New Board Member Tenzin Rigdul
At its September meeting the  common cathedral Board of Directors was honored to welcome Tenzin Rigdul as a member of the Board.
Tenzin's story is one of challenge, heartbreak, and great resilience.
Tenzin was born in Tibet. When the political situation there disintegrated, his family left his home country, hiking over the Himalayas to Nepal and then on to northern India.
Tenzin earned his teaching degree and taught middle school biology for several years before joining the hospitality industry, first in hospitality management and then as a self-taught chef.
As the political situation worsened for Tibetan immigrants in India Tenzin was advised to seek asylum in the United States. Thanks to the support of an American family, Tenzin was able to obtain a passport and a 10 year visa from India.
Most unfortunately, when Tenzin arrived in Boston in 2014 he was detained, interrogated and then imprisoned by ICE for almost a month. Eventually he was released to Catholic charities, which helped him find housing and a pro bono immigration attorney. He obtained a temporary work permit, found work and was well on his way, navigating the system towards achieving asylum and eventual citizenship. Unfortunately he became seriously ill and was hospitalized, missing a critical court date. By the time he recovered Tenzin's work permit had expired and could not be renewed.
Since that time, May 2015, Tenzin has been in limbo. Not allowed to work. Lost touch with his immigration attorney and so unable to move towards citizenship. Tenzin became severely depressed and was hospitalized again for a time.
In May 2016 Tenzin was housed at Pine Street Inn and then at a smaller local shelter. An acquaintance brought him to St. Francis House, where he taught himself to paint. Another acquaintance at St. Francis House brought him to common art. He has become a beloved regular at our programs, where he gives back to our communities by cooking delicious meals, both for common art and for our BostonWarm day center.
Tenzin has reconnected with his immigration attorney and is once again navigating the legal process. His third and, hopefully, final court date is scheduled for early 2018. If that hearing is successful, Tenzin will be granted asylum, can apply for a "green card" and will then be able to obtain a work permit. Four years after obtaining his green card Tenzin will be eligible to apply for full citizenship. 
When asked why he keeps coming back to our programs Tenzin replied "common cathedral's programs have a very positive reputation on the streets. These are safe places that help people stay out of trouble and that also protect the image of the city in the eyes of all its visitors. I miss working. I miss cooking. At common art and BostonWarm I can do both. I appreciate when people say they love my cooking!"
Tenzin, we are so very glad you found us and have agreed to lead in this way. 
Thank you.
photo credit Charlotte Pierce

for your gifts of grace as you join us for outdoor worship in
On a rainy Sunday in September these lovely folks from Church of Our Savior in Milford NH joined us under the portico at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul to share lunch and join in worship. THANK YOU!
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
Wellesley MA 
St. John's Episcopal Church
Beverly Farms MA

On Sunday September 10th the Day, Hesch and Dorr 
families from Swampscott MA brought lunch to share and joined us for Sunday worship on the Boston Common. THANK YOU!

St. John's Episcopal Church
Gloucester MA

Community Covenant Church
Hopkinton MA
St. John's Episcopal Church
Franklin MA
We meet for worship, rain or shine, a t the Brewer Fountain on the Boston Common (near the Park Street T  stop on Tremont Street). 
Members of Wellesley's St. Andrews Episcopal Church served lunch and stayed for worship on October 1st. Thank You!
Lunch is served at 12:30pm; worship begins at 1pm.  
VOLUNTEERS are needed on December 24th & 31st 2017. 
Won't you join us?
Email Tonika (tonika@commoncathedral.org) if you can help!     
Artist-In-Residence Heidi Lee leads the painters
On Sunday October 1st we held our first (but definitely not our last!) Paint Night fundraiser!
This sold out event included about 55 friends, old and new, who came together to meet, to eat, to paint, to learn about our programs, and to build community. 
Led by our Artist-In-Residence Heidi Lee, and supported by members of the common art  community, our friends learned the basics of painting a lovely landscape - with the understanding that everyone was free to create a piece that fulfilled his/her own vision.
Ari, Sharon, Amanda and Rev. Mary helped make sure everyone had a great time!
A large team of staff, Board and volunteers ensured a friendly atmosphere with lots of good snacks, laughter and camaraderie.
While our friends painted, community member Stacey Shorr spoke with eloquence about  common art  as a refuge for creative people and a place to be inspired, where one can feel like a human being and focus on something positive, something bigger, outside oneself. A place where one can be one's  best  self.
     Volunteer DeDe  Cadieux shared how her participation as a common art jewelry artisan had changed her life. She spoke lovingly of the incredible sense of community, the friendships built, how powerful it is to help others make jewelry that they can sell, and how valuable it is to be part of a community that helps life be a bit easier for people, where they can come together in safety and create. 
Community member Allen Chamberland spoke about  common art  as a welcoming community - a community that misses you when you are not there - a community that gave Allen his start as an artist, and that he feels is responsible for his ability now to make a living as a working artist. 
We are grateful to the  common art  artists who donated their own work, and to all the friends who, at the urging of Rev. Mary, bought bottles of paint to donate, all to benefit our organization.
Rev. Mary invites our friends to buy paint
We are thankful to Boston's Taj Hotel and to the Chilton Club for their generous donation of delicious desserts. We are also grateful to the persons, all wishing to remain anonymous, whose generous donations underwrote the cost of food and drink; art supplies; and even provided a generous matching grant in support of our organization.
Our first Paint Night was such a success that talks are already underway for another Paint Night event in the Spring.
Stay Tuned!!
Diamond, Martin and Bryant at the Walk for Huntington's Research
On Saturday September 16 several members of  common cathedral  and of MANNA (an Ecclesia sister ministry at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul) joined our brother Martin Corr for a walk to raise awareness and funds for Huntington's Disease research. 
We were blessed that Martin could also join us on the Common for worship the following Sunday. 

