I hear this grief again and again from churches across Massachusetts: more unnecessary funerals from opioid overdoses.  Just this week, Rev. Julie Carson at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Framingham buried a third young man this summer who overdosed before finding recovery. Rev. Carson said,  “I will officiate a funeral…Then I will look more deeply into keeping Narcan here at the church.”

Recovery is possible, and we believe the Church in Massachusetts can do a better job together of responding to the addiction crisis that has plagued so many for so long. But we need your support and financial help. 

We need to raise $3,115 to fund our revamped “Intro to Addiction for Spiritual Caregivers” workshops for seven more locations around the Commonwealth. Massachusetts Council of Churches has already run seven day-long. workshops .  MCC Director of External Relationships Rev. Daryl Lobban and Rev. Janice Ford have redesigned the curriculum, adding trainings on using Narcan, a crisis response nasal spray that reverses the effects of an overdose. 

But we can’t offer these workshops without your financial support.  We have churches across Massachusetts ready to host the workshops.  We’ve already raised 55% of the amount we need to run seven more workshops. But without further financial support, we cannot run this critical program.

Already, we see positive changes from our workshops: preachers are telling stories of addiction as we seek to reduce the shame that isolates addicts and their families. People are praying publically for recovery. More families are naming addiction in obituaries to get honest about the extent of the crisis. Churches that have never hosted 12-Step meetings are inviting groups to share their space.
We are a people that see in Jesus Christ the power of life that is stronger than death. Your financial contribution to our Addiction & Spirituality workshops enables clergy across the state to help those in the grip of addiction find that new, sober life. 

In 12-step spirituality, we aim to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. The Massachusetts Council of Churches is aiming to be part of the solution to the suffering in our state, a common witness to life abundant. We need your help to ensure that all clergy in the state are trained and equipped to see the addiction in our congregations and outside our doors. Please consider giving generously, and giving in honor of a loved one. Together, we can proclaim the possibility of new life, one day at a time. 

In hope,

Rev. Laura
In This Issue

September 25

September 28


October 9-12


September 25

October 30

Read Rev. Laura's sermons on her blog: RevEverett.com 

October 9 (6:00 pm)- October 12 (12:00 pm)

Join a dynamic gathering of musicians, clergy and lay people to recharge and renew your congregational song leading. Presenters Paul VasileCricket CooperMarilyn Haskel and Jorge Lockward will lead worship, workshops and conversation to help you add the valuable tool of paperless song leading to your community’s singing practice. Learn practical skills and diverse repertoire, and explore how paperless music can enrich and expand your congregation's repertoire of sung prayer and praise. This event is being generously co-sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts.

Registration and more information at Music that Makes Community's site.
ave in memory of a loved one or in honor of someone's recovery!  We've got $3,120 more to raise in order to keep this project going!  Will you help us now, as we do our part to put an end to the opiate crisis in Massachusetts? 

The Anna Howard Shaw Center invites you to participate in a research study of leadership in Protestant congregations. The information obtained in this study will contribute to knowledge about religious leadership, and will be used to create leadership development tools for pastors, lay leaders, and pastors-in-training. We welcome lay leaders and pastors of all ethnicities, gender identities, and perspectives to participate in this survey.

Thank you for your support.
Al Filipov Peace and Justice Forum: 

Sunday, September 25, 2015 from 4:00-6:00 pm
Trinitarian Congregational Church Concord, MA

The mission of the Al Filipov Peace & Justice Forum is to promote peace and justice among all people and to demonstrate the power of an individual to make a positive difference in the world. The Forum honors the memory of Al Filipov, a beloved member of Trinitarian Congregational Church of Concord Massachusetts, who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The Parents Circle-Families Forum is a joint grassroots organization of Palestinian and Israeli families who have lost immediate family members due to the Arab-Irsraeli conflict. The Parents Circle promotes education, public awareness, and advocacy to foster humanization and empathy towards both Israelis and Palestinians, planting seeds of peace by listening to and understanding one another, person-to-person.
Join us at our next workshop:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Wareham, MA

Contact Rev. Daryl for more information!

​Upcoming Workshops:
October: Norfolk/Plymouth
November: Hampden/Hampshire
This November, every Massachusetts voter will encounter up to six ballot questions on a number of wide-ranging topics. The following topics are up for consideration: Charter Schools, the Legalization of Marijuana, the Common Core, Expanded Gaming, Farm Animal Protection, and Fair Healthcare Pricing.
How can pastors and other church leaders vote faithfully and model civil discourse?
The Ecumenical Advocacy Coalition is offering a series of evening workshops on the Massachusetts ballot questions, intended to enhance your understanding of the ballot questions and sharpen your skills in modeling civil discourse during a contentious election. We intend to offer these workshops across Massachusetts in September and October 2016.   We invite you to consider hosting.


Did you know that cities across the northeast are ranked as some of the least Bible-minded cities in America? According to the American Bible Society’s annual survey, no city in all of New England rises above #86 of 100. Both inside and outside the church, people in our region have a lot of issues with the Bible. This September Rev. Anne Robertson, humanist author Tom Krattenmaker, and Fr. Warren Savage  are traveling to New Haven, Albany, Providence, and Boston to help us talk about it. Watch this four-minute video to see what The Great Bible Experiment: Exploring the Bible in America’s Least Bible-Minded Cities is all about.

Find out more and register to attend at massbible.org/experiment  

masscouncilofchurches.org      |     (617) 523-2771