April - May 2018

Gratitude is not simply a reaction or feeling, satisfying as that may be.  Gratitude is a way of practicing life.  As such, it enriches our interactions with one another, with our world, and with our God.  

Recently, we benefited from a lesson in gratitude at our Hands of Hope Food Pantry.  Thanks to eight churches, the Pantry received over 1000 cans of soup as part of "Souper Bowl" Sunday collections.  Certainly, we give thanks for this outpouring of support.  But we are especially grateful for the response to this from one of the Pantry's guests.  Cathy Driscoll, our Director of the Pantry reported this story: 

      " A little boy was there with his mom, and offered three cans of soup 
       as part of their groceries.  The mother asked him to choose one and 
       with great delight he replied "Oh Yum!  Chicken Noodle!"  Something
       so simple and yet so filling in so many ways!  We couldn't help but smile."

We give thanks for so much as we celebrate the arrival of a the long-awaited Spring, the sharing of resources and commitment to serve others, and the instruction in living given by our youth.  

With Thanks,

Edye Nesmith
Executive Director


Council News

Many, many thanks to all our friends and neighbors who joined us for Generations of Hope this past March 10. We are thrilled to report the event was a success! We hope you enjoyed the evening as much as we did. Thank you also to those who were not able to attend but still supported the Council with a donation, and to the Dan'l Webster Inn for providing the perfect atmosphere.
Edye Nesmith, Patrick Johnson, Chief of Staff for State Senator Julian Cyr, Jim Lehane, our Emcee, and Catherine D'Amato, our Guest of Honor and President & CEO of The Greater Boston Food Bank
gathered together for Generations of Hope, March 10, 2018

Faith Family Kitchen
We are happy to share that the Shelter from the Storm concert was wonderful! A very full crowd, and success in raising their goal of $15,000 for Faith Family Kitchen. Enough to cover food costs for the Kitchen for about a year! We are so grateful to all the donors, to all the participating students, to the Cape Cod Academy students who organized the event, and to Larry Brown, who makes this all possible.


Youth StreetReach
Our March Youth StreetReach Breakfast was another wonderful experience. One of our participants, Kristin Knowles of First Parish in Brewster, shared these thoughts:
On Friday night, my kids and I participated in an incredible program called Youth StreetReach. It was a profoundly powerful experience. We went with our youth group from First Parish Brewster Unitarian Universalist and spent the night in a parish hall in Hyannis, where we sorted clothing donations, heard testimony from 3 formerly homeless women, and spent time sharing stories and playing games. We also went on a nighttime walking tour of downtown Hyannis and were able to offer outreach, food, and warm clothing to individuals sleeping outside near the Village Green. In the morning, we served breakfast to many people in the local homeless population, helped them find clothing and toiletries, and sat and talked with them as they relaxed and ate breakfast. All of the youth participating were extraordinary, moving through their fear and awkwardness to genuinely connect with each other and with all of the people who came in from the cold to share a meal.
It was deeply moving. I'd even venture to say transformational. In our closing circle, everyone shared the impact of the experience for them and all I can say is they shone. My own kids, who, of course, were dragging their feet on Friday as we packed for the night, declared that it was amazing. They hoped we could do it again.
We are so lucky and full of gratitude for having had this opportunity! 
Join us for our next breakfast on April 28th at 7 am.  Contact Marilyn Lariviere for more information at or at 508-776-6059.

A Baby Center
We are so pleased to announce the First Annual Community Baby Shower, to be held Sunday, April 29, at Audi Cape Cod. In addition to co-sponsoring this event, A Baby Center will be donating two brand new infant car seats as well as baby boxes and layette bags for each and every new mom and mom-to-be who attends. For more information, please contact A Baby Center at 508-771-8157.

ABC is gearing up for our annual Mother's Day Appeal. We are hoping to reach over 3000 donors in a mailing to be sent later this month! Thanks to all who have supported our programming in the past...please consider making a gift again this year. We are so very grateful, as your donations make it possible for us to do the work we love.


Hands of Hope
Hands of Hope is preparing a new "Touring the Thrift Shops of Cape Cod" brochure. Any Church Shop or Shop which gives 100% of their profits to any non-profit can be included. If you are not listed in the brochure currently, and would like to be, please contact us at Everyone who is currently listed in the brochure has already been contacted.
The pantry is in need of some items -  a list follows. We are also in need of some volunteers in the Food Pantry, particularly Wednesday 1-3 and Friday 12:30 - 3 for the summer. Please email or call 508-432-1312 for more information.

