Tis So Sweet...

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise;
Just to know, Thus saith the Lord. Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er,
Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus!
  O for grace to trust Him more.

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
Just in simple faith to plunge me,
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood.
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life, and rest, and joy, and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

A Message from our Bishop

We are committed to the principle of full and equal access to, and inclusion in, the sacraments for all of the baptized children of God, including our LGBTQ siblings. For as St. Paul reminds us in Galatians 3, “in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”

Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry

Read the full statement from Presiding Bishop Curry on Bishop William Love’s November 10 Pastoral Letter and Directive here.

The Episcopal Public Policy Network

You can follow The Episcopal Public Policy Network on Facebook for loads of great advocacy information.

But what about the separation of church and state?

This is a different concept than what we do with advocacy. The separation of church and state is about the government not prohibiting a particular religion or requiring participation in one. 
What we're doing as a Church & what we're encouraging folks to do is to use their constitutional right to petition the government.

In fact, the Episcopal Church advocates to protect the separation of church and state, just like in our work with Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty on preserving the Johnson Amendment. #EpiscopalAdvocacy

While you’re on Facebook, do you follow us? Like our page and stay connected with us on social media!


Sign up for Action Alerts from Episcopal City Mission


ECM builds relationships and collective power across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for racial and economic justice as the expression of God’s transforming love. We do this by developing, convening, mobilizing, and funding prophetic leaders in Episcopal communities, grassroots organizations and faith-rooted organizations.  


Develop: Form prophetic leaders with the understanding and skills needed to do justice.

Convene: Foster right relationship by catalyzing communities of faith-rooted and grassroots leaders.

Mobilize: Organize faith-rooted individuals and communities to act towards a more whole, just, and equitable Massachusetts.

Fund: Strategically invest financial resources in Episcopal communities, grassroots and faith-rooted leaders and organizations who are doing justice work aligned with our overall strategy.

Sign up for action alerts on their website!

79th General Convention in Order

The presiding officers of the Episcopal Church delivered a rousing welcome July 4 to the hundreds of bishops and deputies who have gathered in Texas' capital city this week for the 79th General Convention.

The remarks by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, each lasted about 20 minutes and set the stage for an active 10 days at the Austin Convention Center and surrounding hotels. Committees began holding hearings earlier in the day on some resolutions, though the legislative session doesn't officially convene until July 5.

Read More at Episcopal News Service

Join General Convention from wherever you are from their online hub!

Joint Statement from the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The bishops of the Episcopal dioceses of Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts jointly issued the following statement, "Make Room at the Inn for U.S. Citizens Impacted by Disaster," in which they urge federal action to activate the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) for Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Those families will be homeless on June 30 if FEMA fails to activate DHAP. Find advocacy action steps, prepared by the Pioneer Valley Project and made available by the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, here.

Make room at the Inn for U.S. Citizens Impacted by Disaster

Joint Statement from the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

June 6, 2018

Today one hundred displaced American citizens from Puerto Rico are heading to Capitol Hill. These families have been living in local hotels since the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017. FEMA has refused to activate DHAP – the Disaster Housing Assistance Program – for the Puerto Rican victims of this natural disaster. As citizens of the United States, those who have fled the island of Puerto Rico should have the same assistance as a citizen of the 50 states. Instead, these families are getting phone calls from FEMA encouraging them to return to Puerto Rico. They will lose their hotel housing on June 30, 2018. Without the activation of DHAP from FEMA, these families will be homeless in 25 days. With concerned citizens and people of faith, we ask, “why?” Why are these citizens receiving a different level of care and support?

We have learned that Massachusetts has the second highest number of displaced Puerto Rican families – Florida is number one. In fact Hampden County is ranked 7th in U.S. counties serving the needs of Puerto Rican families impacted by the storm. These are our neighbors. They worship in our congregations. These children attend our schools. With FEMA’s refusal to activate DHAP, they have no recourse but to turn to our legislators for help before their hotel housing runs out.

Tomorrow one hundred Puerto Rican Americans will stand for all those who found shelter here after the storm. They will meet with senators and members of Congress who have sponsored two bills which would activate DHAP immediately. These bills, if passed, will give them a long-term housing pathway from hotel to apartment. Housing is the key to recovery for these families - to having the ability to get a driver’s license and get a stable job. DHAP is the means by which these families might return to economic independence.

On June 30 thousands of people will become homeless because of FEMA’s inaction. More importantly, U.S. citizens have the right to self-determination, to live where they wish, to begin again after disaster and devastation. The governor of Puerto Rico has advocated that DHAP be activated immediately, but FEMA has refused. It is our hope that concerned citizens will use their voices, phones and social media to stand with Puerto Rican citizens. It is only by standing with one another that we can bear the weight of life’s tragedies and be witnesses for the new life that will emerge from the dust.

