February - March 2019

Mid Winter Greetings.

May this season find you enjoying the quiet of the Cape, the daily lingering of soft light, and safe warmth.  

Certainly, this time of year also draws our minds and hearts and prayers to those who are particularly vulnerable due to low income or extreme circumstances in life.  In this newsletter, you will read of increased demands for services at Hands of Hope and Youth StreetReach.  We are also welcoming more guests in need of a free, hot dinner at Faith Family Kitchen and baby supplies at A Baby Center.  

The recent government shut down, and the looming threat of another, creates real stress for many of our neighbors.  The Council stands ready to assist through all of our programs that provide essential resources such as food, clothing, emergency financial assistance and also temporary sheltering to prevent homelessness. 

During the winter, the Council has been privileged to be planners of the Homeless Persons' Memorial Service, which took place on the longest night of the year in December.  We named and honored almost 40 members of our Cape community who died last year.  And in January, we celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr at our Service of Commemoration.  We welcomed our young and our old, spanning the generations with calls both for memory of the past and current action for justice and peace.  In March, we will co-sponsor a Legislative Breakfast to provide an opportunity for sharing with our legislative delegation our concerns as communities of faith.  

Much to be grateful for.  Much to consider.  Much to do.  

Thank you for partnering with us in prayer and donations of time, talents and treasures. 

Edye Nesmith
Executive Director


Council News

YOU'RE INVITED!! to Generations of Hope, our annual benefit for the Cape Cod Council of Churches. For generations, the Council has served as a "Harbor of Refuge" for our neighbors. Please join us on Saturday, April 6 at the Sea View for Appetizers, Cocktails, Dinner Buffet, Live Music & Silent Auction. Our Program will feature our Guest of Honor, Dan Wolf, Founder and CEO of Cape Air/Nantucket Airlines. Tickets are $100 and must be purchased by March 27. Hope to see you there!


The Cape Cod Council of Churches is beginning an important process of Strategic Planning through the first half of 2019.   In mid-January, the Board of Directors met for a day long retreat with consultant Mike Lavin to initiate this work that will help us best define community needs and sustainable ways for our ecumenical Council to meet these.   You will be hearing much more about this process as it unfolds over the next eight months.  

During the retreat, we held a worship time of prayer and music, during which, Rev. Jonathan Drury shared the following "Welcome Statement".   We thank Rev. Dury, and our friends at First Congregational Church, Falmouth, for graciously hosting our retreat.

Welcome Statement:

We extend a special welcome to those of you who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, dirt poor, yo no hablo Ingles. We extend a special welcome to those of you who are crying newborns or slow moving elders, if you are skinny as a rail or could afford to lose a few pounds.

We welcome you if you can sing like Andrea Bocelli or if you can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re “just browsing,” if you just woke up or you just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re more Catholic than the Pope, or haven’t been in a church since little Joey’s Baptism.

We extend a special welcome to those of you who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like “organized religion,”… we’ve been there too.

If you blew all your offering money on scratch tickets, you’re welcome here. We offer a special welcome to those of you who think the earth is flat, to those of you who work too hard, or don’t work hardly at all. We welcome you if you just don’t read so good in the morning and maybe thought you were some place else, or if you are here because you are visiting grandma and she wanted to go to church.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those of you who could use a prayer right now. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts … and you! "Jesus didn't turn people away, neither do we."
from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Community in Daytona Beach, FL


Hospital Chaplaincy 

Lay volunteer visitors have been an ongoing, integral element of the Chaplaincy ministry at Cape Cod Hospital for over two decades. When I accepted the call to serve as the Protestant/Interfaith Chaplain in 2017, there was an existing team of dedicated Pastoral Care Volunteers. When you total their combined years of serving the Council and the Community in this one way, it exceeds  60 years!! 

That team continues, and has grown since I’ve joined them. I consider it a blessing to serve alongside them. Recently I asked the two women who volunteer on Mondays to share a short statement about how they feel about this ministry. They come in at the same time in the morning – share a bit of fellowship and support for each other – then head out individually to visit patients.  Here’s what they said:

 “I continue to find my visits and the opportunity to serve others very rewarding.  The patients (and staff) are very receptive to a listening ear, compassion, and prayer as they share their needs with me.”

“[It is] a joy to [visit these] dear people.  [From a short] visit, to a prayer and maybe a Bible, or [even linger in order to] just listen [to their story].  It’s a wonderful way to show God’s love.” 

