A Letter from Jeff & Eva
In the past year, the Emmanuel Gospel Center worked to strengthen over 1,200 Christian leaders from over 200 churches across Greater Boston. You can read the stories of some of these amazing leaders and churches in Highlights and Impact areas below.
We are excited about what God is doing through his people in Greater Boston. And we are grateful for what you do to cooperate with God’s work, and for your partnership with us in ministry.
Be encouraged. God’s plan is that Christ will be glorified through the church. Let’s keep working together to make that an obvious and powerful reality in Greater Boston!
God is able to do much more than we ask or think through His power working in us. May we see His shining-greatness in the church. May all people in all time honor Christ Jesus. Let it be so. – Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLV)
Highlights from egc programs
The vision of GBRM is to train and engage teams from local churches to walk with refugee families as they transition to life in the United States. This year, GBRM trained over 100 participants from 35 different churches, preparing them to assist refugees in enrolling children in school, learning how to use public transportation, set up bank accounts, find more suitable housing, learn English, and become more comfortable in their new homeland.
In February, Abnet hosted a panel discussion on how to create safe spaces for churches and survivors. Attendees heard stories from Jasmine and Cheri, both survivors of human trafficking now using their voices to spread awareness and support other victims. Many attendees were impacted by this event, and several joined the network of people dedicated to fight against human trafficking in New England and ensuring their church was a safe and healthy space for victims of exploitation.
The Boston Education Collaborative began a new partnership with World Vision, a humanitarian organization, to bring school supplies to students in Boston and Cambridge. World Vision provided over $50,000 worth of school supplies to over 3000 students, and the BEC was able to engage its church-school partnerships to help distribute to these schools.
In the summer of 2017, as he has done every year since 2005, Pastor Soliny Vedrine led a group of 80 Haitian American young leaders to La Romana to minister to the Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic. For a week, these missionaries preached the gospel, led a Bible class for children, and distributed Bibles and food. The trip culminated in a closing service with 5,000 people in attendance.
This year, Route One Ministry formed a new partnership with the Springfield sheriff's department, working alongside their After Incarceration Support Services. With this partnership, Route One is better resourced to serve women if they have been arrested for prostitution. We partnered with this program to offer character building classes, skill trainings, and hot meals. This valuable partnership has strengthened Route One's work to free women from the sex trafficking industry.
This year the Applied Research & Consulting (ARC) team launched EGC's NEW BLOG. ARC translates city learnings, social science, and Biblical reflection into relevant, readable publications that offer pathways to action in the city. The ARC team has already produced over 50 online research reports, calls to action, leader interviews, and ministry resources to nurture unity-minded ministry among Boston’s diverse Christian leadership.
This year, EGC launched the Race and Christian Community Initiative, dedicated to empowering the Church in Greater Boston to lovingly and respectfully engage across racial lines, with a current focus on equipping White evangelicals to reflect and learn within their own community so they can more effectively participate in Christ's reconciling work.
Rev Ralph Kee of the Greater Boston Church Planting Collaborative is challenging Christian leaders to get involved with "Imagine Boston 2030," a comprehensive vision to prepare for Boston's expected population surge. We are encouraged to see more and more Christians who are dreaming big for Boston!
After members from First Baptist Church attended a workshop at Starlight Ministries on homelessness, they joined Starlight staff on prayer and outreach walks in Central Square. This partnership has been thriving for the last 3 years, and now First Baptist Church feels equipped to love their community more deeply, as they prepare to open a drop-in center of their own, modeled after the Opportunity Resource Center at Starlight Ministries.
This year, EGC partnered with Vision New England, Greater Things for Greater Boston, and the Luis Palau Association to convene the second New England City Forum. This brought together over 100 Christian leaders from 32 churches and 30 nonprofits across New England to learn from each other, develop deeper relationships, and ultimately increase effective ministry in each of our cities.
The global refugee crisis brought refugees front and center of the political narrative and public consciousness. GBRM was able to be a prophetic voice alongside our refugee friends, as a Syrian family supported by EGC's Refugee Ministry was highlighted and televised in an NBC report. GBRM and their partners were also highlighted in the Boston Globe, in a segment about Christian leaders speaking out about the refugee crisis.
Impact from egc partners
"The Emmanuel Gospel Center is a national model of glocal kingdom work. I am proud to serve this organization that has, and continues to serve so many.”
Rev. Dr. Emmett G. Price III is Dean of the Chapel (Hamilton Campus), Professor of Worship, Church & Culture and founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is also the founding pastor of Community of Love Christian Fellowship in the Allston neighborhood of Boston and a member of the EGC Board of Directors.
"I really appreciate EGC and what they've done to support me. They laid out a strong biblical foundation on how Christians are called to serve and love our refugee neighbors."
Saranya is an Ambassador with GBRM, and a member of the Justice Engagement Team (JET) at Antioch Church. JET is a group that actively seeks out opportunities to love and to serve our community and the city of Boston.
"The relationship between the First Baptist Church and Starlight Ministries has been invaluable. This partnership has helped shape my approach to ministering to the homeless."
Taryn Johnson is an advocate for those affected by homelessness. Partnering with Starlight Ministries, she helped start "Sharing in the Square," a prayer and outreach walk through Central Square in Cambridge. Taryn is an active member at First Baptist Church in Cambridge, and has helped inspire her church community to get involved in the fight against homelessness.
"Building bridges across various Christian traditions and cultures can be extremely difficult. EGC came alongside me in cultivating the vision for Christian unity that God has given me. Without their support and encouragement to persevere, I wouldn't be the leader that I am today."
Kelly Steinhaus is the founding director of UniteBoston, a ministry that builds relational connections across denominations and ethnic groups in Boston. Fueled by EGC's teaching concept of Living System Ministry, UniteBoston runs an online events calendar, encourages inter-church worship movements, and facilitates collaborative service days for churches in Boston.
"Understanding Living Systems is the critical next step in the development of effective ministry, especially in the urban context."
Rev. Wright is the executive director of the Black Ministerial Alliance, an organization that helps churches, ministries, and non-profits work together to engage communities in Boston. Rev. Wright is also an associate minister at the Peoples Baptist Church in Boston, where he serves as assistant to the Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Wesley A. Roberts.
We believe healthy leaders lead to healthy churches and related systems, which lead to healthy communities and positive change in the world.
We strengthen leaders by helping them:
Learn: by taking time to understand the city and the systems in which we operate.
- Connect: By getting to know the people involved and facilitating strong working relationships, and by connecting the dots of stories and narratives to facilitate understanding.
Equip: By providing teaching, training, tools and resources for effective ministry, and to help others learn and connect.
Learn, Connect and Equip always works together and leads to action.