Ministry of Justice and Compassion
At Hope Central Church, we believe God’s peace and justice are intimately connected with our faith and our lives together. We have been called to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned. We believe justice is prophetic, relational, active, and always challenging us – as individuals and society – to become what God is calling us to become.
Here is just a sampling of our Justice Ministries:
- Giving away 10% of our plate offering and pledges to Boston Faith and Justice Network, Campaign for Southern Equality, GBIO, St. Paul’s Clinic in Kenya, City Mission Society, Mass Council of Churches, Mark Johnston DOC GLAD Alliance, Fast Track Grants, Pastor’s Fast Track Grants, DOC and UCC Global Ministries.
- Giving away 10% of our rentals and parking spaces to community groups.
- Providing reduced rent space to our sister congregation, Iglesia Hispana, a mission church of the United Church of Christ, by being a community center for Integrarte — a dance and movement school and studio, a Buddhist Sangha, 12 step groups, theatre, orchestra, opera troupes, and choirs, a transgender support group, and kids’ play groups.
- Participating in the life of our communities at Pine St. Inn, at with Black Lives Matter.
- Participating in the work of refuge and respite for a congregation that already participates in the community doing racial justice, social activism, social work, medical care, church work, and the work of living in the world as a poor person, a person of color, a mentally ill person, a GLBT person.
- Participating in climate change activism, including participating in and hosting weatherization worships and practices to ease our footprint.
- Teaching compassion, vulnerability and resilience by teaching how to care for the material and pastoral needs of our congregation’s members.
- Teaching Leadership using our spiritual gifts, fulfilling out spiritual purposes for the mission of the church: Making ultimate meaning, moving toward the Heart of God, and repairing the world.
Fast-track grants are an expression of the richness and diversity of Hope Central Church’s justice commitments, and a way to support and encourage participation in God’s peace and justice. If you are a Hope Central Church Covenant Partner (anyone who has joined the church), Hope Central Church wants to support a cause that matters to you. Our fast-track grant program provides a quick and easy process for requesting a grant (of up to $250) for justice work. A grant may support a nonprofit organization, contribute to an event or activity, or provide help to someone in need. To apply for a grant, complete a Fast Track Grant Application.
At Hope Central Church, we believe the point of Christian life is not just going to church, but “being church” in our everyday lives, and so we are working hard to develop a network of vibrant, engaging small groups. The idea of small groups is that they can gather just about anywhere, and do just about anything: study the bible, create art, watch movies, eat together, explore spiritual practices, write poetry, take hikes, play music, etc. The content and venue may vary, but the purpose is the same: to gather together to share life, tell stories, pray, serve, and grow deeper into a life of faith.
Here are some of the small groups that are currently or periodically active. All are open to newcomers. We encourage you to contact the church office for information for any group that might interest you. Some groups also list their activities in the Calendar.
- Bible Study
- Pick Up Choir: Our pick-up choir meets right before worship services to learn a piece to sing during the service. Come at 9:14am for the morning service or sit in with your instrument with NightChurch at 5:30 any Sunday — you’re always welcome.
- Book Group: Book groups are held in members’ homes, sometimes over a meal. Upcoming dates and books are listed in the church calendar.
- Dinner Clubs: Meetings of six to ten members to meet for social and spiritual connections over dinner in members’ homes.
In Discernment for Ordination
Our congregation is blessed with the spiritual work of raising up and supporting individuals for ministry. We are blessed as many seek to deepen their own sense of the divine through practice and service to the congregation, the neighborhood and the world. Some of these individuals seek to do service as ordained ministers in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) or the United Church of Christ.
The following are our current candidates for Ordination. We ask you to pray for them and all who seek to rely on God for life and purpose.
Yara González-Justiniano, originally from Puerto Rico, is currently Under Care with the Christian Church (DOC). Yara is also a PhD student in the field of practical theology at Boston University. She sees her pastoral call to ministry as one that goes hand in hand with a theological education that seeks justice and human flourishing.
