As God’s people, we are called to oneness in Christ, which compels us beyond our differences. Yet, most of us, even as servants joined in the calling to the ministry of Jesus Christ, see the world very differently for reasons of life experience, biblical interpretation, and our prevailing human condition. Because of this, we are prone to disagree with and distance ourselves from those who are culturally, denominationally, and ethnically distinct from us. UniteBoston overcomes these obstacles that prevent us from truly knowing one another by nurturing relational connections and agape love throughout the diversity of Boston’s Christian community. With over 670 Christian churches in the metro Boston area, and an estimated 3,000 in the target area of Greater Boston (Highway 128 Beltway), the Christian community needs a means of connecting together in order to more effectively reach the city with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
UniteBoston nurtures unity among diverse Christians through relationships for the flourishing of the city. We seek to be an incubator and catalyst to champion collaborative mission, reconciliation, and justice.
(Note – Each of these words has been chosen very intentionally. Click here to read about the definitions and theological basis behind each of these words.)
The citywide Church is the best witness to Jesus: We envision the transformation of the city of Boston by connecting people to Jesus and His causes.
Statement of Faith
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
We believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
(The Nicene Creed was chosen as our Statement of Faith because it is the most widely accepted brief statements of the Christian faith and affirms the work of our Christian Forefathers. We also affirm the Bible as the authoritative Word of God.)
All Christian individuals, congregations, and communities that align with the Nicene Creed and are based approximately within the Highway 128 beltway around Boston are invited to participate in UniteBoston.
With local contacts in 200+ churches and ministries, UB serves over 1,000 people in Greater Boston monthly through our email newsletter and website, and has an annual reach of over 18,500 people. UniteBoston works to foster unity and cohesion between them as a networker, bridge-builder, promoter of local events, and local resource for partnerships between churches and broader communities.
Our website also has forums which connect resources and needs throughout the Christian community. This promotes a greater sense of awareness and a go-to location for what churches are doing in the city. This infrastructure connects people to the events and ministries they care about and inspires a common identity that “we’re all in this together.” As each part of the body of Christ connects together, it results in a more vibrant, effective Church (Eph 4:16; 1 Corinthians 12:20-27).
At the center of the Christian faith is the confession that Jesus’ incarnation, death, and resurrection has reconciled us to God and to one another, thus forming an inseverable and eternal peace (Eph. 2:14).
This central message of reconciliation is a prominent theme throughout the New Testament, and the early Christians were convinced of the centrality of unity among followers of Christ. (2 Cor 5:16-21, 1 Cor 1:10, Rom 12:4-5, Jn 11:52, Eph 4:3). Unity is both a gift and an obligation for the church of Jesus Christ; that through the working of God’s Spirit, it is a binding force, yet simultaneously a reality which must be earnestly pursued and sought. “This unity must become visible so that the world may believe that separation, enmity, and hatred between people and groups is sin which Christ has already conquered, and accordingly that anything which threatens this unity may have no place in the church and must be resisted.” (Belhar Confession)
UniteBoston upholds the Church’s call to the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:11-21) by intentionally welcoming Christians into our ministry across historic divisions of race, class, culture, politics, age, denomination, and more. We host dialogues across difference that enable people to have honest, courageous conversations of listening, learning and story-sharing. This builds trust and empathy across deep divides. Where repair and healing is needed, we engage individuals and congregations in a process of conflict transformation involving awareness, truth-telling, forgiveness, repentance and restoration. We also host the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity annually from January 18-25, a week-long series of evening prayer and worship gatherings that are designed to reflect the diversity of Boston’s Christian community and promote ecumenical understanding. As we nurture kinship relations, reconciliation, and love among diverse siblings in Christ, our love for each other is a witness to the reconciling power of the gospel.
- Missional Collaboration
Justice is not peripheral, but intrinsic to the gospel, and we recognize the ways in which sinful systems and structures have inhibited people from flourishing in our city. Thus, we work together with churches, non-profits, and secular institutions to work for the peace and prosperity of the city where we have been called (Jer. 29:7). Our coming together reduces duplication of outreach efforts and resources and leads towards synergistic mission greater than any one church can accomplish. We host racial justice learning groups which invite individuals to proactively engage in the movement towards racial justice in this crucial cultural moment as a core part of the Church’s mission. We also coordinate Neighborhood Dinners to build and establish relational connections within neighborhood communities. By being a learner of neighborhoods, our neighborhood representatives devote their attention to a specific geographic locale to find out how churches can missionally serve together to witness to the reign of God in that location.
John 17 points out that our unity as Christians is evangelistic: Our coming together across divides is a compelling apologetic of the reconciling love of Jesus Christ. Our summer worship gatherings with our team of worship leaders from a variety of denominational and ethnic backgrounds takes place intentionally outdoors publicly to minister to people who might not normally go into a church building. More than 2,000 people attended the 2019 summer concert, with 33 local organizations represented. Together, our witness is magnified as we come together in unity to stand together for what the church is for, rather than being known for what we are against: for engaging our neighbor across barriers with unconditional love, joy, and fellowship.
- Ecclesial Imagination
We celebrate where God is working and the reign of God that is unfolding by sharing stories on our blog, e-newsletter, and social media. We believe that Jesus desires all people to take part in Christian unity, and we see Christian unity as a way of life, rather than a program or event. Therefore, we intentionally include both clergy and laity into our programs and initiatives.. We nurture an ecclesial imagination, inviting people to see a new way of doing “church” that nurtures our common identity as followers of Jesus together on a common mission.
- Loving Your Neighbor
Jesus defined the greatest commandments as, “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mt 22:36-40). Jesus models loving people who are challenging for us to love and implores Christ-followers to love those they may deem as an enemy (Mt 5:44). We encourage the UniteBoston community to intentionally step outside our comfort zones to build relationships with Christians that differ in background, perspective and life experience.
- Intentional Pursuit of Unity
Ephesians 4:3 encourages us to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” As Christians, we are one in Christ, yet we must earnestly endeavor to make visible what God has done in Christ. As we nurture kinship relationships and love among diverse siblings in Christ, our love for each other is a witness to the reconciling power of the gospel.
- A Posture of Humility
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” (Phil 2:5). With UniteBoston, we come alongside others to serve what is already happening, knowing that what we are personally called to is part of a greater whole.
Our ministry centers on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and central Christian tenants as defined by the Nicene Creed. As an organization, we don’t take stances on theological issues outside of this; rather, we encourage people to have honest, courageous conversations of listening, learning and story-sharing in the areas where we disagree.
- Dependence on the Holy Spirit
The book of Acts describes how the Holy Spirit filled Christians of a variety of ethnic backgrounds, giving them the power to do the work of ministry. The Holy Spirit is the bonding agent between Christians as well as the fuel for change. The power of the Holy Spirit which binds us together in Christ is stronger than anything that seemingly divides us.
- Missional Imagination
We cultivate an ecclesial imagination inviting people to consider what it means to be the people of God embodying the mission of God, here in this place. We are a learning organization, continually in the constant process of defining, testing, reflecting – and repeat.
We connect people who have similar passions for broader impact. We nurture partnerships within and between churches to accomplish that which any one of us could not accomplish alone. Our coming together reduces duplication of efforts, leading to synergistic mission greater than any one church can accomplish working independently.