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Our Mission

A community life centered on the Eucharist.
Equal hospitality to all guests.
An altar where the broken become the Body of Christ.

Church Beyond the Walls (CBW) is a street-­church community called to build solidarity among people from all walks of life –housed and unhoused, poor and privileged, churched and unchurched. We are a specialized mission of the Episcopal Diocese of RI in partnership with the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

With its roots in the Occupy movement, CBW has been, from its start, not a charity but a worshiping community. Our diversity encourages us to foster a culture of equality that transcends social differences. Early monastics described their communities as “schools of love.” For 1.5 hours a week we are such a school in downtown Providence, from which transformed individuals leaven other communities.  Learn more…



Worship begins at 2 p.m. every Saturday
at Burnside Park in Providence.


Church Beyond the Walls’ worship services are held outdoors in all seasons and all weather. In taking the church outdoors we reflect the love of a God who reaches out to us through Christ and meets us exactly where we’re at.


Church Beyond the Walls is a community that gathers around the Eucharist. The altar is where we bring our brokenness and become the Body of Christ. All who wish to know and love Christ are welcome to receive.


No matter your age, ethnicity, native language, orientation, socioeconomic status, or country of origin, you are welcome here.


First time visiting Church Beyond the Walls?

For Visitors



Whoever you are and wherever you are on life's journey:
you are welcome here!

We worship outside at Burnside Park every Saturday – no matter the weather. If it rains, we wear rain gear and have umbrellas. If it snows, we dress warmly, use hand and foot warmers and huddle together. If it’s sunny and 75°, we rejoice!

Our priests are Episcopalian and Lutheran but we strive to be an ecumenical church. We invite all to God’s table and all are welcome to receive.

Our services always include a time to hear and reflect on scripture, a time of prayer, and Holy Communion. We use grape juice in place of wine during Communion so that we may stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in recovery.

Our worship includes music. We are led by our music minister and our instruments include shruti box, djembe, and ocarina.

You may be invited to help with different parts of our service. We usually recruit ministers from within the congregation to usher, serve as eucharistic ministers, and lead prayers or other readings.

A unique aspect of our worship is that the Gospel is proclaimed by our whole community. After the day’s scripture has been read, the priest or worship leader will lead us in a time of reflection where you can share your thoughts and perspectives as you feel led.

The money collected during the offering is used for a discretionary fund for our Missioner and Deacon to help member’s of our community.

All who wish to know and love Christ are welcome to receive communion:

This is Christ’s table. Come, you who feel weak, and unworthy, you who come often, and you who have stayed away. Come, you who love Jesus, and you who wish you could. Come sinners and saints, women and men, gay and straight. Come you who are sober and you who aren’t. Come you who are homeless and you who have a place to rest your heads. Come you who are citizens of this land and you who are not. Here you are citizens of the Kingdom of God. Now join God’s people at this feast prepared for you from the beginning of the world.

Come just as you are! However, because we worship outdoors, you’ll want to dress for the weather.


Contact Us!


Fun Facts


Attendance on the worst winter days 


Socks distributed every year


Beverages served every Saturday 


Sandwiches served every year 



Pastor Linda Forsberg

Pastor Linda Forsberg

Missioner View Details
Rev. Ricky Brightman

Rev. Ricky Brightman

Deacon View Details
Jim Bryant

Jim Bryant

Hospitality Coordinator View Details
Rev. John Higginbotham

Rev. John Higginbotham

Celebrant View Details
Rev. Michael Pearson

Rev. Michael Pearson

Celebrant View Details
Rev. Anita Schell

Rev. Anita Schell

Celebrant View Details
Pastor Andrew Simon

Pastor Andrew Simon

Celebrant View Details
Maia Grandy

Maia Grandy

Music Minister View Details
Pastor Linda Forsberg

Pastor Linda Forsberg


The Rev. Linda Forsberg celebrates the Eucharist at Church Beyond the Walls usually on the third Saturday of each month. She is the pastor at First Lutheran Church of East Greenwich, and the Dean of the RI Lutheran Clergy. She teaches world religions part time at Salve Regina University in Newport, and lives in Newport with her husband, Ted. “What I love about Church Beyond the Walls is that all people are truly welcome. For me CBW gives us a glimpse of what the reign of God – the kingdom of heaven – is like. We are one body in Christ in the sacramental meal, but also see Christ’s face in one another as we share our meal of sandwiches, soup, coffee, and our stories and conversation afterwards.” “For fun I love to travel and explore the great outdoors with my husband, and play with my grandchildren!”

Rev. Ricky Brightman

Rev. Ricky Brightman


The Rev. Dcn. Ricky Brightman is the Deacon at Church Beyond the Walls. She is with us most Saturdays to help lead the congregation in proclaiming the Gospel. Deacon Ricky shares “At Church Beyond the Walls I love being in community with people ignored by the system. I love being together, sharing, learning about each other, and empowering all individuals in our community.” “In my personal life – I love traveling. I’m particularly drawn to the land and people of the American southwest – that is where my soul lives.”

