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Ecclesia Ministries Inc.

 PO Box 51003
 Boston, MA 02205
[P] (617) 2474927
[F] --
Amanda Grant-Rose
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 51-0469082

LAST UPDATED: 01/09/2019
Organization DBA Ecclesia Ministries common cathedral
common cathedral
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of common cathedral is to build community with unhoused persons in Boston, and to grow compassionate understanding between housed and unhoused people. Through non-judgmental companionship, one-on-one care, creative outlets, and leadership opportunities, people develop self-esteem amid a supportive community where all are welcome.

Mission Statement

The mission of common cathedral is to build community with unhoused persons in Boston, and to grow compassionate understanding between housed and unhoused people. Through non-judgmental companionship, one-on-one care, creative outlets, and leadership opportunities, people develop self-esteem amid a supportive community where all are welcome.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $368,000.00
Projected Expense $368,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • BostonWarm
  • CityReach
  • common art
  • common cathedral (Outdoor Worship)
  • Street Ministry and Pastoral Visiting

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The mission of common cathedral is to build community with unhoused persons in Boston, and to grow compassionate understanding between housed and unhoused people. Through non-judgmental companionship, one-on-one care, creative outlets, and leadership opportunities, people develop self-esteem amid a supportive community where all are welcome.

Background Statement

In the summer of 1994, Rev. Deborah W. Little began meeting with unhoused people on the streets of Boston, offering sandwiches, friendship, and referrals. From that simple beginning, common cathedral has evolved into an ecumenical community that engages unhoused and housed people, service providers, clergy, seminarians, artists, and professionals of all kinds in activities that work to meet the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of unhoused persons in Boston.

Chronically homeless persons, especially those who suffer from severe mental illness and/or addiction disorders, have a hard time escaping homelessness, finding permanent housing, and reintegrating into community. For these individuals, perception of the world has been impaired by substances, by circumstances, and by unsuccessful social experiences. There has been a loss of trust — a basic loss of belief. Reestablishing connection and trust is important spiritual work that leads to successful outcomes.

Through every program we inspire a belief in one's self through witnessing God’s love for every living being. We build community between housed and unhoused individuals. We facilitate healing, however that looks for each individual.

While we provide a Christian context for our worship and spiritual reflection groups, we are a non-proselytizing ministry, open to broad discussions of belief and belief systems. We welcome absolutely everyone, from whatever faith tradition (including none at all).

Our programs, including:

common cathedral – Sunday afternoon worship on the Boston Common. Our congregants are joined by visiting housed groups, who bring lunch and stay to worship with all.

common art – Wednesday program at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Newbury Street, Boston. Artists from all walks of life come together with staff, visiting groups, and other volunteers, to create and share art and to be fed in body and spirit. 

CityReach – Up to 7 immersion weekends per year. Youth and adults from housed groups learn, directly from people who have experienced homelessness, what life is like on the streets and in the shelters of Boston. 

Street Ministry and Pastoral Visits  – Our ministers go where people are – on the streets, to hospitals, to jail – to offer a kind word, practical assistance, spiritual reflection, and pastoral care.

BostonWarm - Day center at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Newbury St. in Boston, open two days a week from September through May. Over the summer this center is open one day a week at Old South Church in Copley Square. Community members come to this safe, welcoming space to rest, eat a meal, drink a cup of coffee, and connect with others.

Impact Statement


1) Program. Thanks to creativity, grit and generosity, our mission is upheld each year.

a. common cathedral’s outdoor church happens every Sunday. We welcome 70 -100 people each week for a simple lunch, fellowship and worship.

b. common art happens every Wednesday at Emmanuel Episcopal Church. We offer art supplies, practical and spiritual support, opportunities to learn and grow as an artist and a leader, hot meals, and a place of beauty and inspiration.

c. City Reach happens up to 7 times per year. Housed visitors join our clergy and community to learn how people manage on the streets and in shelters. Donated clothing helps up to 300 homeless Bostonians per event.

d. BostonWarm hosts over 70 guests two days per week from September through May and one day per week during the summer. Guests are offered food and drink, toiletries, and socks, and most importantly, they receive both practical guidance and accompaniment.

e. Street Ministry and Pastoral Visits. Our staff goes where people are (on the streets, in hospital, in jail) to ensure that members of our community feel seen and loved.

