“And this is my prayer, that your love may grow ever richer and richer in the knowledge and insight of every kind, and may thus bring you the gift of true discernment.” (Philippians 1:9)
A Brief Introduction
The Mennonite Congregation of Boston (MCOB) was organized in 1962, following three years of “unofficial” meetings. Its founders, many of whom attended services at various local churches, had come to Boston from other areas, often for academic reasons. The origin of MCOB was a response to needs of local participants rather than a result of conference outreach. Many members wanted an experience distinct from that in their home churches. During a brief period in the fall of 1962, MCOB met every week in a church building with a paid pastor. In the following decades, meetings were held every other week in members’ homes, with pastoral duties rotating on a yearly basis. In December 1985, the congregation moved to a permanent meeting place, the Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church (155 Powder House Blvd., Somerville, MA). Beginning in September 2003, MCOB moved to a new meeting space, the Harvard Epworth United Methodist Church, (1555 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge MA). And in September of 2023, MCOB began gathering at the Friends Meeting in Cambridge (5 Longfellow Park, Cambridge MA).
Over the years, meetings have become more frequent, and MCOB has become the primary church affiliation for an increasing number of members and participants. The church has a tradition of volunteer pastor or co-pastors, often lay members. Pastors served for a one year period and worked with the Church Council, a group of regular participants, headed by a chair or co-chair persons who volunteer to provide leadership and plan weekly meetings throughout the year. For a few years, the congregation functioned without a designated pastor for half the year, and the responsibilities of this role have been shared by any number of participants. In 2009, we were pleased to welcome Nancy Frey as our pastor, and in the fall of 2012 we welcomed Bruce Bradshaw as our pastor. In the fall of 2023, we welcomed Kate Andre: first as our interim and now our long-term pastor.
Today MCOB is comprised largely of people who grew up in churches outside of the Boston area. Since 1966 it has been dually affiliated with the Eastern District of the former General Conference Mennonite Church and what is now the Atlantic Coast Conference of the former Mennonite Church. We are still dually affiliated under Mennonite Church USA. While many current participants come from a Mennonite or Brethren background, all who wish to participate are welcome, regardless of religious background, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.
From June through August we meet Sundays from 6:00-7:30pm; from September through May we meet Sundays from 5:00-6:30pm at the Friends Meeting in Cambridge for worship and fellowship.
The congregation organizes and/or participates in a number of programs that provide opportunities for fellowship, Christian education, and social action.