November, December 2019 & January 2020

The world is turning; fall chills to winter; we prepare for the Seasons of Advent and Christmas.

Thus approaches a time of celebration as we anticipate Christ’s coming among the lowly on our Earth.  It is a time of thanksgiving for the blessings of life, family, friendship, good work, and the beauty of our Cape home.  It is a time when our gratitude inspires us to share with those who struggle with meager resources or hope during a season that signals want for many. 

Thank you for joining with the Council as we stir up nutritious food, share warm clothing, diapers and shelter, and offer spiritual care during this season of privilege and want. 
The Work of Christmas
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nation,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.
                      Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman

Edye Nesmith
Executive Director


Council News

Hands of Hope Food Pantry and Outreach Center
Hands of Hope Food Pantry is preparing for Thanksgiving. We will be distributing turkeys and whole chickens including all the fixin’s through the month of November. We hope you can help us with food collections of holiday type foods, such as stuffing, cranberry sauce, boxed potatoes, gravy, pie crust mix, etc. Please bring these items to us anytime in the months of October and November. We would also request 10-12 lb turkeys if you are able. Please call the Pantry at 508-432-1312 if you have a turkey to donate so we can make room in our freezers. Thank you!

Holidays 2019
The following foods are needed in the Pantry for upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas food packages:
Stuffing Mix
Spam or Chili
Cranberry Sauce
Chef Boy-R-Dee
Canned Yams
Turkey or Chicken Gravy
Cornbread Mix
Macaroni and Cheese
Pie Crust Mix
Boxed Mashed Potatoes
Soap and Deodorant

Thank you for all your food collections!

Can you give us the gift of your time?
Hands of Hope, a program of the Cape Cod Council of Churches located in West Harwich, helps low income families with emergency food, eviction prevention, utility shut-offs, heat, and water reconnections. We are in great need of volunteers to assist in the Food Pantry and Thrift Shop as we are open 5 days per week and are busy all year round.
Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring, even if you are here for only part of the year, we are happy to meet you and could use your help.
Lots of open dates and times needed to fill with additional volunteers, so please pick hours good for you! Come every week, every other, once per month, or occasionally as a substitute.
No lifting, stocking, sorting required… but plenty of that to do if you wish.
Give us a call, email, or drop by for a visit.
Thanks for sharing your time with those in need.

Cathy Driscoll
Program Director, Hands of Hope


A Baby Center

 ABC's annual Santa Party will be held December 5, in Fellowship Hall at the Federated Church of Hyannis from 10:00 am to noon. Families must be ABC clients. Please register by calling ABC at 508-771-8157. Volunteers, TOYS and food treats are needed. We need all the help we can get! Last year we made Christmas jolly for 312 babies!!

Also...we are in great need of baby wipes!
Thank you for all you do to support our babies!

Robin Hayward
Program Director, A Baby Center

Youth StreetReach

Barnstable Recreation Recognized by Youth StreetReach
On Sunday, August 18, 2019 Barnstable Recreation was recognized for their support of the Youth StreetReach (YSR) Program.  This program gives a chance for teens to interact with people who have or are still dealing with being homeless.  The YSR Mission is to integrate education, worship, and outreach in order to make youth more aware of injustice and to respect the dignity of all people, especially the lonely, lost and disenfranchised. The Youth hear firsthand how each life’s path may lead to unexpected circumstances and how a community can help change lives. Thank You, Youth StreetReach! Congratulations, Barnstable Recreation! Pictured below: Youth StreetReach’s Marilyn Lariviere and Recreation Director Patti Machado.


Marilyn Lariviere
Program Director, Youth StreetReach

Covenant to Care

Our Annual Benefit for Fostering A Dream Fund was a success. Over 90 people attended! The Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis was a lovely venue. All went smoothly, thanks to our Advisory Committee and the Museum staff and volunteers. Treats Catering made wonderful hot and cold appetizers, Plymouth Bay Winery donated all of the wine, and we had over 40 silent auction items. Our guest speaker Cheryl Hall, Area Director for the Cape and Islands Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, shared the need for more foster families. She also thanked everyone for donating to our Fostering a Dream Fund and participating in Covenant to Care for Foster Families.

With a grateful heart,
Miriam Erickson
Program Director, Covenant to Care


Faith Family Kitchen

Faith Family Kitchen has been busy serving almost 200 meals a night and people are thoroughly enjoying the new tables and chairs we were able to purchase via the grant we received from the Cape Cod Foundation. We are continuing to expand partnerships with community organizations such as CapeAbilities and the Y Achievers. Look for some exciting news about events that FFK is putting together coming out shortly!

