You know that old saying about how when we make plans, God laughs? Well.  When my husband and I moved to Boston from New York six years ago for him to take a job at one of the city's many universities, I had an idea of what I was going to do here.  I was coming off of six years working for the institutional church, both within my denomination and ecumencially.  And if there was anything I knew for certain, it was that I was DONE with Christian institutions, and ready to be a full-time pastor.  Oh, do you hear the Spirit giggling?

I remember my interview with Rev. Laura and members of the Board, when I found that the things that exasperated me about the institutions I had worked in before also exasperated them--so much that they were seeking to change.  I don't have to tell you what a unique and different organization the Massachusetts Council of Churches is: nimble, flexible, imaginative, you might even say "reformed and always reforming."  It felt different, and I found myself giggling along with God, inspired by this new opportunity.

It is hard to put my experience serving the Massachusetts Council of Churches into words. It might be best understood through a piece (ok, many pieces) of baklava, or the laughter that arises when people who are very different from one another find the same thing tickles them, or the pure holy joy of a system or a spreadsheet where the was none before.  You all have helped me find community, given me a sense of purpose, and provided the absolute best introduction to a new state anyone could want.

Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, when nothing makes sense except the very organized home office I have set up in a corner of my guest room, God is laughing again.  Two years ago, as I sought to imagine what a healthy and fulfilling bi-vocational career might look like in ministry in New England, I began a graduate course in Mental Health Counseling.  Out of nowhere--and again, in the middle of a global pandemic--God has made a way for me to complete my internship and the program this year--way ahead of schedule.  Which also means leaving the comfort and familiarity of the Massachusetts Council of Churches.

I am grateful for the prayers you will send for this time of transition, and I know we will stay connected in a multitude of other ways.  To honor my departure, I am asking you to think of the people in your networks who might be gifted in all things organizational, who find joy in spreadsheets and for whom number crunching is a balm to the soul.  Please help us find the right person to serve as the Massachusetts Council of Church's Director of Operations, building far beyond what I have begun.

In a time when so much is uncertain, we easily become attached to the plans we have for our lives.  I hope that when you hear the Spirit nudging you in this season, you too will be curious about what might She might have prepared for you.

In hope,

Rev. Meagan


 
 
 
 
 
Director of Operations:
Come work with us! 
 
 
 
 
 As we share our gratitude for Rev. Meagan and look forward to a time to celebrate her ministry, we are praying that God will provide for a smooth transition.  We need your help in seeking out the next staff person to serve with us. We've redeveloped the job description to a Director of Operations to better reflect how the work has changed, and is shifting moving forward. Please, share this job posting with people in your networks who you think might be a good fit and point them to our job board. We are grateful for your prayers, your connections and your support in this next search! 

with hope,
Rev. Laura, Kenneth, and Carrington 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To support Church leaders in making decisions right for their communities and towards God's kindom to come, the Massachusetts Council of Churches has organized a series conversations about churches and schools:

Join Rev. Dr. Almeda Wright for a conversation about the history and legacy of churches and education, especially the  "radical pedagogy" of Black Church traditions. This conversation aims to spark our prophetic imagination of what our churches might be called to now. We aim to remember the past so we can reimagine a future that is more just, more holy and with more equity for all of God's children.  Dr. Wright is an Associate Professor of Religious Education at Yale Divinity School, having also served as a classroom teacher.



Watch Rev. Kenneth Young and leaders from the Boston Public School system for a statewide conversation about what pastors need to know from school administration about their challenges during this pandemic. We will hear from Monica Roberts, Chief of Family, Student, and Advancement; Cyntoria Grant, Director of Family and School Partnership; Mary Driscoll, Elementary School Superintendent. What do school administrators wish local clergy knew? What kind of help is actually helpful? What programs either in Boston or statewide can we look to as possible examples of productive partnerships? And what did we learn from the shutdown in the spring that can help shape our response this fall? 
 
