For the last three years, I’ve had the opportunity to attend the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference in Hampton, VA. Hampton University Ministers’ Conference (HUMC) is one of the largest Black Ecumenical gatherings in the nation. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time listening to preachers and teachers from diverse backgrounds. This conference continues to show diverse dynamics the Black church.

While attending the conference, I wound often see brochures about Jamestown, VA. As a lover of history, I decided to visit on my way back to the airport. I was thrilled to get this opportunity to visit “America’s Birthplace”. If I was honest, I was also struggling to wrap my mind around a place that was also the birthplace of pain, sorrow, and tragedy. Driving down you would continue to see signage celebrating the great heritage and history of Jamestown. The words were flowery and delicate, painting a clear picture of the brave souls that lived in Jamestown--and yet there was no mention of the resilient Africans who built it.

When I arrived, history hit me in the face like a ton of bricks. The layout of the community was still intact. The building in the center of town was the church, a big, tall, building adorned with regal fixtures, still in its place. Further down the road I could hear people talking. It turned out to be an archaeologist doing a dig related to a slave woman named Angela. I spoke with the curator and he pointed to the shore. “That’s where about 20 African slaves stepped off the boat onto this land in 1619.” He said that the residents of Jamestown paraded these Africans through the town and pointed out a specific location of the slave quarters. I was shocked to say the least. The word parade stuck to my soul. I went from a place of freedom (church) to bondage (slavery) just that quickly.

The curator said people would have you to believe that these slaves were stupid or unintelligent, but if it wasn’t for the slaves there would be no America. My jaw almost dropped to the ground. The slaves saved what we know to be America. The settlers couldn’t grow anything, but the slaves from West Africa were able to plant crops. He said, “they were physically shackled, but their minds were free.” This has been the story for Blacks for centuries in America. 

400 Years of Black resiliency is important to for every American to name. Slaves that were bound were able to freely think of ways to push this country forward. I could list various names of Black inventors, artists, and educators who have gone unnoticed. This commemoration will be for those whose names will never be called. It’s for my grandmother who showed me her hands and told me how she picked cotton. She explained to me the pain of losing her brother because there was not a hospital available for Blacks in her city. This commemoration makes us remember and never forget the many atrocities Blacks have faced. It calls us to continue to set memory markers. These markers give credence to past and allow us to envision a brighter future. 


To my sisters and brothers of all races, from a wide variety of Christian traditions, I invite you to share my story by joining us on Friday, September 20, at the Greater Framingham Community Church to commemorate 400 years of Black resiliency.  Show your support by becoming a sponsor, or attending our preaching masterclass.  Let the Black church in Massachusetts know that they are not forgotten, that their contributions are worthy of remembering and celebrating.



In hope,

Rev. Kenneth

P.S.: You might have heard some buzz about the New York Times 1619 project.  "This project is, above all, an attempt to set the record straight. To finally, in this 400th year, tell the truth about who we are as a people and who we are as a nation,” New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones said during a launch event. “It is time to stop hiding from our sins and confront them. And then in confronting them, it is time to make them right.”  Read more at the New York Times Magazine website as you learn more about what this anniversary means for all of us.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In This Issue


Mark your calendar! September 20, 2019
400 Years Commemoration.
Greater Framingham Community Church




Sept. 15, 2019


Check out more opportunities 


And don't miss your chance to become a sponsor!

 
 
 
 
 

We are thrilled by the support we have received so far to support our commemoration of 400 years.  As more and more news comes out about the significance of 1619, don't you want to be part of the commemoration of Black resiliency?  

Please give via our sponsorship form and your name will be added to the cloud of witnesses who believe that racial justice is a Christian priority. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Are you hiring?  Visit www.masscouncilofchurches.org/jobs/post-a-job/ to list your job on our website.  

​​​​​​​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.
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Massachusetts Council of Churches is pleased to announce our new research project “Make It Plain: The Agency and Legacy of People of Color in the Massachusetts Council of Churches.”

At this critical moment, we are aware that the MCC has more than often been a council for *some* of the churches. With a grant from Mass Humanities, made possible by the Mass Cultural Council, we are doing own organizational homework on how race and racism have been a part of our history. We seek to understand how the official history of the MCC may overlook people and communities of color who played an important role in Massachusetts religious life. We also seek to lift up the work of people and communities of color in the MCC’s internal and external efforts.

We welcome Jane Carol Redmont who will lead the project as Scholar in Residence at the MCC for the next six months.  Redmont will examine more than a century of MCC archives from 1902 to the present and will conduct interviews with persons who have and are living memories of the life of the MCC, especially people of color in religious leadership.

The project began this month and will culminate in a public presentation and forum on the evening of January 23, 2020 and in an online exhibition that will be accessible to a broad public.

Please be in touch with Rev. Meagan if you would like to help with or contribute to this project.

 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, September 15, 2019, 4:00 pm
Concord, MA

Each year, the Al Filipov Peace and Justice Forum invites a speaker to share their work and vision, inspired by the memory of Al Filipov, who died in the terrorist attacks of 2001. The Al Filipov Peace & Justice Forum was founded to promote peace and justice among all people and to demonstrate the power of an individual to make a positive difference in the world.

This year the Forum honors Lois Gibbs for her lifelong work for environmental justice. Ms. Gibbs was the primary organizer of the Love Canal Homeowners Association. In 1978, she brought public attention to the environmental crisis in Love Canal. Her actions resulted in the evacuation of over 800 families. She is a pioneer in the field of environmental justice who worked to help train and support local activists with their environmental work. She is currently the Executive Director of Center for Health, Environment, and Justice in Washington, DC. 
 
 
 
 
 

I am thankful for the many learning opportunities I've had over the past month from listening and interviewing part-time/bi-vocational pastors across Massachusetts. Important insights regarding the needs of supporting Bi-vocational pastors have emerged that are helping the Mass Council Team develop a Fellowship that speaks to the needs and desires of Bi-Vocational Pastors across Massachusetts. Look for the Lydia Fellows Program For Thriving In Part Time Ministry online Application September 10th, 2019. For more information please contact me
--Rev. Carrington

 
 
 
 

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