Minister Jeremi Taitt, Rev. Art Gordon (with megaphone) and Rev. Dr. Brandon Crowley lead the Prayer Protest on Pentecost, May 31 in Boston. Photo credit: Jamil Samara
 
 

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
   and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
   giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
   it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
   and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out in joy,
   and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
   shall burst into song,
   and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
   instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
   for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." ~ Isaiah 55:10-13

These days, Isaiah's vision of abundance and flourishing is necessary because the status quo is disastrous for so many.  We need a prophetic imagination of a different world than what we see now. As the Disbursement Committee of the One Church Fund interviews and meets with churches, too often we are hearing stories of thorns instead of cypress, briar instead of myrtle. And to be clear, these churches have cared for people in some rocky soil and hard ground. But the vision in Isaiah is so hopeful, "giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater." We are clinging to this vision, as improbable as it seems, because it is God's vision. 

This week, the One Church Fund distributed the first eight grants to Black, immigrant and unhoused churches providing essential services during COVID19. Soon, we'll have more stories to tell you about what these churches are doing, but right now you need to know that the money you are giving and the skills you are sharing are giving seed to those who sow and bread to those who need to eat.  We can cling to the vision where none are cut off. You are making this vision possible. 

We cling to this vision of Isaiah because it is a vision of liberation for all. God's word is sent out, and it shall not return empty. 

Look at all the resources below, Church. There is abundance when we share. 
This vision of abundance shall not be cut off. 

In hope,
Revs. Laura, Meagan, Kenneth and Carrington
 
 
 
 
 


Bi-Vocational ministry is an essential component for the vitality and sustainability of the Church. The continued Covid-19 Pandemic has forced our faith communities across the country to adjust. Our conversation on Part-Time Ministry In the Season of Covid-19 will explore the intersection of innovation, leadership, and compassion. We are excited to learn with our wonderful panel from around the country. Join us on MCC's Facebook page to watch the panel on Wednesday July 15 at 6pm EST with: 

Rev. Jeffrey MacDonald- Pastor, First Church Parish of Newbury, Author of Part-Time is Plenty, Thriving without Full-Time Clergy (Newbury, MA)

Pastor Lori Porter- Senior Pastor of The Church Akron, Community Development Director (Akron, Ohio)

Katie Chambers- Area Director, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Full-Time Mom (Chicago, Illinois)

Pastor George Moore- Senior Pastor, Saint James Church of God in Christ, Non-Profit Executive, (Youngstown, Ohio)

Moderated by Rev. Carrington Moore- Lydia Fellows Program Director for Part-time & Bivocational Ministry at the Mass. Council of Churches and Pastor for Youth and Families at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Boston MA)

https://www.facebook.com/events/949421762152489

 
 
 
 
 
A Daily Examen for Living as an AntiRacist Person: The idea of an "examen" comes from the traditions of Ignatian spirituality founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola. It's a way of reflecting on one's practices daily.  Vernée Peacock Wilkinson, a Black Spiritual Director, Diversity Equity and Inclusion consultant, and lay leader at Reservoir Church in Cambridge and Dr. Ted Wueste, a white Spiritual Director and Pastor in Arizona  have worked together to create "A Daily Examen For Living as an AntiRacist Person" Read and use this in your daily practice here: 
 
 
 
 
News & Resources Spotlight:

Pastoral Transitions: Read Rev. Kenneth Young's new essay in Faith & Leadership on a better way to manage pastoral transitions, by looking to the pattern of a relay race and the examples of scripture. Read here: https://faithandleadership.com/kenneth-young-theres-better-way-manage-pastoral-transitions

New England Seafarers Mission: WBUR featured the New England Seafarers Mission and their care for those laborers far from home on Thursday 7/9. Listen to the story with Rev. Steve Cushing at the Port of Boston: 

Foundations of Christian Leadership Cohort & Grant Program:  Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School is accepting applications for their 2020-2021 cohort of Foundations of Christian Leadership, with Aug 14 deadline. This program will be conducted online. Rev. Laura will be one of the Session 1 guest lecturers and participated in the Spring cohort, where the online pedagogy was excellent. For more information on applying, visit: https://leadership.divinity.duke.edu/what-we-offer/programs/foundations-of-christian-leadership/dates-and-locations/2020-21-san-antonio/

MCC Job Board: We want to remind you that there are a few new jobs posted on the Mass. Council of Churches Job Board, including a new position at the National Council of Churches. Additionally, if you are looking to hire, you can post a job on our job board too. 

The Last Words of George Floyd: In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minnesota and the ensuing protest that erupted across the world in June 2020, City Mission Boston invites you to sit in prayer for nine weeks to honor the life of Mr. Floyd and a call for God’s justice.  Read the prayers here: https://citymissionboston.org/news/the-last-words-of-mr-george-perry-floyd-jr

There is a Balm In Gilead: A Call to Lament Together During this complicated season of COVID 19 and escalating racial violence, this chapter by Rev. Dr. Emmett Price serves as a resource for congregations of all ethnicities are who encouraged to enter a season of lament. From our colleagues at the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience. Learn more here: https://isbce.com/resources/suggested-readings/

Basic Black: Finding our Faith WGBH's long running show Basic Black with Callie Crowsley on June 26 was about Black faith in this moment. A health pandemic. Economic upheaval. Racial and societal unrest. How do you explain it all? With panelists: Rev. Dr. Emmett Price III Pastor, Community of Love Christian Fellowship; Rev. June Cooper, Executive Director, City Mission; Rev. Art Gordon, Pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Roxbury and Rev. Dr. Brandon Thomas Crowley, Senior Pastor Myrtle Baptist Church. Watch here:  https://www.wgbh.org/program/basic-black/finding-our-faith

COVID-19 resources for Places of Worship from the City of Boston: We know that each denomination and each municipality has different recommendations, in addition to the statewide minimum safety standards.  The interfaith guidance from the City of Boston is another tool for your consideration as you and your congregation think about what it takes to safely return to buildings, given the ways COVID-19 spreads and the populations under our care. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

COVID-19 Pastors's Seminars in Haitian Creole, Brazilian Portuguese and more languages to come

In partnership with clergy associations and Physicians for Health Equity, MCC is partnering to convene a series of language-specific webinars for pastors about COVID-19. On Thursday June 11, colleagues at the IFSI - Immigrant Family Services Institute-USA and the Haitian Evangelical Pastors's Association hosted a seminar for Church leaders on COVID19 , reopening guidelines and a conversation with infectious disease Dr. Regina LaRocque. The video is available here. We are in the planning stages of another seminar for pastors in Brazilian Portuguese. If you are interested in a seminar in a particular language or collaborating, please email council@masscouncilofchurches.org 

 
 
 
 
 

masscouncilofchurches.org      |     (617) 523-2771
 
 
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