Jeni Wheeler
Executive Chef/Program Director, Faith Family Kitchen

Recently, Rev. Steve Youd, Pastor of Mashpee Congregational Church, shared these comments:
For the past five months or so, I have been involved with the Faith Family Kitchen. To say that I have been impressed is an understatement. The quality of the volunteers, especially under the stellar leadership that Jeni provides, is no less than amazing.

Thank you, Rev. Youd!

Other Council News:
Save the Date for these Council co-sponsored upcoming events:

  • Homeless Persons Memorial Service, Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 5:00 pm at the Federated Church of Hyannis. Come honor those who have lost their lives while homeless, often without acknowledgment from family.
  • Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service of Commemoration, Sunday, January 19, 2020. March from the Hyannis Green at 2:30 pm to the Federated Church. Service begins at 3:00 pm. Light refreshments to follow.
  • Annual Legislative Brunch, Friday, February 28, 2020, Noon to 2:00 pm at the Unitarian Church in Barnstable. For more info, click here.

Volunteer Opportunity!
Do you have a few hours a week you could give? The Council office could use your help! Basic computer skills are all that is needed. We are flexible on timing...the office hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Please contact us at 508-775-5073 or at if interested. Thank you!

Community News


Veteran's Day is just around the corner. Are you looking for a unique and respectful way to observe the day? The Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center is co-sponsoring two special events! The Third Annual Barnstable Veterans Town Hall will be held Monday, November 11 from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm at the Barnstable Town Hall. Come listen as combat veterans share testimonies of their wartime experiences. Click here for more details.

Then, Monday evening at 7:00 pm, The American Soldier will be presented at the Barnstable Comedy Club. This is a dramatic production which is based on actual accounts and letters written by veterans and their families from the American Revolution through current day Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The flier is here.

Thanksgiving Dinner for Veterans
Pastor Jacky Johnson of The Rock Family Church shares this news:
On Monday, November 18, we will host a Veteran's Thanksgiving Dinner for Veterans and their families, at the Hyannis Golf Club. At the dinner we have a live band, and tons of brand new gift items from local donors. Towards the end of the dinner we have a fun-quiz segment where prizes are issued to excited Veterans. Prizes last year included a fire-place mantle, tool sets, turkey fryer, outdoor grill, and a whole lot more. The food is prepared that day, fresh organic turkeys, pea soup, cranberry relish, and all the other Thanksgiving trimmings. It has become a tradition, our way of giving back to those who gave so much for our freedom.
Please RSVP by calling 508-790-1910.

Mark your calendars for next weekend! The Alternative Gift Market has become a local holiday tradition! Two of the Council's programs, A Baby Center and Youth StreetReach, are participating.

Calling Hyannis residents with young children: The Silent Spring Institute is conducting a new research study called PFAS-REACH (Research, Education and Action for Community Health). They are enrolling families with young children in the Hyannis area. By participating, you can help them to better understand the harmful effects of certain chemicals, called PFAS, on children's immune systems. Please follow this link for more details.


Movie Highlights Controversy on Both Sides of Gun Debate

The public is invited to the rescheduled free screening of the movie “91% - Why Can’t We Get To Background Checks?”, which examines the positions of citizens on both sides of the controversy over universal background checks. Presented by Grandmothers Against Gun Violence, the film moves beyond the confusion of gun control politics and while avoiding any discussion about the often unpredictable motivations of rampage killers, “91%” shows that Americans almost unanimously support both Second Amendment rights and common-sense protection. Produced by award-winning movie director John Richie, the movie examines the positions of citizens on both sides of the controversy. It will be screened on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 2 to 4:30 pm at the Cape Cod Synagogue, 145 Winter Street, Hyannis. An open discussion and snacks will follow the screening.

Grandmothers Against Gun Violence will hold its 7th Annual National Vigil of Remembrance for Victims of Gun Violence on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 5:00 pm at the Federated Church of Hyannis. December 14th marks the seventh anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Please come gather together to remember and honor all the victims of gun violence shootings and to reflect upon and renew our commitment to the gun violence prevention movement. More info can be found here.


Parish Nurse Ministries of Cape Cod 
If your Parish is interested in learning how to start a Parish Nurse Program (also called Faith Community Nursing) please contact Lisa Freeman. She and her team are available to meet with your Pastor or Church leaders to fully explain Parish Nursing. It is an extremely valuable tool that ALL congregations can use to help with many aspects of church life! The Parish Nurse's mission combines faith, nursing & health to encourage members to achieve health & healing thru wholeness of body, mind & spirit. The Parish Nurse acts as: personal health counselor, educator, advocate, referral agent, coordinator of volunteers & developer of support groups.  They provide: BP clinics, CPR classes, Red Cross blood drives, health related seminars & visit  members in the hospital, home & nursing home setting. Check out their Facebook page

Are you interested in getting involved with the 2020 Census?

