The work of faith communities often feels like planting without knowing if there will ever be a harvest. We share the Gospel, preach God's word, care for the suffering, and sometimes we see the fruit of our labor. Always, we trust that what we offer in faithfulness to God will be enough.
This week, we got to see some fruits of our intentional effort to change the national conversation about COVID 19 to prioritize not just the economy, but those who suffer in body and spirit.
a secular national news outlet, publicized the struggles of small churches, shining a light on the injustices that overburden small, marginalized, and poor churches. In their interview with Rev. Laura, we were able to highlight your challenges to receiving Paycheck Protection Program
loans (please fill out the survey
below if you have not yet done so!) and disparities caused by unequal access. Please continue to read, share, and respond to "Small Churches are in Particularly Big Trouble Right Now
" to multiply a story that too often goes unnoticed.
It's the stories of small churches, and of churches disproportionally harmed by COVID19 that convicted our hearts, and our Board to create the One Church Fund
As Rev. Laura shared in the interview,
we are prioritizing the needs of Black, Immigrant and unhoused churches, because "it’s a matter of meeting the “overwhelming needs” of churches that provide not just Sunday morning spirituality but after-school programs, food pantries, opportunities for the elderly to socialize, and other vital services."
The needs are great across the body of Christ and growing, and so we ask you to give to the One Church Fund. Please give now so we can meet our goal of $50,000 and begin to grant funds to the parts of the body hurting most.
This week brought a devastating report
that many Black, immigrant and unhoused communities already knew in their bones; as COVID19 struck, the death rate in April surged nearly 40 percent higher in Massachusetts cities and towns with the largest concentrations of people of color compared to those with the least.
“This kind of data should be a wake-up call,” said Dr. Sandro Galea, a physician, epidemiologist, and dean of the Boston University School of Public Health. “It’s not enough to pay attention to the whole, but to pay attention to the fact that particular groups need particular help.”
As we seek to honor the whole body of Christ, we continue to proclaim that all people are essential. After listening carefully to our eighteen heads of church and other parts of the Church, Rev. Laura told Gov. Baker's Reopening Advisory Board just that, as she and other faith leaders met with them
this week. As quarantine fatigue sets in and we ache to gather in person, we seek to faithfully balance our freedom and our care for others. The Massachusetts Council of Churches will be posting
information for churches related to "re-opening" concerns after the Governor releases his plan next week. There are no easy answers or one-size-fits-all instructions. Once again, churches will be called to faithful discernment, listening to God's direction and imagining more new ways of being together.
Whatever the future has in store, God holds it. This is our refuge, and we hope it is yours as well. We see your faithful work, your deep pain over what has been lost, your anxiety about what is still to come. We hope you know that your labor bears fruit that will last, whether its results are immediately seen and felt, or not. Thank you.
God Bless you.
Revs. Laura, Meagan, Kenneth, and Carrington