The UB Story
UniteBoston was created to help fill a need in Greater Boston: to better unite the Christian community. This concept developed from observations at casual summer gatherings and believers praying toward a common purpose to address a disconnectedness felt in the Christian community.
Executive Director Mike Lloyd recognized the relational gaps between different Christian communities within the city after hosting barbecues during the summer of 2009. While observing a number of his friends begin new friendships in his backyard, he realized there was not an intentional, effective way for members of different Christian communities to connect.
“There were a lot of great churches of fun people, but there were very few opportunities for them to meet others outside their church,” says Mike, who moved to the city in the fall of 2008. “Once a person was plugged into a church or community, his or her social reach ended at the extent of that church or community. I didn’t like that.”
With a vision to help bring together these groups of Christians, Mike began to develop the idea of UniteBoston in October 2009, in hopes that it would help better connect the Christian community in Greater Boston.
Around the same time, the Young Adult Group from Cambridgeport Baptist Church felt led to address the disconnectedness amongst Christians in the city, and was waiting expectantly on a large grant that would help with their efforts. When Kelly Steinhaus, one of the group members, began visiting Boston-area churches as part of the process, she realized a breakdown of information between churches regarding other ministries, happenings, and needs within the Christian body, but outside of their individual communities.
“Each group was so unique, so beautiful, like a puzzle piece,” Kelly says. “And yet each puzzle piece was not fitted together with the others.”
The group did not get the grant, but Kelly’s desire to see these groups connect only grew. In the winter of 2010, a mutual friend who had taken notice of their similar interests introduced Kelly and Mike. They soon teamed up and spent the next eight months planning for the official launch of UniteBoston.
Finally, in September 2010, UniteBoston held its first official event in a crowded upstairs room of a downtown Boston restaurant. There was an enthusiastic response as Christians throughout the Greater Boston area began registering for the weekly newsletter, and churches and ministries began sharing event information and expressing interest to learn more. The wide variety of events including prayer nights, social gatherings, times of worship, and serving with local ministries represented different neighborhoods, denominations, and cultures of Greater Boston.
With the amount of information and readership growing, UniteBoston.com was launched in April 2011, expanding to including a monthly events calendar, blog, and forums to increase connectedness among Christians in more ways. Snapshots of the Christian community and the Biblical call to unity are highlighted in the blog. Through the forums Christians can find roommates, volunteer opportunities, and new jobs while churches can post needs or resources to share with the community.
Within the first year the website was visited 8,757 times by people from 37 countries and 699 cities, showing the global reach of the Christian community here and the impact of increasing unity. The organization has connected with over 300 churches, and continues to bring together more than 1,800 people every week through the weekly newsletter and in person at events. Each day in new ways connections are being made throughout the body of Christ in Greater Boston.
Thank you for joining in the mission to better unite the Christian community in Greater Boston, a mission that was just a dream a few short years ago. We look forward to sharing the next chapter of this story as it continues with you!
UniteBoston has been a moving force in the city of Boston. To receive their newsletters has allowed me to hear and see God’s work and how He is moving in the city. We run an organization in Haiti and UniteBoston has allowed me to connect with other local Haitians, churches, organizations, and events. As we see God moving in our city I believe it is important that we come together on one front and UniteBoston has begun to birth that unity.
UniteBoston has been very helpful as I have transitioned to living in the city. I truly feel connected to other Christians in Boston simply because UB has made it easy for me! Also, it’s been a great way for Starlight Ministries to expand its support base and have a larger voice in the Christian community. I’m thankful for UB both personally and professionally.
I am a pastor who is an immigrant and established a new church and ministry one year ago. Through UniteBoston I met many ministers in Boston, and I was able to have fellowship with them. I was able to learn many things from them and the information that UniteBoston provides. I was impressed so much by the purpose of UniteBoston and UniteBoston’s members’ sacrificial devotion to God that I have been praying for UniteBoston ever since I met UniteBoston’s team members. I think that the UniteBoston ministry is very important in these days and I pray that God may support its ministry abundantly so that it can produce much fruit for God’s salvation work through its church-uniting ministry.
This forum has opened my eyes to the many ways the Church is expanding and meeting critical needs, by providing opportunities for leadership development, community empowerment and social services. It is truly creating a framework within which separate missions can come together and share resources so that we can do God’s work in this city more effectively.
UniteBoston is pioneering a vision that originates in God's heart: to see us transition from a church divided by denominational and ethnic enclaves, to a city-wide Church with a common identity in Jesus Christ and unbreakable love for one another.
It was through the UniteBoston website that I was made aware of many important events in the city beyond my usual circle of contacts.
PEER Servants has benefited by additional attendees in many of our events since we started posting those events through UniteBoston. Beyond the numbers, there is the blessing of breaking down our organizational borders and gaining a sense that we are all part of something much bigger than our own missions or taglines.
UniteBoston has already made countless connections across cultural lines and has the potential to be a powerful tool through which God unites the Church, and ultimately the Greater Boston community.
UniteBoston is committed to the causes of Christ and the re-establishment of true unity.
I applaud the efforts of my good friends at UniteBoston as they have served to connect the body of Christ in our city. We need their vision and hard work to bring the church together to better serve the purpose of God in Boston.
I appreciate UniteBoston's grassroots efforts to connect the Christian community in Greater Boston. The Emmanuel Gospel Center places a high value on Christian unity and cooperation, and I am grateful for UniteBoston's energy and creativity in bringing these ideals to a more tangible reality.