As we prepare for the birth of our Lord, violent discourse and actions surround us. Divisions increase, brutality deforms our social fabric, and the hate-based attacks that plague our nation seem to dim the twinkly lights.
This mix of anticipation and great pain is not new. As the Gospel of Matthew tells us, when Jesus was born his parents had to flee their home for fear of Herod. And while the holy family escaped to safety, the voice of Rachel could be heard weeping for the children of Bethlehem who were massacred.
At times of grief and pain, we often feel powerless. But Jesus’ birth story reminds us that we are not. In the gift of Jesus Christ, God showed us how to respond to violence, division and pain: with generosity. God’s good gift, which seemed so small and helpless, had the power to save us all.
The Massachusetts Council of Churches seeks to live out God’s generosity in these divided and fearful times. This fall, our Advisory Board approved changes to our constitution that will open more avenues for churches who have not had access before to become official members of the Council. Through the work of our Director of External Relationships, we are expanding the network of faith communities who know us and one another, building a stronger web of diverse relationships. As we continue to proclaim, we believe that the things that unite us in Christ are stronger than anything that might divide us.
We know that you believe this, too. In this time of violence and division, will you join us in the kind of generosity that has the power to overcome fear? We ask for your prayers, your love for your own neighbors, and your financial gifts as we continue to practice the love of God embodied in a child about to be born.
Please give to join our mission, making the vibrancy of Christian Unity visible in Massachusetts.
Mr. Anthony Barsamian, Esq. Rev. Jennifer Barrett Siegal
Outgoing Board President Incoming Board President