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Go and tell!

How will you share the Good News in this Easter season?  Be blessed and inspired by these young video evangelists, the children of St. Elizabeth's Church in Sudbury, as they tell the story of Easter.





Youth reflect on March actions to end gun violence

The wave of student activism that swept across the nation in the weeks following the Feb. 14 shootings at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., included numerous local prayer and protest actions statewide:  a March 14 protest at the Smith & Wesson factory in Springfield and school walkouts and State House lobbying by students that same day, leading up to a turn-out of thousands at widespread city marches in solidarity with the Washington, D.C., March for Our Lives on March 24 calling for legislative and other solutions to end gun violence.

Elena Sanborn, a Diocesan Youth Council member from St. James's Church in Amesbury who helped organize a walkout at her school, calls March for Our Lives "the most inspiring movement in my teenage years."

"I am fortunate enough to say that gun violence has not directly affected me; however, I can strongly relate to the value of feeling safe in one's school and community," she says in an essay she wrote to share with the diocesan community following the March actions.  In it, she also shares perspectives collected from several youth leaders in both the B-PEACE for Jorge Campaign at St. Stephen's Church in Boston and peers in the Diocesan Youth Council.  Read Elena's essay here.

Pictured:  The Cathedral Church of St. Paul hosted a steady stream of visitors and participants in the March for Our Lives Boston on March 24.

Grateful partners:  Inspired by and in support of student leadership to end gun violence, the B-PEACE for Jorge Campaign, Episcopal City Mission (ECM) and the diocesan Office of Youth Ministry partnered in various ways in support of local participation in several actions:  a bus trip to the D.C. March for Our Lives, led by the Rev. Amy Whitcomb Slemmer and the Rev. Jack Clark and financially supported by ECM; hospitality for March for Our Lives Boston participants at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, hosted by the Office of Youth Ministry and ECM; and the protest action at Smith & Wesson, with B-PEACE youth leadership and ECM, and the partnership and support of the bishops of both Massachusetts Episcopal dioceses, the Pioneer Valley Project and other local faith leaders and groups.


Front page news:

B-PEACE for Jorge Campaign youth leaders at St. Stephen's Church in Boston present Washington Post coverage of the March 14 protest at Smith & Wesson in Springfield.  Students used the occasion to ask the company to repeal and stop manufacturing assault weapons.  They are also working to get a meeting with the company's CEO, James Debney, to discuss how the company can be part of the solution to the country's gun violence epidemic.  (Courtesy photo.

For information on follow-up actions, contact Sarah O'Connor at


Make a witness at Mother's Day Walk for Peace:  Join Bishop Alan M. Gates and the B-PEACE for Jorge Campaign again this year in making a public witness against gun violence by walking together in the Mother's Day Walk for Peace on Sunday, May 13.

This annual pledge walk is sponsored by the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute and is a fundraiser for the institute's work in support of families and more peaceful communities.

The Diocese of Massachusetts and its B-PEACE campaign have had a strong team at the walk since 2013, and organizers hope many will join the walk to make 2018 another year when Episcopalians are witnessing together for peace, building relationships and celebrating mothers and families.

Walkers joining B-PEACE can start off together at 8 a.m. from Town Field Park (1520 Dorchester Avenue) in Dorchester, or join the walk at the second entry point at 9:45 a.m. at Madison Park High School (75 Malcolm X Boulevard, Roxbury Crossing).  The walk will conclude with a peace rally at Boston City Hall Plaza at 11 a.m.

Walkers can get ready by signing up, seeking pledges and spreading the word.  A bulletin insert is available here.

Register with the B-PEACE for Jorge team and find more information about the walk at Updated information on Diocese of Massachusetts and B-PEACE participation will be posted at



News Notes

Welcome, bishops suffragan!: Bishop Gayle E. Harris (center) hosted colleagues in Boston April 9-12.  This group spent a Tuesday morning with the MANNA homeless ministry at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston.  Pictured with Harris, from left:  Bishop Jeff Fisher and spouse Susan from the Diocese of Texas; Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe; Bishop Carl Wright, Bishop Suffragan for Armed Services and Federal Ministries; and Bishop Jennifer Brooke-Davidson of the Diocese of West Texas. 



Strategic ministries budget hearings coming up in May: The process for building the 2019 diocesan budget is underway, and hearings on strategic ministries have been announced, at which congregations and programs that currently receive strategic ministries funding will make their annual reports and requests.  These hearings are open to the diocesan community, and all are welcome.  The strategic ministries hearings will take place on:

* Tuesday, May 8, 7-9 p.m., at Emmanuel Church in Wakefield, for congregations receiving strategic ministries funding;

* Wednesday, May 9, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston, for university chaplaincies receiving strategic ministries funding; and

* Tuesday, May 15, 7-9 p.m., at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mattapan, for programs receiving strategic ministries funding.

