Massachusetts Council of Churches
From the desk of the Reverend Laura Everett, Executive Director
So often we gather the interfaith community in response to a crisis. But, on Sunday June 1, the Massachusetts Council of Churches convened 200 Muslims, Christians, and Jews at the Museum of Science in Boston for a respectful interfaith conversation. We gathered the Boston interfaith community to watch the IMAX film Jerusalem, and to speak with the film director. Even as we celebrated our shared love for the city of Jerusalem, we also mourned the divisions that continue to separate people of faith in Jerusalem and in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Council of Churches bridges the divides between different faith communities and between separated Christians. When the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts elected a new bishop, our ecumenical delegation offered prayerful presence during this transition. With Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, we joined together in prayer to remember our common martyrs. At Trinity Church in Boston, diverse Christians sang and prayed together in the model of the ecumenical community of Taizé. From a joint service of Methodists and Episcopalians in East Longmeadow, to an outdoor chapel service with Lutherans in Framingham, to the high pulpit of Marsh Chapel among Boston University School of Theology students, to a 375-year-old Congregational parish in Sandwich, I have been privileged to preach, teach, and preside across our state. The Massachusetts Council of Churches amplifies the vibrant, local, uniting ministry taking place in every corner of the Commonwealth.
In the midst of so much change, we listen to churches’ common needs and create common resources. With Honoring Choices Massachusetts, we gave church leaders tools to lead tender conversations on end-of-life decisions in their congregations. With the Ecumenical Advocacy Coalition, we screened the bilingual documentary film The Vigil to teach about immigration reform.We sold out the theatre in West Newton! In Northampton, we witnessed a true Pentecost moment when the film screening brought together the English-speaking and Quecha-speaking congregations sharing one building. When the Church is suffering around the world, we find ways to be in solidarity here, hosting a conversation in Milton with Syrian Orthodox Christians who fled their homeland.
Please help us continue our Pentecost work of drawing together many diverse people as the body of Christ in Massachusetts. We are a historic Christian institution finding new ways to structure our common life. In our 112-year history, 2009 was the last time that more than 50 percent of the Massachusetts Council of Churches’ financial support came from denominations. Individuals like you, and local congregations like yours, allow our ecumenical work to continue. I ask for your support with your prayers, your connections, and your financial contributions.
In the grace and peace of Christ,
The Rev. Laura E. Everett
Executive Director, Massachusetts Council of Churches