At common art we are blessed to be visited from time to time by our good friend Jenny Lam, who shares her artistic gifts by giving manicures to members of our community.

On Thursday September 7th the Feed Your Spirit community came together in the Mary Norton Hall kitchen at Old South Church in Boston, where they baked communion bread to be used for Sunday worship on the Common and at the Barbara McInnis House.
Long time volunteer Sarah Rossiter teaches the group the art of baking communion bread
Ken enjoys the process
Free prepares the rounds for baking
Rev. Laura leads communion for the baking group, using the bread freshly baked by the Feed Your Spirit community.
October 3, 2017
Allan, Sarah and Michelle at Sunday worship on the Boston Common

We are blessed with the gifts of not one, not two, but FIVE interns serving our community this academic year!!

Allan McClendon 
Allan, born and raised in Chicago, moved to Boston in 2013. Two years later Allan began pursuing his Master's in Pastoral Studies at Andover Newton Theological School. This is Allan's second year of internship with common cathedral.   This year he is serving on the Boston Common on Sundays as well as at common art  on Wednesdays. A llan writes: "I feel the Holy Spirit of God has led me to seek work within an urban homeless community that concentrates on the poor and those plagued by substance abuse, addiction and disabilities."
Sarah Brock
Sarah hails from Rochester NY, right on Lake Ontario, and most of her family still lives there. Sarah moved to Boston from Columbus OH to attend seminary and is currently a postulant in the Episcopal Church. Sarah is excited to join the common cathedral community - to "experience an expression of church that is very different from the others I've served." Sarah hopes to learn how to faithfully partner in ministry with those experiencing homelessness as well as how to strengthen relationships between this community and housed organizations. Sarah's internship will include visiting housed congregations, serving CityReach as well as Sunday outdoor worship on the Boston Common.
Michelle Ashley
Michelle, who hails from Houston TX, is beginning her second year of internship at common cathedral Michelle returned in preparation for pastoral ministry as an elder in the Methodist Church. Michelle, who is entering her final year of MDiv studies at Boston University, chose  common cathedral as her Field Education site because she feels called to ministry with people experiencing homelessness. Michelle serves our community at Sunday worship on the Common as well as at the BostonWarm day center on Mondays.
Charles with Rebecca at BostonWarm
Rebecca Bowler
Becca writes: "I am a mixed-culture kid. My father was born and raised in Massachusetts and I spent all my summers here. My mother is Swiss and that is why I was born and raised in Switzerland. We're from the German part, but my cousins live in the French part. We manage to communicate just fine though! 
I was one of the floor managers at the Old South Church site when the BostonWarm day centers first opened. I absolutely loved the community and the makeshift family we built there! When I started seminary though I had to leave.
When this chance arose for me to come back as part of my internship, I was very happy to return!"
Becca, who is also entering her final year of MDiv studies at Boston University, serves our community at the BostonWarm day center on Fridays at Emmanuel Church. We are grateful to our partners at Old South Church in Boston (and Becca's internship supervisor there, Rev. John Edgerton), for making possible Becca's service to us in this way.

Katie, our Feed Your Spirit intern

Katie Day
Katie, from Philadelphia, came to Boston for grad school by way of Minneapolis. She is working towards her MDiv at Boston College. She lives in Swampscott with her husband, two children and two cats.
Katie is interning with common cathedral
because it offers a unique opportunity to combine her academic studies (faith component) with her past career in human services (people component). 
Katie is serving our community at Feed Your Spirit bible study on Thursdays.
Katie believes that by building community and being faithfully present with one another in a broken world, common cathedral embodies what the kingdom of Jesus was all about - the love, mercy and justice of God.

We are  READY   to welcome you to CityReach!
CityReach is an overnight urban outreach program for youth, young adults, college students and occasionally adult groups. When groups arrive, they hear stories and receive guided tours of downtown Boston from our CityReach Staff - all unhoused and formerly unhoused community members. 