I give thanks to all the people who support the ministries of the Council of Churches in whatever way you do – and especially I thank God for the opportunity to serve you all in this way. 

If you’ve ever felt called or gifted by God to be a calm presence – a listening ear – a compassionate visitor – please feel free to contact me at the hospital to talk more about it, or speak to your pastor and have her/him call me. 

In God’s Grace,
“Chaplain Mary”
Rev Mary Hansen-Joyce
(508) 280-7983 mobile
(508) 862-5286 hospital office


Hands of Hope Outreach Center and Food Pantry

Hands of Hope Outreach Center is experiencing an above average number of requests for help with heating costs, and with oil deliveries in particular. Any contributions would be greatly appreciated so we can assist our neighbors with this basic necessity.

The Pantry is in need of “cold weather” foods such as: soup, chili, stew, canned meats, pasta, coffee, tea, and oatmeal.

Thank you for all your help.

Cathy Driscoll
Director, Hands of Hope Outreach Center

49 Route 28
West Harwich


A Baby Center

I am pleased to share that Kelly Lerch has agreed to join our team at A Baby Center in the role of Program Manager. Kelly comes to us from the Forestdale Church as their Administrator. Kelly acts as a delegate from her church to the Council of Churches and she is eager to begin working with local families as they navigate services for their babies. Please join us as we welcome Kelly!

Robin Hayward
Director, A Baby Center

Youth StreetReach

With the cold weather upon us, we have seen an increase in attendance at our breakfasts
for the homeless at the Federated Church in Hyannis. We were so pleased to have St. John Paul II High School take over on December 20th for their Annual Breakfast. Six alumni from SJPII who were home from college joined us and that gives us much hope for the future as so many “alumni” return home to help! Grace Church, Trinity Christian Academy, St Pius Tenth, First Church of Christ in Sandwich, Sandwich High School National Honor Society and an assortment of other volunteers helped make our January breakfast a wonderful experience of community for all. Our next breakfast is February 23rd and anyone interested in helping can contact Marilyn Larviere at 508-776-6059 or

Marilyn Lariviere
Director, Youth StreetReach


Legislative Brunch

All are invited to join us for a brunch with our Cape Cod Legislators on Friday, March 15th from 10 am-noon at the Unitarian Church of Barnstable on Main Street (Route 6A) in Barnstable Village. This event is co-sponsored by the Cape Cod Council of Churches, Church Women United, and Grandmothers Against Gun Violence. There is no charge but please RSVP to so we can plan for food.


Please consider a donation to the Council’s on-going ministries.
Your help changes lives as we build strength and alleviate suffering.

Checks made out to the Cape Council of Churches may be mailed to us at 320 Main St, Hyannis MA 02601. Or you may donate online by clicking the button below.


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


A letter from Chris Morin, of Independence House:

To Cape Cod Faith Communities:
Many of you have been supporters of Independence House over the years.  This year, we are commemorating our 40th year, “40 and Forging Ahead,” and invite you to be part of this commemoration.

We have a goal of having 40 Faith Communities accept a “Worship Challenge.”  With this challenge, we ask if you would incorporate raising awareness of domestic and sexual violence in one of your services during April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month or October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  You are the experts in preparing for weekly worship.  But if you need some suggestions and resources to consider meeting this challenge, may we offer that the service could include a responsive litany, a song, prayers of the people or a sermon.

In addition, some of you may know of the FaithTrust Institute. This is a resource that you can use.  FaithTrust Institute is a national, multifaith, multicultural training and education organization with global reach working to end sexual and domestic violence,  You can click on “Resources” on the top menu for information and here is the link to liturgies,

We also have two displays that you may want to incorporate into the service.  We have the Clothesline Project and the Silent Witness display.  To accept this challenge or for more information, please contact Chris Morin at or call 508.771.6507 x230.

Thank you for your consideration.

Chris Morin
Independence House
Director of Prevention, Education and Outreach
160 Bassett Lane
Hyannis, MA 02601


Zion Union Heritage Museum
The Board and resident artists of the Museum are proud to announce a great line-up of activities for Black History Month, highlighting the struggles and accomplishments of people of color in this historic region. Please click here to see the list of events.


Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod
has applications available for 10 new affordable homes: eight homes in Brewster and two in Wellfleet. Applications need to be submitted by March 22, 2019. Printed applications are available at the Habitat office, 411 Main Street, Yarmouth Port, or at the info sessions to be held at the Wellfleet and Brewster town libraries in February and March. For more information, please call Habitat for Humanity at 508-362-3559, or click here.