Census Training Workshop & Media Event
with Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 2 p.m.
Barnstable Town Hall Hearing Room
367 Main Street, Hyannis, MA

You are invited to attend a Census awareness event with Secretary of State William Galvin at Barnstable Town Hall, followed by a "Train the Trainers" workshop from 2:30-4:30 p.m. for community leaders, organizational staff, and volunteers working on Census outreach. 

Participants will:
  • Learn and share about tools and resources to develop actionable steps for stronger awareness and outreach campaigns for a successful 2020 Census;
  • Be prepared to talk and connect with residents you serve;
  • Receive information to help with establishing outreach programs; and
  • Build connections between organizations to seed collaboration.

A complete count is essential to the region’s long-term planning. Cape Cod's geography and large seasonal population put it at a particularly high risk of an undercount. It also has many residents who have historically been undercounted all across Massachusetts, such as immigrants, people experiencing homelessness, low-income families, people in group housing, renters, young adults, and people with disabilities. Your leadership is critical to a complete count in 2020.

 You may sign up here. For more information, please visit their website.

All are invited for daily 6 am prayer as a means of spiritual renewal. Sponsored by churches participating in the Glory to God on Cape Cod.
Please contact or to learn more.


Upcoming Events

Southeast Area Fall Fellowship presents:
What's Gratitude Got to Do with It?
Why we Need "Thanks" Now More Than Ever
with Keynote Speaker Diana Butler Bass
Sunday, November 17
2:00 pm
First Congregational Church of Fairhaven

Samaritans on Cape Cod & the Islands presents:
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
Saturday, November 23
10:30 am to 1:00 pm
Jonathan Bourne Public LIbrary


Advent Lessons & Carols with Gloriæ Dei Cantores
Friday, November 29, 4:30 pm 
Saturday, November 30, 4:30 pm, with Organ Prelude at 3:30 pm
Church of the Transfiguration 
Rock Harbor, Orleans

St. Mary's Annual Holly Fair
Saturday, December 7
9:00 am to 2:00 pm
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
3055 Main St, Barnstable
Proceeds support St. Mary's Outreach programs

Holiday Music with the Nauset High School Honors Chorus
Wednesday, December 11
1:00 pm
First Parish Brewster UU
1969 Main St, Brewster
Light refreshments after the concert!

Homeless Persons Memorial Service
Thursday, December 19
5:00 pm
Federated Church of Hyannis

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service of Commemoration
Sunday, January 19, 2020
Federated Church of Hyannis
March from the Hyannis Green at 2:30 pm to the Federated Church. Service begins at 3:00 pm. Light refreshments to follow.


About the Council
The Cape Cod Council of Churches serves people of all ages from Cape Cod and the Islands who are facing some of life's most difficult challenges.  We have been privileged to serve our neighbors for over 50 years, meeting people at their points of critical need and helping them move forward to greater stability.  We are able to impact the lives of over 7,500 residents each year through the Council's six different programs and the work of over 400 volunteers.  With the help of churches and our community our mission comes to life, "Serving God by Serving Others," as we offer practical assistance, spiritual support and hope - all without regard for religious affiliation.
A BABY CENTER, Nantucket

Provides critical basic baby needs to income eligible families (WIC) for infants up to age four on Cape Cod and the Islands. The Hyannis Center serves over 500 babies each month.  Families receive diapers, wipes, formula, gently-used clothing and other baby necessities.

Matches a Cape & Islands congregation with Foster Care Families, supporting those families and the foster children in their care.  This program works in partnership with the MA Dept. of Children & Families.

Provides hot, nutritious meals to our food insecure neighbors three evenings a week in Hyannis.  Volunteer congregations and community groups help to prepare and serve free meals each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Offers emergency assistance to low-income families in the mid-Cape area (Mashpee to Harwich).  Assistance includes: food, clothing, small household goods and financial relief to prevent evictions.

Homeless Ministries Services
Offers short term emergency shelter for families and individuals facing homelessness.
Youth StreetReach
Enables teens to interact with our homeless neighbors by serving a meal and hearing firsthand how a life's path can lead to unexpected circumstances.

Sponsors Chaplains at Cape Cod Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital who offer prayers, hope and comfort to patients and families in their time of illness and recovery.
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