2) The Board of Directors works to:

a. Clearly communicate our organization’s goals

b. Review and clarify all operating policies and procedures

c. Promptly, personally acknowledge all donor giving (materials, time, money)

d. Build understanding between Board and Staff

e. Increase Board volunteerism

Goals 2018

1) Continue to support the men and women who encounter homelessness by creating a caring and welcoming community.

2) Continue to grow our board in numbers and diversity.

3) Relationship development. We will grow our donor base, and deepen existing relationships with our long-term supporters.

Needs Statement

1) Staff and Volunteers. In order to carry out our programs in the best way possible, we need to add additional interns and other volunteers to support each of our core programs.

2) Board membership. We will continue to grow our volunteer Board.

3) Funding. We are an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We depend wholly on donations and grants to pay our wonderful staff and to cover supplies, travel costs, and emergency funds for members of our community. Our annual budget is in the neighborhood of approximately $360,000, which covers salaries, benefits, supplies, travel and emergency funds.

CEO Statement

When someone asked a community member why he or she keeps coming to common art or common cathedral they said… “I came for the art but I stayed for the love."

For 22 years, common cathedral has been building and forming an intentional spiritual community. Through common art, CityReach, BostonWarm, pastoral care and worship our non-proselytizing community has found faith, self-confidence and a much-needed network of supporters. common cathedral’s success of building relationships and transforming lives has inspired over 100 similar organizations across the United States.


Board Chair Statement

"I come to common cathedral because it is a community where I can see the Gospel at work, changing lives, practicing love, and painting a picture of the resurrection as a lived experience. The people of common cathedral help me remember: In outdoor Sunday worship on the Common I see traces of the Apostles' work in the Book of Acts — simply speaking the love of God in Christ to an often bewildered and sometimes intrigued city. In the gatherings during the week — common art, the BostonWarm day center, Feed Your Spirit spirituality group, CityReach — I see people practicing love towards each other in a dedicated, gritty, practical, and genuine way. And it's not all smiles and hugs. It's patiently listening to someone who is freaking out. It's laying out a giant blue tarp and rolling out tables and making chili in order to build a space where people feel safe, warm, and comfortable. It's celebrating new housing and birthdays, or mourning dead companions, or dancing to silly music played poorly (or masterfully!) on a clunky old church piano that doesn't even belong to us. It's taking out the trash and stowing away the art supplies. It's making sure there's an Uber to take someone home who has trouble walking. It's the constant aspiration to do all of these and more things even better."

Pastor Robin Lutjohann

Chair, Board of Directors, common cathedral

Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Downtown
Boston - Downtown / Government Center / Boston Common / Copley Square/South End
Youth from all over New England in our service learning opportunities

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Homeless Services/Centers
  2. Religion- Related - Christianity
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)




In October 2014 Boston’s Long Island Bridge - the city's only access to its largest homeless shelter and to private detox centers – was condemned. Its closure abruptly displaced more than 700 persons. Whether these vulnerable individuals were soon sheltered elsewhere or moved to the streets, the experience was traumatic. Many are still struggling to recover.

In response to this crisis, a large coalition of local leaders established two BostonWarm Day Centers, which opened in January 2015 to provide critical practical, personal and nonjudgmental support for hundreds of our unhoused neighbors during that record breaking winter.

On October 5, 2015, management of this center transferred to common cathedral. Participation has been strong and continues to grow, now numbering approximately 70 guests per day. In addition to the stable community that has developed since the inception of the day centers, we continue to welcome people into our community, including those who are newly unhoused.

