Sunday, May 9, 2021
A Message from CMM's Executive Director
The Stories We Tell
Sunday, May 9, 2021
Rev. Dr. Rodney L. Petersen

Many Local towns and villages have historical societies that produce booklets on local history. The one I am holding in my hand right now is for Natick entitled, The Stories we Tell: Natick Explored (2016). Like other towns in Massachusetts birthed in the seventeenth century, Natick was characterized by Euro Americans with African slaves moving in on historically indigenous lands. Of course, this is too simple.
It was the job of the minister not only to preach the Gospel, but also to form community among a growing diversity of peoples, opinions, and material circumstances. This was the economic and sociological setting for religion in New England, inherited from European settings, increasingly voluntary in its formation and fissiparous in its character. 
When Harvard’s President Lawrence Bacow recently appointed the Rev. Dr. Matthew Ichihashi Potts to be the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, he chose to pass the seventeenth century prophetic mantle on to one who works in the intersection of religion and literature on questions of community, justice, and forgiveness. Listen in on zoom on Sunday, May 16, when Potts will be guest at the Faith and Life Forum and on when at 11 AM Potts will preach in the Sunday morning worship service.
The question of community-building is the story of the Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium (BTIC) and reason why ten schools of religion, divinity, theology and seminaries (as variously called) have come together since 1968 to form a consortium of theological reflection and ministerial engagement. Originating in the Field Education, Mentored Ministry Departments, or as otherwise named, community engagement was the first order of BTI business and reason why there was a close link established with Boston’s Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries (CMM) in 1966.
Now is a day for Faithful Shepherds, to pick up a term used by David D. Hall as made popular in the seventeenth century.

As the prophetic mantle passes at Harvard and at the other BTIC schools; and as the vision for community is upon us, let us remember the words of Desmond Tutu, that, “there is no future without forgiveness.” We are all storytellers. What story will we tell?
From Trauma to Triumph: CMM Annual Fundraiser
From Trauma to Triumph: CMM Annual Fundraiser
Celebrating 55 Years of Service Towards an Inclusive American Narrative
Thursday, June 17, 2020, 6 - 7pm EST
Online via Zoom

CMM is humbled to be able to present and virtually be with all of you at our 55th annual fundraiser. We hope you will join and interact with us in what should be a special, early evening time of learning and sharing together.
Comments by Outgoing CMM Executive Director Rev. Dr. Rodney L. Petersen
Main program with awards, keynote address & Q&A with musical interludes (more details forthcoming)
Actions that Lead from Trauma to Triumph:

  1. Safe Lives – “Values over Violence” & Job Corps
  2. Safe Places – “CLAH: Building Equity”
  3. Shared Dreams – “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”
Individual Tickets:

  • $55 - General Admission Ticket
  • $100 - CMM Supporter Ticket
Sponsorship Opportunities*

  • $10,000 – Community Hero (25 tickets, full page ad space in program booklet, plus recognition on our website and enews for the next 12 months with logo)
  • $5,000 – Community Champion (15 tickets, full page ad space in program booklet, plus recognition on our website and enews for the next six months with logo)
  • $1,000 – Community Innovator (10 tickets, Name in program booklet with sponsorship level)
  • $500 – Partner (5 tickets, name in program booklet with sponsorship level)
  • $250 – Advocate (2 tickets, name in program booklet with sponsorship level)

*As a business, you will be receive mention in our electronic publications, including: CMM's bi-weekly enews, website, and social media.
Ads in Program Booklet**

  • $1,000 – Full page ad in program booklet
  • $500 – Half page ad in program booklet
  • $250 – Quarter page ad in program booklet
  • $100 – CMM Friends Listing – names listed in program booklet

**The advertising pricing is in addition to your ticket purchases.
Sharing Our Stories:
Towards an Inclusive American Narrative
Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries (CMM) is promoting a community-building exercise through the spring around the topic, “Sharing Our Stories: Towards an Inclusive American Narrative.” This topic was first explored by CMM at an event in December that featured Mr. Jean-Luc Pierite, Rev. Eugene Rivers, and Rev. Dr. Nancy Taylor). Issues of identity, spirituality, neighborliness, and the importance of hospitality are evident in video and transcript available here. They reach to the core of who we are and as that becomes expressed in social settings with civic implications. In her book, The Human Condition, political philosopher Hannah Arendt ties efforts like this to forgiving, promise-making, and political agency in society.

There are several ways by which your participation can be of help in this project that include modest gatherings to more intentional civic-minded circles of conversation. The following suggestions may help to ease your way into this project:

  1. Review the video and transcript from December panel.
  2. Invite several people with whom you have some acquaintance, between March and May, to join you in a virtual cocktail hour or over a cup of coffee/tea.
  3. Express your interest in fostering conversation while promoting hospitality amid the national debates around racism, the pandemic, and violence. A goal of this exercise is to broaden our racial and interfaith horizons and thereby contribute to civil harmony.
  4. Summarize your discussion in a paragraph and send to the initiative’s coordinator, Ariel Kayton, by clicking her name.

