Give $40 for Rev. Laura’s 40th Birthday! Today Only!
December 30, 2018
Forty is an important number in the Bible: it rained for 40 days and 40 nights during the flood in Genesis; the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years before they entered the promised land; before his temptation, Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness; there were 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension. The list could go on! 40 is an important number for us as people of faith. And today, it’s an important number for our very own Rev. Laura as she celebrates her 40th birthday!
Want to help Rev. Laura celebrate this milestone birthday? How about donating $40 (or $400! or $1600—that’s $40 x 40!) in her honor--along with your birthday message?
Rev. Laura is a gifted and faithful leader whose work on behalf of the Massachusetts Council of Churches allows us to live out our mission in powerful ways. Through ecumenical partnerships, church visits, public witness, and skillful administration, Laura nurtures and amplifies the vitality of the Church in Massachusetts. She has been doing this work for just over seven years, and this past year she saw the Council through some significant milestones:
At the Annual Meeting in October, the Advisory Board approved a bylaw change that will enable individual churches to become members of the Council. This change will allow us to expand the Council as we welcome a more diverse array of churches to partner with us even if they do not have the denominational presence in the Commonwealth that would have been necessary for them to join the Council in the past. This is good news!
In October, we partnered with the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving to host the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising. This collaboration provided 27 clergy and laypeople from nine denominations with the opportunity to learn about best practices related to fundraising in religious institutions. This is good news!
This fall, we also shared that the Massachusetts Council of Churches received a $550,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment to help establish the Lydia Fellows Program for Thriving in Part-Time Ministry. The Lydia Fellows program will allow us to gather cohorts of part-time pastors to meet over the course of two years for retreats, dinners, and peer coaching so that pastors can receive the support and learning they need to flourish in part-time settings. And they will be financially compensated for their participation in the program. This is good news!
Rev. Laura also completed a three-month sabbatical this fall. While Rev. Laura’s presence was missed during her time away, it is a testament to her excellent planning (and the faithful work of her amazing colleagues) that the work of the Council moved forward even in her absence. This is more good news!
You can be a part of the good news of the Massachusetts Council of Churches! As the year ends, consider giving $40 and leaving a tribute message
to celebrate Rev. Laura’s birthday!
Your year-end contribution is fully tax-deductible and goes to support the amplifying, reconciling ministry of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. We hope you’ll join us in wishing Laura a happy 40th birthday!
With hope, peace, joy, love, and light,
Rev. Jennie Barrett Siegal
President, Massachusetts Council of Churches
Senior Pastor, Old South Union Church (UCC), Weymouth, MA
P.S.: We’re looking for monthly donors to sustain our ministry at a level that is affordable to them—would you join me in becoming a monthly donor?