Budget  40,000
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for the Homeless
Population Served Homeless Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Other Economic Level
Program Short-Term Success 
BostonWarm has become a critical part of how we provide for our community. It is a safe space where street involved people can come and receive the respect and love all people deserve. We welcome more than 80 persons per session. Newly unhoused people - who are just beginning to navigate the complicated path toward housing, care, and wholeness – find us. We provide food, friendship, basic medical care, referrals, and a safe place where folks can meet their case workers and other providers.
Some examples of success:
"J" who sleeps on the stairs ourside comes in every day to help make the coffee 
"S" comes in to remind everyone it is his birthday next week and will bring a cake to share 
Program Long-Term Success  BostonWarm finds success in the ability to reach more and more unhoused individuals in Boston.  We provide hospitality to all with no judgements or requirements.  BostonWarm is an alternative to the shelter system and works to create a safe and supportive community where all feel they are important.
Program Success Monitored By  BostonWarm has seen our success in the numbers of people attending.  Each day we open, over 75 people attend.  They may come in for a cup of coffee, a good conversation or to be seen as their best selves.  We are continually trying to assess how people are finding us. Currently people find us by "word of mouth" and are often brought to us by friends.
Examples of Program Success 
We met Dan in late November. He was quiet and came into BostonWarm for a cup of coffee. Slowly he opened up and began talking about his situation and how he ended up on the streets. As his relationship with our staff developed he found confidence, started helping out and even asked a volunteer to assist him with his housing paperwork.
While getting housing for our community is not our goal, providing them a safe place to be welcomed and find their voice again is our goal. 


CityReach is a 24-hr. immersion program, offered up to 7 times/year, to up to 100 persons/event, educating youth and adults about homelessness in Boston. Three distinct communities: housed participants, CityReach staff, and chronically unhoused persons, benefit. CityReach is not “scared straight” and does not use shame or guilt to create change. We enable people with houses to learn from those who have had none. Our employees attend, supervise, and facilitate every event, assisted by 12-20 staff who have been chronically unhoused. Perspectives are shared based on personal experience. Learning happens through stories, walking tours, worship, discussions, reflections, and outreach. Participants build connections with individuals, instead of forming a generic caricature of “the homeless." CityReach empowers, validates and honors the experience of our unhoused staff or formerly unhoused staff, as they take pride in their leadership and mentorship of the youth. Outreach at each event includes donating clothing and food to help up to 300 chronically unhoused Bostonians. 
Budget  33,508
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Citizenship
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) College Aged (18-26 years) Homeless
Program Short-Term Success 
By the end of the 24 hours,  unhoused and housed participants are able to work together to learn about homelessness in Boston -- and, by providing food and clothing, provide material support to many additional unhoused Bostonians.  
This is what short-term success looks like: 
  • "C," tucked into the ATM vestibule, gives thanks for "S" and "M." He falls asleep laughing, wearing the Harvard University hoodie that took the 3 of them 10 minutes to find and another 10 minutes to laugh about. He hopes to see them again.
  • "M," tucked into his tiny apartment after 20 years on the street, remembers "C"and "S." He falls asleep, proud that he spoke honestly and that he helped guests feel welcome. He hopes to see them again.
  • "S," in her Newton home, says a prayer for "C" and "M." She falls asleep, not ashamed of her comfortable bed, but imagining how she can change the world after a good night’s sleep. "S" hopes to see "C" and "M" again.
Program Long-Term Success 
The CityReach groups have different long-term goals but share an overarching goal.
  • Participants: rethink stereotypes about unhoused persons. 
  • Unhoused or formerly unhoused staff: build self-esteem through gaining public speaking, mentoring and leadership skills.
  • Chronically homeless guests: remember that they are loved and important. 
  • All: understand they are connected through the broader community.
Program Success Monitored By 
 At the end of each CityReach weekend, visiting youth and their adult chaperones have the opportunity to debrief and reflect about their experiences -- the celebrations and challenges, as well as learnings and ways they have been transformed. They also are invited to share suggestions for improving the program. Through regular planning meetings and debriefs, our unhoused CityReach Staff also celebrate their successes and offer feedback to the program coordinators. 
 Our CityReach program's longer-term success is evident by our increasing enrollment, with many churches returning year after year, and new churches, scout troops, and service clubs joining us each season. We also know how important the CityReach program is to our unhoused Staff leaders and guests, as they refer other community members to be on Staff and to come for our clothing and food distribution. Every September and October, folks excitedly inquire: "When is the first CityReach of the season?"
Examples of Program Success 
We see the fruits of CityReach in both youth participants and our CityReach Staff's increased confidence that they can take an active role in changing their lives, and beginning to change the world. Through coaching and trust, CityReach staff who were at first hesitant to speak up and share their stories come to believe that their voice matters -- that they can use their story to teach and inspire others. This 24 hours of "being in charge" empowers our unhoused and low-income staff to find new ways to contribute their gifts, whether it be at our other programs, in the shelter, or in the workforce. 
Every year, more than 400 teens participate in our CityReach program. Many for the first time, others for the second, or third time because this program has changed their lives. Over time, we have "reached" thousands of teens. Their church groups have sent us cards and letters, sharing the impact CityReach had. One church wrote letters to their representatives, urging them to expand funding for affordable housing. Another congregation was inspired to start a coat closet and food pantry in their local community. One CityReach participant was so moved by her experience that she created a video in order to continue to break down stereotypes about homeless people:

