come and go as they like:
Noon Gathering and eating (potluck contributions welcome!)
1 p.m. Singing (including some of Dad's earlier music)
2 p.m. Stories and eulogies (particularly about Dad's early life)
3 p.m. Time of Ceremony (praying and blessing together)
4 p.m. Singing (including some of Dad's songs of lament and farewell)
5 p.m. Stories and eulogies (particularly about Dad's later life)
6 p.m. Gathering and eating (potluck contributions welcome!)
7 p.m. Singing (including vespers and Dad's songs about journeying onward and future visions of hope)
8 p.m. Campfire and drumming (both fun and ceremony)
John attended Drew University and received doctorates from Yale University School of Divinity and Boston University School of Theology. John was ordained as an Elder in the United Methodist Church and served churches in Newtown, CT; Derby, CT; King's Highway UMC Brooklyn, NY (student pastor); Summerfield UMC Staten Island, NY; Guilford, ME; Thornton Heights UMC, So Portland, ME; Athens, ME (new church plant); Melrose, MA; Plainville, MA; and Mittineague W Springfield, MA. John also served an appointment as a Pastoral Counselor doing psychotherapy for 18 years, much of it to underprivileged communities who paid in work-trade, or as pro-bono work. 

John is survived by daughters Tamarleigh Grenfell, Dr. Tallessyn Grenfell-Lee, Dr. Trelawney Grenfell-Muir, Trevanna Grenfell, son Trevanion Grenfell; granddaughters Telynia and Leyalyn Grenfell-Lee, Endelyn and Zawna Grenfell-Muir; and sisters Rev. Lornagrace Grenfell and Pamela Grenfell Smith. 

Rev. Dr. John M. Grenfell wrote over 200 beautiful songs, hymns, and carols, with powerfully creative and inspiring lyrics and music for a new millennium of mystical exploration and communal faith. These songs arose from his decades of work in pastoral ministry, pastoral counseling/therapy, parenting, and his Celtic Methodist heritage. Rev. Dr. Grenfell dedicated his life to helping others, and as a memorial to his decades of generous service, his children plan to organize and distribute his popular and beloved music to all communities who will use it as a source of comfort, wisdom, inspiration, and healing, including hospice organizations, chaplains, churches, youth camps, and other communities of spiritual formation. 

In lieu of flowers, donations to this music legacy fund will be gratefully received by check or at
Please indicate if there is a specific song you would prefer to sponsor.
Farewell Song of the Saints, (c) John M. Grenfell (2000) 
Time's ever restless car's impatient to be gone
And we must soon move on somewhere beyond the stars.
Yet now let all be still, the busy world be hushed
God's promise won't be rushed, which peace is to fulfill.
This is no last goodby; Saint John says we shall meet
Upon a golden street somewhere beyond the sky.
Nor this our final feast; for Resurrection's meal
Will soothe all pain and heal our wounds when tears have ceased.
All through our life, we knew our forbears went with us;
We hope your faith can trust that we now walk with you.
The love we have for you goes with you from this place,
Providing strength and grace whatever you may do.
Though we can't take your hand, our love can hold your heart;
Let memory do its part; and faith will understand.
Ah! Feel the thund'rous voice. Goodby for now, dear ones;
We're just beyond the suns; so laugh, cry, trust. Rejoice.