Please see below a letter from the Massachusetts Council of Churches regarding a Christian response to refugee resettlement. As you may know, religious organizations lead our nation's effort in resettling refugees. We remain committed to this effort.
"Our Increased Compassion, Not Our Hardened Hearts"
A Joint Letter from the Massachusetts Heads of Church on the Executive Action Suspending Refugee Resettlement
We speak together, as Church leaders in Massachusetts, on the injurious Executive Action restricting refugees, issued on Friday January 27, 2017 entitled, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.”
Our Christian tradition is clear. Deuteronomy 10:19 commands, “You shall also love the foreigner, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.” The Holy Family was forced to flee the violence of their homeland (Matthew 2). Our Savior was a migrant. We hear Jesus Christ declare in Matthew 25 that His followers will be judged if we do not welcome the stranger. We stand under that judgment today.
We believe in the aspirations of our nation, a place where all people long to live in safety. We remember with horror our nation’s decision in 1939 to refuse the refugees on the MS St. Louis, a ship of German Jews, condemning many to death. Refugees invite our increased compassion, not our hardened hearts.
We echo the words of Bishop Joe Vasquez of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“We believe in assisting all those who are vulnerable and fleeing persecution, regardless of their religion. This includes Christians, as well as Yazidis and Shia Muslims from Syria, Rohingyas from Burma, and other religious minorities. However, we need to protect all our brothers and sisters of all faiths, including Muslims, who have lost family, home, and country.”
We grieve this decision to limit refugees, as it will cause further suffering, not just to our fellow Christians escaping persecution, but all refugees fleeing violence.
As Christians we try to live our lives in accordance with Jesus’ Great Commandment - to love our neighbors as ourselves. We want safe homes, the freedom to worship, stable governments, and opportunities to thrive. Refugees desire the same. Our nation is founded on this welcome. We must make sure that we do not allow fear to overwhelm us, crowd out our compassion, or fundamentally change our character.
We pledge our voices and our churches’ active support to resettle refugees in Massachusetts.
We call on elected leaders, including President Trump, to reconsider the Executive Action to limit refugee resettlement.
We have and will continue to welcome and support refugees. Our churches are in every single city and town of Massachusetts.
And, we ask our churches to reach out in love and Christian hospitality to the refugees living near them. We encourage our churches to show compassion and support to those who have fled hardship and violence.
- The Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian, Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
- The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, Minister and President Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ
- Mr. Anthony Barsamian, President, Massachusetts Council of Churches
- Reverend Howard K. Burgoyne, Superintendent, East Coast Conference, Evangelical Covenant Church
- Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V. Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River
- Reverend Dr. Harold M. Delhagen, Synod Leader/Executive for The Synod of the Northeast, Presbyterian Church (USA)
- Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, Bishop, United Methodist Church, New England Conference
- Reverend Laura Everett, Executive Director, Massachusetts Council of Churches
- The Rt. Rev. Douglas Fisher, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts
- The Rt. Rev. Alan Gates, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
- The Rt. Rev. Gayle Harris, Bishop Suffragan, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
- Bishop Jim Hazelwood, New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Reverend Jocelyn Hart Lovelace, Presiding Elder, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Boston-Hartford District
- His Grace Bishop John, Diocese of Worcester and New England, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
- Reverend Mary Day Miller, Executive Minister, The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts
- Noah Merrill, Secretary & Frederick Weiss, Presiding Clerk, New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (Quakers)
- Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts
We give thanks for two special events involving our ministry, Faith Family Kitchen.
On January 17th, Church Women United honored our own Reverend Judy McCullough and Tom McCullough with a Human Rights Award for their tireless ministry leading Faith Family Kitchen.
Pictured: Tom McCullough, Edye Nesmith (Executive Director), Rev. Judy McCullough
On February 2nd, we officially dedicated our rebuilt Faith Family Kitchen at Faith Assembly of God in Hyannis. This wonderful evening allowed us to acknowledge the many churches, volunteers, donors and workers who made this kitchen transformation a reality. Please click on the image below to see photographs and a video of the dedication.
Other Council News:
A Baby Center
This is Sally Campbell, pictured above. Sally is one of our many, very special Foster Moms who use the services of A Baby Center.
