Dear Church,

Spring is beginning as the Orthodox Church marks a holy lent (join us for an ecumenical pilgrimage to Orthodox Good Friday on April 29), and the Western Church celebrates the joy of Eastertide.  In this sacred time, God is putting us to work in the resurrection task of making all things new.  Here's where we've been at work together with you:

Building up the Craft of Preaching
The Massachusetts Council of Churches served as the regional host for The Academy of Preachers' New England Festival of Young Preachers.  Through this event, young preachers (age 14-28) receive feedback and build networks to encourage and support them as they learn the craft of preaching.  This year's Festival took place at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.


Connecting with Christians from the Middle East
In the week after Easter, the President of the Republic of Armenia, His Excellency Serzh Sargsyan, visited Boston.  Bishop Gayle Harris (Immediate Past President of the Massachusetts Council of Churches) and Rev. Laura participated in a welcoming prayer service at Old North Church upon the President's arrival.  Later that week, current Board President Anthony Barsamian, Esq., was honored with an official acknowledgement of his service to the Armenian community in Massachusetts during an official address.


Equipping Leaders of Christian Institutions
The Massachusetts Council of Churches and Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School hosted THIRTY Christian leaders for the first of two 4-day trainings, in a program called Foundations of Christian Leadership.  This is Duke's first time running the FOCL program outside of North Carolina, and we are thrilled with 30 participants from a wide range of traditions. 


Convening Ecumenical Services
For the past three years, the Massachusetts Council of Churches has played an integral role in the development and leadership of ecumenical and interfaith services to mark the anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing.  We are humbled to be called up on as a resource in times like these.  This year's ceremony was a time for grief and healing, including words from former Governor Duval Patrick.


Amplifying Voices of Faith in Religious Autonomy Case
We have led the effort in a complicated and important Religious Autonomy case that could allow local tax assessors to tax religious properties. Learn more in the press--we've contributed to pieces in The Boston Globe (both an article, and a column by Jeff Jacoby), The Boston Herald, WGBH, WBUR, and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Rev. Laura went on Greater Boston to talk about the case as well. The Massachusetts Council of Churches helped our seventeen member-denominations join in advocacy to protect their local churches, demonstrating the strength of our common witness.

Like the hard working roots and bulbs of the beautiful spring flowers, there is always more going on under the surface.  We convened a group of 30 "Young-ish, Clergy-ish" folks on Easter Monday for brunch and community.  We are continuing to search for the right person to fill our new staff position.  I met with over 40 clergy and church leaders to learn how to address addiction in Greenfield, MA last week.  And you are faithfully meeting and working, laying claim to the hope of one whose love is strong enough to unify us.  Thank you for your work, your witness, and your prayers.

In gratitude,

Rev. Meagan
 
 
 
 
In This Issue






 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

​The work of the 
Massachusetts Council of 
Churches is funded by many individuals, congregations, and denominational bodies--and we are grateful!  

Join our community of donors today by clicking on the link below!
 
 
DONATE NOW
 
 
 
May 2-5, 2016
Concordia Lutheran Church
40 Pitkin St.
Manchester, CT
The Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising (ECRF) is a four-day intensive course with a practical application project. It provides the research, tools, and customized training to meet the growing needs of leaders in religious communities and fundraisers of faith-based organizations.

The focus of the ECRF is on the cultural, organizational, and philanthropic practices unique to religious institutions. These practices in turn enable donors motivated by spiritual and religious values to experience the joy of generous giving. 

This training is made possible by the New England Synod, Hartford Seminary, and the Massachusetts Council of Churches through Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.  To learn more about the course objectives, required readings and final project please visit the ECRF main page.

Download the flyer to learn more and register at the online portal.
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Massachusetts Council of Churches is currently searching for a Director of External Relationships.  

" We are searching for someone who is affable, flexible, and extroverted. The main role of the Director of External Relationships is to build new relationships within, among and outside of our existing network of denominations, institutions, congregations, and individuals."  Read more, download the job description and application instructions!
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, April 29, 2016
6:45 PM
St. George Orthodox Cathedral
30 Anna Street
Worcester, MA 01604

Eastern and Western Easter fall weeks apart this year, which provides all of us with opportunities to get to know one another's traditions.  

Join Rev. Laura for this Good Friday Service of lament in the Orthodox tradition.  In support of our hosts, clergy are invited *not* to vest for this solemn occasion.

 Let us know if you're coming on the facebook event page, or email Rev. Meagan.
 
 
 
 
 
The Massachusetts Council of Churches is working with Rev. Janice Ford, RN, to bring workshops for clergy and pastoral leaders on addressing addiction and recovery in their congregations and communities to all fourteen counties in Massachusetts.  

Last week, over 40 people met in Greenfield, MA to learn from one another.  Thanks to Pastor Corey Sanderson and the Second Congregational Church!

​Upcoming Workshops: 
Middlesex County
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
9:00 am - 4:00 pm (registration opens at 8:30)
Christ Lutheran Church
113 Union Street
Natick, MA 01760

Boston Metro (North)
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
9:00 am - 4:00 pm (registration opens at 8:30)
Saint Peter's Episcopal Church
838 Massachusetts Ave.
 
 
 
 
 
 CELEBRATING THE COURAGE OF COMMUNITY

Sunday, May 8, 2016, 7 AM
Rain or shine!  Wear purple!
Town Field Park, Fields Corner
1520 Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02122
(New Route to Boston City Hall  TBA)
 
We invite you to participate in the historic 20th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace. Peace isn’t simply the absence of violence; peace is the presence of healing, reconciliation, and accountability. The Mother’s Day Walk is a celebration of our potential to create communities where all families can live in peace and all children are valued. More than that, the Mother’s Day Walk is a commitment to do the work necessary to bring that vision of peace to life.  Walk with us toward peace!  More at www.mothersdaywalk4peace.org!
 
 
 
 

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