Gender Justice

OCBC upholds practices of gender equity in all aspects of church life and has a lengthy history of engaging in the larger work of gender justice in the church and in the wider world.

In the early 1970s, a group of women who named themselves Sojourners began to meet in the church’s tower room. At a time when the feminist movement was challenging ideas of male leadership and gender based assumptions, this group focused on a radical re-imaging of God and the church. Together, they read feminist theologians and shared life stories. Out of this study and sharing, both individual lives and the life of OCBC were transformed. As theology expanded to imagine a God in whose image all persons were created, new possibilities were unleashed. The language of worship itself was transformed to make it more inclusive of a female and/or gender-neutral deity.

Through liturgical dance and theater, 1974’s “Witch, Virgin, Whore: Breaking the Spell” worship service challenged the congregation to see the oppressive limitations of stereotypical roles for women, and to envision transformation. This re-imagining was not just for women; it would also free men to benefit from realizing the limits of their former roles. “Witch, Virgin, Whore” was performed in other churches and seminaries, and became influential in advancing the movement toward gender equality in the Boston area.

In 1975, at the urging of the Sojourners, OCBC called its first woman pastor, The Rev. Linda Brebner. Several other women from the Sojourners group were inspired to enter professional ministry and became part of the feminist movement in the larger church and beyond. 


As gender equality in the church and the language of worship were implemented, OCBC also grew in our understanding of the importance of welcoming and affirming sexual minorities. The women’s and lesbian liberation movements overlapped in many ways, and a number of women in the church were coming out as lesbians. By their very presence they questioned traditional practices and interpretations of God and of scripture. The feminist movement at OCBC thus opened the door to the process of becoming a congregation welcoming and affirming of LGBTQ people, and to a deeper commitment to justice and inclusion across a broad range of human difference that we continue to explore today.

Climate Justice

Our congregation has affirmed care for the environment as part of our stewardship of Creation since the 1970s, when members first participated in Earth Day celebrations. As climate change has grown to threaten all life, especially the lives of the poor, the marginalized, and communities of color, we have increasingly turned prayer and action toward Climate Justice. As a people who believe that all creation is sacred and interconnected, we are called to prophetic speech and action to stop the destruction of our life-sustaining ecosystem for profit. We are equally called to be agents of healing and compassion in a world where climate catastrophes already stoke conflicts, mass migrations of refugees, and competition for dwindling resources.  Some of the ways we engage in this mission are through:

Prayer and worship

Including ongoing prayers for climate justice, and hosting a climate-focused service to open Harvard Heat Week 2015 with guest preacher Tim DeChristopher

Educating ourselves

  • We host a Climate Justice book group, as well as periodic Adult Forums after worship serices to equip us spiritually and practically for action.
  • Groups of OCBC members have attended films together, such as Merchants of Doubt and This Changes Everything

Reducing our carbon footprints

Activism on behalf of Climate Justice

  • We are exploring possibilities for congregational divestment from fossil fuel companies.  Meanwhile, many of us are divesting our personal savings and participating in the divestment movement (as students and alumni of educational institutions, as members of Baptist organizations, and as contributors to pension funds).

  • Members are also working with

    • American Baptist Creation Care Ministry at regional and national levels
      Massachusetts Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action, through which we demonstrate and lobby with other people of faith for a clean energy future in Massachusetts
    • Better Future Project/350MA, including activism action against new fossil fuel infrastructure, and for fossil fuel divestment and clean energy

American Baptist Policy Statements and Resolution on the environment:

The Music Ministry at Old Cambridge Baptist Church

Music is a vital part of the worship experience at OCBC. We believe that fostering creativity through the arts can be a marvelous way for our spirit to bear witness to the presence of God's Holy Spirit. Through music, we praise our Creator as we willingly give of our best gifts and talents.

The Choir of Old Cambridge Baptist Church sings very often throughout the year, with a repertoire ranging from traditional to classical, from Gospel to folk, from contemporary to spirituals. We have several special services in the calendar year that include guest instrumentalists as well as featured soloists and, sometimes, original compositions. We are blessed with a considerable amount of musical skill and experience within our congregation, and we strive to encourage active musical participation in each and every worship service.

The choir rehearses at 9:00 AM on the Sunday morning on which they sing.  If you have questions or interest in participating in the music ministry, please contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..