common art

common art is a place where beauty is made, and where all are welcome to renew themselves in a safe, supportive and welcoming environment. With guidance from professional artists in residence, common art is not a place of "make-work" but of real beauty making – and all are invited to share in it. common cathedral has maintained common art as an open art studio for poor and unhoused people since 1999. Many participants have been able to earn much needed income through the sale of their work - a process facilitated by our staff. Others have found that art-making helps them to express that which is harder to get at with words, but is a portal to the kind of self-encounter that often leads to a vital spiritual experience, one from which belief in life’s value can take root. common cathedral provides all the art materials, and the quality artistic and pastoral support which ensures each participant's potential is nurtured and encouraged.
Budget  $62,500.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Visual Arts
Population Served Homeless Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Minorities
Program Short-Term Success 
All program participants are expressing themselves through art, participating in art shows, and are part of a mutually supportive community. Our short term successes are seen in meals shared, clean up executed in collaboration, creation of original art constantly and consistently in flow. There is also accountability and support provided for those battling addiction & mental illness.
Short-term success looks like: 
  • "M" has been coming to common art for several months, coloring on his phone using an application. During this time, with the encouragement of other artists and our staff, "M" develops the courage to begin painting using a brush and canvas. When he sells his first painting, he is incredibly proud. Now he comes week after week to paint -- and he inspires others to paint, too.
  • "K" often shows up at common art intoxicated. But even when he is intoxicated, with the support of the common art community, he finds solace and dignity in creating simple paintings. 
  • "T" is a budding artist. But when he comes to common art, it is his place to give back by hosting breakfast and helping out in the kitchen. He values his own artistic journey so much that he wants to make common art a warm, welcoming place for others to be creative. 
Program Long-Term Success  Through leadership and self expression community members gain self-confidence and experience grace. For many common art members, art is a way of life. For others, it's a new discovery. But for all, art is passion, expressing and affirming life itself, a defiant or gentle "yes" in the face of stigma and the constant struggle with poverty and homelessness. Ultimate changes due to this program will be the development of a safe and creative culture.
Program Success Monitored By  common art is a well-loved program, with a large volunteer base and a group of artists who have participated over many years. One long-time common art participant recently put it this way: "I came for the art - but I stay for the love."
Examples of Program Success  Our program continues to grow and evolve. In recent years, we expanded our beading and jewelry opportunities, thanks to dedicated, passionate volunteers. We've had artists discover common art and make it one of their studios, a place both to create and to mentor other artists. For us, success ranges from a participant proudly offering a completed coloring book page as a gift, to an artist selling their masterpiece for hundreds of dollars. In particular, though, our increased enthusiasm and participation in monthly art shows held at area churches is a benchmark of common art's success. We regularly have 15-25 artists show up to share their work with the wider world. 

common cathedral (Outdoor Worship)

common cathedral is the heart of Ecclesia Ministries. It is our church -- and it takes place outdoors on the Boston Common at 1pm every Sunday, regardless of the weather.  Anywhere from 30-70 people gather for a simple lunch and worship each week at the Brewer Fountain. Our congregation is open to all, housed or unhoused. While most of our congregation is unhoused, our church is also home to housed individuals. Most weeks, members from housed groups from across New England join us as well. Together we sing and pray, reflect on the Gospel and break bread. This diverse and supportive spiritual community helps build the strength and hope necessary to soften hearts, counter despair, and make positive choices.

