Massachusetts Council of Churches
March 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


Blessings to you and your communities in the season of Lent. I confess: I finally joined Twitter because I felt like I had to as the new director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. I've found myself "following" a Coptic Orthodox Bishop in the United Kingdom, Christians in Palestine, Cardinal O'Malley, pastors in Massachusetts and a number of MCC Board members, among others. Without social media, I wouldn't regularly here these voices from across the ecumenical Church.


Social media is changing where and how Christians interact with one another.  Social media can be a space for positive ecumenical dialogue or it can amplify divisions in the body of Christ. Much has been written, blogged and tweeted about the need for churches to be online; what hasn't been discussed is what Christian unity looks like in this digital age.


We are thrilled to invite you to the Massachusetts Council of Churches Annual Meeting "Christian Unity in the Digital Age," Saturday April 28, 2012. With Keith Anderson, Domenico Bettinelli and Victoria Weinstein, we are bringing you the "best of the Church blogosphere in Massachusetts" for a panel discussion on Christian unity (and division) in social media.  MCC president Rev. Joel Anderle will preach at our ecumenical prayer service and we will do the business of the council. God willing, you will install me as the next Executive Director. I hope you will join us.


We've designed a day of activities with the hope of helping local churches navigate the new land of social media together. In our workshops, we've got Episcopalians to teach us about social media and the Occupy movement, Greek Orthodox to show us how an old tradition embraces new media and Congregationalists to testify to the power of social media as part of pastoral care following the tornadoes in Western Massachusetts. The panels, time for dialogue, and workshops are designed to help individuals, local churches and Christian institutions think about our Christian witness to reconciliation in-person and online. Through the Massachusetts Council of Churches Facebook page (, we've connected with 277 of you "friends" online. Let's meet in person on Saturday April 28, 2012.


In Peace,



 (Twitter: @RevEverett, )


The Massachusetts
Council of Churches &
Boston University
School of Theology

invite you to an
evening program 


"United in Song"

which will feature remarks by The Reverend
Dr. Carl P. Daw Jr.
Curator of Hymnological Collections and Adjunct Professor of Hymnology

We will also sing hymns and enjoy light refreshments

Join us on
Friday, April 13
6:30 to 8:00pm

Boston University 

Theology Library
745 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215


For free online registration 

click here:
Massachusetts Council
of Churches
14 Beacon Street
Suite 416
Boston, MA 02108

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The Council mourns the passing of , Rev. Edward M. O'Flaherty, SJ Of Boston College, on February 20, 2012. Former Provincial of the New England Province, Society of Jesus, Past President Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Director of both the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the Office of Pastoral Support of Priests for the Archdiocese of Boston.
Fr. O'Flaherty served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Council of Churches for many years. He was a man of deep intellect coupled with a genuine warm kindness. He was a champion of ecumenism. He will be deeply missed. 

Religious Exclusivism
and Pluralism  
as a Political Project

Boisi Center for Religion
and American Public Life

The 11th Annual
Prophetic Voices Lecture

Miroslav Volf
Yale Divinity School

Date: Wednesday
March 14, 2012

Time: 5:30-7:00PM

Location: Devlin 101
Boston College

Click here for flyer:
Lecture Flyer  

Muslim/Christian Dialogue:
Christian and Muslim views
on the 1st Amendment

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
7:00pm to 9:00pm

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Parish in Needham
Click here for Directions).


The Massachusetts Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston work with our colleagues in the Islamic Council of New England to hold 4 dialogue session each year on various topics. The MCC and the Archdiocese have committed to bringing 15 Christians to the next meeting on Tuesday April 10, to be in conversation with 15 Muslims. Are you interested in attending? New to inter-religious dialogue?
Please contact: 

Christian Unity in the Digital Age

The Massachusetts Council of Churches  

110th Annual Meeting  

& Installation of the Rev. Laura Everett

Saturday April 28, 2012

8:30am to 2:00pm 

Wellesley Hills Congregational Church


The last few years have brought about radical changes in the way society communicates. Increasing numbers of Americans connect via Twitter, Facebook, blogs as well as a host of emerging social media platforms. The Church is faced with a fascinating dilemma: how might these tools be engaged to build the Kingdom of God and heal the divisions in the Body of Christ?


Panelists Rev. Keith Anderson,Domenico Bettinelli, Jr., and Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein will explore the theological issues raised through new media. In the second part, attendees will learn more about the practical application of these tools for ministry from a diverse array of lay and ordained practitioners.  As we join together in worship, we will install Rev. Laura Everett as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches.

