This year, I began Lent on Ash Wednesday worshiping at a black pan-Methodist service at Charles Street African Methodist Church in Boston, co-hosted for 25 years with Union United Methodist Church and Columbus Ave African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. In a season of painful divisions among Methodist Christians, it was profound to unite in worship, to catch that vision of the unity that is already ours in Jesus Christ.

Lent invites the humility to acknowledge where we’ve fallen short and what we’ve missed.  In truth, many official institutional expressions of Christian unity, including the Massachusetts Council of Churches, have persistently failed to see the signs of Christian unity as black churches from various traditions gather.  Church, I want you to know that we are working hard here to see the signs of Christian unity across the Commonwealth, especially in the places where we have historically and persistently failed to see the reconciling work of the Holy Spirit.

We ask you: Are you participating in joint services we can uplift and celebrate? We think of many “Seven Last Words” services on Good Friday, like this service with colleagues from the Black Ministerial Alliance.  Please, email me with your collaborative event information.

We aim to be a council not just of some of the churches, but of all Christians.  We’re actively visiting and worshiping with parts of the Church with whom we have historically failed to be in mutual relationship, entering with humility and hope.  This past Sunday, Rev. Kenneth and I were honored to worship with Massachusetts First Jurisdiction, Church of God in Christ (COGIC) at their Spring Conference. The Church of God in Christ is the largest black Pentecostal tradition in the United States. We give God thanks for the saints and especially Bishop Samuel B. Hogan, Sr. who graciously welcomed us.

You are invited to join an “Ecumenical Pilgrimage” to Holy Tuesday on April 16, either in Boston or Springfield. This Holy Tuesday service is a chance for clergy to renew their ordination vows and rededicate ourselves to our ministries as we head into the holiest days of the Christian year. Christian clergy from all traditions are invited to attend.

Finally, I want you to know what your affiliation and support of the Massachusetts Council of Churches does- in a time of immense grief following the murders at the mosques in New Zealand, we are able to offer interfaith solidarity in presence and in the media. Your support is what enables staff time and resources to get out statements and buy flowers and attend Friday prayers. You can read about the interfaith response in the Sun Chronicle, the Boston Globe, and Mass Live. The network that MCC cultivates is what ensured that mosques around the Commonwealth have interfaith partners in attendance and that statewide media know of our solidarity.  Thank you for your continued support. Showing up matters.

In hope,

Rev. Laura

In This Issue

April 2-3, 2019

April 17, 2019

Check out more opportunities 


Located at Brandeis University, the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab is a think tank that supports research, teaching, and the provision of spiritual care in a range of settings.  

The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab will host several webinars this spring: you can register for each of these events - all of which are free - at 

April 11, 2019
2p EST

“Chaplaincy beyond Tradition”
-Ann Kansfield, Fire Department of New York

-Rev. Dr. LeSette Write, Berea College

-Rev. Laura Everett, Massachusetts Council of Churches

The Massachusetts Council of Churches relies on donors like you to join us in making the Vibrant Church Visible! If you are grateful for the work of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, please make a financial commitment so that we might continue to be a critical coordinating force for good, and a common Christian witness.  

Are you hiring?  Visit to list your job on our website.  

Are you looking for work?  Trinity Foundation and the National Council of Churches are hiring!  Visit to check out the opportunities!  

Let Rev. Meagan know if you need help with your posting, or if you have other ideas of resources we could offer that would help your church or organization better achieve its mission.

Meet us in Springfield or Boston to share in the Episcopal traditional of a renewal of ordination vows.  

Ministers from all traditions, join Bishop Fisher and the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts for their Renewal of Vows Service. This Episcopal service of Holy Eucharist includes the blessing of holy oils and renewal of vows for clergy.

Meet Rev. Laura 15 mins before the start time near the back of the church.  A casual lunch will follow.  For lunch reservations e-mail

This Episcopal service of Holy Eucharist includes the blessing of holy oils and renewal of vows for clergy. Bishop Alan M. Gates will preach and Bishop Gayle E. Harris will preside at the Holy Tuesday service. All are welcome, arrive 15 minutes early to meet Rev. Kenneth and sit together.

Clergy are invited to stay for lunch with the bishops ($12 per person, payable the day of). RSVP to the cathedral administrator, Kevin Vetiac, at .
April 17, 2019, 2-5 PM
Memorial Church - 1 Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA

The inaugural Folorunso Alakija Distinguished Lecture on Religion and Public Life in Africa will be delivered by Bishop John Richard Bryant, retired Senior Bishop and Presiding Prelate of the Fourth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

This lecture provides a platform for the Harvard University Center for African Studies to connect faith leaders with the Harvard community and beyond in a conversation about the constantly shifting and contested boundary between the secular and the sacred, the public and the private.

This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited so please RSVP via Eventbrite to ensure a spot.
April 2-3, 2019
Rehm Library
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

Readings from the Roots is a new, historically-sensitive translation of the Revised Common Lectionary with the goal of reducing the potential for anti-Judaism by enriching Christianity through its roots in Judaism.  The Readings from the Roots translation team will host this two-day conference to highlight the project and engage scholars and practitioners, especially Christian clergy:

-to deepen their understanding of the authors' relationship to Judaism in the diverse writings of the New Testament;
-to articulate the challenges and opportunities for accurately reflecting that relationship in a translation of Scripture; and
-to consider how a translation of the texts can be used in worship to eradicate the anti-Judaism that continues to be associated with Christian readings of the Bible.

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