We asked Sally about fostering and this is what she had to say:
Why did you begin fostering? “I began Fostering because I just love babies. I have been fostering since 2013, when I read about the need for foster parents on Cape Cod.”
How many babies have you fostered Sally? "So far nine babies!"
Sally’s loving arms have cradled nine very lucky babies. She is a true role model for those of us who have considered loving a baby that is not our own!
Sally what does A Baby Center mean to you?
“A Baby Center is beautifully organized and easy to shop. There are so many wonderful things for babies here. It is always neat and clean and a great place to come for babies' needs.”
Please see our newly designed website, ababycenter.org, and like us on facebook, www.facebook.com/ABabyCenter/, to stay up to date on our programs!
Dear Colleagues in Christ,
From Our Hospital Chaplaincy
I am appealing directly to you concerning an urgent need we have at Cape Cod Hospital to help cover the evening On-call Pastoral Program that provides a caring presence for patients and their families during emergencies and severe needs. Would you prayerfully consider serving?
When this program was first implemented in 2010, we were blessed with 14 pastors who made themselves available to be a volunteer “on-call clergy” one evening every two weeks on a rotating basis. Due to attrition, physical inability, or having moved off Cape, our numbers have dwindled to 7 pastors. On-call situations can range from comforting families in the event of a death to praying with patients in the Emergency Center. The work is meaningful and important.
On-call times start at 3pm and continue until 7am the following morning. The hospital contacts you by cell phone or land line – whichever you choose. One usually receives a call only 2 or 3 times a year, so it is not particularly time consuming. There are particular needs for Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays – but any night you could be available would be welcome!
If you would like to discuss this opportunity more, please contact me at 774-722-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your consideration.
Rev. Rick Vought
Hospital Chaplain, Cape Cod Council of Churches
Cape Cod Hospital
On Good Faith
The Council produces On Good Faith which is a monthly television show that airs on Channel 99. Hosted by Rev. Jonathan Ahnquist, On Good Faith welcomes guests who are community leaders and participants in religious or health and human service organizations. The topic of our latest episode is "Cape Kids Meals Program" and the featured guest is Pastor David Johnson of Grace Church in East Dennis.
Please click on the photo to view our latest episode.
Suicide Prevention Training
There is NO FEE, but registration is preferred. Program is sponsored by Cape and Islands Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Question, Persuade, and Refer are 3 simple steps that ANYONE (parents, friends, volunteers, ministers, nurses, supervisors, firefighters, bartenders, others) can learn to help prevent suicide; QPR teaches how to recognize a mental health emergency and how to get a person-at-risk connected to the help they need.
Saturday, February 18, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. at Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse of Chatham
Click here for more info. To register, email Joan at: email@example.com.
Cape Cod White Ribbon Day
"From this day forward, I promise to be a part of the solution in ending violence against women." - Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Pledge
Please join Independence House, Inc., the Cape & Island's District Attorney's office and the Yarmouth Police Department at the Cape Cod Irish Village in South Yarmouth for White Ribbon Day. Join in solidarity with men and boys throughout Massachusetts by taking a pledge and wearing a white ribbon. Thursday, March 2, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Please click here for more information.
World Day of Prayer
The International World Day of Prayer services will be held on Friday, March 3, 2017 at multiple Cape Cod Churches. At 2:00 p.m. that day, the First Congregational Church of Yarmouth will hold their service. This year's service is written by the women of the Philippines and is based on the parable of the laborers in the vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16. The service explores the concepts of economic justice in the Philippines and the world. Our response comes in the context of God's generosity.
Youth Summit: My Choice Matters Cape Cod
For more information, contact Stephanie@bhinnov.com.
The Youth Summit: My Choice Matters Cape Cod is a fun, interactive event for students grade 6-12. The goal of the Summit is to provide a safe place outside of school to engage students in conversations about choosing healthy behaviors to reduce substance use. Students in recovery from addiction will also be delivering peer messages. Students grades 6-12 will participate in fun, quick-paced ice breaker activities, and some thought-provoking group work that gets them talking about deeper issues related to substance use. Tuesday, March 14th, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Cape Cod Community College
To reserve a spot for your school, click here.
Age-Friendly Yarmouth Housing Forum
On Thursday, March 30 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., the Age-Friendly Yarmouth Housing Forum will inform local residents of all ages, housing service providers, policy leaders and
those with an interest in buying, selling, building, remodeling or financing about how to make the best use of what housing options are currently available.