Budget  43,464
Category  Religion, General/Other Christianity
Population Served Homeless People/Families with of People with Psychological Disabilities Other Health/Disability
Program Short-Term Success 
Examples of "short term" success:  
"J" brings his brother, "B," to worship. They haven’t seen each other in 10 years and "J" wants to introduce his brother to his church family.

"F" got housing and continues to come and help set up worship.

"C" shakes the hand of someone from the visiting congregation. It’s one of the few positive human contacts he will have all week.

"L" comes to tell the Pastors that "S" is in the hospital. "L" says that he "doesn't like God or Churches, but I thought you should know." "L" felt welcome and needed.

These acts of dignity do not come easily or quickly to our congregation. Chronically homeless individuals have been systemically disempowered for years. At common cathedral people can express the goodness within themselves and practice sharing that goodness with others.

When a person believes that they are important, cared about, and loved - then they will start to love themselves.  

Program Long-Term Success 

The primary challenge for chronically unhoused individuals is they stop caring about themselves. To survive on the street for decades, it is easier to believe projected stereotypes (that you are unlovable and unimportant) than to fight them. Homelessness takes a terrible toll on a person’s self-esteem and self-worth.

We live into our inclusive Christian faith, knowing everyone is loved by God. We remind our congregation they are loved and worthy of love today! Right now. Before they get housing. Before they get sober. Before they leave their abusive relationship.  Even before they love themselves, they are loved by God (and by us).

Our long-term goal is to help 100 percent of our community know this. Which is not easy. Though you can believe that you are loved while singing in worship on Sunday afternoon, remembering that is hard when someone is kicking you awake at 4am, or someone crosses the street so they don’t come too close, or your family doesn't answer your phone calls.

Program Success Monitored By  We monitor our program successes by the stability of our membership (among housed as well as unhoused persons). Some members of our outdoor church have been community members for many years. Some of our most loyal supporters, volunteers and donors have been in place for a very long time. Over 90 percent of our visiting housed groups have volunteered with us for years.
Examples of Program Success  People come back, week after week. Over time individuals develop a trusting relationship with program leaders -- and assume increasing degrees of leadership within the programs. Members of visiting housed congregations participate in the service, and are so moved by what they see and hear that they volunteer, again and again.

We also share successes from our community themselves. 
"I came upon this place by accident. It was a beautiful day… a lot of people were around the cross singing. Someone invited me to join them. I hesitated for a moment and then said, 'Why not?' I saw a few people I have known on the street and they seemed to be the ones doing the right things. This spoke to me. We are a community. We are a sanctuary inside or outside. We are all connected…This community has given me the ability to be more compassionate. God loves us no matter who we are!"
– "H," common cathedral member