Jim Bryant

Jim Bryant

Hospitality Coordinator

Jim Bryant is the Hospitality Coordinator and founding member at Church Beyond the Walls. Jim shares ” I am retired with three California grandkids and divide much of my free time between FaceTime sessions and plane changes in Minneapolis. ” “I have always placed high value on Christian Service and see the growth of CBW’s downtown congregation as a unique opportunity to facilitate the Service of many who have thirsted for the opportunity.”

Rev. John Higginbotham

Rev. John Higginbotham


The Rev. John Higginbotham is the rector of Holy Trinity Church, Tiverton. He worked in his family’s business for almost 25 years, prior to becoming a priest in the Episcopal Church in 2011. He is Church Beyond the Walls ‘5th Saturday of the month’ celebrant and substitute presider when the need arises. Fr. John and Holy Trinity Church proudly help to support the mission of Church Beyond the Walls as part of our outreach to the people Jesus loved the most. Whether it is providing peanut butter and jelly or tuna fish and mayonnaise or celebrating the Eucharist, Fr. John feels the presence of Jesus in this church in a very special way. He enjoys visiting with his daughter Amy and grandson Mitchell every Tuesday afternoon in Westerly. They are regular walkers in Wilcox Park and devoted patrons of Mel’s Creamery.

Rev. Michael Pearson

Rev. Michael Pearson


The Rev. Michael Pearson celebrates the Eucharist at Church Beyond the Walls on the second Saturday of each month.

Rev. Anita Schell

Rev. Anita Schell


The Rev. Anita Schell celebrates the Eucharist at Church Beyond the Walls on the first Saturday of each month. Mother Anita is the Rector of Emmanuel Church, Newport and President of RI Interfaith Power & Light. She is passionate about addressing climate change, particularly as it affects first and worst those living in poverty in our communities. She is the mother of 2 grown children, Theo and Rachel, grandmother to Crosby, all who live in New Orleans; she and her husband Steve MacAusland live in Portsmouth. Mother Anita shares “”I imagine that CBW is more like the church that Jesus knew than anything I have ever before it experienced – outdoors, radically welcoming, joyfully spontaneous, wonderfully unpredictable and never the same – Join us!”

Pastor Andrew Simon

Pastor Andrew Simon


The Rev. Andrew Simon celebrates the Eucharist at Church Beyond the Walls on the fourth Saturday of each month. He is the pastor of St. James Lutheran Church in Barrington, RI. Pastor Andrew shares ͞I love Church Beyond the Walls because, to me, it embodies the kind of community that Jesus envisioned-a supportive group of people who welcome everyone and celebrate God’s love for all people together. I truly feel the presence of God at CBW and am always nourished spiritually when I am there.͟͞ In my free time, I love spending time with my family, enjoying the outdoors, and especially fishing!͟”

Maia Grandy

Maia Grandy

Music Minister

CBW’s Music Minister is Maia Grandy. Maia, who is eighteen, was introduced to us by Pastor Linda. Maia leads our worship with her beautiful voice and the Djembe (or in inclement weather a large water bottle!). Maia is the musical leader of a worship service at her indoor church – First Lutheran Church, East Greenwich. Maia plays guitar, writes and performs music with her band, Seventh Constellation, and enjoys acting in plays and musicals. Maia shares, “The loving community of Church Beyond the Walls has become an important part of my life, never failing to brighten my day with God’s love while also teaching me to love and empathize more fully.”



You and your church can participate in Church Beyond the Walls'
ministry for a day or even a whole year!


CBW’s Day of Service and Reflection is a half­-day experience for individuals and small parish groups from around the state who seek opportunities to serve and learn. After a brief orientation, participants prepare sandwiches, attend worship, and eat lunch with the community. The day concludes with a guided theological reflection. In what ways is Christ calling you beyond the walls?


Journey Beyond the Walls is a formal program that invites parishes to journey alongside CBW for a program year, using that relationship as a foundation for parish activities and formation. This will provide a way for parishes to have a deeper experience of Church Beyond the Walls and to build relationships with CBW members. This relational model of mutual service is a core value for CBW. “Service with, not Service to” is our philosophy. During the year, partner parishes will stretch to see how they are called beyond their walls in their own communities.

Want to learn more about these opportunities?

Contact Us


Ministry Partners

Church Beyond the Walls would like to thank the following organizations for their support of our mission and ministry.



Read Church Beyond the Walls' latest
reflections, news, and updates on our blog.

  • Church Beyond the Walls Calls a New Missioner
  • Reflections on Street Church
  • Trauma and Resilience Program
  • Lenten Reflection - Stones



For Worship
Burnside Park
2pm on Saturdays

For Hospitality
271 N. Main Street
12pm on Saturdays


275 N. Main Street
Providence, RI 02903




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