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South Coast Today: As opioid epidemic grows, South Coast suburbs amp up response

While New Bedford has long dealt with opioid addiction, the epidemic extends beyond city bounds. Residents of South Coast suburbs, realizing that opioid addiction is a regionwide problem, have begun to form collaborations and hold events.  The Rev. Scott Ciosek of St. Peter's Church in Dartmouth said he thinks a lot of people may feel like God has shut them out and due to their life story or self image feel like they wouldn't be welcome in a church.  As the executive director of The Bridge: A Center for Hope and Healing, he facilitates grief groups for those who have lost loved ones to addiction or overdose.  "There's such a need for it," he said. It took about a year and a half of planning to clean out and rehabilitate the building next to the church to help restore what Ciosek saw as a shortage of mental health services and grief groups on the SouthCoast. The nonprofit is a little over a year old.
In the News
In the News

Metrowest Daily News: Dover church holds 'ashes to go' service

St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in Dover held an "ashes to go" service early Wednesday morning for people on their way to work or school. See photos from the Metrowest Daily News.
In the News
In the News

South Coast Today: On Ash Wednesday, the church goes to the people

St. Martin's Episcopal Church came to the people on Ash Wednesday instead of the people going to the church.  The Rev. Scott A. Ciosek, priest-in-charge of St. Martin's Episcopal Church as well as St. Peter's Episcopal Church, South Dartmouth, was giving ashes to people in the parking lot of the house of worship at County and Rivet streets in the city's South End.  People either parked their vehicles in the lot and walked over to Ciosek or drove their vehicles up to him, rolled down their windows and received the church's blessings as they sat in their vehicles, their car motors still running. "This is a beautiful way for us to get out to where the people are," said Ciosek. "It's a great way to meet people. That's our intention — to meet people and let them know they are loved by God."
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In the News

Wicked Local Stoughton: Church sign dedicated in memory of maintenance man

Trinity Episcopal Church in Stoughton recently erected a new sign in memory of Lawrence Corbett, a retired town carpenter who kept the church well maintained for many years.
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In the News

Falmouth Enterprise: Enjoy a hot meal on a cold day with Around the Table

A standing lunch date holds for any resident who needs it Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the parish hall at St. Barnabas's Episcopal Church in Falmouth.  Around the Table provides regular, free hot meals to the community. The all-volunteer-run effort is going into its 33rd year.  “We’re here for anybody who needs a meal,” said Lesley L. Sullivan, who serves as treasurer for Around the Table. “Even if we are here for one person, it’s worth it because that’s one person who wouldn’t have a meal."
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In the News

Boston Herald: In immigration storm, a refuge at Dorchester church

If all priests were blessed with the Rev. Edwin D. Johnson’s smile, churches wouldn’t need lights.Incandescent is the only word to describe what happens when the 34-year-old pastor of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Dorchester speaks about putting his faith and his church on the front lines of a Trumpian universe.Earlier this week, St. Mary’s proudly declared itself to be a sanctuary church. That means the 170-year-old house of worship overlooking Uphams Corner will offer refuge to any undocumented or refugee family seeking shelter.
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In the News

Newburyport Daily News: Local religious leaders address immigration ban

Proudly displaying an “Immigrants and Refugees Welcome” banner in front of her Newburyport church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church rector the Rev. Martha Hubbard admitted she has sensed a lot of uncertainty and even fear within the community regarding the Trump administration and its policies.“As people of faith, we are always trying to cast out fear and focus on how we can join hands and do things together and not let fear create division,” she said. “Those of us who work for economic and political justice around the world feel a little overwhelmed.” 
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In the News

Boston Herald: Faith leaders unite against crackdown

Boston-area Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders say they are joining forces to combat President Trump’s crackdown on sanctuary cities.  “We will stand with our Muslim neighbors. We will stand with our undocumented neighbors,” said the Rev. Dorothella Little-page, who serves Episcopal congregations in Roxbury and Dorchester. The Rev. Edwin Johnson of St. Mary’s Church in Dorchester said he’s prepared to open his doors to offer safe housing to anyone affected by the president’s executive orders on immigration. He calls his church a “sanctuary congregation.”“That’s what we’re called to by our faith, and we’re working to be prepared physically and otherwise,” he said, speaking with Littlepage and others yesterday at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.
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In the News

Boston Globe: Clergy want Baker to forcefully oppose Trump refugee edict

In a morning gathering at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, scores of interfaith clergy and religious activists on Tuesday called on Governor Charlie Baker to strongly oppose President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and refugees and pressed the state’s top elected official to make Massachusetts a “sanctuary state.” “We are standing up and proclaiming that we will stand with our Muslim neighbors, and we will stand with undocumented immigrants,” the Rev. Dorothella Littlepage, an Episcopal priest who serves a collaboration of churches in Roxbury and Dorchester, said.The clergy urged Baker to support the Massachusetts Safe Communities Act, a pending proposal that would prohibit state and local police from participating in immigration enforcement, provide due process rights for those detained for civil immigration violations, and prohibit any “Muslim registry” or similar federal effort from accessing state databases.
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In the News

Taunton Gazette: National Day of Remembrance brings together those who have been hurt by opioid epidemic

People of different ethnicities, incomes, ages and beliefs poured into the Trinity Episcopal Church in Bridgewater Sunday night, Jan. 29. Although these people come from many different backgrounds they were all gathered for the same somber reason: Each person there had been affected in some way by the ongoing opioid epidemic.  "Addiction does not discriminate," said Tara Lane, whose older brother Jeffrey Lane, of Brockton, lost his battle with addiction in 2016. "The people that struggle with addiction are people just like you and I." Jan. 29 was the National Day of Remembrance, which honors, helps and brings together community members and families that have lost loved ones to drug addiction.  "We want this to be a lasting image of hope," said the Rev. Natasha Stewart. "There is still light even in darkness."
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