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March 2019



Everyone is invited!

Come and gather with Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry



Photo courtesy of Trinity Preparatory School: Hallie Smith


Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry will be making a visitation in the Diocese of Massachusetts, Friday-Monday, April 26-29. In addition to several ministry visits and meetings with designated groups that Curry will be making around the diocese over the course of the weekend, there will be public gatherings with him on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28 to which all are welcome. 


Saturday, April 27:


Youth Jamboree with the PB, 1:30-3 p.m.

Cathedral Church of St. Paul

(138 Tremont Street) in Boston 

Pizza and special conversation program with Bishop Curry for middle and high school youth and their adult mentors. Register in advance here.  


Ministry Fair, 3-4:30 p.m.  

Leading up to the “Way of Love” Rally at 5 p.m., the Cathedral Church of St. Paul will host community gathering space and a Ministry Fair showcasing the good work of ministry programs across the diocese. 


“Way of Love” Rally, 5-6 p.m. 

Boston Common (exact location to be announced) 

Gather and be inspired, challenged and blessed as Bishop Curry proclaims the transforming power of walking the “Way of Love” with Jesus. Everyone is welcome for this public witness!


Sunday, April 28:


“Our Episcopal ‘Big Tent’: How Big Is It?” 3-4 p.m.

Grace Church (133 School Street) in New Bedford 

How well does the Episcopal Church measure up to its “big tent” ideal? Come for a provocative panel discussion with Bishop Curry, Bishop Barbara C. Harris and House of Deputies Vice President Byron Rushing. Seating will be first come, first served. Reception follows


Spread the word: Share the Facebook event. Use these posters and bulletin inserts to invite friends, family and community.






"What is truth?":

Cathedral Lenten preaching series continues


Pilate’s question to Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38), resonates through the ages, as we each stand before God wrestling with questions of meaning and identity. 


In our time, the idea of truth is under attack in new ways, challenging our coherence as a society and the witness of the church. 


This Lent, the annual preaching series at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston features bishops, scholars, a poet and a journalist engaging the question, “What is truth?”  


The series takes place on Thursdays through April 11, 12-1:30 p.m., featuring a simple worship service with guest sermon, followed by a light lunch and conversation with the preacher. All are welcome.


  • March 21: Regie Gibson—Poet, writer, educator and National Poetry Slam champion
  • March 28: Dr. Jonathan Cavillo—Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Theology
  • April 4: Matthew Bell—Reporter, Public Radio International’s “The World”
  • April 11: Bishop Alan M. Gates


Questions may be directed to the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (617-482-4826, ext. 221).







New priest ordained: The Rev. Tamra Tucker (pictured center, in red chasuble) was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Alan M. Gates at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul on Saturday, Feb. 23. Tucker serves as priest and lead organizer for The Crossing worshiping community at the cathedral. Photo: Bob Greiner


Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem Courtesy photo

Join “Encounters in the Holy Land” mission pilgrimage: Join Bishop Gayle E. Harris and the Rev Debbie Phillips for “Encounters in the Holy Land,” a mission pilgrimage in Israel and Palestine, Oct. 1-15.


The mission pilgrimage will combine visits to holy sites in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, Nazareth, Galilee, Nablus and Ramallah with opportunities to learn about active mission in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem through its school, healthcare and peacemaking ministries. The registration deadline is May 15.


The group will meet three times before the trip for orientation and community building. Estimated cost is $4,100 per person (double occupancy), with all payments due by July 15.

For more information, contact David Ames (617-482-4826, ext. 445).


"Speed Partnering" event planned to spark global mission partnerships: The diocesan Global Mission Commission is hosting a "Speed Partnering" event on Saturday, April 13 from 1 to 3 pm. at St. John's Church in Arlington.


This is a matchmaking opportunity for congregations and organizations with established global mission efforts to connect with other congregations and individuals who would like to join them.


Congregations with established mission partnerships are invited to come and be prepared to talk about the joys and challenges of this ministry. There will be space to display photos, handouts or other items.


For more information, contact the missioners for global partnerships: The Rev. Holly Hartman at hhartman@diomass.org or The Rev. Marilyn McMillan at mmcmillan@diomass.org.


"Let’s Talk! Evening Conversations with the Budget Committee: The diocesan Budget Committee is in the process of gathering data on anticipated income and expenditures in preparation for creating the 2020 diocesan budget, and invites anyone with questions, concerns or suggestions about the diocesan budget process, or about the budget itself, to join for one of four April conversation sessions with the committee. Questions about the annual budget, assessments and Diocesan Mission Initiatives (formerly known as Strategic Ministries) will be particularly welcome. These sessions will replace spring budget hearings held in prior years.


