Monday, March 30, 2009

wild success (in 2014)

As part of our Lenten Vision and Discernment process, this past Sunday we were invited to take a few minutes and draft the opening paragraph of a newspaper article 5 years from now about CWM's wild success. These are the ones we wrote.


CWM is wildly successful! They may not be the biggest church, but their inclusive way or worshipping is spreading through the Methodist church! They are teaching a way of doing church that is radically relevant in the 21st century and are a training ground for future leaders. People are saying that coming to CWM is like "coming home." They are working to establish themselves as an anti-racism church and have teamed up with Join The Impact and Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and regularly work together on issues of equality. They have moved to a building with a big kitchen where all can cook and see service and with lots of room for people to join to help wash dishes after fellowship dinner.


Cambridge Welcoming Ministries started from humble beginnings. In 2002 CWM started as a mission of Grace UMC. Later they moved to College Ave. UMC as a mission of the New England Annual Conference. And here they are, 12 years after their birth as one of the forefront most sought after churches in the UMC denomination. CWM moved to their own space in 2010, and received a fulltime pastor appointment. This enabled CWM to offer a morning and an evening service for those seeking a safe worship space. "I couldn't believe how quickly we grew," one CWM congregant reveals. Hard to imagine only 15-25 people at their services, now they have about 100 on average. And Sunday worship isn't all CWM does. They are also active members of RMN, who now that ordination is possible for all people, have moved their focus to --


Cambridge Welcoming Ministries announced this week the groundbreaking on its Community Center. Housed in the city, the new center will not only be home to the dynamic congregation, but will also house a number of community resources for the city including a counseling center, office sharing for small non-profits, community room, day laborers' center, and interfaith worship space. The pastor, Susannah Wesley, said it has always been the vision of the congregation to reach out to and be in solidarity with the community. By building a coalition with the neighborhood groups, CWM was able to not just expand their mission, but also help create a new vision for the community at large. The small worshipping community continues to do great things through creative partnerships in the community.


We invite you to write your own and to share them with the community in the comments on this blogpost.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Sweeny said...

I didn't write one last night, but I've been thinking about it since then, so here's mine:

More than a decade after its inception, Cambridge Welcoming Ministries continues to be a vibrant and growing congregation. They continue to try new things: being creative and intentional in the way that they worship, challenging themselves to grow in faith and mind in a variety of Adult Education series (and now with a growing Christian Education program for children), and always reaching out. While some still think of them as "the gay church," they are actively involved in a number of social justice issues. They are also actively involved in working with many of the neighboring churches, as well as other congregations across the body of the United Methodist Church. While still a relatively small congregation, they are financially self-sufficient and, more important to the daily life of the church, have a large enough body that all contribute to the life of the church as they feel called -- from serving on committees like Finance or Staff-Parish Relations to providing fellowship dinner or helping to clean up afterward -- with none feeling overburdened.