Street Ministry and Pastoral Visiting

Street Ministry is often the way we first meet those in need. common cathedral pastors meet unhoused men and women on the streets and in Boston Healthcare for the Homeless' respite facilities, slowly building relationships as trust is developed. Sometimes we are able to direct people to resources that will meet immediate needs such as food, blankets, and emergency medical referrals, and we also work closely with medical, mental health and housing outreach workers to better serve these needs in the long term. The main thing we do during street ministry and pastoral visiting, however, is to meet those in pain with open, non-judgmental listening. We accompany our community members wherever they are -- whether it be in the hospital, court, jail, appointments, or new housing. Our pastoral visits in healthcare facilities and prison -- as well as on the streets -- remind people that they are part of our community even when they physically cannot come to worship, common art, or BostonWarm.
Budget  43,467
Category  Religion, General/Other Religion, General/Other
Population Served Homeless Alcohol, Drug, Substance Abusers People/Families with of People with Psychological Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success 
By the end of each week our ministers and lay staff support our community wherever they may be - hospitals, prisons, street corners or new apartments.
Short-term success looks like:
  • Pastor Laura meets "S" on the Boston Common on her way to CityReach. She invites him to come and see what it is about. "S" then learns about Sunday worship at CityReach, and starts coming each Sunday at 1pm. When "S" develops an illness and ends up in Boston Healthcare for the Homeless' McInnis House, he is delighted to see Pastor Laura there. She is able, because of her regular visits there two days a week, to provide "S" with support even when he is away from his usual community. 
  • Our common cathedral staff are able to greet by name many of the folks selling art, panhandling, and hanging out on the wall outside of the Public Library in Copley Square. When someone doesn't show up at our programs, we know where to look for them -- and we do. 
  • When Pastor Laura goes to visit "C" in jail, he remarks that hearing he had a clergy visit instantly brought a smile to his face. That this tangible reminder of a church who has "saved his life" gives him hope to endure, even when he is behind bars.  
Program Long-Term Success 

Throughout the city of Boston, indoors and out, our pastors go where people are, just as Jesus did. Providing a listening ear, a granola bar, a cross, a hug. Just to make sure people know that they, too, are children of God, worthy of love. Our success in the program is our ability to be present to unhoused persons in Boston who are looking for support and a community.

Program Success Monitored By 
Our ministers and lay staff work weekly as a team to locate each community member and follow up with how they are doing. An example of how this looks is as follows.
Usually, the relationship between a homeless person's self esteem and their ability to survive (and thrive!) on the street is a subtle connection. In harsh New England winters, there is no subtlety. Before a blizzard, Pastor Mary was concerned for members of the congregation who regularly sleep outdoors. She knew most people's survival routines when a storm forced them to find indoor shelter. A few individuals, however, were in a pit of despair and Pastor Mary feared their self-loathing would prevent them from making healthy choices that would keep them alive through the coming storm. Pastor Mary wanted the congregation to know they were important, worthy of warmth, and love, and life! If they couldn't remember for themselves, it was our job to remind them.
Examples of Program Success 

 The connections we have built on the streets and with different social service providers in Boston help us to love our community more deeply. Through our relationships with Pine Street Outreach, we've been able to connect individuals to housing resources -- and when they've lost their housing due to mental health struggles, isolation, and/or substance abuse, we've been able to connect with them on the streets and remind them of their dignity and worth. Through our ongoing decades-long collaboration with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, we've been able to provide spiritual care to hundreds of patients at their respite facilities, patients who yearn for connection and spiritual resources beyond what the medical care team can provide. Through our pastoral presence on the streets of Boston, we renew old relationships and begin building new ones. 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Individually all of our projects are making a difference in the lives of the unhoused in Boston, but together they are building an intentional spiritual community for both housed and unhoused individuals. All are welcome.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Amanda Yannaco Grant-Rose MSW, M.Ed.
CEO Term Start Aug 2014
CEO Email
CEO Experience
Work Experience:
  • Director of Marketing and Programs at Lift Up Africa, 2010-2014, Massachusetts, Kenya and Tanzania 
  • Mental Health Specialist at Chester County Intermediate Unit, 2008-2009, Philadelphia, PA
  • Sebastian Kolowa University College (SEKUCo), Director of Special Education, 2007-2008, Magamba, Tanzania           
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, May 2010 Master of Education; International Education Policy 
  • University of Pennsylvania,Philadelphia, PA, May 2007 Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) 
  • University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, May 2003 Bachelor of Arts in Special Education
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
The Rev. Dr. Deborah W. Little-Wyman June 1994 June 2001

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Pastor Mary Jane Eaton Associate Pastor
Co-Founder and Co-Pastor of Worcester Fellowship
MDiv from Episcopal Divinity School
Pastor Laura Shatzer Pastor of Street Ministry and Chaplain
Bachelor's degree from Carleton College (Northfield, MN)
M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School


Award Awarding Organization Year
Christenson Award Old South Church in Boston 2013


Affiliation Year
Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) 2008
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


We have an amazing number of program partners, including:

Program hosts:

The Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul’s, Boston

Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Boston

Old South Church in Boston (UCC)

Church on the Hill (Swedenborgian), Boston

Activity hosts:

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Westwood MA

Staff retreat hosts:

King’s Chapel, Boston (UUA)

Faith Lutheran Church, Cambridge MA

Fourth Presbyterian Church, South Boston

Regular volunteers at common art and BostonWarm – more than 20 individuals throughout calendar year 2017. More than 120 groups supported us on the Boston Common, at CityReach, at BostonWarm, at common art, throughout calendar year 2017

Groups providing volunteers and in-kind goods to common art and BostonWarm

Old West Church (UMC), Boston

Center for Student Mission, Boston

Trinity Episcopal Church, Boston

Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Boston

Lovin’ Spoonfuls, Boston

Nursing students from Northeastern University - ~a dozen throughout academic year 2017-2018 – at BostonWarm and common art

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 6
Number of Volunteers 40
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 8
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair The Rev. Robin Lutjohann
Board Chair Company Affiliation Faith Lutheran Church
Board Chair Term Aug 2017 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Ari Barbanell Kassirer Winter Walk Voting
Mr. James Bradley Emmanual Church Boston Voting
Ms Wendy Fasciano Director of Association Financial Services of New England, LLC Voting
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris Bishop Suffragan, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, Boston, MA Voting
Mr. John Lane Community Member Voting
Dr. Debra Leonard Retired Neurobiologist; Volunteer Voting
The Rev. Robin Lutjohann Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church, Cambridge, MA Voting
Mr. Tenzen Rigdul community member Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Finance
  • Human Resources / Personnel

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Two members of our Board of Directors were, when they became Board members, unhoused members of the common cathedral community. These leaders continue to serve an important role, representing the interests of the community before housed members of the Board, as well as explaining the decisions of the full Board to members of the community.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $368,000.00
Projected Expense $368,000.00
Form 990s --
Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $312,447 $323,902 $311,431
Total Expenses $342,832 $331,028 $238,792

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$58,034 $40,998 $53,036
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $94,594 $108,210 $118,872
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $44,660 $37,271 $44,458
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $3,837 -- $2,878
Revenue In-Kind $220 -- $200
Other $111,102 $137,423 $91,987

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $265,268 $246,576 $171,117
Administration Expense $71,618 $62,207 $47,482
Fundraising Expense $5,946 $22,245 $20,193
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.91 0.98 1.30
Program Expense/Total Expenses 77% 74% 72%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 4% 15% 12%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $852,256 $816,973 $776,934
Current Assets $244,423 $268,213 $269,697
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $24,710 $18,808 $12,664
Total Net Assets $827,546 $798,165 $764,270

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $619,000.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 2.0%
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 9.89 14.26 21.30

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Ecclesia Ministries, Inc. is a church, and therefore is not required by the IRS to file annual 990 forms.  For this same reason, Ecclesia Ministries, Inc. is not required to complete an annual financial audit.  We do contract a consultant to inspect Ecclesia's financial records in accordance with the audit guidelines of the Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs. 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization. Ecclesia Ministries Inc. is not required to file an annual return (Form 990) with the IRS because it is a church, as such, no Form 990s are posted above. Please note the Other revenue category above reflects revenue from Congregations. 


Other Documents

Annual Report (2017)


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Chronically impoverished persons, especially those living outside or in a shelter, are our target population. In January 2018 Boston’s homeless census counted 2,341 individuals living on the streets, in shelters, or in transitional housing. Whether housed or unhoused, chronically impoverished people face many obstacles. It is common to feel helpless, hopeless, unlovable – ready to give up.

We aim to build community between housed and unhoused people. We embrace values of compassion and hope, guided by knowledge that all are valued and loved. We support chronically impoverished individuals facing obstacles - mental illness, addictions, isolation, or the stigma of incarceration. Through non-judgmental companionship, one-on-one care, creative outlets and leadership opportunities our members develop self-esteem within a community comprised of unhoused and low-income individuals and a growing number of housed people who care. We are a positive alternative to crowded shelters and cold streets. People are trusted, welcome just as they are, and seen as their best selves. We provide first and foremost the witness of God’s love for everyone, and then through a supportive and safe community, we provide opportunities for unhoused and low-income men and women to gain real, and unique, leadership experiences.

