Introduction

The One Church Fund is a program of the Massachusetts Council of Churches.

The Massachusetts Council of Churches and its member congregations and denominations believe in One Church. We believe all parts of the body of Christ are necessary. And, at this terrible moment when so many people are suffering because of the COVID19, some parts of the body of Christ are suffering more than others. As members of the one body of Christ, we cannot say to one another, “I have no need of you.”

Through the One Church Fund, the Massachusetts Council of Churches prioritizes the financial, practical, and relational support of immigrant, Black, poor, unhoused, and unaffiliated churches.

Now is the time for those who can give through the One Church Fund to support both short-term financial needs and long-term relationships. Through your contribution, you are building capacity to care for all of God’s people. Give generously and ask for what you need to ensure the whole body of Christ survives.

Believe in One Church: holy, brave, and just.

Why Now?

The humanitarian needs are urgent and growing for many communities across the Commonwealth. Every person and every community has been harmed by this pandemic. And, some communities have been decimated, compounded by long legacies of racial and economic disparities. Some communities have borne the brunt of systemic inequities since long before COVID19.

Churches are essential service providers, especially in immigrant Black, poor, and homeless communities.

Immigrant churches and Black churches have long operated with an outsized role in meeting the needs of their communities, by providing education, banking, health care, food, clothing, mental health and spiritual support, often because other institutions failed to provide care.

Immigrant, Black, poor, unhoused, and unaffiliated churches need support because overwhelming humanitarian needs are going unmet by federal, state, denominational, and local church resources. We can help churches in these communities meet their neighbors’ needs.

What’s the Need?

The need for your support is urgent and growing because many of these vibrant churches operate from plate to plate, with no reserves, no endowment, no savings. These churches are in danger of closing critical ministries because of the economic crisis caused by COVID19. The needs are great in churches like:

  • Ministerios Cristo El Rey, a 2016  church plant on Blue Hill Ave in Dorchester, MA ministering to people speaking Spanish. Pastors Richard and Evelyanne Piette serve a community that includes many undocumented Christians and people without access to banks. Many are afraid of government assistance and some can’t access benefits because of their status. Without regular ways to give online or meet safely in person, the still young church plant has seen weekly offerings dwindle. In 2017, Cristo El Rey raised funds and supplies for churches in Puerto Rico  devastated by Hurricane Maria. Now, with a congregation rapidly losing their jobs, Cristo El Rey needs financial support, toiletries, and basic necessities to continue their ministry and help their neighbors.
  • Walking Together, a ministry with people experiencing  homelessness and addiction in Southeast Worcester. Usually, their monthly “Laundry Love” night at a local laundromat serves 75 families once a month with free laundry, detergent, and food, but it is no longer safe for that many people to be in the same place at the same time. Each night of Laundry Love costs about $1200.  Restarting this ministry, so essential for public health and hygiene, would require Walking Together to host Laundry Love every week, requiring lots more money, masks and gloves for every participant, a quick-test thermometer, more volunteers and food. Rev. Meredyth Ward said, “In Worcester, 43% of the unhoused population has tested positive for COVID19. We are trying to keep our people clean and healthy as best we can. Some saints have mailed me their stimulus checks. But the needs keep increasing.”
  • Greater Framingham Community Church, an interdenominational congregation founded in 1972 and currently the largest predominantly African-American church in Metro-West. Responding to an increasing need in the community, Rev. J. Anthony Lloyd has expanded the church’s intake ministry to support families in emergency situations with food insecurity, housing instability and utilities crisis. The church needs more funding, technical support and volunteers to expand a much needed food distribution site to deliver to local families. Without a singular denominational connection, Greater Framingham Community Church would benefit from a wider network of Church relationships and support to meet increasing needs.

These are just three initial examples of hundreds of churches doing critical ministry that need our collective support to care for those hurting the most during COVID19. These churches are trusted sources of information and support, not just to their parishioners but to their neighbors. This virus has not only brought death to the communities but threatens many of the churches that have served faithfully. Through your contribution, you are building capacity to care for all of God’s people.

How Can We Help?

We believe that God has called and appointed us for such a time as this, to stand together, to serve the communities and the houses of worships that continue to pray, council, and educate in their communities that are in food deserts, under-resourced neighborhoods, living without safe housing or viable economic vitality. We help by sharing our skills,  asking for what we need , and giving generously from what we have.

These churches are experiencing increasing need at a time of decreasing local resources. We need your help to unify and sustain these churches in the communities experiencing the most suffering. We can be a balm to one another in the Body of Christ.

With a wide range of member denominations and partner organizations, the Massachusetts Council of Churches is positioned to both identify the short-term needs and tend the long-term relationships. With 117 years of relationship building and technical support for church leaders since the pandemic began, the Massachusetts Council of Churches has been hard at work aiding local churches and connecting church leaders in need to available resources. But we need more funds and more volunteers.

Please give generously and ask for what you need to ensure the whole body of Christ endures.