This Sunday in the Revised Common Lectionary, the Epistle reading from I Corinthians 15 reads: 

But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?"  Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.  And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.  But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.  So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.  It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.

It's a fitting word for the church in Massachusetts as we remember the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Horace Allen.  A recipient of the Massachusetts Council of Church's Forrest L. Knapp Award, Rev. Dr. Allen was honored in 2012 for his sustained commitment to ecumenism.  Perhaps most notable among his life's work is his contribution to the creation of the Revised Common Lectionary, which he quipped would give the congregation “not the wisdom of the pastor on Friday night, but the wisdom of the Church.” 

As we remember his faithful service, a memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 3, at 2 PM at Marsh Chapel, Boston University.  Please join us to honor Rev. Dr. Allen's faithful service.

Paul's letter to the Corinthians also reminds us that what passes away will be raised, and so we celebrate not only the glory of Rev. Dr. Allen's rest in the presence of his risen savior, but also the ways in which God is bringing new life to bear across the Commonwealth.  We are hiring a new staff member to manage a new program to resource part-time clergy in innovative and life-giving ways.  A conference organized by College of the Holy Cross in Worcester will explore the work of Bible Scholars seeking to produce a new translation of the Revised Common Lectionary.  An "Innovation Lab" for Chaplains will offer webinars to resource and connect those ministering in this particular setting--with hope and new ideas for the future.

Rev. Dr. Allen's gifts will live on in our communities for some time to come.  May all our work be so faithful, may our legacies bear clear and true witness to our faith that what is weak will be made strong.

With hope,

Rev. Meagan

In This Issue

April 2-3, 2019

Free webinars

Check out more opportunities 


The Massachusetts Council of Churches relies on donors like you to join us in making the Vibrant Church Visible! If you are grateful for the work of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, please make a financial commitment so that we might continue to be a critical coordinating force for good, and a common Christian witness.  

Are you hiring?  Visit to list your job on our website.  

Are you looking for work?  Visit to check out the opportunities!  

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.

February 23-24
Undergraduate Inter-religious Retreat

Sponsored by Hebrew College and planned by a group of local undergraduate students, this retreat will focus on how to build positive interfaith dialogue. More information here!


We told you a few months ago about the generous grant we received from the Lilly Endowment's Thriving in Ministry Program.  Our first step in this exciting work is to hire a Program Director for the Lydia Fellows.

The Program Director will manage the Lydia Fellows Program, a grant-based program funded by the Lilly Endowment.  Their responsibilities will include recruitment of participants, communication with denominational partners, design of annual retreats, implementation of the program, pastoral care of the participants, evaluation, and grant administration.

There's more information on this position and how to apply on our website.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

April 2-3, 2019
Rehm Library
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

Readings from the Roots is a new, historically-sensitive translation of the Revised Common Lectionary with the goal of reducing the potential for anti-Judaism by enriching Christianity through its roots in Judaism.  The Readings from the Roots translation team will host this two-day conference to highlight the project and engage scholars and practitioners, especially Christian clergy:

-to deepen their understanding of the authors' relationship to Judaism in the diverse writings of the New Testament;
-to articulate the challenges and opportunities for accurately reflecting that relationship in a translation of Scripture; and
-to consider how a translation of the texts can be used in worship to eradicate the anti-Judaism that continues to be associated with Christian readings of the Bible.


Located at Brandeis University, the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab is a think tank that supports research, teaching, and the provision of spiritual care in a range of settings.  

The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab will host several webinars this spring: you can register for each of these events - all of which are free - at 

February 27, 2019
12p EST

“Chaplaincy Education”
Frank Yamada, Association of Theological Schools (ATS)
Alice Hunt, American Academy of Religion (AAR)

April 11, 2019
2p EST

“Chaplaincy beyond Tradition”
Ann Kansfield, Fire Department of New York
Rev. Dr. LeSette Write, Berea College
Rev. Laura Everett, Massachusetts Council of Churches      |     (617) 523-2771