We Can - Empowering Women Since 2001
We Can will be holding several workshops in February and March designed to support women who are in need of legal services and support during major life transitions. Please refer to "Upcoming Events" at the end of this newsletter for more details.


Cape Cod Community College
is offering a grant-funded Construction Worker Essentials Program starting February 22nd. A 60-hour internship with a local employer is included in the program. Participants accepted into this FREE Construction Worker Essentials Program will gain the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the construction field. The due date for interested individuals to contact CCCC is Friday, February 15th. Please click here for more details.


Healthy Aging Community Survey
We want to hear from you!  Barnstable County’s Healthy Aging-Cape Cod project, in conjunction with each town’s Council on Aging, is conducting a Cape-wide community survey to hear more about people’s plans as they age.  Are you planning to stay on the Cape as you grow older?  Are you a caregiver for your spouse or parent, or helping a relative or neighbor as they age?  And are you receiving help or services from others that’s allowing you to stay in your home or community as you age?  Please take 15 minutes to complete this important survey, either online using the link below, or through a paper survey which will be distributed to each Council on Aging and in other community locations.  For further information please contact your local Council on Aging or Vaira Harik, Barnstable County Senior Project Manager. , phone (508) 375-6629. Thank you for your feedback!

This Healthy Aging Community Survey is available to all residents through March 1, 2019. The survey is available online or in print.  Your answers to this survey are anonymous and your opinions will help identify the needs of older adults in the community.  To take the survey, please click the following link:


Bay to Sound Neighbors
Bay to Sound Neighbors continues to grow meeting the needs of those who wish to age in place through willing volunteers in the towns of Dennis and Yarmouth.  Having launched in mid- September we now have 75+ volunteers and 74 members and have provided 275 services since mid-September.  Word of mouth is a very powerful tool. 80% of the services provided are transportation- grocery shopping, hairdresser, PT, Sr Center, church, and doctor’s appointments. Other services provided include help with i-phone, tear down Christmas tree and decorations, taking out trash, light bulb replacement and friendly visits.  If you could use some assistance, reach out to us, and if you have a few hours to give, become a volunteer.  Volunteers are under no obligation to give a certain number of hours or days. You can pick you days and hours depending upon your schedule.  Contact us at or call at 508-470-0585.

We are a 501(c)(3) volunteer-driven, membership-based organization.
Our mission is to help older citizens of Yarmouth and Dennis remain in their homes and neighborhoods for as long as possible.
We look forward to meeting you!


Parish Nurse Ministries of Cape Cod 
SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday April 3rd, 10:30 to 12:30, Brewster Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Local Author Terri Arthur will be speaking on her book: "Fatal Decision: Edith Cavell WWI Nurse". This event is sponsored by Parish Nurse Ministries of Cape Cod and Brewster Baptist Church Caring Nurse Ministry. Lunch provided by Maplewood. RSVP required to


Upcoming Events

Schubert Benefit Concert
St. Christopher's Episcopal Church
Sunday, February 10
3 pm

An Afternoon of Chamber Music
with the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra
Compositions by Bach, Saint-Saens, Snyder and Mendelssohn
Pilgrim Congregational Church
Harwich Port
Sunday, February 17

3:00 pm

Divorce Boot Camp
presented by We Can
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
East Sandwich
Saturday, March 2
9:30 am - 1:30 pm

Divorce Support Group for Moms
presented by We Can
Harwich Elementary School
Family Resource Center
Tuesdays, March 5 - April 9
6:00 - 7:30 pm

Legislative Brunch
co-sponsored by the Cape Cod Council of Churches, Church Women United, and Grandmothers Against Gun Violence
Unitarian Church of Barnstable
Friday, March 15
10:00 am - noon
Free! but please RSVP to

"Everything Women Want to Know about Family Law But Are Afraid to Ask"
presented by We Can
Barnstable Municipal Airport
Conference Roon
Thursday, March 21
5:30 - 7:30 pm

Divorce Support Group
presented by We Can
Cape Space
Thursdays, March 21 - April 25
5:30 - 7:00 pm

Elder Suicide Prevention Training
Sandy Hill School Community Center
Tuesday, March 26
9 am - 4:30 pm

Gregorian Chant Retreat
Community of Jesus
Wednesday through Saturday,
March 27-30

Financial Empowerment Workshop
presented by We Can
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
Thursday, April 4
6:00 - 9:00 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 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.
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.

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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