Additionally, an open hearing on all aspects of the diocesan budget is still to be scheduled and will be announced.  Questions may be directed to the Rev. Canon Bill Parnell at



Summer camp sign-up is in full swing: Registration is open for summer camp at the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center in Greenfield, N.H.  Five one-week camp sessions run from July 1-Aug. 3 for junior campers entering grades 4-9 and senior high campers in grades 10-12.  Find program, financial aid and registration information at

Open Guest Weekend:  For the first time since opening in 2003, the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center is offering an Open Guest Weekend, Friday, July 27-Sunday, July 29. The all-inclusive two-night package is open to the public and designed for families, couples and individuals.  Optional group activities will be scheduled throughout the weekend; guests may spend their time however they choose. Find more information at


Office of Youth Ministry launches "Faith in Action: Las Fronteras": The diocesan Office of Youth Ministry, in partnership with Episcopal City Mission, is designing a new mission-focused pilgrimage program for high school students, to launch this fall, based on successful past pilgrimages undertaken by the Youth Leadership Academy. 

This new opportunity--open to all young people in grades 9-12-- will include a year of site visits around the diocese to experience faith in action.  At each site, participants will explore issues of security and hospitality, stranger and neighbor, privilege and disadvantage, discipleship and servant leadership, all while participating in community service projects across eastern Massachusetts and developing a community of faith and support among themselves. 

The year will culminate with a group pilgrimage to the United States-Mexico borderlands.

"Mission is never a one-way street--we give and receive equally with those with whom we work and pray," the diocesan youth missioner, the Rev. H. Mark Smith, said.  "Through these experiences, participants will learn from a range of communities how the church is responding to the question, 'Who is my neighbor?' and be invited to consider what impact this might have on their lives back in their own schools and communities."

An online application will be available soon.  In the meantime, interested participants may contact Smith at

(Courtesy Photo:  Art installation at the Mexico-U.S. border at Naco, Senora, visited by diocesan youth pilgrims in 2017.)  


Getting ready for Confirmation: Adults and young people from 54 congregations, representing all 12 deaneries and totaling about 300 people in all, participated in the two annual overnight pre-Confirmation retreats hosted this spring by the Diocesan Youth Council at the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center in Greenfield, N.H. 

Bishop Alan M. Gates and Bishop Gayle E. Harris each attended one of the retreats, which are an opportunity for confirmands and their adult mentors to gather with other young people from around the diocese and explore their call to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church.

Pictured above are young people attending the April 6-7 retreat, at a bread-baking workshop to make the bread for the closing Eucharist.  (Courtesy Photo.)

Find the schedule of upcoming Confirmation services here.  Pre-Confirmation Retreat dates for 2019 are available here.




Curry witnesses "miracle work" in Holy Land:  Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry spent Holy Week on pilgrimage in the Holy Land, exploring the ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, which is spread over five countries:  Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. He learned more about the struggles of the declining Christian population in the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East and made visits to health care and education ministries, including Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, where medical care provides people of the Gaza Strip with an example of Christ's love in action, and the Princess Basma Center in East Jerusalem, which serves children with disabilities and their families.  "This is miracle work," Curry said.  Find Episcopal News Service's coverage of the pilgrimage here.   Curry is pictured above handing a toddler back to her mother while visiting a session for mothers and their young children at Al Ahli Arab Hospital. Jerusalem Archbishop Suheil Dawani is at right. (Episcopal News Service Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg.)

"Thy Kingdom Come":  For the second year, the Episcopal Church has joined the worldwide Anglican Communion in Thy Kingdom Come, a campaign initiated by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby calling for prayer by individuals, congregations and families. The global prayer movement invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension Day (May 10) and Pentecost (May 20) for more people to come to know Jesus.
"Jesus taught us to pray 'Thy kingdom come, thy will be done'," Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry says in a video message inviting participation in Thy Kingdom Come, available here.  Find more information and resources here.





"To the glory of God": Much to celebrate in Brockton:  On Easter Day, Grace Chapel in Brockton baptized five members, commissioned two more acolytes, said a special thank you to immediate-past administrative assistant Linda Pierce and all 2017 vestry members for their service, and, on top of all that, blessed and dedicated a new van to the glory of God.  "God loves you unconditionally" is emblazoned across the van's back doors.

"The importance of safe transportation for youth and their families to church and program events cannot be over-emphasized in a community like ours," Grace's missioner, the Rev. Moses Sowale, said.  "I am expressing a deep and sincere appreciation on behalf of our community to all our friends and donors." (Courtesy photos.)

Find more Easter photos from congregations around the diocesan community here.

"Dover Unplugged" gathers meal-makers: On April 6, St. Dunstan's Church in Dover hosted a community event to assemble meal packages for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. It was a productive evening, as participants made enough rice and bean packages to feed 20,000 people. The event was part of the parish's Dover Unplugged series of monthly events that provide ways for Dover community members to connect through fellowship and activities at the church. The next Dover Unplugged event will take place on May 2, and will give participants the opportunity to create floral arrangements for Mother's Day with the guidance of a floral pro. (Photo via Facebook.)





