In parts of the Orthodox Church, the ecclesial year starts with September 1, which has always felt right to me living among the schools of Boston. A new creation begins in so many of our communities at this time of year. Know I am grateful for the ways that each of our churches begins again in the holy work of worship and service. Thank you. Bless you.

 

I’m beginning something new, too- a sabbatical time for learning and restoration. I’ve served as Executive Director for nearly 7 years and am ready to take a break.  The good news is that the Massachusetts Council of Churches is a sufficiently strong and healthy institution for me to do so. I can feel myself a little threadbare, and in need of repair.  I long for a world of labor and compensation where all people are granted sabbatical rest and restoration. I know the privilege of a sabbatical and I am grateful.

 

From September 4-December 4, 2018, I’m stepping away from the day-to-day work of MCC. I’ve received a generous grant from the Louisville Institute for a project called “REPAIR & RENEW: Mending & Quilting as Models for Christian Institutional Innovation.”  We talk all the time about “repairing the social fabric” or mending Christian communities wrought by divisions of racism, sexism, trauma and all manner of violence. There are times when it feels like this country is coming apart at the seams. I need to learn with my hands what it takes to repair what has been torn apart.  I need to learn with my hands what can be saved and repaired, and what must be cut up for patches.

 

Here’s what I need from you, Church. First, I need your prayers- for me, for my colleagues Rev. Meagan and Rev. Kenneth and the Working Board, and for my family.  May God mend what is torn in me during this time, and strengthen the bonds of faith.

 

Next, I want you to mail me your scraps. Is there some old stole, worn kneeler, altar cloth, embroidered bible cover or deconsecrated textile that you are willing to share? Include a note on where it came from. Mail it to:

Massachusetts Council of Churches

138 Tremont Street

Boston, MA 02111

           

You can follow the Hashtag #MendingChurch mostly on Instagram, and when I get to it, the website https://mendingchurch.com. I’m going on pilgrimage to visit the African American women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama who quilt communally, making objects of beauty and utility from scrap.  I’m learning sashiko, a Japanese embroidery style that began as the patching of men’s fishing coats and became a high-contrast indigo and cotton stylized art. I’ll learn from the British women who took up the “make do and mend” mantra during World War II rationing, and now a whole new generation is learning these practices now across “mending cafes” in the UK.

 

My hope is that I’ll develop a workshop on mending a spiritual practice. Think if it might be a helpful workshop for your parish in the future. We’ll bring our tears, our holes, our beloved but worn garments together and sit before the One who longs to repair what has been torn.

 

With hope,

 

Rev. Laura 

 

PS- During this time, I won’t be checking work email, but my colleagues will monitor it. Similarly, I won’t respond to Facebook messages.

 

 
 
 
 
In This Issue


September 16:


Now Hiring?


October 19:


 
 
 
 
 

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.  
 
 
 
 
 

Are you hiring?  Visit www.masscouncilofchurches.org/jobs/post-a-job/ to list your job on our website.  

Are you looking for work?  Visit www.masscouncilofchurches.org/jobs/ to check out the opportunities!  

Let Rev. Meagan know if you need help with your posting, or if you have other ideas of resources we could offer that would help your church or organization better achieve its mission.
 
 
 
 
 
Sunday, September 16, 2018, 4:30PM

Sixteen years ago, the first Al Filipov Peace &Justice Forum was held to honor Deacon, humanitarian and community leader Al Filipov who was on flight 911 on September 11, 2001. 

This year the recipient is UTEC.  Based in Lowell, UTEC mission is to ignite and nurture the ambition of Lowell's most disconnected young people to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success. UTEC’s nationally recognized model begins with intensive street outreach and gang peacemaking, reaching out to the most disconnected youth by meeting them “where they’re at.” UTEC engages youth in workforce development and alternative education. Social justice and civic engagement are embedded in all programming, with special emphasis in our youth-led grassroots organizing, locally and statewide.
 
 
 
 
 

October 19, 2018, 3:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of New England
514 Parker Street, Boston, MA

This year, our Annual Meeting will explore the topic of stewardship:

Bring your treasurer or fundraising team!
We're bringing Melissa Spas, instructor for the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising, to give us a mini-workshop on stewardship in our organizations. If you couldn't register for the week long course, this is can't miss opportunity to learn from an expert!

Prepare to vote on constitutional changes to best steward this organization
We will consider changes to the membership structure of the council.

See and Hear the stewardship of traditions
We'll hear from Bishop Gayle Harris on her tenure on the MCC Working Board, and Fr. Demetrios Tonias, our host, will give a guided tour of the Orthodox Cathedral.
 
 
 
 
 

masscouncilofchurches.org      |     (617) 523-2771
 
 
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