Susan Clinkenbeard (UCC) is pursuing her master of divinity (MDiv) degree at Boston University School of Theology. This year she is a student intern in Contextual Education for First Congregational Church in Milton. Susan holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Louisiana State University. Her interests include her women’s chorus, Voices Rising, and a summer camp for girls where she works as a counselor in a special program for bereaved children. She enjoys reading, singing, music of all kinds, cooking, and BBC mysteries.
Lindsay Popperson (UCC) graduated from Boston University School of Theology in 2015. She serves as the Minister of Christian Education at Allin Congregational Church (UCC) in Dedham, where she delights in leading creative Sunday school lessons, working with the youth group, leading a children’s handbell choir, and studying about racial justice, among other things. She also serves as the Chaplain at Sherrill House nursing home in Jamaica Plain, where she spends her days leading worship with and doing pastoral care for elders, particularly those with dementia. She serves the wider church as a member of the Massachusetts Conference UCC Justice and Witness Council and the Immigration and Refugee Task Team. She is a firm believer that all people should have hobbies. She grows vegetables in Hope Central’s yard, knits, reads voraciously, and rides her bike around. She lives in Jamaica Plain with her spouse Ashley (who is a minister in the American Baptist ordination process), a roommate, and their dog, a Springer Spaniel/Shih Tzu mix named Pope Joan.
To support these individuals, Hope Central has an In-Care Committee, and an In-Care Support Group. Individuals seeking to answer the call to ordained ministry must:
- be a Hope Central Church Covenant Partner for at least one year
- be accepted into Hope Central’s process by the In-Care Team, and meet with them regularly
- participate in the In-Care Support Group
- engage in a pastoral relationship with Rev. Laura Ruth Jarrett
- participate in the life of the church
- complete the process for ordination as required by the New England Area of the Northeastern Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) or the Metropolitan Boston Association of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ
Hope Central’s In-Care Team and pastor represent the body of Hope Central Church in formulating the recommendation of one of its members in the process of ordination in either the United Church of Christ or The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination. The Committee is comprised of both ordained and lay members of the Church who are committed to support and endorse candidates who fully understand their call and are prepared and able to carry out the work God has called them to do.
The Committee meets with each candidate at least two times per year. These meetings are structured to question, support, challenge, bless, and love the candidate at each phase of the discernment and ordination process.
By participating in the In-Care Support Group, candidates for ordination form collegial bonds, learning from each others’ experience about ordaining organizations, service leadership, field education placements, confidentiality, sabbath, and boundaries, each one teaching one.
In past years, our community has ordained:
- Alex Shea Will (UCC 9/27/15)
- Mary Eaton (DoC 8/30/15)
- Nina Swift (DoC 7/12/15)
- Benjamin Perkins (DoC, 6/21/15)
- Nanette Pitt Savides (UCC, 10/13/13)
- M. Lance Wiser (DoC, 5/19/13)
- Bruce Baker-Rooks (DoC, 5/12/13)
- Jasmine Beach-Ferrara (UCC, 2/19/12)
- Christine Evans (DoC, 12/11/11)
- Laura Everett (UCC, 6/5/11)
- Sarah and Andrew Taylor-Peck (DoC, 5/15/11)
- Rebecca Anderson (DoC, 5/7/11)
- John Brock (DoC, 3/13/11)
- Kevin Baker-Rooks (DoC, 11/28/10)
- Bob Brown (UCC, 11/21/10)
- Mark Longhurst (DoC, 10/18/09)
- Melissa Kreider (UCC, 10/4/09)
- Kent French (UCC, 2/8/09)
- JC Mitchell (DoC, 5/18/08)
- Laura Ruth Jarrett (UCC, 4/6/08)
- Chris Waldron (UCC, 4/6/08)
- Tadd Allman-Morton (UCC, 1/12/08)
- Steven Savides (DoC, 5/21/06)