our story


Blue Ocean Faith began in Cambridge, MA as Dave and Grace Schmelzer, Charles Park and other Blue Ocean leaders started a church in 1998 (now called Reservoir Church) which quickly became the largest in town. It got attention for things like being quite diverse (both racially and socioeconomically) and for being a faith-filled church that welcomed LGBTQ people at all levels even as it drew a remarkably high number of congregants who previously hadn’t gone to church.


Many churches in very non-churchgoing parts of the U.S. (and some in Europe) started talking together about this. What did it look like for vibrant churches to thrive in very secular cities? (Cambridge at the time was 2% churchgoing.) And might that have something to offer in a western world that was very quickly secularizing?


In 2015, those conversations birthed a small new network. It includes lively, strong churches in places like Iowa City and New York. But Blue Ocean Faith leaders have also been very motivated to innovate in what is now a different landscape for churches and faith leaders than was true those decades ago. So while you’ll discover links to local church pastors here, you’ll discover other links to spiritual center leaders and bi-weekly pastors and spiritual directors (and mentors and coaches) and neighborhood pastors and online pastors. It’s been rich and exciting to experience the power of (and setting for) faith in new ways!


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.