Contents Previous Next
Ecclesia Ministries (ecclesia: Greek
for gathering, or church, or called-out people) began the summer of 1994 when, as
a new deacon, the Rev. Debbie Little set out to learn about God from homeless people
in Boston, and to meet outreach workers, church and community leaders, and others
concerned with and offering resources to the homeless poor.
Today, they are an ecumenical community devoted to mutual learning, reconciliation, and healing -- through sacraments and friendships -- engaging homeless and privileged people, service providers, clergy, churches, seminarians and others in a long-term, funded ministry. They also aim to be a bridge and offer opportunities for relationships between the church within and the church without walls.
This ministry is particularly inspired by the story of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate who asked Peter and John for alms and is offered, not money, but relationship in Jesus' name (Acts 3:1-10). He is healed and joins the gathered community in worship and praise. As the people of God meet each other, the Ecclesia community is finding God through sharing their pain, joy, hunger, longing --the matter of their lives.
Worship and communion are the heart of Ecclesia Ministries. Each Sunday at 1 p.m. they celebrate the Holy Eucharist outdoors at the fountain on Boston Common (behind the Park Street MBTA Station). Each Sunday after worship, they have a Bible reflection group open to all.
Before and after the service they offer lunch, conversation, Gospel reflection, legal services, health care, baptism and confirmation classes, emergency food and clothing, and prayer for healing. They welcome people who join them from traditional parishes and those without church affiliations to worship, and also to assist by giving time, clothing, funds and food.
Ecclesia Ministries is a full-time ministry. Throughout the week, there is a street ministry to homeless people. Homeless people in hospital are visited, those attending court are accompanied. Food and clothes are distributed. There are also volunteer opportunities and experiential programs for high-school students.