Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ. Please,  save the date of  

Friday September 20, 2019
 “May We Forever Stand”:
Massachusetts Commemorates 400 Years of Black Resiliency

The year 2019 marks 400 years since the first enslaved Africans set foot in Jamestown, Virginia. Since then, Black communities have demonstrated remarkable resiliency in the face of cruelty, terror, and systematic oppression. African Americans have not only created pathways to survive but, in many instances, to thrive. Through it all, the Black Church has endured as a beacon of hope and testimony to resurrection. On September 20, 2019, people of faith will gather to honor ancestors, commemorate 400 years of resiliency, and pray for an end to systemic and racial injustice. ​​​​​​​

The commemoration will consist of two major components on Friday September 20:
  • a preaching master class during the day
  • a joint ecumenical worship service in the evening

We ask that you save the date and share this with your church community.  In the days ahead, we will follow up with opportunities for your sponsorship and participation. We encourage that every denomination plan to turn out 100 people for the joint ecumenical worship service.

Please use the above image and blurb for your bulletins, social media posts, and newsletters. Please share widely! 

Massachusetts has a complex and varied history on the path to liberation for all.  Far too often, the story of abolition and justice has centered the stories of white leadership. And yet, we are actively excavating and reclaiming stories of black resiliency.  As the Massachusetts Council of Churches, our 116-year-old history contains both these threads. As a network of churches dedicated to full, visible, Christian unity, we also know that racism and our internal divisions have compromised our common witness to the liberating love of Jesus Christ. As we gather on September 20, we envision this time of education, commemoration, and worship as a celebration of black resiliency in Massachusetts, especially through the enduring power of the Black Church.
May Jesus Christ, who draws all people to himself, be glorified in our work and witness.

In hope,

Rev. Laura, Rev. Meagan, Rev. Kenneth, & Rev. Carrington

Massachusetts Council of Churches

In This Issue

June 6, 2019
Musical Worship During Difficult Times

June 15, 2019
NAAE Student Prize Deadline

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.  

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.
For those of you who do not yet follow us there, we post a lot about our work on facebook!  Find us at

Thank you to all who came out to join the vigil for Sri Lanka on April 25.  Over 300 people gathered to pray and mourn.  We posted the text of “Prayers of the People: #RememberingSriLanka” for use in your congregation and personal use as you continue to grieve the churches targeted and hundreds killed.
As we think about changing roles for clergy and for spiritual caregiving, perhaps this conversation on chaplaincy will be of interest to you. “Chaplaincy Innovation Lab executive director Michael Skaggs interviews LeSette Wright, College Chaplain at Berea College; Ann Kansfield, chaplain in the Fire Department of New York; and Laura Everett, a bicycle chaplain in Boston."
Thursday June 6, 7pm

Thursday, June 6
7:00 PM
All Saints Parish
1773 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02445

Music Ministers and Liturgists have a particular ministry, and one that grows increasingly complex as the pain and suffering of the world threaten to overwhelm our communities of faith. Join the MCC and composer Paul Van Ness for a unique opportunity to gather as worship leaders to share ideas and resources for music ministry in difficult times. 

Experience a 35 minute live concert of The Tidings, an Advent/Christmas Cantata sung in SATB with piano and cello, written and performed by composer Paul Van Ness and a team of musicians. The Tidings ushers congregations into the narrative of the slaughter of the Holy Innocents in the nativity story and into deep theological reflection on "tidings of comfort and joy" in the midst of suffering and evil

After the concert, you will have the opportunity to share your own ideas, experiences, and resources with your colleagues, talking together about how best to serve your congregations in difficult seasons. 

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RSVP by June 1 is appreciated but not required.

The North American Academy of Ecumenists invites current undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in Christian unity to apply for the 2019 Student Prize, valued at $500. The students selected will have their registration fee and accommodations paid entirely by the Academy, and part or all of their travel expenses, to participate at the 2019 NAAE conference at The Sign of The Theotokos Orthodox Church, Montreal, Quebec, September 27-28-29, 2019.  The theme of this year’s annual conference, is “Towards a new Détente: Ecumenical Outreach and Interfaith Dialogue in an Age of Uncertainty”.

To apply: Write (2 pages maximum) about your academic studies, your involvement in the church, and how you envision greater realization of Christian unity, including specific suggestions for unity which churches might employ.  Email your text or attached file, in English or in French, to no later than June 15, 2019.

Applicants will be notified of results by June 30, 2019.
Download the Ecumenical Prayer Calendar and join us in praying for Christians in Massachusetts! In May we are praying for The Church of God in Christ, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Worcester, and the East Coast Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

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