These conversations can be as confidential as the group wishes or recorded for further reflection. Depending on what we can discern together, the results of these conversations may help shape CMM’s annual fundraiser in the late spring and be codified into a booklet. (A member of CMM’s Advisory Council, Michael Felsen, writes about the value of circles of conversation at this point in our national agenda in his article found at:
Other Upcoming CMM Events
Facing Our Racism: Becoming Conscious Partners Workshop

Sunday, May 16, 2021, 12 - 4:30pm EST
Online via Zoom
(Registration ends at 11am on the day of, and the Zoom link will be sent right after that.)

Moving beyond self-serving guilt & shame, and facing the debt owed, we will focus on facing our racism and becoming conscious partners.

The killing of Daunte Wright, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor galvanized White people to become “conscious partners” with our Black sisters and brothers to end racism. Crucial to this new understanding and awareness is the formation of genuine, open, truthful relationships between Black and White community members. You are invited to take part in a “Facing Our Racism: Becoming Conscious Partners” workshop which analyzes the systemic, institutional, policy, and power-driven persecution and discrimination against Black Americans since the very beginning of slavery.

Recommended Pre-Viewing:

  1. Dr. Ibram X. Kendi: Creating A More Equitable Society Is In White Americans' Self Interest:
  2. Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin DiAngelo:
  3. How Racial Bias Works – and How to Disrupt It with Jennifer Eberhardt:
  4. A Blueprint for Reparations in the US | William "Sandy" Darity:

About the Facilitators

  • Dr. Connie Holmes is a retired psychologist who counseled cancer patients and their families for 28 years in Boston and in the San Francisco Bay area. She conducts these workshops throughout the United States. Her great-grandfather perished in Theresienstadt, a World War II concentration camp. Her exposure to the horrors of the Final Solution has motivated her to join the struggle for racial justice in the United States.

  • Dolores Moorehead, MS, APCC is the Lead Navigator/ Multi-Cultural Client Support Clinician at the Women’s Cancer Resource Center in Berkeley with over 30 years of experience that includes the American Cancer Society. She has worked with diverse populations including LGBTQIA+, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Pacific Islanders. She is committed to improving communication between doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals about the medical needs and access to care of diverse populations.


  • The Rev. Tyrone Fowlkes, Rector, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Raleigh, NC: “In an era of George Floyd, increased voter restrictions and racial disparities across vital areas of health, income and education, the time is now for us to wrestle with the ubiquitous and persistent racist policies and structures in our society. People of faith are not immune to such forces and have a significant role to play in this effort if ‘faithful witness’ has any meaning at all. Both Connie Holmes and Dolores Moorehead not only help us confront the damaging and lasting impact of systemic racism in both church and society but also why it matters. The bottom-line stares at us with an unsettling gaze: our failure to untangle the racist threads which have long woven patterns of dehumanizing pain and disenfranchisement, will eventually strangle us all."

  • Jean Kilbourne, Senior Scholar, Wellesley Centers for Women: "Dr. Connie Holmes has been passionately engaged for more than 50 years in the struggle for civil rights and the work of making authentic partnerships between Black and White Americans possible. Her energy, imagination, and eloquent leadership bring new life to the essential conversations we must have in order to make the progress we all so urgently need.

  • Rev. Dr. David Killian: "Connie Holmes and Dolores Moorehead are superb facilitators to help us to 'face our racism' and dismantle embedded structures of racial inequality and oppression. Their work is transformative and life-changing for the participants and vitally needed in our society today."

  • Dolores Moorehead, MS: "Dr. Connie Holmes and I worked together at the Women’s Cancer Resource Center in Oakland for four years. She has been able to use her family's experiences to discuss how more alike we are as humans than different. Taking her commitment over the years to the civil rights movement, Dr. Holmes creates an environment for Black and White individuals to talk about the topic of racial discrimination. She facilitates a conversation that allows participants to address their pain and shame so as to begin the healing process."

  • Rev. Dr. Rodney Petersen: “Facing our Racism” (FOR) presents a challenging workshop. Just when we thought we were beyond all that, Connie and Dolores take one down to deeper levels of engagement with racism and anti-racism."

  • Brenda Vaccaro, Psy.D.: "As a psychologist and mental health innovator, Dr. Holmes has forged and promoted therapeutic environments that prioritize social justice and heighten multicultural awareness. A tireless advocate for equitable access to support, she has been a pioneer in acknowledging and addressing issues of oppression, privilege, and power. Her work reflects a deep commitment to redefining mental health services in a way that is more attuned and responsive to the race-based traumatic stress that burdens communities of color. Her approach empowers people to heal and to reclaim the path toward their best possible lives."

