Since 1990, Starlight Ministries has equipped individuals to build life-changing relationships with people affected by homelessness. Starlight trains individuals and groups in classroom settings as well as hands-on ministry venues. These opportunities provide the Church and those struggling with homelessness with effective tools for building communities where all can experience personal transformation through Jesus Christ.
Jesus desires us to put our faith into action! The biblical mandate is clear:
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
- Matthew 25:34-40.
Starlight believes that the main cause of homelessness is the lack or loss of support systems. Folks struggling with homelessness may have lost one or more of the following: permanent housing, spouse or family members, job/ income, health, or friends. Over time, without these support systems, those on the streets lose their hope.
The Body of Christ can meet the need for support systems and hope. Starlight also believes that the Church is called to be a safe haven for those who are on the fringes of society. The Church can be transformed by becoming the generous and welcoming community that God commands.
Starlight empowers the Church to effectively embrace those struggling with homelessness in three main ways:
Starlight offers trainings throughout the year, which help participants to break through stereotypes and fears and to learn practical skills.
Training topics include:
• Causes and Issues Pertaining to Homelessness
• Effective Engagement Principles and Practices
Starlight offers a variety of programs for training churches in effective outreach. We highly encourage the participants of our classroom trainings to put their knowledge and faith into action through experiential training. Starlight welcomes Christians to come to one of our hands-on venues and to envision ministry opportunities within their own congregations.
We offer the following ministry venues:
• Bible Study and Lunch
• Boston Common Outreach
• Opportunity Resource Center
• Breaking Bread
Starlight finds pure joy in teaching others to serve! We are willing to mentor groups that would like to start an outreach which fits their skill sets and the needs of their local community.
With over 20 years of experience in direct services, we offer outreach coaching in the following areas:
• case management
• relationship building through haircuts
• clothing distribution
• visitations (hospitals, single room occupancies)
• facilities outreach (shelters, agencies)
• conflict management
• self-care and boundaries
• conversation 101
Cynthia is leading Starlight Ministries in its mission to build the capacity of Boston’s churches and leaders to create life-changing relationships with people affected by homelessness. She has a degree in mental health from Tufts University, a Master of Public Health from Yale, and a Master of Divinity from Harvard.
From 2002 to 2008, Cynthia traveled to South Sudan with “My Sister’s Keeper,” where she participated in the redemption of more than 1,200 slaves. She is a licensed and ordained minister and serves on the ministry team of Morning Star Baptist Church in the Mattapan neighborhood of Boston.
Cynthia Hymes Bell, MPH, M.Div., Director of Starlight Ministries