"We intend that these conversations will be beneficial to all who attend--those who represent their parishes’ concerns and aspirations, those responsible for making the budget process more transparent and the budget itself more easily understood, and all of us who are committed to living into the diocesan mission strategy via the choices we make with our resources," Budget Committee chairperson Virginia Rogers said in announcing the schedule of conversation sessions.


The four budget conversation sessions will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on:



Video/phone conferencing links will be posted on the diocesan website "Events" calendar for those who would like to participate remotely.  


For reference, the 2019 budget is available here.


Questions may be directed to Budget Committee chairperson Virginia Rogers at 978-468-6679 (phone), 978-289-0012 (text).



Stewardship trainings offered in May: In keeping with the desire to provide regional offerings, two stewardship trainings for congregational lay leaders will be offered:



All are welcome. Participants will share experiences of stewardship best practices and review available resources for congregations.


For more information and to RSVP contact Bliss Austin Spooner, Office of Development (617-482-4826, ext. 515).



James Thomas Courtesy photo

New disaster preparedness coordinator named: James Thomas has been appointed the new diocesan disaster coordinator. He succeeds the Rev. Elizabeth “Jay” Jordan, who has served in the role for the past four years. As coordinator, Thomas is responsible for organizing disaster preparedness programming and training opportunities and, in the event of a disaster, to coordinate response efforts in concert with the canon to the ordinary on the bishop’s staff and with Episcopal Relief & Development.


Thomas is a candidate for ordination to the diaconate, sponsored by St John’s Church in Sandwich, and a sworn deputy in the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office, where he serves as agency instructor and officer-in-charge in the Public Safety Division. He can be reached 508-246-2600


The next Episcopal Relief & Development Disaster Preparedness Training will be offered on Saturday, April 6 at Trinity Church in Marshfield. Learn more here.


Diocesan staff welcomes new payroll and benefits coordinator: Nathaniel Fasman has been hired as full-time coordinator of payroll and benefits and joined the diocesan staff on March 11. He is the primary contact for questions about or changes to congregational staff medical plan enrollments. 


Fasman received a Master of Theological Studies degree last May from Boston College, where he also worked as a graduate technology consultant with the college's Information Technology Services and was a co-leader of the ECOsySTM Environmental Advocacy Student Group.


He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and French from Middlebury, Vt., and was a junior accountant for The Brelia Group in Larchmont, N.Y., from 2013 to 2016. He has also worked as a high school math tutor and was an assistant scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America.


He can be reached at the diocesan offices at 617-482-4826, ext. 413.

Nathaniel Fasman

Courtesy photo



Sister Catherine Louise, SSM

Courtesy photo

RIP Sister Catherine Louise, SSM: 

At a Eucharist of the Resurrection held on March 2, the sisters of the Society of St. Margaret and friends of the community celebrated the Rev. Sister Catherine Louise (Perkins), SSM, who died on Jan. 24, the eve of the 72nd anniversary of her religious profession. She was 102. 


One of the trailblazers for women's ordination, Sister Catherine Louise was ordained to the diaconate in 1978 at St. Margaret's Convent in Boston, and, the following year, to the priesthood, at the Cathedral Church of St Paul.


She was the first sister of the Society of St. Margaret to become a priest.





Episcopal Church's bishops respond to New Zealand mosque shootings, issue statement on Lambeth same-sex spouse exclusion: The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops, from its annual spring meeting March 12-15 at the Kanuga Conference and Retreat Center in Hendersonville, N.C., responded in a number of ways to the March 15 shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 49 died. The bishops' morning Eucharist included prayers for “the victims of the shootings in New Zealand, rest to their souls and peace to their families.” Later that day, the members of Bishops United Against Gun Violence who were at the meeting gathered for the group’s weekly Facebook Live prayer service


[Find here statements in response to the New Zealand tragedy from Bishop Alan M. Gates and Dean Amy E. McCreath, shared with the Muslim prayer group that gathers at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston each Friday.]


Also from the meeting, the House of Bishops issued a March 15 statement that it is “aggrieved and distressed” by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s decision to exclude the same-sex spouses of bishops invited to the 2020 Lambeth Conference.


The bishops said they “are concerned by the use of exclusion as a means of building communion.”


At its annual spring meeting, the House of Bishops honored Bishop Barbara C. Harris on March 12, a month and a day after the 30th anniversary of her consecration. Episcopal News Service Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg

The majority of the house plans to go to Lambeth, according to the statement. The bishops said they want to continue to build relationships across the communion, “further the conversation around the various cultural expressions of marriage” and “reflect our understandings of marriage, as well as our commitment to the dignity of all human beings, including the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons.”


The statement from the House of Bishops includes a statement from the Bishops’ Spouses Planning Group.


