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"Take Back Your Time" is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Council of Churches and the national "Take Back Your Time Day" organization.   The aim of Take Back Your Time  is to draw attention to imbalances in work and leisure in American cultural life.   It offers a special opportunity for MCC congregations to engage in theological reflection and personal practice relating to Sabbath observance. 

Sabbath, Sunday and Discovering the Weekend
by Rev. Dr. Rodney Petersen, Executive Director of the Boston Theological Institute


An ecumenical witness making a difference…   

As we lift up the theme “Take Back Your Time”, a program of the Council, we note how one man is making a difference.  Father Luke Veronis, pastor of St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Webster, became concerned about Sunday morning sports when it hit home.  Father Luke told his son he couldn’t play football because the games were held on Sunday morning.  “Why don’t you do something about it?” challenged the ten year old.  Father Luke did. 

Father Luke began a letter writing campaign and coordinated a public statement in the Webster area signed by seventeen clergy.  The statement “Reclaiming the Sabbath: Sunday Morning Youth  Activities and a time of Rest” was signed by clergy from the United Methodist, American Baptist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, Roman Catholic, Episcopal and Assembly of God congregations.

The campaign received area media coverage as well as editorial affirmation from the “Catholic Free Press” newspaper of the Diocese of Worcester.  Sermons were preached in area churches, as well as conversations with parents, coaches, and civic leaders.  The results have been a greater awareness of the need for Sabbath observance as both an occasion of worship and rest.

 Many in our faith communities believe that the observance of Sabbath is a lost cause.  The witness of Father Luke and his ecumenical colleagues tell a different story.  We commend Father Luke for his leadership in reminding others to take back your time.  For more of the story, sermons, the statement, the MCC’s policy statement on youth sports on Sunday, and related articles, visit our web page


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