NECN "The Take": Old North Church to charge admission:  The Rev. Steve Ayres of Old North Church was interviewed on NECN's "The Take" about the Old North Foundation's decision to begin charging visitors admission on May 1, to help pay for maintenance and renovations to Boston's fourth most popular "museum."  Watch the segment.

Wicked Local Waltham
: Diaper Depot wraps community in kindness:
One floor below the choir room of Christ Church in Waltham, a curvy corridor delivers families in need to a cozy niche where good things are happening. On the third Saturday of each month, expectant mothers and parents with babies from infancy to age three gather there to be supplied with free diapers.  Known as The Diaper Depot, the monthly event has been hosted by Christ Church for nearly 10 years. The total of 60 children served in February jumped to 110 children in March, telling organizers that the need is there and the word is out. Read more.

Wicked Local Hingham: Hingham pastor's book traces coffee's journey from "Satan's drink" to godly brew: The Rev. Tim Schenck was at Redeye Coffee Roasters on a recent morning, sipping a mug of Costa Rica Beneficio Del Rio, the shop's daily special. The pastor of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church is a devoted coffee drinker, and he regularly takes his laptop to Redeye to work on his sermons. So he may have been destined to write a book about religion and his beloved beverage. In Holy Grounds,Schenck traces the age-old connections of coffee and the world's major religions, from the first brewing of roasted beans in Ethiopia in the ninth century to today, when churches, synagogues and mosques in the U.S. and elsewhere offer after-worship coffee times. The book will be published by Fortress Press in the spring of 2019. Read more.




Coming Up 


Apr 19: Diocesan Council Meeting, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 5:30pm

Apr 21: Global Mission Summit, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 8:30am

Apr 21: Eucharistic Visitor Training, Church of St. Augustine and St. Martin, Boston, 9:00am

Apr 21: Saturday Night in Marblehead Concert: Cormac McCarthy, St. Andrew's Church, Marblehead, 7:30pm

Apr 22: Bishop Harris visits St. Andrew's Church in Framingham, 9:00am

Apr 22: Bishop Gates visits St. John's Church in Holbrook, 9:00am

Apr 23-25: Diocesan Clergy Conference, Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club, Brewster

Apr 25: Washington National Cathedral "Ministry with Young Adults" Program, Christ Church, Cambridge, 5:30pm

Apr 25: Sung Compline with Candlelight, St. John's Church, Sharon, 7:00pm

Apr 28: Cape and Islands Deanery Confirmation, Church of the Holy Spirit, Orleans, 10:30am

Apr 28: Diocesan Altar Guild Annual Meeting, St. Peter's-on-the-Canal Church, Buzzards Bay, 10:30am

Apr 28: Boston Harbor Deanery Confirmation, Trinity Church, Boston, 10:30am

Apr 29: Bishop Gates visits Trinity Chapel in Shirley, 9:00am

Apr 29: Bishop Harris visits St. Anne's Church & St. John's Church in Lowell, 9:00am

May 2: Dover Unplugged: "May Flowers" Community Event, St. Dunstan's Church, Dover, 7:00pm

May 4-6: Faith Encouragement Weekend, St. David's Church, South Yarmouth

May 5: Christian Education Train the Trainer Workshop, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 9:00am

May 5: North Shore Deanery Confirmation, Ascension Memorial Church, Ipswich, 10:30am

May 5: Neponset River Deanery Confirmation, Parish of All Saints, Ashmont, Dorchester, 10:30am

May 6: Bishop Gates visits Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, 9:00am

May 6: Bishop Harris visits St. Martin's Church in New Bedford, 9:00am

May 6: "Music, Mission and More: Empowering Women and Preschool Children in South Africa" Event, Christ Church, Plymouth, 4:00pm

May 8: Strategic Ministries Budget Hearing for Congregations Receiving Funding, Emmanuel Church, Wakefield, 7:00pm

May 9: Strategic Ministries Budget Hearing for University Chaplaincies Receiving Funding, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 6:00pm

May 10: Budget Committee Meeting, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 8:00am

May 12: Safe Church Training, St. John's Church, Sharon, 8:30am

May 13: Mother's Day Walk for Peace, Town Field Park, Dorchester, 8:00am

May 13: Bishop Harris visits St. Mary's Church in Barnstable, 9:00am

May 13: Evensong at Groton School, Groton, 7:00pm

May 15: Clergy Safe Church Refresher Training, St. Andrew's Church, Framingham, 8:30am

May 15: Strategic Ministries Budget Hearing for Programs Receiving Funding, Church of the Holy Spirit, Mattapan, 7:00pm

May 17: Diocesan Council Meeting, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 5:30pm

May 19: Concord River Deanery Confirmation, Trinity Church, Concord, 10:30am

May 20: Bishop Gates visits Church of the Advent in Medfield, 9:00am

May 30: Sung Compline with Candlelight, St. John's Church, Sharon, 7:00pm 







April 23, 2018
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