We hope you can help us with the following foods:
Baked Beans

Jelly or Jam
Chef Boy R Dee Canned Pasta
Canned Hash or Chili

Boxed Au Gratin or Scalloped Potatoes
Canned Corn
Pasta Sauce
Pasta Noodles: elbows, penne, ziti etc.

Thank you for your Food Collections!!
We appreciate all of your support.


Hospital Chaplaincy
from the Hospital Chaplain in Hyannis … We’re getting the Conversation started!

On Halloween morning this past October, clergy and faith community leaders gathered in Hyannis for a breakfast presentation of The Conversation Project, hosted by Cape Cod Healthcare. Find out more about The Conversation Project here: and/or about Cape Cod Healthcare’s Quality of Life initiative here:
If you were with us in Hyannis, my personal thanks for coming! If you couldn’t or didn’t make it, and are interested, Cape Cod Healthcare is planning another to be held in the community. We don’t have a date set yet … if there’s something that works or doesn’t work for you, please reach out to me by phone or email (provided below). All ideas and input are appreciated; we’ll take it all into consideration in our planning because we really want you to come! I’m excited to share that St David’s Episcopal Church in South Yarmouth is the first Worship Community to begin the Conversation in their church! They’ve invited me to offer the presentation to their community Sunday April 29 following worship, over lunch. I hope, pray, and trust this is the first of many!
Easter Peace+

Rev. Mary Hansen-Joyce, Interfaith/Protestant Chaplain at Cape Cod Hospital mobile: 508.280.7983 office: 508.862.5286


The Cape Cod Council of Churches now participates
in the AmazonSmile Foundation!

When you log in to your Amazon account, select Cape Cod Council of Churches 
as your non-profit to support. Amazon will donate 0.5%
of all your eligible purchases to the Council and its ministries!
Go to


Community News

Mothers Helping Mothers, a program of the Mothers & Infants Recovery Network, is a support group for women struggling with the emotional difficulties associated with addiction and recovery during the pregnant and postpartum phases of life. The group meets weekly in locations in Hyannis, Falmouth and Harwich. Please follow this link to learn more.

The National Council for Aging Care is dedicated to helping communities across the country educate seniors and those who care for them. Senior food insecurity is one of many challenges we face here on the Cape and Islands. 

"Nearly one in every six seniors in America faces the threat of hunger and not being properly nourished. This applies to those who aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from and those who don’t have access to the healthiest possible food options. The issue is severe enough that the AARP reports that seniors face a healthcare bill of more than $130 billion every year due to medical issues stemming from senior hunger.

Senior hunger is an expansive issue that requires an understanding of exactly what constitutes a senior being “hungry,” the issues that stem from senior hunger, and how seniors who are hungry can be helped." - The Facts Behind Senior Hunger (click here to read full article)

The Barnstable County Department of Human Services recently released its sixth publication in a series of issue briefs related to substance use. “Marijuana Use and Parenting: What You Need to Know” provides parents with essential information on how to effectively guide teens and young adults on the topic of marijuana use in a time when it’s both prevalent and legal for adults.

“This is a very confusing time for parents in an age of legal marijuana use. It’s important that we give parents the information and tools they need to reduce the risks to teens and young adults when their brains are still developing,” said Beth Albert, Director at the Barnstable County Department of Human Services and co-chair of the Regional Substance Abuse Council.

As a member of Barnstable County's Regional Substance Abuse Committee, the Council is well aware of concerns surrounding issues of substance dependency and abuse. Please click here to learn more about this important resource for parents. And the RSAC's newsletter is available here.


Are you, or is someone you know, hoping to purchase a home in Brewster? If so, the Brewster Affordable Home Buyers Buy-down Program may be able to help. This program provides up to $30,000 for a first-time homebuyer who is at 80% of the area median income. For more details, please click here.

