Friday, August 18, 2017
Dear Church,

Bless you in these hard days. We covet your continued prayers for justice and peace. 

At Massachusetts Council of Churches, we've compiled a list of various ways for you to participate 

My prayer for Charlottesville is here. Please feel free to use it in your own community if it helps you.

Friday August 18, 2017

we are working hard too. On Monday, we shared with you our sadness of the violence in Charlottesville and our repudiation of white supremacy as idolatrous. We shared with you are commitment to rededicate ourselves to facing the white supremacy in our own Christian history. We do that work with you.

On Tuesday following the desecration of the New England Holocaust Memorial, I sent a letter to Massachusetts Christians and Jews on Anti-Semitism in Boston and the Church. (Pictured above: Mayor Walsh of Boston and Mayor Christenson of Malden walking Holocaust survivor Israel Arbeiter through the recently desecrated New England Holocaust Memorial.) Meanwhile, Rev. Daryl was with the Black Ministerial Alliance and NAACP meeting at Roxbury Presbyterian Church.  Thanks to all who attended to listen to the fear and longing of the Black community.  Thanks also to Rev. Meagan who has ensured that we are communicating clearly as best we can, with the information we have. I am grateful for each part we are all playing.

Today, I prayed with many other religious leaders for Charlottesville and for our city as we head into Saturday.

Through the week, a group of Boston-area interreligious leadership has been meeting for wisdom, strategy, and support.  Read “A Joint Statement from Boston Area Religious Leaders on the Horrific Events in Charlottesville, Virginia.”

You are invited to Greater Boston Interfaith Organization’s Interfaith Gathering of Unity, Love, and Strength, this Friday at 5pm, at Temple Israel of Boston

Our colleagues at the Black Ministerial Alliance also invite you to the Rally on City Hall Plaza on Saturday at noon.

I appreciate this wisdom from our colleagues at Greater Boston Interfaith Organization. I have been in these meetings and concur. As our Quaker kin would say, these Friends speak my mind:

We know that you need to do something. Many of you are desperate to be a part of the solution. You want to confront the evil, face it down, expose it to the light of day for what it is. We love you for this. We love you for your fierce anger and will to do good, to make a difference, to take a stand for God.


Similar groups to those who visited hatred upon Charlottesville plan to hold a rally on the Boston Common on Saturday. We have had lengthy meetings with City officials and other inter-religious leaders, including colleagues in the Black community, Muslim community, and Jewish community.  See below for information on various events being planned. They are not all the same in tone, tactics or strategy. We ask you to investigate your own conscience and decide where you are called to be.

Below you will find a list of what is happening over the next few days.  We’ve been in conversation with Police, Parks Service and colleagues that track hate groups. While the Boston Police, and on backup the State Police, will do their best to keep safety and distance between the rally and the counter-protests, we’ve seen in other places that violence pops up in unexpected areas both by individuals and groups.  If you go to Boston on Saturday, please go with companions and be prepared. A list of trainings follows.

Church, I am grateful for you.  I close with the end of my prayer from today:

God, search us. Help us to see the ways we have denied the goodness in ourselves and the goodness in others. Teach us to notice where we ourselves are complicit in systems of violence and oppression. Heal us, heal us O Lord.


God, this road to freedom is long. We need trustworthy companions for the journey to freedom. We need people of good will to prioritize the most vulnerable. In this moment, we ask You Lord to protect black lives.

For the wounded in Charlottesville, for the healing in every place, we pray. Amen.

With Hope,

Rev. Laura

Executive Director, Massachusetts Council of Churches
(with thanks to ADL New England for their photo of today's prayer vigil)
We strongly encourage you to use public transportation to get to Temple Israel. We are located two blocks from the Longwood Station along the Green Line’s Riverside (D) route. We are two blocks from several bus routes that stop near Beth Israel/Deaconess Hospital and less than a mile from Coolidge Corner. Reduced rate parking is available at the 375 Longwood parking garage. Please arrive early to allow for additional time for security. We request that all bags be left at home.      |     (617) 523-2771