Sponsors: Grace Church in Newton, St. Mary’s Church in Dorchester, the Charles River Deanery, Temple Shalom in Newton, Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, ten other congregations, and Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries (CMM), the greater Boston area’s oldest interfaith social justice organization that has been fighting racism since 1966.
Upcoming Community Events
IFFBOSTON 2021 Virtual Screening of A Reckoning in Boston

The film focuses on racial and economic disparities in the city with a critical part of the storyline being the fight of Kafi Dixon, one of the main subjects, to save and grow her coop urban farm in Dorchester. It has intersection of spirituality, philosophy and racial justice. The director, James Rutenbeck, is a Newton resident as well. The film is available to rent now.
25th Annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace

Sunday, May 9, 2021, 9am (virtual)

The Mother's Day Walk for Peace is a beloved Boston tradition and celebration of our potential to create more peaceful communities. It is the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute’s (LDBPI) largest fundraising event to grow and sustain our services, advocacy and training. We are honored to celebrate and remember the lives of our loved ones who have been murdered with you. This year, our walk will be held online. Walk virtually with us as we celebrate 25 years of walking for peace! Join our 25 Days of Walking, beginning in April, leading up to our online broadcast on May 9, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. on
Diverting from Punishment to Relationship: Youth in Community Justice

May 11 - June 1, 2021

Join highly respected restorative justice trainers and international leadership in the restorative and community justice fields, Joe Brummer, author of Building A Trauma-Informed Restorative School and seasoned practitioner/trainer integrating trauma-informed work with RJ, and Justin Carbonella President of Connecticut Youth Services Association and Coalition Builder supporting Youth prevention and diversion (bios below) & Host Restorative Justice on The Rise for an in-depth 4-Part series For Justice System Professionals, Restorative Justice Leadership & Systems Change Advocates, revealing critical steps to creating restoratively-centered Diversion & Youth Justice Programs.
Voting Rights: Where Do We Go From Here?

Thursday, May 13, 2021, 7pm (ONLINE)

Historic Newton will host Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, author of The Voting Rights War, for a session presented in partnership with Overdue. Professor Browne-Marshall will examine laws posing challenges to American voters -- especially African-Americans -- from enslavement and woman's suffrage through current controversies of voter suppression. She will also look ahead to challenges that future voters are likely to face, especially after the tumultuous 2020 election. Voting Rights: Where Do We Go From Here? is a virtual program that will include a lecture with Q&A.
Full Circle: From Lament to Praise and Back Again
Online Concert

Saturday, May 15, 2021, 7 - 9 pm UK time/ 2 - 4 pm EDT

Join us for Full Circle: From Lament to Praise and Back Again, an online concert exploring faith and art. Presented by the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology in Cambridge and co-curated by Deus Ex Musica. This virtual concert will feature new music, dance, drama, and poetry. Stick around afterwards for a Q&A with the artists!
Chinese America and Anti-Asian Hate: Reflections of a Historian and an Artist (Virtual)

Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 7 - 8pm

The Asian American community has long struggled for visibility and equity, and this community has faced additional physical and mental health harms that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past year, we have seen a sharp increase in anti-Asian hate crimes and hate incidents. The session will deepen our understanding of the Asian American experience through an interactive dialogue with Professor Lisong Liu (Massachusetts College of Art and Design) and Artist Wen-ti Tsen.
Human Struggle: Christian and Muslim Perspectives

Tuesday, May 25, 2021, 5pm

Please join Hartford Seminary for the biennial Willem A. Bijlefeld Lecture as we welcome Dr. Mona Siddiqui, known internationally as a public intellectual and a speaker on issues around religion, ethics, and public life. Suffering and struggle give meaning to the human condition and are a constant theme in philosophy, theology and psychology. Drawing upon her recent book, Human Struggle: Christian and Muslim Perspectives, Dr. Siddiqui compares how two prominent theologians, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Sayyid Qutb, wrestled with their faith when they experienced a deep personal struggle.
MIRA's Annual Gala: Give Liberty a Hand

Thursday, June 3, 2021

MIRA cordially invites you to our annual virtual fundraiser event – Give Liberty a Hand 2021! Tune in and join us to celebrate community champions, MIRA member organizations and business leaders throughout the state as we raise critical dollars to advance our mission. Every dollar raised at GLAH21 will directly support programs and services offered to our MIRA members and immigrant community. Your support will guarantee the success of this event and we hope to see you there!
2021 Luce-Hartford Conference in Christian-Muslim Relations

June 7 - 8, 2021

The 2021 Luce-Hartford Conference in Christian-Muslim relations will focus on the current state of Muslim and Christian relationships within congregations, masjids, Islamic centers, and social services in the midst of the COVID-19 health care crisis and the longstanding pandemics of racial injustice, inter-ethnic and interreligious tensions. Our keynote speaker is Dr. Kameelah Mu’Min Rashad, who will speak on “The Light of Faith: Spiritual Resilience & Coping in the COVID Age”
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