No American family should become homeless because of a hurricane, a wildfire or a tornado. These Puerto Rican families are our sisters and brothers, our fellow Americans. May we extend to them the hospitality and care we would have given to another homeless family two thousand years ago. As these one hundred citizens knock on the doors of power, may they be given hope and the commitment of our resources. And may we, as Episcopalians, bring their concerns to our prayer and advocacy. May we embody the love Presiding Bishop Curry preaches – the love of Jesus Christ.

The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, Bishop Diocesan of Western Massachusetts

The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, Bishop Diocesan of Massachusetts

The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts

# # #

#PuertoRico #HurricaneMaria #Massachusetts #FEMA

When Words Fail

When Words Fail

Not long ago I sent my wife, Cari, a text message using only voice prompts. I was on my way out the door to give her a ride home from work and intended to send the words, “Where would you like me to pick you up, old gal?”

Cari doesn’t mind my calling her “old gal”—it’s one of the affectionate nicknames we use around the house. But my cell phone didn’t “understand” the phrase, and sent the words “old cow” instead...

Read more at Our Daily Bread.

Stuck Lid, Open Tomb - Sermons Online

Stuck Lid, Open Tomb
Easter Sunday - April 1, 2018
The Rev. Dr. Ted Cole, Jr.

What is your theory of how change happens?  Do you think change happens slowly, over time, like the way the shoreline shifts after years of tides ebbing and flowing over it?  Does change happen in leaps and jumps, like the growth spurts of living things that move from one stage of life to the next, a tadpole to a frog, a baby to a toddler?  I heard a theory of change the other day that had never occurred to me before - the stuck lid theory of change. Have you heard of this?

Read More


Join Our Team

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Jamaica Plain is hiring a part-time Christian Formation Coordinator to nurture and grow our faith formation offerings for our children and families. We are a small but vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive parish. The Christian Formation Coordinator is a key part of our ministry team, working for the rector and serving the parish, and through the parish, serving the wider community. The ideal candidate has a positive, can-do approach, communicates well both in written and oral forms, is a skilled organizer and planner, and is able to work independently.

Download The Christian Formation Coordinator Job Description

Committing to Racial Justice

As we work at St. John’s to live out our commitment to racial justice, we share some excellent upcoming events here at St. John's and in the wider community. All of these are open to the public and we encourage you to take part in as many as you can!

Join the Conversation! A second series of "Conversations with White People About Racism." -
Sundays - April 29, May 20, and June 17 beginning at 12:15 at St. John's Church

Each session includes explorations of various ways we can deepen our awareness, understanding, and responses to racism and white privilege. Plan to participate in all three sessions, or as many as you can.
Each conversation is from 12:15-1:45 on the following Sundays:  April 29, May 20, and June 17  All are welcome.
Facilitated by St. John's member Sharlene Cochrane, a Courage & Renewal retreat facilitator, educator, and author of "Who I Am Is How I Teach," about her racial identity formation as a white woman.

St. John's at April's BLM Vigil
Every First Thursday beginning at 5:30 at First Baptist Church in JP

Every first Thursday of the month, St. John's parishioners join many in the community and gather on the lawn of the First Baptist Church on Centre St from 5:30-6:30 for the Black Lives Matter Vigil. We invite all to join us for the vigil! 
On April 5, come for the vigil and for dinner together afterwards at a local restaurant. If you are interested and would like the details of where we will be dining please contact Shannon at smccarthy111@gmail.com.  

Brookline Reads - The Underground Railroad program featuring Colson Whitehead
Various dates and locations in April throughout Brookline

The Underground Railroad, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, by Colson Whitehead, is this year's Brookline Reads selection. Whitehead will be at the Brookline High School auditorium, 115 Greenough Street, to discuss his book at 7 PM on Wednesday, April 25.

Our Brookline Reads programs leading up to Colson Whitehead's appearance include

  • Wednesday, April 4: A screening of the uplifting documentary Our Mockingbird, introduced by filmmaker Sandra Jaffe, at 7 PM in Hunneman Hall in Brookline Village.
  • Saturday, April 7: A walking tour of Underground Railroad sites on April 7 (rain date April 8) led by Suzette Abbott of Hidden Brookline, starting at 2 PM at the Brookline Town Hall.
  • Thursday, April 12: Judge Nancy Gertner will moderate a conversation on the economic realities of racism. She will be joined by experts in the fields of law, economics, and journalism. This discussion will take place at 7 PM in Hunneman Hall in Brookline Village.
  • Wednesday, April 25: A discussion with author Colson Whitehead. This event will take place at 7 PM at the Brookline High School Auditorium, 115 Greenough Street.