The focus will be on maximizing the use of physical buildings and space to accommodate the current needs of those who live here, while also looking forward to developing feasible options for expanded housing availability, affordability, security, and accessibility for the future.
Please click here for more information.
Fuel Assistance - Town of Dennis
If you have been approved for fuel assistance and live in the Town of Dennis, you may qualify for extra help from the Town of Dennis. Please click here for a list of qualifications for this program. Please call Marion on her direct line: 508-694-2004 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions.
Does your church have a Prayer Shawl Ministry?
Do you knit or crochet? Does your church have a prayer shawl ministry? Do people knit hats or make quilts? Does your church have a parish nurse ministry? Will you work with St. Peter’s Lutheran Church?
Imagine 500 prayer shawls, hats, or quilts: seeing them, holding them, praying over them, and then giving them away to churches and human service ministries to promote healing in our communities. We invite you to help us achieve this!
Motivated by the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (acknowledging the revitalization but also divisions that ensued), our goal is, through collaboration with others, to serve and promote healing in our communities. We are planning an event, "For Healing in the World", to be held in October, 2017, which will include music and poetry but be centered in the blessing, dedication and gifting of 500 prayer shawls, hats, or quilts to churches and human service ministries.
For more information or to get involved, please contact Marianne O’Boyle at email@example.com.
Priory Books and Gifts at the Community of Jesus
We are a Christian bookstore located at beautiful Rock Harbor in Orleans, MA — just off the shores of Cape Cod Bay. We are also the official book and gift shop of the Church of the Transfiguration and the Community of Jesus, a modern day ecumenical Benedictine abbey. Here at Priory, you will find a wide and special selection of books and Bibles, music, handmade gifts, and delicious goodies — all representing the beauty, order, and love that inspire our many visitors year round. We specialize in materials for all ages, and in helping you find unique resources to celebrate the Church year. If you live at a distance and would like to place an order please give us a call toll free 1-844-333-7193.
Please click here to visit our website!
Here are just a few of the programs that WE CAN offers:
WE CAN empowers Cape women of all ages and circumstances undergoing challenging life transitions by providing support and unique services that bring increased opportunity, self-sufficiency, stability and lasting positive change for themselves, their families and ultimately our entire community. Please click here for more information about WE CAN.
1.) Work Support Services -
WE Can’s Work Support Program provides guidance and direction to Cape women seeking to find or create sustainable work.
For more information about this program, click here.
- Now - openings on Friday, February Feb 17 and Tuesday, Feb 28, both at 1:30pm with a work support volunteer who is knowledgeable about getting a product to market, as well as traditional work support (business start-up, career exploration, resumes, interviewing skills, etc.).
2.) Personal Development Info Sessions -
From Surviving to Thriving
This eight week workshop with Certified Life Coach, Maggie French, will assist you to:
Info Session: Harwich Community Center
- Examine your values and remember your passions;
- Become more aware of what holds you back;
- Learn to focus on what is important to you and your family;
- Identify opportunities that are available to you;
- Develop a plan to achieve your goals.
100 Oak St, Harwich, MA
Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 6:00-7:00 PM
MUST attend info session to register
8 Week Series at the WE CAN Conference Room
783 Route 28, Harwich Port, MA
Wednesdays, March 8th - April 26th, 2017, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
For more information about this program, click here.
3.) Financial Empowerment Workshop -
How to Get Debt Free
Developed & Presented by Tim Schnelle
Thursday, March 30, 6 - 9pm
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
5 Patti Page Way,
For more information about this program, click here.
Please click here for a complete listing of upcoming programs and services at WE CAN.
16th Global Youth Justice Training
June 13-15, 2017
25+ Presentations and Workshops on Youth/Peer/Student/Teen Court and Peer Jury Diversion Programs by adult participants and Global Youth Justice Trainers to include: Research and Data Collection; Funding Sources; Referral Sources; Marketing, Intake Meetings, Juvenile Crimes Referred; R-TORR Volunteer Management; Writing Grants; Social Media; Formalizing Essential Partnerships; Peer Imposed Mandated Community Service; Networking with Peers and Much More.
Please click here for registration information.