“The spouse community understands that the Anglican Communion is not of one mind with regard to marriage, and that, in the life of the communion, this is a complex issue,” the spouses' statement said. “Exclusion of same-gender spouses, however, seems like a simplistic reaction to this complex issue. It saddens us that all are not welcome to walk, listen and witness with us, and that all voices will not be heard at this gathering.”


Find Episcopal News Service's coverage of the House of Bishops meeting, including links to statements, here.


Read the letter issued by Bishop Alan M. Gates on March 1 regarding Lambeth 2020 here.


Consume less, share more, take the creation care pledge: Episcopalians and friends concerned about all of God’s creation are invited to join Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry in pledging to take action to protect and renew God’s world and all who call it home. The goal is to gather at least 1,000 pledges with concrete, personal commitments by Earth Day, April 22.


“We hope people understand this is more than adding your signature to a petition,” the Rev. Melanie Mullen, the church’s director of reconciliation, justice and creation care, said in a March 5 Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs news release. “Pray with the pledge and the Reflection Guide during Lent. Think about what you love in God’s creation, where your heart breaks over environmental injustice and how you’d like to simplify your life--consume less, share more.”


Find the pledge and Reflection Guide here.






Ashes to Go: In addition to traditional Ash Wednesday services on March 6, many parishes helped people on the go to observe the holy day by offering "ashes to go" at train stations, parking lots and various other locations outside of church. Pictured (top, from left): Dean Amy E. McCreath of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul at a Park Street subway station entrance; St. Paul's Church in Brookline; St. Anne's Church in Billerica; (bottom, from left) St. Andrew's Church in Wellesley; Christ Church in Needham; and St. Peter's Church in Dartmouth (read the Dartmouth Week story here).

Photos via Facebook



Chocolate Festival at St. Anne's in Lowell: Bishop Gayle E. Harris (pictured at right, with a sampling of the treats on offer) joined St. Anne's Church in Lowell on Feb. 23 for its annual Chocolate Festival fundraiser.


According to Beth Parsons, chairperson of the Chocolate Festival, members of the parish work for almost two months ahead of the festival making chocolate, organizing supplies and putting together raffle gifts.


"Almost everyone in our parish contributes in some way," Parsons said. "Although we are 'three congregations'--meaning our 8-o'clockers, our 10-o'clockers and our Latino brothers and sisters at noon--the chocolate festival reinforces our heartfelt belief in ourselves by coming together: We are one church; somos una iglesia."  

Courtesy photos



A depiction of the fourth Station of the Cross: Jesus Meets His Mother

Courtesy photo

Stations of the Cross: At St. David's Church in South Yarmouth, original artwork by members of the church and friends is on display depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross for use during Lent.


Every Friday through April 5, St. David’s is offering a worship service at 5 p.m. in the sanctuary called “Praying the Stations of the Cross,” followed by a simple soup supper and conversation.


According to the Rev. Andi Taylor, the rector of St. David's, the exhibit’s opening on March 5 saw more than 60 guests view the stations and hear from the artists.


The collection includes photography, quilted fabric, drawing, three-dimensional collage and contemporary and political interpretations, as well as classical and post-modern inspired imagery.




Wicked Local Winchester: Winchester’s priest to lead the flock of Episcopal Church in Maine: After 10 years of service in tight-knit Winchester, the Rev. Thomas Brown is getting ready to spend a lot of time on the road. As part of his new ministry as the bishop of the Episcopal Church in Maine, he’s expecting to put 40,000 miles on his car visiting the 60 congregations that he will be overseeing.


Although Brown has already been elected through a scrupulous election process with five finalists, other Episcopal dioceses have to give their consent for Brown’s election, a process that he estimates will conclude in March.


Brown’s election also makes history for Maine’s Episcopal church. Brown will become the first openly gay male bishop in Maine, and the second openly gay male bishop in the Episcopal Church, including the church’s dioceses in other countries. Read more here.


Students representing the B-PEACE Campaign stand outside the Smith & Wesson factory in Springfield in protest against gun violence on Friday, March 15.

Courtesy photo

MassLive: Springfield, Boston teens frustrated by gun violence protest at Smith & Wesson factory gates: The Pioneer Valley Project had planned Friday’s protest outside the Smith & Wesson factory gates well before a gunman took the lives of 49 people in two shootings at mosques in New Zealand. But those shootings, only hours old, weighed heavily on the roughly 50 young people and adult chaperones who gathered for the protest on Roosevelt Avenue in favor of stricter gun controls


The Pioneer Valley Project is an organization of teens, religious groups, labor unions and others that advocates around issues like criminal justice reform, education, housing and stopping gun violence.


The event was also organized by the B-Peace for Jorge Campaign of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Jorge was 19-year-old Jorge Fuentes, who was murdered while walking his dog in Dorchester 2012. Read more here.