The next morning, youth and staff work together to host a clothing and food open house for 150 - 300 unhoused and low-income guests. The program concludes as participants reflect on their experiences and imagine ways to respond to homelessness and income inequality in their hometowns.  
Sign up for one of our dates today!! 
November 10th-11th 2017
December 15th - 16th 2017
January 19th -20th 2018
February 9th - 10th 2018 
March 9th -10th 2018
April 27th -28th 2018
May 11th - 12th 2018
To sign up, contact Tonika: info@commoncathedral.org
Please come visit us at any (or all!) of these upcoming art shows:
October 29, 2017 
All Saints Parish, Brookline

December 1st 10-5 & 2nd 
Church of the Redeemer Chestnut Hill

December 2nd 
Old South Church in Boston 

And - we would love to come visit your group. Please contact our Artist-In-Residence, Heidi Lee, at heidi.hj.lee@gmail.com for available dates and more information!

photo credit Charlotte Pierce
Some of the artists at the September 23rd art show at St. John's Episcopal Church in Arlington (photo credit Charlotte Pierce)

St. John's Episcopal Church in Arlington met as a team four weeks before our art show, planning all the ways they could best host the common art artists.

And oh how wonderfully we were received!

Our artwork was picked up from Emmanuel Church early on, and hot coffee, pastries, fruit, bagels and cheese was ready and waiting for the artists when they arrived. Long cloth covered tables were already set up and each artist was also given a vertical board from which to display their work!

A beautiful sign made specifically for this show was hanging outside, right near the cultural center of town. 
photo credit Charlotte Pierce

As shoppers came through, much laughter was shared, as were tears of joy when one artist talked about how much it meant to him that one of his pieces sold.

All of the artists sold at least one piece - and most sold several. More importantly, lives were shared and art deeply appreciated within this exchange of dialogue and embrace.

Lunch was served to all and good strong coffee flowed continuously. And then - the church invited the artists to come back the next day!

The unexpected two day show was spectacular! More than 23 artists were there to represent their work. Thanks to the efforts of volunteer Tim Green, the work of the late Frank Brescia was represented as well.

This event would not have been possible without the leadership of St. John's members Christine, Rev. Diane, Joe, Cate, photographer Charlotte Pierce, and many others. We are so grateful!!

We love you brothers and sisters and hope to come back next year!

~Heidi Lee, Artist-In-Residence
photo credit Charlotte Pierce
Admiring the work of the artist Kevork Mourad

On September 27th several common art artists entered the Rose Museum at Brandeis University with wide-eyed awe at the centerpiece executed by the world renowned artist Kevork Mourad. 

We were asked "What do you see? What makes you say that?" and "What else do you see?"

The dialogue between the common art artists and Kevork was intense, yet humorous. Its not everyday that such a famous artist is told that his work is "not half bad."

Kevork demonstrated his technique as tears came down for a few of the common art artists at the artistic mastery and beauty of his creation before their very eyes. 

Kevork's work is about devastation, survival, history, culture, fear, yet also hope. All themes that the common art artists could relate to.

Everyone felt that this trip to Waltham was well worth the distance.

"It was breathtakingly inspiring," said one artist to another. "Indeed. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" came the reply.

Thank you to the museum's Deputy Director, Kristin Parker, for hosting us and for covering our transportation costs; to Kevork for sharing his time and his many gifts with us; and to the Rose Museum for its sponsorship of this wonderful exhibit.

~Artist-In-Residence Heidi Lee
We are proud to share our Annual Report for 2016. 
This good news is possible because of the hard work of our staff and volunteers -- and so much support from YOU!
Brother Paul keeps the kitchen well organized for common art and BostonWarm
...whenever it's time to give a gift of generosity. Go to our website ( www.commoncathedral.org),click on the link to our Amazon Wish List, and order away!
Don't forget to use our AmazonSmile account, which will return to us a 
percentage of your purchase!
And - if you'd like us to send an acknowledgment of your gift, just email us at info@commoncathedral.org and we will get right back to you!
12~ Althea
13~ Dave Blake
14~ Kenneth F.
14~ Dee Dee
16~ Jim Woodworth
18~ Lily Taylor
19~ Michelle Ashley
23~ James Collins
24~ Sue Hart
25~ Jeffrey Powers
25~ Ken Schmidt
25~ Sarah Rossiter
26~ Diamond O'Connell
27~ Darius Lee Ford - Stimpson
28~ Sally Fisher
10/ 1 ~ Martin Corr's Mother (2012)
10/13~ Johnny Walker (2008)
10/14~ Harry Castro (2008)
10/16~ Rev. Brian Murdoch (2016)
10/19~ Gary Huber (2007)
10/23~ Daniel McCarthy (2015)
...and we pray for those who mourn
15 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116