A New Year for MJC!

I’m thrilled to be writing to you as the newest leader of the Ministry of Social Justice and Compassion (MJC)! The MJC is committed to taking action on Hope Central’s mission of seeking ultimate meaning, moving toward the heart of God, and the repair of the world, through service and tithing. The Spirit particularly moves us toward stewardship of the earth, marriage equality, ending poverty, eliminating racism, gender equality, and health care and housing for all.

The MJC has been busy this year! We served dinner at the Pine Street Inn’s Shattuck Shelter four times, collected nearly 100 boxes of cereal for their Men’s Stabilization Program, participated in the Mother’s Day Walk Against Violence, recycled nearly 1000 batteries, collected countless towels, sheets, and clothing items for the women at Rosie’s Place, participated in a plastics fast and dedicated ourselves to environmental justice issues during Lent, started a community garden to feed our community, all in addition to giving 10% of our plate and pledges to charity!

With the start of the school year upon us, the Ministry of Social Justice and Compassion is excited to embark on its newest endeavor, a partnership with The Curley School in Jamaica Plain. There is much to be done with this new partnership, but there are so many wonderful opportunities for us to connect with the children in our community and contribute to a world without violence.

With the help of our new Associate Pastor, Courtney, we’d like to focus on involving our very own Hope Central Children in our MJC work in hopes of seeing God through their eyes.

We welcome all who have a calling for social justice issues, desire to practice compassion in their lives, or just want good some good company to join us the 2nd Thursday of each month in the Church Office from 6-6:45pm to learn more and see how you can get involved. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at katieo80@yahoo.com

Sincerely,

Kate Storm

 

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The Vital Role of Volunteers

Hello Church!   Our newest blog post comes to you from Nancy Doherty.  Did you know that Nancy has been a teacher in the Boston Public Schools for over 20 years?   In that time she has seen the vital role volunteers play in the lives of the kids she teaches, especially kids at risk, who come from neighborhoods where violence is not uncommon.  Nancy’s blog post comes to you, highlighting an exciting moment at Hope Central:  We have begun a partnership with The Curley School, an under-served public school in out neighborhood.  Many of you filled out a questionnaire during church services, offering your skills and resources to this partnership, a wonderful first step we will be building upon.  As you read Nancy’s post, please will you hold in your thoughts and prayers this new, vital church-school partnership we have begun and consider how you might support it, be it feet on the ground at Curley this Fall 2015, or behind the scenes supporting the in-school volunteers.   So without further a-do…..here is Nancy’s post- Lillian, MJC facilitator

                                 ~VOLUNTEERING, by Nancy Doherty~
Volunteers are happy because they can give back while doing something they enjoy.
Whether it’s done as a family or by an individual, volunteering translates positive attitudes and good qualities to the world at large. It is never too early to engage in charitable activities, and no act is too small.
During the recent economic downturn, organizations reported a greater need for volunteers. Modelling active involvement in our communities, children and adolescents can learn about the caring and sharing, giving and taking that lead to a sense of belonging—to their families, and also to a wider world beyond the home.
It’s not always easy for families to stay connected today. Parents and children get pulled in different directions—work, school, athletic and social events. As schedules become more and more crowded, finding family time gets more and more difficult. One way to help stay connected is for adults, parents and kids to volunteer together for community projects.
In today’s culture, besotted as it is with celebrity worship and news as entertainment, it’s often easy to forget what really makes history: ordinary people volunteering to do the day-to-day work necessary to solve problems and set the social agenda.
Every significant social movement in the history of the United States–the abolition of slavery, the civil rights movement, feminism, the struggle over abortion–has been started and conducted by volunteers, not by politicians or professionals.
My years of volunteering have opened up the world to me.  I have had an opportunity to work in hospitals, community centers, homeless shelters, family centers, tutoring English learners and the Red Cross to name just a few areas.  Please consider volunteering for a new School Partnership endeavor at HOPE Central Church.

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The Work of Violence Prevention here at Hope Central

Hello Church! The Ministry of Social Justice and Compassion is excited to have this blog as a place to share the work we are doing, as well as ideas and possibilities around the transformation of violence in our community.

Did you know: In the spring of 2013, we began building two sustainable partnerships in our community, in order to learn how we can positively engage the realities of violence in Boston and work to cultivate peace. These two partnerships are with an underserved public school in out neighborhood, where we can help prevent the violence effecting Boston youth (our first event upcoming in June 2014, date and time TBA), and with Pine Street Inn where we can help prevent the violence of neglect to those homeless on your streets (our next event is June 10, serving dinner at Pine Street Inn).  We also support and sponsor other relevant events that we hope will offer doorways into service and social justice work for us church, around the cultivation of peace in our community, like for example the events Barbara talks about here.

Why do we do this work? Because we believe that to participate in the work that transforms the world into a more just, equitable, and loving place, is at one-and the-same time, to powerfully transform and heal our own selves into a more peaceful, health-filled and abundant person, allowing us to reach more generously and joyfully beyond the parameters and needs of our own individual lives. SJC’s mission includes helping and leading people at Hope Central to find ways, in the midst of busy lives, to be engaged in the powerful work of justice and peace in our community and in our world.

Our very first blog entry comes to you from Barbara McQueen, one of our members, who volunteers at the Louis B. Brown Peace Institute in Boston, and is deeply engaged in the work of violence prevention. I hope you will periodically check in on our blog and learn about MJC sponsored actions and events, that you too can participate in as church. — Lillian Fuchs, MJC facilitator

Barbara writes: We are less than three months into 2014 and the year has already seen 14 homicides here in Boston. In the United States, homicide is the leading cause of death for young men of color. Here at Hope Central Church, our commitment to the repair of the world has brought us to consider how we can build peace in our communities. Inspired by the work of our covenant partner Reverand Liz Steinhauser at her job working with youth at St. Stephen’s Church, the Ministry of Justice and Compassion team is moving to create a partnership with a local public school. The hope is that we can help support young people who are facing multiple challenges, including racism, poverty and the trauma of street violence.

We hope that anyone who feels called to support this iniative will be in touch with Lillian Fuchs to express your interest.

Further, as part of our efforts, we would also like to build a Hope Central Church presence at two upcoming events. The first is the Jobs Not Jails rally on Saturday 26 April on the Boston Common. In the United States, we incarcerate a higher percentage of our population than any other nation in the world. In Massachusetts, our prison population has tripled in the last 30 years. This has had a devastating effect on many families, and particularly in communities of color. On Thursday,

3 April from 7 to 8:30 there will be a forum on Mass Incarceration here in JP that we encourage folks to attend in order to learn more about the Jobs Not Jails campaign. http://jamaicaplainforum.org/2014/02/01/jobs-not-jails/

The second event is the Mothers Day Walk for Peace sponsored by the Louis D. Brown Peace Insitute on Sunday, 11 May at 8am.   http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/event-info.html The walk began as a way to support mothers who had lost children to violence, and also serves to express our commitment to peace. Barbara McQueen and her family will be walking, as they have for the last ten years, and would love to welcome you to be part of a Hope Central Church group of walkers.

 

 

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Welcome to the new blog of the Ministry of Justice and Compassion at Hope Central!

Here, you will find updates and musings from the MJC team…

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