"What happens after Election Day?" a fellow pastor asked during a voting forum. “I understand Christians have differences in opinions but what do we do after Election Day?” He was visibly upset and frustrated with the way this panel articulated perspectives. This pastor reinforced his concerns by saying, “I have Republicans and Democrats in my congregation! I am sitting here trying to figure out how do we worship together after November 3rd?”

As we come to the end of this election cycle, at the Mass. Council of Churches, we are hearing from many Christians concerned about what happens after Election Day. We are concerned, too. The Church is called to be “the light of the world.” Many pastors serve congregations with various stakes in this election. There are people that view this November as a threat to their life and safety. Parishioners are sitting in pews or virtual chairs, in fears of losing homes, jobs, and businesses. Others think they may lose their health care, their right to have an abortion, or to marry a person of the same gender. There are Blacks churches that are fearful of just being Black in America, the trauma of viewing Blacks dying in real-time, and the disproportionate loss of loved ones in this current pandemic. Several minority church leaders have been dealt a blow from being attacked because of their Asian heritage or afraid to complete the Census in fear of ICE detaining members. This list is extensive, exhausting, and long. This list is hard and cold. It is clearly inhumane. Countless parishioners face these experiences daily. 

I keep coming back to that pastor's question, "How do we worship together after November 3," regardless of the outcome of the election? How do we reconcile our communities of faith when there are seemingly overwhelming differences?  Leaders have to take the time to pray and seek God who reconciles all. I am meditating on the Greatest Commandment given to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Love is one of the most powerful action verbs. When we love one another, we’re able to get through tough and downright evil times. The power of love can draw people of opposing views together. The Church must remain, or become, an institution of love for the broken, bruised, and battered. We all must choose love to bring people together and unite fractured sectors in our faith community. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left us with these words; “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." This is the hope and glimmer of light every Church leader can hold on to in these dark days.

with hope,

 Rev. Kenneth

PS- We are particularly concerned about polarization, hatred, and fracture within the Church, and plan to keep sharing resources with you on this. We also want to share with you a more secular resource that some of the Episcopal Bishops have pointed us towards- a national campaign to depolarize political conversations called "Braver Angels." Find more at BraverAngels.org 

Thank you, Rev. Meagan & Job Post
Church, for the past six years Rev. Meagan Manas has been a steady presence and wise leader on staff at Mass. Council of Churches. Her last day is Thursday Oct 15, 2020 as she departs to continue her training for a graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling. We are so profoundly grateful for her time among us, and her commitment to see abundance in every aspect of ministry, especially and including excellent procedures and systems! 

 As we share our gratitude for Rev. Meagan and look forward to a time to celebrate her ministry, we are praying that God prepare our next colleague.  We need your help in seeking out the next staff person to serve with us. We've redeveloped the job description to a Director of Operations to better reflect how the work has changed, and is shifting moving forward. Please, share this job posting with people in your networks who you think might be a good fit and point them to our job board. We are grateful for your prayers, your connections and your support in this next search! 

 Lydia Fellows Update

As our world continues to struggle through the Covid-19 pandemic, many of friends and family members are struggling to hold their lives, communities, finances, hopes, and dreams together.

The past seven months we have lived with a global pandemic. We have learned that flexibility, adaptability, and innovation are necessary for leading in ministry. These essential traits for leading in a pandemic are also essential for thriving in ministry as a bi-vocational pastor.

Many of the Lydia Fellows in our cohort exemplify these qualities as they rely on the Holy-Spirit, utilize their array of gifts, and remain flexible as they serve in new and creative ways. Creating space for bi-vocational pastors to share, learn and grow in community with like-minded leaders is essential to the thriving of our churches and communities.

As we continue to pivot and adjust at the Mass Council of Churches and envision our next cohort of Lydia Fellows, we are excited to support our next round of bi-vocational pastors that will help us learn and adapt to the changing needs of our community.

Our application for the 2021 Lydia Fellows will be available on November 1, 2020.

If you are interested in learning more about the Lydia Fellow, please email Reverend Carrington Moore at carrington@masscouncilofchurches.org


Please, share this image on your church's social media and encourage your people to complete the Census at www.my2020Census.gov. Due to lawsuits by the current administration, the 2020 Census will end counting on October 15. Please post, share and encourage ALL your people to complete the Census. 
Worth Our Salt: The Distinctive Flavor of Christian Witness in this Election Season
Church, join Rev. Laura and Senior Pastor-Elect of Twelfth Baptist Church, Boston Rev. Willie Bodrick II with some of our colleagues in New Hampshire for this webinar on what is distinctively Christian about our political witness in this election season. Hosted by the "What in God's Name" podcast, the panel includes: 

The What In God’s Name podcast hosts a panel conversation with:
Jason Wells (NH Council of Churches)
Willie Bodrick II (Sr. Pastor Elect, Twelfth Baptist Church, Roxbury, MA)
Laura Everett (MA Council of Churches)
Rob Hirschfeld (Episcopal Bishop of NH)

Church, are you ready for some GOOD NEWS?!

God is at work across Massachusetts! Through the One Church Fund and your incredible generosity of $146,675 raised (over half way to $250,000), Black, immigrant and unhoused churches have more of the resources they need to feed neighbors, provide care to elders, support students, and keep the doors of the church open. We have more stories to tell, but right now you can see on the website a map of the churches across the Commonwealth who are providing these essential ministries, churches supported through the One Church Fund. Rejoice, good people!

This is a counter-witness to scarcity and hope to a weary and broken world. Together, we have enough when we share. Give generously and ask for what you need. Give funds and apply for funds. Do you not see Acts 4 unfolding before us, Church?


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