The Outdoor Church is a ministry to homeless men and women in Cambridge. Its mission is to take the church to those who cannot or will not reach it on their own. The Outdoor Church's ministries include Sunday services followed by a light meal and/or street outreach, Saturday meals, pastoral visiting and memorial services.
Sunday services include a 9 a.m. Service of Prayer & Communion at Porter Square, a 1 p.m. Service of Prayer & Communion at Cambridge Common, and a 3:45 p.m. Service of Compline at the public plaza on River Street near Central Square.
The Outdoor Church is supported by member churches of the Harvard Square Clergy Association, including First Church in Cambridge. Rev. Jedediah Mannis, a founding minister of the Outdoor Church, is an Affiliate Staff Member of First Church, and Rev. Kate Layzer, First Church Minister of Street Outreach, is an Affiliate Minister of the Outdoor Church. In 2014, First Church partnered with the Outdoor Church to form the Friday Cafe, a welcoming space for homeless and housed to gather as neighbors.
On the First Sunday and First Saturday of every month, First Church prepares several dozen brown-bag lunches. First Sunday lunches are prepared by the children during church school. Their food offering is then blessed alongside our Communion feast and delivered to the Outdoor Church community by First Church families. First Saturday lunches are prepared and delivered by First Church volunteers.