Community Advocate: Nonprofit seeks to foster community connections for Brazilian residents: A young nonprofit collaborative organization is providing assistance to Brazilian residents in Marlborough and throughout the Metrowest region. ProGente Connections offers Portuguese and English language classes, education on immigrants’ rights and advocacy, and opportunities for cross-cultural experiences.


Seven religious entities came together in 2014 to create ProGente, including the Bethel Presbyterian Church in Marlborough, two New England ministries and four Episcopal churches in Hudson, Framingham, Walpole and Medway


The organization received start-up funds from the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, but they are in need of donations to continue their work. Read more here.



Coming Up 


Mar 20: Evening Contemplative Eucharist, Bethany House of Prayer, Arlington, 7:00pm 


Mar 21: "What is truth?" Lenten Preaching Series: Regie Gibson, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 12:00pm 


Mar 21: Diocesan Council Meeting, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 5:30pm 


Mar 21: Lower Merrimack Valley Collaborative Lenten Dinner Series: "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" St. Paul's Church, Newburyport, 6:30pm 


Mar 22-23: Pre-Confirmation Retreat, Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center, Greenfield, N.H.


Mar 23: Safe Church Training, Trinity Church, Concord, 8:30am 


Mar 23: SSJE Workshop: Prayer Book Spirituality, Society of St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge, 9:00am 


Mar 23: Congregational Business Practices Workshop, Trinity Church, Melrose, 9:00am 


Mar 24: Bishop Gates visits Emmanuel Church in Wakefield


Mar 24: Bishop Harris visits All Saints' Church in Belmont 


Mar 24: Celebration of The Rev. Thomas Brown's Ministry, Parish of the Epiphany, Winchester, 5:00pm 


Mar 26: Lower Merrimack Valley Collaborative Lenten Dinner Series: "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" St. James's Church, Groveland, 6:30pm 


Mar 28: "What is truth?" Lenten Preaching Series: Jonathan Cavillo, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 12:00pm 


Mar 30: Congregational Business Practices Workshop, Trinity Church, Canton, 9:00am 


Mar 30-31: Massachusetts Indaba 2019 Encounter Weekend #1


Mar 30: Trinity Concert Series, Trinity Church, Melrose, 7:00pm 


Mar 31: Bishop Gates visits All Saints Church of the North Shore in Danvers


Apr 3: Lower Merrimack Valley Collaborative Lenten Dinner Series: "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" St. Paul's Church, North Andover, 6:30pm 


Apr 3: 2020 Diocesan Budget Conversation, Trinity Church, Concord, 7:00pm 


Apr 4: "What is truth?" Lenten Preaching Series: Matthew Bell, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 12:00pm 


Apr 4: 2020 Diocesan Budget Conversation, Church of the Good Shepherd, Wareham, 7:00pm 


Apr 5-6: Pre-Confirmation Retreat, Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center, Greenfield, N.H.


Apr 6: Congregational Business Practices Workshop, Church of the Good Shepherd, Wareham, 9:00am 


Apr 6: Episcopal Relief & Development Disaster Preparedness Training, Trinity Church, Marshfield, 9:00am 


Apr 7: Stories of God and Home Workshop for Parents and Grandparents, Church of Our Saviour, Arlington, 11:30am 


Apr 9: 2020 Diocesan Budget Conversation, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 7:00pm 


Apr 10: 2020 Diocesan Budget Conversation, Trinity Church, Topsfield, 7:00pm 


Apr 11: "What is truth?" Lenten Preaching Series: Bishop Alan M. Gates, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 12:00pm 


Apr 13: Global Mission "Speed Partnering" Event, St. John's Church, Arlington, 1:00pm 


Apr 14: Bishop Harris visits Chinese Congregation, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston


Apr 14: Bishop Gates visits St. Peter's Church in Salem


Apr 14: Palm Sunday at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 10:00am 


Apr 14: 244th Annual Lantern Ceremony, Old North Church, Boston, 7:00pm 


Apr 16: Holy Tuesday Service with Blessing of Oils and Renewal of Clergy Vows, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 11:00am 


Apr 17: Evening Contemplative Eucharist, Bethany House of Prayer, Arlington, 7:00pm 


Apr 18: Maundy Thursday at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 6:00pm 


Apr 19: Good Friday at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston 


Apr 20: Holy Saturday at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston


Apr 21: Easter Day at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston


Apr 25: Diocesan Council Meeting, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, 5:30pm 


Apr 26-27: Youth Jamboree, Way of Love Rally & "Our Episcopal Big Tent" Events with Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry


Apr 29-May 1: Clergy Conference, Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club, Brewster




Stay connected with our diocesan community:






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