Newton Highlands Congregational Church worshippers will be treated to services led by the Reverend June Cooper in January 2022 while the Reverend Ken Baily enjoys a brief sabbatical. Several services will also include special music.
Reverend Cooper has more than thirty years of management experience in health and human services and community organizing. She retired in June after 20 years as executive director of City Mission Boston, the second oldest nonprofit organization in the country, formed in 1816 to carry out social justice in Boston.
Reverend Cooper values the promise of what can be accomplished by mobilizing people of good faith to overcome social injustice. When she began at City Mission she had a new vision centered on developing programs to teach people how to improve their lives and tackle complex social issues like racism and poverty. Former colleagues and collaborators call her a “teacher,” a “mentor,” and an “inspiring leader.” She’s “joyful,” they said, and “passionate,” prone to encouraging others to get into “good trouble” in honor of civil rights leader John Lewis, who popularized the phrase.
Reverend Cooper has advised nonprofit and governmental sectors locally and nationally and has served as a diversity consultant to Fortune 500 organizations around the country. She has held academic appointments at Boston College School of Social Work, Boston University School of Social Work, Andover-Newton Theological School, and Simmons College.
She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Newton College of the Sacred Heart, a Master of Social Planning from Boston College School of Social Work, and a Master in Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School. She is an ordained American Baptist minister and she has standing in the United Church of Christ.