In the season of Epiphany, we seek, like the Wise Ones all those years ago, to orient ourselves toward Christ’s light.  Like the Magi, when we begin to study our surroundings for signs of God’s work among us, we find the Spirit at work.  God is moving in our congregations, in our families, in our communities, in our state. Like the Magi who journeyed from the East, this season has brought reason to turn our attention toward what God is doing in the West.


Last week, two local Heads of Church who had not known one another before we connected them, co-hosted a service to begin the Week of Prayer for Christian UnityBishop Mitchel Rozanski of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield and Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar of the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church were joined by Rev. Laura and brothers and sisters from The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, The Diocese of the Armenian Church in America, The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, The New England Synod of the ELCA, The African Methodist Episcopal Church, The Church of God in Christ, The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts, The Coptic Orthodox Church, and others.  Those gathered renewed their baptismal vows and raised funds to support hurricane relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Catholic Communications News captured the spirit of the event in their article: “This was the first time I’ve seen so many religions all together. It was wonderful,” said Anna Cruz of West Springfield. “It was lively.”


As Christ’s light shines in the unity shared through tradition, a new lamp of innovation has been lit by members of the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ in Western MA.  Inspired by the challenge of ministry in their particular part of the state, Episcopalian and UCC ministers formalized an avenue for partnership this November.  In addition to committing to local ecumenical witness and combined efforts on social and environmental justice issues, a resolution from the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts is calling for a year of thoughtful dialogue between the two communions.  For the season of Epiphany, the following questions are intended to direct their attention toward Christ’s light:

“How is Christ made manifest in our traditions? And how can we celebrate the Incarnation together? How does this conversation enlarge our vision for the ways in which we can make Christ manifest? And what are its implications for the ways in which we engage ministry within our specific contexts of ministry?”


Church, Christ’s light shines across the commonwealth, in places both expected and unexpected, traditional and innovative.  We hope that you feel the warmth of that light in the opportunities and stories of this newsletter!  There are many bright spots around us.


In hope,

Rev. Meagan

 
 
 
 
In This Issue


February 24

October 15-18

 
 
 
 
 

The New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts
cordially invite you to join them at this workshop to learn how to save money and energy in your buildings!

February 24, 2018
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Trinity Lutheran Church
73 Lancaster Street
Worcester, MA 01609
Cost: $10 per org.


Sponsored By 
CSIP, a non-profit organization founded to help houses of worship save money and help the environment by identifying energy
efficiency measures, helping implement projects and proposing funding options for congregations and non-profits.
 
 
 
 
 
Give now to join our work!
The Massachusetts Council of Churches relies on donors like you to join us in making the Vibrant Church Visible! If you are grateful for the work of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, please make a financial commitment so that we might continue to be a critical coordinating force for good, and a common Christian witness.  We ask you to consider supporting us with a recurring, monthly gift.  Your
investment in the Council is well worth it.
 
 
 
 
 

Join us as we celebrate the launch of the new podcast #CanTheseBones, from Leadership Education at Duke Divinity! Rev. Laura co-hosts with Rev. William H. Lamar IV of the historic Metropolitan A.M.E. Church.

This Tuesday, the first six episodes went live, with a first interview featuring Pastor Amy Butler of The Riverside Church in the City of New York.

Subscribe because it's lonely in the valley of dry bones, and we all need to hear where others are finding life. Please listen, subscribe, and share!
 
 
 
 
 
Spirituality and Addiction: February 1 in Needham
Spirituality and Addiction Workshops are back, with new models and training.  Learn how to bring light to this difficult communal and congregational issue.  Join the Norfolk County gathering to learn more!

February 1, 2018
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Christ Episcopal Church
1132 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA 02494

Please register online by Monday, January 29 if you would like to attend!
 
 
 
 
 

Foundations of Christian Leadership: Opportunities in 2018


Are you a leader in justice, community, education or church ministry? Are you seeking colleagues to inspire creativity and build skills to further your mission?


Join us for Foundations of Christian Leadership

       offered by Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.


2018-19 Locations: Washington D.C. and Houston, TX


Dates:

  • Washington, D.C.:

Session 1: April 23-26, 2018; Session 2: August 27-30, 2018

Application due: February 23rd, 2018

  • Houston, TX:

Session 1: October 22-25, 2018; Session 2: January 28-31, 2019

Application due: August 22, 2017


For more information, contact María Teresa Gastón at mtgaston@div.duke.edu 919-613-5355 Hablo español.

Or visit the Foundations websiteExplore FOCL

 
 
 
 
 

October 15-18, 2018
The Cathedral Church of St. Paul
138 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02111
Registration is now open for the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving's Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising Course, offered this fall in Boston hosted by the Massachusetts Council of Churches.  

The Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising (ECRF), a four day intensive program with a practical application project, provides the research, tools and customized training to meet the growing needs of leaders in religious communities and fundraisers of faith-based organizations. The focus of the ECRF is on the cultural, organizational and philanthropic practices unique to religious institutions that in turn enable donors motivated by spiritual and religious values to experience the joy of generous giving.
 
 
 
 

masscouncilofchurches.org      |     (617) 523-2771
 
 
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