This is the last Sunday before the deadline for the 2020 Census, and we need your help. 

The current administration has cut short both the timeline for counting and the funding, and we're thick in multiple pandemics that require our attention and care. We know you are doing the best that you can, Church!  

A complete Census Count ensures federal funding for  the next ten years. As of this email, only 58% of Boston households had self-responded. We need your help, as trusted leaders within your communities. Can you commit to these three things?

Three action items for Church & 2020 Census: 

  • Share the above image in Sunday 9/27 online worship (or use the Google Slide here), with a link to My2020Census.gov

  • Make an announcement verbally in your Sunday worship.

  • Include the following text in your Church newsletter:

Sample Church Newsletter text: 
This is an urgent call to everyone in our community to make sure you've completed the U.S. 2020 Census. You can self-respond online (my2020census.gov), or by phone 844-330-2020, and these services are available in 13 different languages. A full list of language access hotlines can be found here. In the event you misplaced or never received your census ID, this guide will explain how you can still respond without that piece of information. 

It takes just a few minutes and please remember, your responses are safe and  confidential. You will not be asked about your immigration status, and your answers will  not affect any public benefits you receive. Your response ensures our community gets the federal funds we need. 

We want to make sure that everyone gets counted, because we believe everyone is of equal value and worth. Please makes sure to fill out the census at My2020Census.gov by the deadline Wednesday September 30, 2020. 

Thank you, Church. 

with hope,

Revs. Carrington, Kenneth, Laura, and Meagan.

PS- Our colleagues across the state at MA Voter Table and many other orgs are working hard to ensure that every hard-to-count community is accurately counted. But you know how hard these pandemic are! If you are feeling despair at the state of the world, and have a some time to give, consider phone /text banking to help encourage census completion in Massachusetts hard-to-count communities. Info at the link for dates to sign up: https://actionnetwork.org/groups/ma-voter-table-and-masscounts
 
 
 
 
 
401 Years and Gratitude
 
 
 
 
Church, it has been a year since we gathered on Sept 20, 2019 for "May We Forever Stand: Massachusetts Commemorates 400 years of Black Resiliency," and I want to take the occasion to publicly offer my gratitude to our colleague Rev. Kenneth Young.

Way back in February of 2019, Rev. Young had a sense that the 400th commemoration would be important for Black Christians and could be a meaningful moment for the whole of the Body of Christ, if we seized the moment. Way before anything was public in the #1619Project, before any organization announced statewide plans to mark the occasion (and oddly few did), Rev. Young had the vision and the conviction to help us all commemorate Black Resiliency. Thank God he did!  (Read Rev. Kenneth's essay on why it's so important for everyone to honor Black resiliency at Faith & Leadership here )

Do you remember how good it was to gather back when we could do such things? Do you remember the preaching workshop? The choir? The fellowship? The witness of Christians from across the Commonwealth telling the story from every corner of the state and every part of the Church that Black Christians have lived lives of dignity, value, faithfulness and profound resiliency?

Because of Rev. Young's leadership and months of labor, we were able to gather and commemorate well. We raised funds that support the sustenance of Black sacred history. On behalf of a grateful church and a thankful Commonwealth, we honor you, Rev. Kenneth Young and this incredible gift you have to us all.

Church, we want to remind you, that many of the worship resources we used last year are still available to you on our website so that for every church can continue to learn about the history of Black resiliency in Massachusetts, a history so often untold. Join me in offering your thanks for all Rev. Young did last year, and all his work has gifted us into a more equitable, just and resilient future.

with gratitude,
Rev. Laura
 
 
 
 
 
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! 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Church, as of Thursday September 24, it has been 100 days since Governor Baker introduced a bill to establish a statewide standard for law enforcement in Massachusetts.  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 on which we need your help.

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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

masscouncilofchurches.org      |     (617) 523-2771
 
 
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