Nurturing the Soul of Justice:  A Retreat for Activists and Educators
Saturday April 7, 10 Putnam Street in Roxbury, MA from 9:30AM-3:30PM

Are you working to bring positive change in our communities through education and/or activism? This retreat offers an opportunity to slow down, listen to your own inner wisdom and that of others, and nourish your commitment and courage. 

Many of us are called to respond to complex issues, such as systemic racism, environmental injustice, economic inequity and anti-immigration. "Nourishing the Soul of Justice" offers time and space to check in with ourselves and others about the use of our voices, energy, presence, and engagement during these challenging times. 

Core principles and practices of Circles of Trust guide the retreat, including the belief that everyone has an inner teachers, an inner source of truth. Contemplative practices and a variety of resources offer support as we navigate the space between our current reality and what we know is possible.

Where: "Nurturing the Soul of Justice" is hosted by UU Urban Ministry,
located at 10 Putnam St. Roxbury, MA. It is convenient to the Orange Line
Roxbury Crossing stop.

Cost: The full cost of the Retreat is $80.00 per person. There is a sliding
scale, $10-$100; pay more if you can, less if you cannot (includes lunch).

Facilitators: Donna Bivens and Sharlene Cochrane are facilitators with the
Center for Courage and Renewal (www.couragerenewal.org)
For further information, contact Donna at donnabivens@gmail.com
or Sharlene at cochrane@lesley.edu
Email either Donna or Sharlene with the following:
Home Address:
What type of activism or education are you engaged in? In what
community (or communities)?
What attracts you to this retreat?
Registration Deadline: April 1, 2018

BLM Boston live on Insight Radio
Every Thursday at 7pm

http://www.insightradioapp.com/black-lives-matter-boston.html Every week on Thursday at 7pm, Black Lives Matter Boston hosts a radio show featuring members of the black community in Boston who are doing amazing things.

Image compliments of SF Post

Image compliments of SF Post

What do you think?

Ted shared Andrew Sullivan’s March 9 blog post on New York magazine’s website in his sermon  last Sunday.  Sullivan references two other writers, Steven Pinker and Patrick Deneen, who offer very different takes on our contemporary world.  Are we indeed material rich but soul poor?  Individually free but communally impoverished?  What do you think?



Sharing Our Lenten Journey

Last Friday during the blustering rain storm, we had a cozy Family Night inside exploring our Lenten bags. 


There are still opportunities to take a Lenten journey with St. John's.

All are welcome to join Contemplative Prayer on Wednesday nights throughout Lent. We meetWednesdays from February 21 through March 21 from 6pm-6:45pm in the sanctuary to explore prayerful silence in community, and the ways we can support one another to enter into the silent reality of God in our hearts. As James Finley says, "Meditation is a way of slowing down so as to descend into the depths of yourself in the present moment, where God lies waiting to grant you a deep experience of your eternal oneness with God."  All are welcome, no experience necessary! Please email Libby with any questions at libby.gatti@gmail.com

Annual Meeting 2018 Recap

At last Sunday's Annual Meeting, we welcomed new members to the Parish (pictured from left to right, Iris Grant, Charlie Wibiralske, Deb Whitman, Ada Focer, Libby Gatti, Kate Heaton and Chris Heaton), elected new parish leadership including our new wardens Don Hernstrom and Natasha Seaman, received Annual Reports from our rector, Three Teams and Treasurer (which are available for pick up at church), and met in our Three Teams to set out some exciting goals for the coming year.  Our next All-Parish Three Team Meeting is Sunday, March 4, where we will take the next steps to move our goals forward with input from our new vestry which begins meeting this month.


Fake News and Real Values - Sermons Online

We are excited to begin posting select sermons from St. John's online in written and/or audio form.

We begin today by reflecting back on our Rector, Ted's, Christmas Eve sermon.  

Sermon for Christmas Eve 2017
The Rev. Dr. Ted Cole, Jr.
St. John’s, Jamaica Plain

Fake News and Real Values

"Growing up in New York City, Christmas time was always special. There is a reason so many Christmas movies and television shows are set in New York.  When I see one, I feel very privileged that Christmas in New York is part of my childhood memories. I look forward to taking my two boys to New York during this season and sharing it with them when they are older.  But I have the means to share one of my strongest memories with them now, thanks to the wonders of On Demand cable television: the video Yule Log."
Read the full sermon online or listen below.

Our chalked red door

Wondering why we write on our doors every year around this time?

The chalking of the doors is a centuries-old practice throughout the world on homes, churches and places of worship.

The letters have two meanings. They first represent the initials Caspar, Malchior, and Balthazar — the Magi who came to visit Jesus in his own first home. They also abbreviate the Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat: “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross, and the “20” at the beginning and the “18” at the end mark the year. Taken together, this inscription is performed as a request for Christ to bless the home or building so marked and that he stay with those who visit there throughout the entire year.

May we all continue to be blessed throughout this year!

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