Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream - Amos 5:24
Ever Flowing Streams – its name inspired by Amos - is a Massachusetts Conference e-newsletter focused on justice and witness concerns. Since 2009, EFS has been delivered monthly to the in-boxes of the more than 1,500 people signed on to learn more about these issues. I am honored to be its editor.
I was delighted to hear that a TA1 group, meeting in December to talk about the future of our justice ministry, felt that EFS should transition into a tri-conference publication in 2019. Now, the Massachusetts Conference has no shortage of justice news, some of it generated by its seven diverse task teams: Actual (prison) Justice; Chile Partnership; Ecumenism and Interfaith; Environmental Ministry; Immigration, Refugee & Asylum; ONA; and Restorative Justice. And there is no end to the feature events, blogs and news coming out of the National UCC and other ministry partners like City Mission in Boston, Church World Service, and Global Ministries.
But it is a wonderful thing to discover that our partners to the south are focused on some very different justice issues than those usually featured in EFS.
While we share a concentration on racial justice and environmental ministry, I learned that Connecticut also has a Legislative Advocate - Michele Mudrick – who lobbies at the State House for such things as affordable health care and assault weapon bans, and in opposition to new casino development in Connecticut. As a former Nutmegger, I appreciate the human rights issues surrounding casino development and am glad that EFS will have a chance to share those concerns and Michele’s good work with fellow Bay Staters, who built their first casino last year.
Did you know that the Rhode Island Conference organizes an annual mission trip to Haiti, and have since 1990? The group of 15 that traveled to the island in January painted the walls of an orphanage, freshening and protecting the space for the children who live there. Folks from previous trips built buildings and bathrooms for the orphanage, furnished a generator and bunk beds, created wells that brought fresh water to over 1,000 people, provided medical care, and created a program that gives a cooked egg a day to children who otherwise have little to eat. Listen to some of these beautiful children sing here!
Change can be both challenging and rewarding. I find myself looking forward to working with people from our future tri-conference as we get to know each other and begin reaching out with resources shared, offers of help, and collaboration around justice issues that matter to us all.
You can access the first edition of the Tri-Conference Ever Flowing Streams here. If you’d like to receive EFS and aren’t on the mailing list, please sign up here: https://macucc-email.brtapp.com/subscribe
Many Voices, One Mission is a regular series highlighting the ministries of the
CT, MA, and RI Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Karen Methot is the Program Support Associate for the Innovation Team of the Southern New England Conference.