The 2018 Annual Point in Time Homeless Count results have been released. The Point in Time (PIT) counts all people experiencing homelessness in emergency shelters, transitional housing, motels (if paid for by an agency - the Council being one of these agencies), on the street, in cars, in abandoned buildings, and in other places not meant for human habitation.  Counts are conducted annually in every community in the United States during the last ten days of January, and are required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The PIT does not count persons or families that are doubled-up and/or living with family and friends.
Volunteers from dozens of agencies across the Cape and Islands assisted in collecting information during this year’s count.  According to Beth Albert, Director of Human Services for Barnstable County, “The Point in Time is a snapshot of homelessness in our region on a given night.  By collecting this data on an annual basis, we have a better understanding of the number and demographics of the homeless population.  The information helps us in planning and allocating scarce resources.”  The count also collects information on age, gender, disability, race, ethnicity and veteran’s status of the individuals and families included in the count. 
The Cape and Islands Regional Network on Homelessness is a broad based public private partnership committed to identifying and implementing solutions to ending homelessness on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.  The Cape Cod Council of Churches is a member of this network.


For our clergy...April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. A suggested liturgy is attached, and may prove a valuable resource for you.

Upcoming Events

Making a Killing -
Guns, Greed and the NRA

Film Screening and Discussion
Cape Cinema
Thursday, April 12, 6:30 pm

Concert by Daniel Roth, Organist
Church of the Transfiguration
Friday, April 13, 7:30 pm

Choral Concert and Sing-Along
Sing for Good
First Parish Brewster Unitarian Universalist Church
Saturday, April 14, 7:30 - 9 pm

Here at the Edge of the Sea
Debut Concert of the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra
Pilgrim Congregational Church
Harwich Port
Sunday, April 15, 3:00 pm

2018 Global Mission Summit
Partnering with God
Cathedral Church of St. Paul
Saturday, April 21, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Circle Up
Film Screening, Discussion & Lunch
Cape Cod Synagogue
Monday, April 23, 10:00 am

Justice Denied: The Japanese-American Incarceration Experience During World War II, by Margaret Yamamoto
Presented by the American Association of University Women (AAUW)
United Methodist Church
South Yarmouth MA 
Tuesday, April 24, 1 pm

A Positive Approach to Person Centered Dementia Care with Teepa Snow
Presented by The Alzheimer's Family Support Center of Cape Cod
St. George's Greek Orthodox Church
Friday, April 27, 8:30 am - 4 pm

Youth StreetReach Breakfast
Federated Church of Hyannis
Saturday, April 28, 7 am
Please contact Marilyn Lariviere at

Dave Birtwell Remembery Walk and Kick-Off Brunch
A benefit for the Alzheimer's Family Support Center
Sunday, April 29, 12 pm
Dennis Inn,
Remembery Walk:
Saturday, May 12, 9:30 am
Brooks Park

May Friendship Day
Reaching for Wholeness in Gratitude for God's Presence
Presented by Church Women United
United Methodist Church of Osterville
Saturday, May 5, 9:30 am - 1 pm

Home Sharing Workshop
Presented by Age-Friendly Yarmouth
Yarmouth Senior Center
West Yarmouth
Thursday, May 10, 1 - 4 pm
Contact Karen LeBlanc at 508-394-7606 ext. 1330 to register

Workshop Leader Trainings
Presented by Healthy Living Cape Cod
A Matter of Balance Leader Training
Thursday, May 10
Chronic Disease Self-Management Leader Training
Beginning Thursday, June 14
Both training sessions will be held at
Elder Services of Cape Cod & the Islands
South Dennis

The Savvy Caregiver Program
Presented by Elder Services of Cape Cod and the Alzheimer's Family Support Center
Eastham Council on Aging
Fridays starting May 25, 9:30 - 11:30 am

Parish Nursing and Health Ministry
Enhancing Your Parish Nurse Ministry: Tools for Your Toolbox
Saint Anselm College
Manchester, NH
Thursday, June 7, 8 am - 3:45 pm

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 6,500 residents each year through the Council's seven 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.
Provides critical basic baby needs to income eligible families (WIC) for infants up to age four on Cape Cod and the Islands. The Center serves over 500 babies each month.  Families receive diapers, wipes, formula, gently-used clothing and other baby necessities.

Mentors women while incarcerated and upon release, as they work toward building new lives centered on spiritual, mental, emotional and economic life skills. 

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 Volunteer Services
Coordinates church volunteers to provide support and companionship to formerly homeless individuals.
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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Cape Cod Council of Churches · 320 Main Street · Hyannis, Ma 02601 · USA

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