News Archive

The articles below are selected news highlights. See the Newsletters page for current and past issues of our monthly newsletter The Visitor.

Diocesan News: Bishops’ June 1 statement on violence and sin of racism

The bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts issued on June 1, 2020, the following statement to the diocesan community.

June 1, 2020

Dear People of the Diocese of Massachusetts,

Yesterday afternoon we stood in Boston with other religious leaders as “Clergy United in Prayer, Protest, Peace, and Justice.” Sponsored by the Black Ministerial Alliance and the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the demonstration’s speakers called “for the swift prosecution of those perpetuating violence on black bodies and killing; for justice in our nation and in our neighborhoods, in…a pandemic that exposes the massive injustice of unequal access to basic physical and mental health care which communities of color have had to endure.”

The demonstration included prayer for the dead, and for the living, “for the broken-hearted and those losing hope.” In devastating wordlessness, we held silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds – the length of time it took to snuff out the life of George Floyd with a knee to his neck.

That afternoon protest was peaceful, as were several other large demonstrations throughout the day. When night fell, however, the protests turned violent, with significant destruction to property in the area surrounding our Cathedral Church of St. Paul.

We decry every manifestation of violence. This includes the destructive violence which followed peaceful protests in Boston this weekend. If we experience these events as extraordinary, however, we must recognize that acts of violence done to black and brown bodies are anything but. The recent, appalling deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are but the latest in our nation’s 400-year history of violence against people of color, manifestations of our sin of racism and the culture of unexamined white supremacy. Until we understand and acknowledge all of these forms of violence as integrally connected, we can never hope to make our prayers for peace anything more than wishful thinking.

We commend to you Dean Amy McCreath’s letter earlier today [available here ] reporting effects of last night’s violence surrounding our cathedral, and reflecting upon ways to respond.

We commend to you also yesterday’s essay in The Washington Post [available here ] by our presiding bishop, the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, who issues this call:

“I see us channeling our holy rage into concrete, productive and powerful action …. Love looks like making the long-term commitment to racial healing, justice and truth-telling – knowing that, without intentional, ongoing intervention on the part of every person of good will, America will cling to its original, racist ways of being. … Now is the time for all of us to show – in our words, our actions, and our lives – what love really looks like.”

Faithfully yours,

The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris

Sunday, May 31: Pentecost – Watch the live introduction and prerecorded service here

Day of Pentecost: Sunday, May 31

We invite you to join us Sundays at 9 a.m. on Facebook for morning prayer.  We look forward to “seeing” you there.  If you would like to receive the bulletin please email the office (office@ccneedham.org) to get on the mailing list.

Here are the Scripture passages for Pentecost.
Download the bulletin here.

Watch the live introduction to the prerecorded service below or on our Facebook page (scroll down for the video and link to the prerecorded Holy Eucharist Rite II).

 

 

Watch the prerecorded Pentecost Holy Eucharist Rite II and Renewal of the Baptismal Covenant below or on our Facebook page.

 

 

 

Cover Photo: St. Peter’s Church, Beverly Pentecost banner, https://www.facebook.com/christchurchneedham/videos/2792253841061525/2012

A Journey By Stages: Gathering, Serving & Growing as the Episcopal Church in Massachusetts During & Beyond a Time of Pandemic

Greetings, Friends,

As you look at the picture at the bottom of this text, you can likely tell that I am standing at the top of the front steps to the church on Highland Avenue, in front of the big red doors. Oh, how I long to actually greet you on these steps once again!

I hope you will click on the here to read the wise guidelines our Bishops have crafted to guide our life together during this journey. They give us direction as to when and how it is safe to gather in-person for worship and to conduct the essentials of our ministries. It is a fluid process, with the emphasis always on how best and safely to love our neighbors and one another. Currently, we are in Phase 1 (Stay-at-Home). At this point, we do not have plans to return to in-person worship immediately after July 1, the earliest possible date set by the Diocese to move to Phase 2 (Cautious). For now, we plan to offer only live-streamed or recorded worship beyond the July 1 deadline, while continuing to make every effort to make sure that all parishioners on any side of the digital divide are able to connect with our worship and other activities. (For example, we are delivering a month’s worth of bulletins to shut-ins, complete with land-line, call-in Zoom instructions, instructions we have also given over the phone. Let us know if you know someone who would benefit from this.) Even when we move into the other phases, live-streamed and/or recorded worship is now a permanent, and long-overdue, feature of our life together.