All are welcome to attend. $20 registration fee includes lunch. Register online here: (

Suggested twitter hashtag: #MassChurches




The Rev. Keith Anderson (@prkanderson, is pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Woburn and co-author with Elizabeth Drescher of the forthcoming book Click2Save: The Digital Ministry Bible. A popular blogger on religion, new media, and popular culture at, he employs a wide range of social media to minister on and offline. Pastor Anderson speaks regularly with local and national church groups, synods, and other organizations on the practice of digital ministry and the impact of digital culture on face-to-face ministry. He has taught at Andover-Newton Theological School and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He received pastoral training at Harvard University Divinity School and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.



Domenico  Betinelli, Jr (@BostonCatholic,   ( is the founding creative director of the New Media Office of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. Previously, he  worked in development for the Archdiocese and before that was Editor of Catholic World Report magazine. In 1996, he helped create Catholic World News, the first Catholic online news service. In 2001, he created one of the first identifiably Catholic blogs, Bettn He has a degree in Catholic theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is married to Melanie. They have four children and live in Holbrook, where they are members of St. Joseph Parish.


The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein (@PeaceBang, is the minister of First Parish Unitarian Church in Norwell. She is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and earned her Doctor of Divinity degree from Andover-Newton Theological School, writing her dissertation on "Covenanting: Ancient Promise and New Life For the Contemporary Church." Vicki is a social media pioneer in the field of clergy image who started blogging eight years ago as "PeaceBang," and subsequently launched a second blog, earning national media attention and a readership in ten countries. She is a popular speaker and consultant on social media, church and clergy image and congregational covenant process. 


Ethics & the Eschaton:
How the New Testament's View of the Future Demands Social Justice

We've heard much of the Bible's supposed view of "the end" in recent years, from Harold Camping to the popular Left Behind series.  But is this really what the Bible hopes for?  Is this really the fulfillment of a story that reached its glorious climax in Jesus Christ's resurrection?  Is there some other, more positive destiny that the New Testament foresees for creation?  And if so, what has any of it to do with the way Christians live and work today?  


The presentation takes a dynamic look at the true "end" of creation envisioned in the New Testament and the impact that picture had on the life of the early church in their own present.  Indeed, we will find the New Testament's eschatology places demands for justice in the 21st century and on the body of Christ as its agent. 


The presenter at this event is Mike McKinniss. Mike is the director of education at Wellspring Church and the director of the Wellspring School of Leadership in central Connecticut. Educated at Messiah College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Mike's passion is to be both a student and teacher. The event will also include brief presentations from area-organizations working on various justice issues.


This event is sponsored by the Boston Faith & Justice Network's JusticeLINK, an initiative designed to connect Christians to a theologically informed perspective on local and global justice issues. Through conversation, JusticeLINK focuses on the interconnectedness between issues, to help the Church understand how our collective effort - across denominations - builds the Kingdom of God.

This event will be held on Thursday, March 22, 2012 @ 7:00 PM. For location information and to register click here:




An Ecumenical Celebration of  

Solemn Vespers


In Memoriam

Rev. Edward M. O'Flaherty, S.J.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

4:00 PM


St. Joseph Church

1360 Highland Avenue, Needham



Sponsored by the Office for Ecumenical  

and Interreligious Affairs,

Archdiocese of Boston


In collaboration with  

ecumenical partners and friends.

A Joyous Announcement
A Call for Prayer

MCC Board member Ryan Scott McDonnell and wife Caroline welcomed Vivienne Carey McDonnell into the world on Monday 2/27/12 at 8lbs, 8oz.

 Vivienne is experiencing respiratory  struggles and is being cared for at Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.   Please pray for Vivienne and all who care for her, Caroline as her body recovers, and Ryan as he tends to all these changes and challenges."

The Religious Society of Friends in New England
2012 Mid-Year Gathering:
Integrity in a Time of Change
Saturday, March 31, 8:30am-8pm
held at St Andrews Episcopal Church
Wellesley, MA 

The realities of climate change, deepening social and economic injustice and a spiritually bereft culture challenge New England Friends to find new relevance, listening to the Living Spirit in worship, action and witness.

Join us for a Mid-Year Gathering on Saturday, March 31 to explore what we may be called to do. This gathering will include a children's program, and will help build an important bridge between our 2011 and 2012 Sessions.

Our day together will combine an Awakening the Dreamer session (led by Steve Chase of Putney MM, Sarah Moon of Sandwich MM and Katy Locke) with facilitated Open Space, a self-organizing practice for groups to tackle complex problems. This will be an opportunity for us to engage the challenges facing us at both spiritual and practical levels.

There will be a $30 charge* per adult. No charge for children. Overnight hospitality with area Friends will be available upon request, but must be requested by March 21.

Contact Laura Everett to join with an ecumenical group of environmentalists and participate in this important day.

You may support the ecumenical ministry of the