 
 
 

Join Mass. Council of Churches staff, pastors, and lay leaders from across the state for open office hours to hear what communities are doing to support public school districts, offer additional space, additional programming, and prioritize care for Black, Immigrant and unhoused students during COVID schooling. Weds , Sept 16 at 3PM on Zoom. We'll brainstorm, share ideas, resources, best practices and workshop what we're learning and seeing across the Commonwealth.

Time: Sep 16, 2020 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 616 042 3532
One tap mobile:
+16465588656,,6160423532# US (New York)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Church, we wish this update was different, but not much policy has changed since our last update in August. The Policing Reform Bill is STILL stuck in Conference committee, even as more Black people across the nation have been shot by police, and even as more evidence mounts at home that police departments desperately need reform gain community trust. The Boston Globe reported back on August 26 on the legislative delay.  YOUR CALLS can help move this process along. 


if you’ve read a book on racism, offered up a prayer after yet another death at the hands of police, put up a banner in front of your church or committed to do better, this is the policy change we need your help on.


Massachusetts is one of only FOUR states in the nation without a statewide police officer standards and training system (POST), so an officer can be fired for misconduct in one town and rehired in another. The Policing Reform Bill is sitting in the Conference Committee, and needs our community support for strong, anti-racist provisions before a vote to the full House and Senate. Here’s what you can do:


  1. Read and share this handy explainer.
  2. Write, call, and email ALL Conference Committee members quickly with the sample script below.
  3. Invite someone else to join you in praying & pushing for policy change.


Conference Committee Members: 

Claire.Cronin@mahouse.gov (617) 722-2396

Carlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.gov (617) 722-2080

Timothy.Whelan@mahouse.gov (617) 722-2488

William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov (617) 722-1280

Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov (617) 722-1673

Bruce.Tarr@masenate.gov (617) 722-1600


Sample Email or Call: 


Hello, my name is _____. I'm a person of faith, a member at _____ church, calling with the Mass. Council of Churches and I am your constituent. I live at <your address>. I urge you to pass strong, comprehensive policing reform that includes:



1. Peace Officer Standards & Training

2. Civil Service access reform

3. Limits on police use of force and face surveillance

4. Creating a Commission on Structural Racism

5. Qualified immunity reform



Thank you for listening. As a Christian committed to the flourishing of all God's people, I look forward to your positive vote in support of racial justice and police reform.



(To learn more, read the Massachusetts Council of Churches letter to the Conference Committee here)



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Watch the video conversation with Rev. Meagan on our Mass. Council of Churches Facebook Live  here
    
Are you looking for mental health resources to support your congregation or yourself?  MassSupport Network provides free community outreach and support services to residents of all ages across the state in response to the unprecedented public health crisis, COVID-19. This Crisis Counseling Program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and managed in partnership between the MA Department of Mental Health and Riverside Trauma Center, a program of Riverside Community Care.
    MassSupport’s anonymous, confidential, and free program features:
• One-to-one, short-term, confidential support for individuals (all ages) and families.
• Psycho-educational presentations on a range of topics including: common reactions to highly stressful events, helping children manage in hard times, stress management and others upon request.
• Consultation and group support for schools, businesses, organizations and communities.

Include this text in your church newsletter: 
Mass Support is a statewide, anonymous, confidential, and free mental health resource program for anyone living in Massachusetts. Find out more at www.MassSupport.org.  
or call: 888-215-4920 or MASSSUPPORT@RIVERSIDECC.ORG.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As trusted messengers in the community, faith leaders have a unique position to encourage census participation. Faith leaders can powerfully communicate the message that responding to the 2020 Census is an act of faith that shows your love for your neighbor because an accurate count ensures access to quality schools, hospitals, roads and services that make a difference in people’s lives. They can also affirm the God-given dignity of each person. Bringing the Census into worship provides a space for reflection on the values that call us to be counted and share with your community the importance of the census.

Please, share this slide in your worship service, through your church newsletter and on your church's social media. The Census will end count on Sept 30, one month earlier than previously stated. This news raises the urgency of our collective work! 

Google Slide to include in your online worship.  
For more information, click HERE for the Faithful Census toolkit. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

masscouncilofchurches.org      |     (617) 523-2771
 
 
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