New Ministry Starts

Agape Spiritual Community











 Our Massachusetts Conference continues to support initiatives that give birth and life to innovative new ministries.  Each one has its own style, personality and purpose. You can read more about them at the websites at right. View a video of a New Ministry Initiative Gathering to learn more about these ministries here.

The Church Development Council of the MACUCC provides support and guidance to new ministries as they become established in their local Associations.

What you can do

While there is a dedicated team of new ministry pastors, the Council and a Conference staff person all working on new ministry starts, we cannot do this work alone. We need your help. Here  are some ways you can assist this wonderful process of reaching new people and making a difference in communities.

  • Join our Conference Prayer Network: There is a growing number of people who are regularly praying for both new ministry starts and existing congregations that are turning around and growing. We need to surround these efforts with prayer so that God’s Spirit will lead us. In joining this network you will receive periodic emails asking you to pray for specific events and activities in new ministry starts and we will keep you appraised of the results!  To sign up, send an email to Karen Methot.
  • Lending a Skill: As new ministries begin they often need people to help with a project, activity, worship service etc. It is sometimes called “Rent a Member” in which members of existing churches lend their skills for a few weeks or months to help a new ministry get started. If you are interested in helping out, please email Don Remick
  • Giving of your financial resources: While new ministries are expected to raise much of their own money, there is always need of some financial resources. We call this “Virtue Capital”; money that is invested to help start a church and impact a community. If you would like to make a donation to a new ministry start, please contact Karen Methot.
  • Come join our team. There is a New Ministry Initiative Task Team that helps to see that new ministries begin in Massachusetts. This work involves setting up a system of assessment, training and support of new ministry start pastors as well as promoting new starts, helping to find funding, and celebrating with new ministry pastors. If you are interested in being part of this team email Don Remick.

For information on any of the above, please be in touch with Don Remick at

It's Saturday - Let's Do Church




Churches Starting New Ministries

In recent decades, most new church starts have been what are called “parachute drops”. This is when a person is dropped into a town or region, knows no one and then attempts to build a new church from scratch. Most parachutes drops fail with only 10-12% surviving. Mainline denominations have poured millions of dollars into such parachute drops over the past few decades.

However, in Christian history and particularly in our own Massachusetts history, most churches have been started by an existing church sending a group of people to a new section of town or a new city and they provide the core of leadership for a new congregation. And in our current era, existing churches are sponsoring pastors and laity with a vision for a new ministry that will reach out to unchurched folks  Look into your own congregation’s history and you may discover your church was started by another church.

In the Massachusetts Conference, we want to reclaim this way of starting new ministries.  Does your congregation have a heart for people?   Have you ever thought that you might start a new worship service, an off-site or second location for your existing church or one of many other possibilities? If you would like to explore this further, please contact Don Remick at; or 508-875-5233.

Paul Nickerson is available on a contractual basis to come to your church and lead an introductory workshop. Contact him at for more information.

For additional resources, contact Don Remick at

Open Table Dinner Church

New Ministry Starts in the Conference

Click on each ministry to go to their website and learn more.

Phoenix Rising

Phoenix RisingIn 2014, The First Congregational Church of Haverhill sold it building and launched a dream of being a new progressive ministry presence in their community.

Celebrating Phoenix Rising United Church of Christ 2015 (a video)

Read the recent SPOTLIGHT: The Phoenix Rises in Haverhill as a New Church Start (Sept. 16, 2014)

Sanctuary UCC

Birthed at the closing of a West Medford church following the Crossroads/New Beginnings program, this new ministry is attempting to reach the busy community of Medford beyond the walls of a traditional church.

Hispanic Ministries

The Conference has long worked in support of Hispanic Ministries. Click here for details.

Common Ground

An innovative farm to table dinner ministry that has found a home in First Churches in Northampton, and is modeling itself on Lydia's Table. Worship centers around growing, preparing, cooking and sharing of a sacred meal.

Agape Spiritual Community

A ministry that is focusing on outreach to the young adult/college population of the area.

It's Saturday - Let's Do Church 

It's Saturday - Let's Do Church (a video)

A new ministry housed in the West Parish Church of Barnstable, that listened to the needs of young families for an alternative spiritual/worship experience and time. Read more here: SPOTLIGHT: Saturday, Sing-A-Long, Shorter Service (Feb. 7, 2014)

Mashpee Congregational, UCC

Mashpee Congregational, UCC, was started on Cape Cod in 2007. Numerous churches throughout Southeastern Massachusetts prayed for and contributed to the Mashpee start. This  church received full standing on Nov. 7, 2010.

G.A.P.S. (Gatherings, Arts, Praxis, Sabbath) Ministry

A ministry emerging from a client-based agency on the Cape that discovered a population who had no interest in traditional church, but wanted a spiritual community of practice.

Worcester Fellowship

This ministry is following the model of street ministry. It is open to all, but often draws from a housing-challenged population.

Agape Brewing Community, Gloucester

Mission: To support home brewing, to build community, and to change the world.

Open Table Dinner Church, Cambridge

A dinner church and worshiping community  were you can bring your whole self, mind, heart, and spirit with you.

New Hope, UCC, Sturbridge

A new community of faith forming in the Sturbridge area. Focused in part on key words that formed the UCC: Christian, Reformed, Congregational, Evangelical.

Disciples UCC, Danvers

Committed to bringing the radically inclusive Gospel of Jesus to the North Shore, focusing on families of children with disabilities, those who struggle with addiction, those aging out of the foster care system, and members of the LGBT community.