There is so much history here. From this place, Massachusetts Council of Churches met to work on common Sunday School curricula, organized to protect child workers in the Massachusetts textile mills, organize for civil rights and racial justice, ran across the street to the State House to lobby and produced a Christian radio show called "Good News." From this place, we have made the vibrant Church visible.
We grieve leaving this building which was once called "a beehive of benevolent activity."
We have lived and worked among some amazing non-profits, some Christian and some not, but all dedicated to the care for the vulnerable, the amplification of voices silenced, and a truly commonwealth. We give thanks for their holy work to bring about the Kingdom of God.
We also have profound concerns about Boston' s economic inequality
and the ability of non-profits to work in our city, as commercial real estate booms. We worry, is this going to be a city only for profit?
As Adrian Walker's recent column noted in the Boston Globe, "For the building is not simply an edifice, but a community — a place to compare notes, pool resources, and, often, collaborate. As more than 30 nonprofits housed here stare into an uncertain future, it is the loss of the community that bothers them, as much as the loss of discounted office space."
So, on Wednesday, we ask you to come acknowledge and celebrate this community as we now finally leave the Congregational House.
As we move, we are hopeful about our new space, and about the work that God has for us to do together in Massachusetts. But it's going to take us a minute to get settled.
Please, friends, don't expect to get a quick response via email or phone this week (or next week, realistically). All of us who live in church worlds are accustomed to piling up tasks to do "after Easter," please add contacting us to that list as well.
Before we turn all our attention to moving well, with gratitude for what has been and with intention for what will be, we'd love to see you, and toast 14 Beacon one more time. Please, will you join us?
We will have some celebratory beverages and some time to meet and share memories of the space.
We are aware that we are not the only ones facing transitions right now. We know that every church in Massachusetts is asking now, or will be asking how our space serves our ministry. We offer this small prayer from Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, asking you to pray it with and for us as we pray it with and for you:
“In Times of Transition”
In life and death
we belong to God
from the joys of new birth
to the grief of a final breath
from a morning’s farewell
to an evening’s welcome
from one place
God make Your presence known