In The News

Faith and Pride

Havurat Shalom in Andover held a pride Shabbat service celebrating LGBTQIA+ Pride month during the service on Friday, June 23 outside at Rolling Ridge Conference Center in North Andover. Read more here.

‘Death didn’t have the final say’: Easter delivers a message of hope after a year filled with despair

The Rev. Dana Allen Walsh recalls how painful it felt last Easter when COVID-19 left her Merrimack Valley church and other congregations suddenly unable to gather in their accustomed way and whole communities seemingly devoid of life. “It was more stark than any Easter we had before,” said Walsh. Read more here.

Parade Goers March With Pride 

Residents decked out their cars and wore their most colorful apparel to celebrate the town’s second annual Pride parade hosted by South Church. Read more here.

Local Clergy Help to Build a Home in Andover

Working on Andover’s first 100% permanently affordable homeownership community project.

Eight local clergy spent a recent morning together to help build a house with Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity and many of them are from Andover congregations. This was the first time the clergy had the opportunity to build together, and they agreed that it was a wonderful experience. Read more here.

More than 150 years after her death, a former slave finally has the memorial she deserved:

Some 174 years after her death, Lucy Foster finally has a headstone. Foster was born into slavery in 1767 in Boston, given to Hannah Foster of Andover at age 4, and freed at age 16 when slavery was abolished in Massachusetts. She was a member of South Church for 50 years. Foster died in 1845 and was interred in the church’s burying ground but never had a headstone.

  • A remembrance of Lucy Read more here.
  • A former slave who lay in an unmarked grave now has a headstone, thanks to a class of high school students in Massachusetts. Read more here.
  • Gravestone dedicated to woman who lived in bondage and freedom in Andover. Read more here.

Interfaith Service Offers an Opportunity for Healing

Clergy members and church goers from different faiths and communities gathered at South Church in Andover Sunday evening for an interfaith Thanksgiving worship.

The interfaith service, which was the largest one the church has held, was an opportunity for people to come together for a night in a world that is filled with such division, said Rev. Dana Allen Walsh of South Church. Read more here.

South Church surprises congregation: Take from our offering plate

It was a turnaround Sunday as South Church in Andover worshipers recently took from the weekly offering plate instead of donating to it. The church’s “Love Boldly” campaign went very well as some 400 envelopes with about $5,000 were taken and the money was used to do something meaningful for someone. For example, an 8-year-old bought three dog bones to bring to the Salem, N.H., Animal Shelter while the South Church staff decided to pool their money and bake 16 loaves of pumpkin bread that they delivered with baskets of apples to the faith communities in Andover. Read more here.

Ash Wednesday To-Go

Dana Allen Walsh and Alex Shea Will, co-pastors of their Central Street parish, spent about 90 minutes giving out ashes at the Andover train depot, greeting commuters taking the 7:06 a.m. train to Boston. Then they greeted coffee lovers on Main Street, making stops at Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. Read more here.