We have seen firsthand how we can help persons who face many obstacles (e.g. mental illness, addictions, physical disabilities, isolation) grow into their full potential. The success of this looks different for each person. For one, that might mean seeking helpfulness – by being a “Pillar of Peace” – to the needs of the greater community. For another, it might mean seeking sobriety. For another, being part of a supportive and non-judgmental community can give the confidence needed to rebuild bridges to relationship that once were believed burned beyond recovery. For another, being a dependable common cathedral volunteer creates the confidence and credentials to obtain a paying job. For another, learning how to market and sell original artwork allows one to move one step closer to financial independence.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

common cathedral believes that to build an intentional community with unhoused persons in Boston, unhoused persons themselves should be in leadership. Our successes have been possible because at every level of our organization unhoused individuals are involved in the planning and development of our programs.

It is this dynamic leadership approach which has identified and created ways for any unhoused individual to be part of our community.

Opportunities include:

• Just being present with our staff, volunteers and community.

• participating one-on-one with our staff talking, praying or just being together.

• Community members are always given the opportunity to reflect on the week's scripture and pray for their community.

• Participating at any of our weekly or monthly programs from common art to common cathedral to City Reach.

• Leadership team opportunities are dependably available at common art, BostonWarm and common cathedral

• We invite up to two unhoused or formerly unhoused members of our common cathedral community to serve on our Board of Directors. These leaders serve an important role, representing the interests of the community before housed members of the Board, as well as explaining the decisions of the full Board to members of the community.


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

The successes of our communities and our organization are due to the dedication of our staff, board and volunteers. These individuals have stood with and prayed with people that the rest of society walks by. They know that the sandwich they are giving is not going to change a life but the connection they build just might. 

Throughout the city of Boston, indoors and out, our staff go where people are, just as Jesus did. Providing a listening ear, a granola bar, a cross, a hug. Just to make sure people know that they, too, are children of God, worthy of love. Our staff also provide indoor pastoral care – at each of our core ministries, at Boston Healthcare for the Homeless' respite facilities, and at our weekly Feed Your Spirit spirituality group held in Old South Church.

And our programs would, quite simply, not be sustainable without the regular volunteer support offered by an abundance of partner groups.

o    45-50 housed groups per year bring lunch and join us for worship on the Boston Common

o   30-35 housed groups per season join us for City Reach, donating clothing and providing financial support.

o   Youth groups and others provide volunteer support each week at common art. 

o   One of our long-time partners sponsors twice yearly get-togethers between their congregation and ours.

o   Our BostonWarm day center is supported by volunteers drawn from our downtown Back Bay supporting congregations, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, and Old South Church. 

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

We serve a statistically small, transient, very needy population. As such, we cannot carry out massive statistical analyses to quantitate population trends or quantify “success.” What we can do, however, is notice -- and share -- how our message of love translates and grows within our shared communities.  This is what transforms lives for a population that believes they are unloved, unheard and unsuccessful. We listen, we pray and we share in their successes. 

Sometimes it is the individual story that best shows our success:

John, a community member for some time, was not interested in sharing his story. Believing that no one cared, he was quiet and never responded when our associate pastor, Mary, reached out to see how he was doing. It took time for Mary to build a relationship with John, for him to have success in an art show, and to know that Mary would pick up the phone when he called. This newly understood representation of God’s love has created a rich and deep relationship. John is now open and when Mary asks how he is doing he not only shares but asks Mary how she is doing.
We are also able to see our success through the number of participants that meet at one or all of our programs. When we started our ministry 22 years ago 5 people met on the Common one Sunday for worship. Now, over 100 individuals, housed and unhoused, are present at any or all of our programs each week.    

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Our goal is to be there, for as long as it takes, to help anyone who needs it, so that they might come to know that God loves them, we love them, and they deserve to love themselves too. Right now.