Remember, we are a people who hold fast to the possibility of change because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are a people who believe that before he became St. Paul, scales fell from Saul’s eyes. 

As President Anthony Barsamian and I wrote in November 2016,

“We vow to continue to build a network of diverse Christians devoted the mutual need and delight in one another.  When we get to know one another, when we get to love one another, we are compelled to walk together on the way.  As we continue to build this network, we vow to go with you.” 

We can pray and advocate for other people to change. And we can do our own work to strengthen our Christian institutions for the work ahead.

On Thursday February 2, we’re hosting an evening at Dudley Dough in Boston. You’re invited to join us for a time of networking and introduction to the Foundations of Christian Leadership: New England program.  The Massachusetts Council of Churches is partnering with Duke Divinity School’s Leadership Education to build capacity among Christian institutions in New England.  Join us in this innovative space to see what values-driven social entrepreneurship looks like in practice at Dudley Dough, and connect with other Christians seeking to build strong Christian institutions.  Please RSVP to Rev. Daryl Lobban at  Deadline to apply for the Foundations of Christian Leadership: New England cohort 2 is February 24, 2017.

During hard times, isolation is tempting. We think we’re the only ones struggling. But your connections to the wider body of Christ through the Massachusetts Council of Churches are a reminder that we do not do this work alone. If you believe that what binds us together in Christ is stronger than anything that might divide us, we invite you to become a monthly donor.

Church, we're going to need a whole lot of stamina, wisdom, and spiritual maturity for the days ahead. We’re also going to need each other, and a greater understanding of one another.  As I’ve visited the churches across Massachusetts, I’m struck by our varying experiences of civic engagement: some of us come from countries where the church and state are deeply entwined, some of us come from countries where the church was persecuted by the state, some of us keep our heads down for fear of our immigration status, and some of us use our privilege to speak for those who cannot. Churches have very different habits of civic engagement. And yet, we share a common Christian commitment to extend hospitality to the stranger and love generously. 

In the days ahead, I invite you to reach out to a church near you that’s different, perhaps a different by denomination, language, worship style, ethnicity, race, political leaning, or class. Simply call or send a card asking, “How are you doing?” Break the isolation. You can be a sign of the extravagant love of God that’s always reaching beyond our walls.

Church, I’m so grateful for you.

In hope,

Rev. Laura

PS- If you’d like to read my sermon on 1 Samuel, on the danger of crowing a king, preached at a recent ordination, read here:

In This Issue

February 2, 2017
Reunite and Recruit 

Intentional Community

Seeking 153 Fish!

The Massachusetts Council of Churches is partnering with Boston Faith and Justice Network to connect Christians living in intentional community across Massachusetts. 

If you are someone living in intentional community and would like to connect with others who share your lifestyle, please send your contact information, along with a little about your intentional community, to Rev. Meagan, and we will keep you updated!
The Massachusetts Council of Churches relies on donors like you to join us in making the Vibrant Church Visible! During our advent appeal, we got a strong start to our campaign to identify 153 new monthly donors, tripling the number of monthly donors we had before!  But we still have work to do.  Please join us with your monthly gift of $5, $10, $50, or another amount!

Who: Lay leaders, pastors, schemers & dreamers from across New England who are in the first five years of their current position.

What: Dinner will be catered by Dudley Dough, a new profit-sharing community pizzeria started by the founders of the renowned Haley House Bakery Cafe

Where: Dudley Dough 2302 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02119. Dudley Dough is Haley House’s economic inclusion initiative, building on the core elements of their powerful social enterprise café. Organic, healthful pizza, locally sourced salads, and made-from-scratch soups complement locally crafted beers. Dudley Dough is located off of the lobby in the stunning Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Roxbury’s Dudley Square. Dudley Dough is a direct expression of Haley House’s mission to solve the root problem of widening economic disparities through innovative alternatives. Come see a model of “Traditioned Innovation.” (PLENTY of bike parking, MTBA stop- Dudley Station, or on street metered parking available)

Why: We are gathering interesting people who care about the Church in the world, and want to build our skills to lead Christian institutions with joy and creativity. The Massachusetts Council of Churches is partnering with Duke Divinity School to bring Foundations of Christian Leadership again to New England in 2017. We are gathering who might be a good fit to develop some more capacity to think theologically about Christian institutions.

When: Thursday, February 2, 2017 6:30 -8:30pm
RSVP with the Facebook event, or email Rev. Daryl at by Monday, January 30.

Other ideas of people who should be invited? Let us know. Looking for more information on Foundations of Christian Leadership: New England? Visit (Last day to apply for Foundations of Christian Leadership New England is February 24, 2017)


Rev. Daryl and Board Chair Anthony attended Boston's annual Martin Luther King Breakfast, co-chaired by Rev. Jay Williams, a member of the MCC Working Board.      |     (617) 523-2771