Mission and Outreach

Mission Plate for May
The mission committee shares that in response to a devastating fire on Tuesday April 9th at about 1 a.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, 45 Howard Street, Northborough, MA, we are changing the schedule for mission plate offerings for the month of May.
According to reports from a local news site, The Community Advocate, and the Worcester Telegram, the North- borough fire department received an automatic fire alarm activation from the church at 1:04 a.m. The church building offices, parish hall and day care were unoccupied at the time of the alarm.
After the fire the new deacon-in-charge, the Rev. Meghan Mantler, and the congregation pledge to rebuild. “I am a survivor of Hurricane Katrina, so I know how to do this . . . I know how to rebuild. I know how to have that strength in community. And we can do that here at Nativity” states Mantler. The fire, traced to an electrical issue, resulted in close to $1 million in structural, smoke, water, and soot damage, affecting the left side of the nave and adjoining areas. Like Holy Trinity, the Church of the Nativity is in transition. Mantler, who just came to the church as the deacon-in-charge on Feb. 1st, and will be ordained on May 11th, is deeply saddened by the scope of the damage.
However, while it is a huge task to face when she has just come to the parish, she is also confident that with support from the congregation and others the building can be repaired. Mantler shared with the Telegram that their altar came from France and is somewhat irreplaceable. Also lost were many items donated in memory of loved ones which were damaged beyond repair. Explaining how that breaks her heart, Mantler insists that while this is certainly not what the congregation anticipated for their first year with new pastoral leadership, she recognizes that they must carry on from where they are. She is
grateful that congregants are rising to that challenge. “It’s not . . . that I think God tests [us] on purpose, but it’s a test of faith to say [we] can still have a joyful moment in the midst of devastation . . . And that will be true and that’s what we will do on May 11th, the date she is scheduled to be ordained. And, God willing, it will be in the parish hall, which will be transformed into a church over these coming weeks with help from other congregations donating stuff to us.” Mantler praised the Northborough Fire Department for its swift response in extinguishing the blaze. The congregation is particularly grateful that as firefighters worked to contain the fire, they were able to avoid breaking the church’s seven handmade stained-glass windows, which were designed by a parishioner back in the 1970s and installed and soldered by parishioners as well.
The first week after the fire, Sunday eucharist took place in a tent on the church’s grounds. This past Sunday services were held in the church’s Fellowship Hall. “We’re Episcopalians,” Mantler declared, “What we know how to do best is pray . . . whether . . . it’s outside or inside, that’s what we want to do.” Mantler explained that one of the main priorities will be to get its preschool back up and running. An estimated 30 families are enrolled in the church’s preschool program. “We want to get our kids back . . . in their building, so that they can continue to learn, continue to have their full school year, and they can have their little graduation ceremony, which is supposed to be May 31.” While insurance is expected to cover most of the dam- age, the church has established a restoration fund for the rest. For more information, visit

https://www.churchofthenativity.org/.
To read the source articles:

https://www.communityadvocate.com/2024/04/09/fire damages-church-in-northborough/

https://www.telegram.com/story/news/fire/2024/04/19/fire-damaged-church-of-nativity-in-northborough-ready-to- rebound/73375816007