On behalf of the Massachusetts Council of Churches we are excited to announce the   inaugural Lydia Fellows Thriving in Ministry Cohort!

The Lydia Fellows Thriving in Ministry cohort reflects the diversity of the Kingdom of  God and a core value of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. In gratitude for the variety of God’s creation, we intentionally celebrate and make visible the diversity of people, gifts, traditions and perspectives. The Lydia Fellows Program will support pastoral fellows who will meet over the course of ten months for retreats, fellowship, pastoral support and peer coaching. Ultimately, the Lydia Fellows Program will create a space for pastors to flourish in part-time settings, providing new models of vibrant ministry for the Church in Massachusetts.

Please join us in community and welcoming and congratulating our 2020 cohort.

With hope,
Rev. Carrington

Minister Ylisse Bess is a Hospital Chaplain with Beth Israel Deaconess Center. Minister Ylisse graduated with a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology.
Rev. Miniard Culpepper is the Senior Pastor of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church where he has served for the past 21 years. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University, a law degree from Suffolk University Law School, and a Master of Divinity Degree from Howard University, and currently works for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Rev. Culpepper has worked on numerous local and national political campaigns serving as senior campaign official for 2 former US Presidents. He is a member of the Massachusetts and District of Columbia bars. All this in addition to a dedicated family man, he has 2 adult sons of whom he is extremely proud.
Pastor Sarah Raquel Gautier has devoted her life to building people up to live alive in wholeness for purpose. Living in Boston for 11 years, she has served Latinx and Black communities as a small business attorney, a youth pastor, and a youth development non-profit leader. Currently, Sarah is the Lead Pastor of Living Stones (a church gathering at CrossFit Jeffries Point in East Boston) and they are asking the question: "What does it look like for a faith community to partner with small business owners to meet the needs of the neighborhood?"
The Reverend Christine Keddy is the Director of Missions and the Elder Ministry Coordinator for The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts. Reverend Keddy is also an adjunct faculty at Lasell University.
Kristina Keefe-Perry is a mom, bicyclist, gardener, and Quaker minister from Arlington, MA. She is one of the Hosts of Three Rivers Meeting, an open and affirming spiritual community rooted in the Christian tradition of The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
The Rev. Eric R. Litman is the priest of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Newtonville, Massachusetts. In addition to parish ministry, he also works as an environmental scientist.  Eric is passionate about inter-religious dialogue and is involved in a variety of inter-religious organizations focused on building relationships across difference.

Elder Reginald Smalls has been married to Monica for over 30 years and they have two sons, Marquis & Isaiah.  After serving in youth ministry for over 25 years he was installed as the Senior Pastor at Bethel Pentecostal Church in Dorchester, MA in 2014.  He currently works for Safeguard Security & Surveillance as a sales representative but most importantly he loves the Lord
The Rev. Kevin Holland Sparrow is rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Hanover, Massachusetts where he has served since October 2018. A native of Georgia, Kevin is a graduate of the University of the South and Harvard Divinity School. He is currently completing a Doctor of Ministry in Liturgy degree at The School of Theology of the University of the South. In his spare time, he enjoys horseback riding, travel, and mystery novels.

Rev. Douglas Stivison is the pastor of the First Congregational Church at Lund’s Corner in New Bedford.  He holds a Master of Divinity from New York Theological Seminary and has served both Presbyterian and Congregational churches in New Jersey and Massachusetts for the past twenty years.
The Rev. Diane Wong was ordained to the priesthood in 2003 in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.  Rev. Diane holds a master’s degree in Divinity and Teaching English as a Second Language.  Her parish ministry includes serving parishes here in the diocese and serving as an appointed missionary priest to an expatriate congregation in Taipei Taiwan in 2006-2010.  Currently, Rev. Diane serves as rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, MA, and is an ESL teacher with Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) in Roslindale.  
In This Issue
Rev. Laura Gives Invocation at The Winter Walk
"The Rev. Laura Everett. executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, sent walkers off Sunday morning with a prayer for homeless people, for more programs to treat mental health and addiction issues, and for more housing units to be built “until everyone is housed.”

Check out the Globe's coverage of The Winter Walk that took place on Sunday, and visit their website to learn how you can help end homelessness. Many, many blessings upon all who work for the dignity and shelter of everyone.

At the end of 2019, as anti-Semitic violence was threatening the safety of our Jewish neighbors and kin across the nation, the Massachusetts Council of Churches partnered with Boston-area pastors to release a “Letter from Christian Leaders decrying violence against Jews.”  To date, over 1,055 pastors and church leaders signed on. This swift and broad witness has been balm to our Jewish siblings. 


And, it is very clear that one sign-on letter will not roll back the waves of anti-Semitic violence in this country. There is much work to be done. 

We're halfway to our goal to raise $5000, will you help make this learning opportunity possible?

If we can raise enough funds, we will bring Rev. Dr. Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski to Massachusetts for a series of workshops on Christian anti-Semitism. A professor of Christian history at the Seminary of the Southwest in Texas with a focus area on Christian-Jewish relationships and an Episcopal priest, Rev. Dr. Joslyn-Siemiatkoski was raised near Springfield, MA, did his undergrad at Gordon College and his PhD at Boston College.

Other ways to get involved:


Read, share, and audit: Rev. Laura and Rev. Dr. Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski wrote this essay on our particular Christian obligation to “audit” our own words, worship and practices for the ways we may inadvertently use Judaism to bolster a case for Christianity. Please consider reading this essay, sharing it in your church, and undertaking a review of how we speak about Jews, Israelites, Judaism, the Hebrew Scriptures, and God’s covenant with Israel

Check out these three books to begin:

Professor Amy-Jill Levine’s “The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus

Mary Salmon’s “Preaching without Contempt: Overcoming Unintended Anti-Judaism” 

Jesus Was Not Killed By the Jews: reflections for Christians in Lent” edited by Jon Sweeney.  


There really is no Massachusetts Council of Churches without the churches, church members and church leaders of Massachusetts.  We need your support in order to continue our work in areas that matter to you.  Will you join us today with a financial contribution?

Give one time or set up a monthly donation from our website by clicking on the "donate" button below!  Thank you for your faithful  support.

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