Fifth video in healthy congregation series features Boston's 'Common Cathedral'

May 30, 2011

Boston's 'Common Cathedral' doesn't have walls or stained glass windows, but the vistas that it provides are unparalleled.

"Common Cathedral is name of the Ecclesia Ministries' worshipping community, which is primarily a ministry among the homeless in Boston Common," said the Rev. Bob Honeychurch, Episcopal Church officer for congregational vitality, in a press release. "It was founded in 1995 in response to the pressing need to provide services to the homeless in downtown Boston."

Common Cathedral, in the Diocese of Massachusetts, is the focus of the final of five videos in, the "Transforming Churches, Changing the World" series produced by the Episcopal Church's Office of Communication. [The video is available here.

"We are the church outside," the Rev. Kathy McAdams explains in the video. "We are here in solidarity with people who can't or won't come inside."

Familiar sites of historic Boston are juxtaposed with images of homeless gathered against the cold to celebrate Eucharist.

"There are so many congregations across the church that struggle on how to connect with their community. Here, Common Cathedral IS the wider community. There is a sense of groundedness in the immediate community, and that is something that many churches can learn. Common Cathedral is the least traditional of the churches in the 'Transforming Churches, Changing the World' series, but they are the most intentionally present in their local community," Honeychurch said.

The purpose of the "Transforming Churches, Changing the World" video series is to present identifying characteristics of healthy churches with a focus on ministry and outreach, the release said.

Previous videos are available here and feature Christ Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix, Arizona; St. Paul and the Redeemer in Chicago, Illinois; and St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Wantagh, Long Island.