Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities Changes Name to Embrace UCC, Becomes Independent UCC Congregation
BEDFORD, TEXAS, OCT. 18, 2015 – Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities – a parish church formed by Cathedral of Hope in Dallas in 2010 – today announced it has become an independent congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC) and has changed its name to Embrace United Church of Christ.
The move comes following approval from the North Texas Association of the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ.
“We are incredibly grateful to Cathedral of Hope for planting this vibrant, progressive Christian community in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford area five years ago,” said Rev. Ken Ehrke, pastor of Embrace UCC. “As we look forward to this next chapter, we ‘re excited about becoming an independent UCC congregation – one that is focused on embracing hope, community and faith – and showing North Texas what it means to be progressive Christians.”
According to Rev. Ehrke, Embrace UCC strives to be a different kind of church – one that is relentlessly compassionate; one that is radically inclusive of all people regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, religious background, or theological perspective; and one that seeks justice for the marginalized and advocates for peace. The church’s ministries focus on community outreach, social justice issues, spiritual education for all ages, social connections and worship.
Embrace UCC, which meets at the Old Bedford School (2400 School Lane) in Bedford, Texas, draws people from the Hurst-Euless-Bedford area as well as from Arlington, Colleyville, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Haltom City, Keller, North Richland Hills, Southlake and Watauga. Its weekly worship service is held at 10 a.m. on Sundays, followed by adult education and children’s Sunday school at 11:30 a.m.
About Embrace United Church of Christ
Embrace United Church of Christ is a diverse, inclusive and family-friendly community of faith located in the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. A congregation of the United Church of Christ, Embrace UCC embraces and encourages all people on their own spiritual journey and to follow Jesus’ example of extravagant grace, radical inclusion and relentless compassion. Its vision is to be a vibrant, progressive Christian community that celebrates the uniqueness of God’s creation and provides opportunities for all people to grow in wholeness through God’s grace. The congregation of Embrace UCC worships every Sunday at 10 a.m. at Old Bedford School located at 2400 School Lane in Bedford, Texas. For more information, visit www.embraceucc.com.
Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities (Now Embrace UCC) Delivers Christmas Gifts to the AIDS Outreach Center in Fort Worth
BEDFORD, TEXAS, DEC. 14, 2014 – As part of its community outreach ministry, Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities – a vibrant, progressive Christian community of faith located in the heart of Dallas/Fort Worth – collected and donated more than $500 in retail and restaurant gift cards, along with more than 50 individual gifts, for teenagers whose families are living with HIV.
Rev. Ken Ehrke presented the gifts collected by Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities to the AIDS Outreach Center (AOC) in Fort Worth on Monday, Dec. 15.
AOC is the leading organization in Tarrant County and seven surrounding rural counties serving men, women and children with HIV and their families, educating the public about HIV prevention and advocating for sound HIV public policy. The organization provides support services to more than 1,600 individuals and their families across all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, and sexual identities.
“At CoH Mid-Cities, we believe in making a difference in our wider community, and we strive to provide opportunities for our congregation to work in volunteer service for our partner organizations, including the AIDS Outreach Center,” said Rev. Ehrke. “This is where we demonstrate our core values to the world.”
Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities (Now Embrace UCC) Welcomes New Pastor
Rev. Ken Ehrke, Arlington Resident and Former Senior Pastor at Fort Worth’s Agape Metropolitan Community Church, to Lead Growing, Progressive Christian Community in Bedford
BEDFORD, TEXAS, MARCH 31, 2014 – Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities – a vibrant, progressive Christian community of faith located in the heart of Dallas/Fort Worth – today announced that it has named Rev. Ken Ehrke as its new pastor. Ehrke’s first Sunday service will be April 6, 2014.
“After an extensive, year-long search, we are thrilled to welcome Ken Ehrke as our new pastor,” said Kristin Robertson, moderator of the leadership advisory team at Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities. “Rev. Ken’s depth and breadth of ministerial experience, his passion for social justice, his creative energy and sense of humor are a perfect fit for our growing congregation that strives to be people of compassion, inclusion, liberation and hope.”
Ehrke comes to Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities with a wide range of ministry experience, having served in a number of pastor, hospital chaplain/counselor, and social service case manager/educator roles over the past 28 years. He was the senior pastor of Agape Metropolitan Community Church in Fort Worth from 2001 to 2008 and was senior pastor of the Open Door Metropolitan Community Church in Boyds, Md., from 1991 to 2000.
Prior to joining Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities, Ehrke served as a case manager at Fort Worth’s The Parenting Center, where he helped the homeless, immigrants, refugees, and people struggling with mental illness and addiction build and maintain healthy and successful families through the prevention of child abuse and the promotion of positive parenting skills.
“As I considered my next pastoral position, I was drawn to Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities’ unique community and all of its diversity. No matter what your age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, religious background, or theological perspective, this congregation truly welcomes and celebrates all people,” said Ehrke. “I’m excited to lead this dynamic community and encourage them on their own personal, spiritual journeys.”
In addition to his ministerial experience, Ehrke has served on the board of directors for a number of community organizations, including AIDS Interfaith Network in Dallas, AIDS Outreach Center in Fort Worth, and the Whitman-Walker community health center serving the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
Originally from Nebraska, Ehrke received a Master of Divinity degree from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky, and a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.