You know that there is plenty that divides us in these hard days. And yet, the Massachusetts Council of Churches is a network of Christians dedicated to honestly and faithfully coming together.  On Friday October 25, 2019, The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of New York & New England , under the leadership of His Grace Bishop David became the 18th member of the Massachusetts Council of Church with a unanimous vote. Praise God! We gathered at St Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Natick for this historic vote, vespers in the Coptic tradition and a feast of Egyptian food. We are grateful for all the faithful who worked and prayed for this day: for the reverend clergy of the Coptic Church, the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Council of Churches and the 17 other member denominations, the  Working Board, our past Presidents, staff and Christians who have prayed for our unity in Christ Jesus. In the words of HG Bishop David, “we need each other.” 
To learn more about the Coptic Orthodox Church in New England, you can read a brief history on our website:

In celebration of this sign of Christian unity, we gave Bishop David a replica of the Old North Church lantern, signaling our commitment to keep the flame of the Coptic Orthodox Church burning on these New England shores for all who seek religious freedom and liberty.
Rev. Jennie Barrett Siegal, MCC President, His Grace, Bishop David, Rev. Laura Everett, MCC Executive Director, and Fr. Samuel Hannah, Priest at St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Natick.

Our meeting and vote were followed by an experience of Vespers in the Coptic Orthodox Tradition.  
Church, rejoice in the unity that is already ours in Jesus Christ! Let us give thanks for the wideness of the body of Christ, the diversity and unity of the Church as we celebrate the unanimous vote to receive the 18th member of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the Coptic Diocese of New York and New England.

In hope,

Rev. Laura

P.S.:Here is another really sweet part of the story: Pictured at right are some of the faithful of the former Mt Olivet Lutheran Church in Shrewsbury of the New England Synod that closed earlier this year. Through the Massachusetts Council of Churches, we were able to ensure some of their sacred objects found a home in another church, the newly built St Mark Coptic Orthodox Sunday School. Give thanks for their faithfulness that continues on in unexpected ways. Death and resurrection, Church.
In This Issue

Letter from Rev. Laura

Strategy and Sustainability for Church Building Costs

Massachusetts Council of Churches Annual Meeting
Location TBD

Save the date!

Our Advisory Board and friends are invited to attend the Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Council of Churches!  Look for the location in the next newsletter.

There really is no Massachusetts Council of Churches without the churches, church members and church leaders of Massachusetts.  We need your support in order to continue our work in areas that matter to you.  Will you join us today with a financial contribution?

Give one time or set up a monthly donation from our website by clicking on the "donate" button below!  Thank you for your faithful  support.
Church, we know many of you struggle with the challenges of maintaining and operating church buildings. It's hard to build vibrant community when you're constantly worrying about the electric bill! We also know the power of coming together to find another way forward. On Thursday December 5, at 1pm, you are invited to a video call for a NEW initiative for churches on collective purchasing.

Massachusetts Council of Churches is exploring a partnership with the Community Purchasing Alliance -- a co-op of 75 religious and educational institutions in Washington DC that has built a successful model for economic collaboration & power building. CPA offers a model for exploring collaborative purchasing around everything from electricity to waste hauling that can save congregations money and allow us to shift our collective purchasing power towards the inclusive economy we strive to build. 

Who's invited: Massachusetts Clergy, Congregation Leaders, Church Treasurers and Bookkeepers.

Who's Facilitating: Carrie Watkins, CPA's new organizer based in Boston, with MCC's Rev. Laura Everett & Rev. Kenneth Young.

In this call we will:
- Learn about CPA's model of weaving together near-term facilities needs & contracting opportunities with long-term strategic goals around racial equity, environmental sustainability and broad, inclusive, community economic development in ways that align with MCC's mission
- Share our building and purchasing experiences
- Take the first steps towards building this cooperative

RSVP by clicking this link and letting us know you can make it.

Bi-Vocational ministry is becoming the norm for church communities and pastors across the country. Many denominations, seminaries and Christian religious organizations are beginning to think critically regarding this new phenomenon. How can the church begin to approach this issue? Many are approaching this issue with openness, with the hope of learning the ever-changing ways the church is called to evolve to serve the needs of communities across the country. We also acknowledge the deep fear and the many challenges bi-vocational ministry places upon pastors and communities as well.  

This week, Leadership Education at Duke Divinity shone a light on bi vocational ministry: read more in the article from Jessica Young Brown.

The Lydia Fellows Program hopes to find solutions that enable bi-vocational pastors and their communities the opportunity to thrive. Meaningful insight and transformation we believe can be found in the stories and experiences of our faithful bi-vocational pastors serving across Massachusetts.      |     (617) 523-2771