our story

Blue Ocean Faith began in Cambridge, MA, as Dave and Grace Schmelzer and other leaders started a church in the shadow of Harvard in 1998, now called Reservoir Church. It quickly grew and got some press and publishing attention for thriving in an area where churches had struggled, and for attracting a wide range of interest: from university deans to people living on public assistance, from long-time churchgoers to hundreds who’d never attended churches before, all in a remarkably multiethnic setting. 

In time, many leaders from around the world connected with what was happening in Cambridge and asked a few key questions: What might be learned from this surprising success story that might be valuable in a church world that is consequentially shrinking worldwide? Are there new opportunities for the always-good God to help people thrive who would never be churchgoers? 

After several years of doing church consulting along these lines around the country and beyond, these questions were so provocative that Dave and Grace passed off their church to a capable team in 2013 and have since devoted themselves full time, alongside many motivated leaders, to exploring possible answers to these questions. They’ve hosted international think tanks, worked with a multinational consulting group, helped start and release a new church network, hosted pilot groups around new models, and offered innovative neighborhood gatherings. 

Among Blue Ocean’s current explorations is a growing, online contemplative spirituality group filled with people from several countries. (Email mail@blueoceanfaith.org if you’d like to check it out or learn more.) And we’re hopeful to fill you in on a major new initiative sometime soon.

Enjoy exploring this site! We think you’ll find lots of provocative, encouraging ideas and resources. And be in touch with us! We’re entirely interested in what’s on your mind.