Each week, the Outdoor Church’s ministers and volunteers go to various locations throughout Cambridge to provide a supportive, loving presence to homeless men and women wherever they are – on the street, in shelters, the hospital, or even in prison. You can learn more about our ministries below:

Worship Services

The Outdoor Church’s worship services are approximately 20 minutes long and loosely based on the Book of Common Prayer. They incorporate other prayers that have particular meaning to our community.

The most notable difference between Outdoor Church services and most other worship services is that the congregation is invited to share their responses to the day’s scripture reading in place of a sermon. All viewpoints are welcome and contribute to a fuller, richer conversation.

Everyone is welcome to participate in our services as they feel comfortable: to take communion or not, to say a prayer or not, to sit down, stand up, or even walk around!

After the benediction, we share a time of fellowship. The community is offered generous luncheon bags that include sandwiches, socks, and toiletries. At our Sunday morning service, we also enjoy hot coffee and donuts.

Street Outreach

Street outreach is one of the hallmarks of the Outdoor Church’s ministry. Several times throughout the week, our ministry team walks the streets of Cambridge to meet unhoused, homeless, and street-involved people to offer them spiritual and material support.

On Saturdays and Sundays, we hand out sandwiches, juice boxes, snacks, socks, and toiletry kits to the community. On other days, we offer conversation and a pastoral presence. Communion and prayer are always available to those who request it. Because our walking routes are the same each week, our ministers and congregants know when and where to find each other.

Our street outreach program has a simple agenda: We want to meet homeless men and women where they are—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—and offer them whatever support we can.

Pastoral Visiting

Our ministers visit the largest homeless shelter in Cambridge each week to offer guests conversation, pastoral care, and a worship service. We also make a special effort to visit our community when they are in hospitals, prisons, or other institutions.

The Outdoor Church provides the community with bright red wristbands with our name and phone number embossed on them so that they, and the social workers, chaplains, and nurses who care for them, can reach us in an emergency.

Memorial Services

The circumstances surrounding the deaths of members of our community are often quite tragic. The friends and loved ones of the deceased are often left without an opportunity to mourn their loss formally. In such cases, the Outdoor Church offers memorial services for the deceased. Sometimes, these services are held at a local homeless shelter; other times, they are held on the street or after our worship service on Sunday.