Stay tuned for word on plans to bring folks “in” to the church, nurture fellowship gatherings, reimagine how we engage “zoomed out” and anxious households into congregational life, and continue to offer concrete love and reassurance to our neighbors near and far.

If you look carefully at the stained-glass windows above my head behind me, you can see Jesus seated there, lifting his hand up in benediction. That hand of Love is over all of us as we move through these uncertain times under his gracious blessing.

Faithfully yours,
Nick+

 

How to watch our Sunday service

Authentic Worship and Christian Community Reimagined for Trying Times
Separated by space yet together in the Spirit, we remain the Body of Christ.

We invite you to join in our service weekly on Sundays at 9 a.m. on Facebook.  We look forward to “seeing” you there.  If you would like to receive the bulletin, please email the office (office@ccneedham.org) to get on the mailing list.

Click here to watch our most recent services and read the sermon and scripture passages of the day.  Or you can go to our Facebook page to watch the services there.

Morning Prayer for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 24

Morning Prayer for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 24

We invite you to join our service on Sundays at 10 a.m. on Facebook.  We look forward to “seeing” you there.  If you would like to receive the bulletin, please email the office (office@ccneedham.org) to get on the mailing list.

Here are the Scripture passages for the day.
Click here for a PDF of the sermon.
Download the bulletin here.

Watch the service here, or on our Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

Morning Prayer for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 17

Morning Prayer for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 17

We invite you to join our service on Sundays at 10 a.m. on Facebook.  We look forward to “seeing” you there.  If you would like to receive the bulletin, please email the office (office@ccneedham.org) to get on the mailing list.

Here are the Scripture passages for the day.
Click here for a PDF of the sermon.
Download the bulletin here.
Watch the service below or on our Facebook page.

Morning Prayer for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 10 (Mother’s Day)

Morning Prayer for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 10 (Mother’s Day)

We invite you to join our service on Sundays at 10 a.m. on Facebook.  We look forward to “seeing” you there.  If you would like to receive the bulletin, please email the office (office@ccneedham.org) to get on the mailing list.

Here are the Scripture passages for the day.
Click here for a PDF of the sermon.
Download the bulletin here.
Watch the service below or on our Facebook page.

 

 

How to watch our Sunday service

Authentic Worship and Christian Community Reimagined for Trying Times
Separated by space yet together in the Spirit, we remain the Body of Christ.

We invite you to join in our service weekly on Sundays at 10 a.m. on Facebook.  We look forward to “seeing” you there.  If you would like to receive the bulletin, please email the office (office@ccneedham.org) to get on the mailing list.

Click here to watch our most recent services and read the sermon and lectionary.  Or you can go to our Facebook page to watch the services there.

Morning Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 3

Morning Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 3 

We invite you to join our service on Sundays at 10 a.m. on Facebook.  We look forward to “seeing” you there.  If you would like to receive the bulletin, please email the office (office@ccneedham.org) to get on the mailing list.

Here are the Scripture passages for the day.
Click here for a pdf of the sermon.
Download the bulletin here.
Watch the service below or on our Facebook page.

 

Morning Prayer for the Third Sunday of Easter, April 26

Morning Prayer for the Third Sunday of Easter

We invite you to join our service on Sundays at 10 a.m. on Facebook.  We look forward to “seeing” you there.  If you would like to receive the bulletin, please email the office (office@ccneedham.org) to get on the mailing list.

Here are the Scripture passages for the day.
Click here for a PDF of the sermon.
Download the bulletin here .
Watch the service below or on our Facebook page.