Harvard-Epworth UMC (H-E) in Cambridge has extended an invitation for Cambridge Welcoming Ministries (CWM) to move into the H-E building as its home. After meeting with Pastor Scott Campbell and representatives from H-E, the CWM Move Committee concurred that moving to H-E is the right decision. This decision was reached for the following reasons:
1) The Somerville Unity Church is unavailable due to College Ave. moving there for the summer.
2) Nizzi spoke with the pastor at Grace UMC in Cambridge and they have no space available for the foreseeable future due to construction and renovations.
3) First UCC in Somerville has no office space available, and they are in some tremendous transitions and grieving that would not be an ideal place to begin a new relationship for CWM or First UCC.
4) Harvard-Epworth is a dynamic, progressive church in active ministry and mission to the community and the world; has room for separate CWM office space, a large kitchen with dishwasher, storage space; is willing to invest to "upgrade" the space we'll use for worship; is a UMC; will make it an "easy commute" for Pastor Lisa "between" churches; is a healthy and active and GLBTQ friendly advocate church (actively Reconciling for years); and is excited about having CWM move there. Additionally, H-E has already begun discussions about ensuring handicap accessibility on the lower floor of the building and is committed to working with CWM to make this a reality. [H-E's ground floor is already fully accessible.]
At H-E's Church Council on June 14th, there will be formal approvals for the funding for the renovation and additional discussions about making this move a seamless transition for both congregations. However, Scott Campbell has suggested that CWM begin using H-E's address on publicity materials immediately. This will include all of the materials for Pride.
The proposed plan is to begin worshiping at H-E on Sunday, June 13th. We will use the Library for the 13th and 20th, then move into the Vestry (Church Hall) for the remainder of the summer while renovations of our worship space downstairs are completed (in conversation and partnership with H-E and CWM regarding needs and perspectives for the space).
The members of H-E are thrilled to have CWM sharing space in their building and are looking forward to a wonderful partnership in progressive, inclusive and welcoming ministry within the UMC tradition!
If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to your pastors. There will be conversations about this during our Church Council on June 6th.