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Our Vision & Calling

At a Congregational Meeting in November 2016, First Church unanimously approved the following vision statement:

First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, United Church of Christ

Grounded in God,
our hope and our healing
Growing in community,
with Jesus our center
Acting in love,
made bold by the Spirit
Here is an expanded version, a work in progress, a living expression of who we are in and who we are called to be.

First Church is called to be a community of grounding, of grace, and of courage for the common good…
Grounded in God, our hope and our healing
in God whom we know and experience
who draws us to wonder and awe, beauty and love
in the God who is within and between us
in the God of nature’s grandeur and creation’s splendor
in the God of all our ancestors
whom we know from generation to generation
Growing in community with Jesus our center
in community where we honor and welcome each other’s gifts, joys, and sorrows
where we are vulnerable about our weakness and failures
where we hold each other accountable and call each other beloved
where we are challenged to love ourselves and one another across differences
where we seek to follow Jesus’ way of compassion and mercy
Acting in love, made bold by the Spirit
acting together with people of all faiths and conscience
holding fast to the promise of a shared future
responding together with urgency for our beautiful yet broken world
acting as a community of love and resistance to racism, oppression, and violence
acting boldly with the Spirit as our courage and solace

2016 was our 380th Anniversary Year. Our theme was “380 Years – On the Way,” a reference to our current vision and also to the fact that the first Christians were often referred to as “the people of the Way” – the Way of Jesus.   First Church is constantly transforming itself, sustaining its relevance to our rapidly changing world. And yet there are hallmarks of our tradition that anchor our faith and ground our spirits in relationship with the divine that is within and all around us.  First Church’s previous vision -- The Way of Hospitality, God’s Vision for Us – continues to inspire, enrich, stretch and challenge us as a community.

God’s Vision for Us – The Way of Hospitality (2003)

Open Door: Welcome
Imagine a church that is glad you're here no matter where you come from, what you look like, how old or young you are, how much money you have, where you are on the journey of life, or where you are on the journey of faith. Imagine a church that loves its heritage, yet flexibly entertains new people, new ideas and new ways too. Imagine a church that is amazed by the wonderful gifts God gave you for service, wants to receive them and is eager to help you use them for the good of the world. Imagine a church that helps all who enter its life take one more step, or many more, on the Way of Life. Imagine a church with a wide open door, imagine a church of life-changing welcome, a church of unity in our differences, a church shaped in the pattern of God's boundless embrace: Imagine First Church in Cambridge!

Open Spirits: Spiritual Growth
Imagine a church that is as welcoming of God as God is of us, a church discontented with the status quo in its Christian life, a church that studies, prays, practices and praises with receptive hunger, deeper every day. Imagine a church that wants to know about God and to experience God, a church unafraid of diving deep and finding joy. Imagine a church that creatively accompanies and supports its children, youth and adults on the Way of Christ. Imagine a church that respectfully invites others to share its joy, know its Source and enter the circle of love. Imagine a church of open spirits, a church that is friends with God, a church of praise, practice, self-gift and proclamation: Imagine First Church in Cambridge!

Open Road: Mission
Imagine a church that cannot stay put, but takes God's welcome into the world. Imagine a church in conversation with other lives, other cultures, able to invite and be invited, to sit at other people's tables, to learn and share the inestimable riches of God, to build relationships outside its walls. Imagine a church where the hands, hearts and feet of every member, young and old, are shaped for service, and a church that does not lack imagination about ways to use them. Imagine a church compelled by the Spirit to travel with Jesus, healing, reconciling and doing justice, a church filled with the daring and delight of the children of God. Imagine a church on the open road, agile and able, willing to follow Jesus into life's margins, a church that gives itself away and asks nothing in return, a church mobilized for mission: Imagine First Church in Cambridge!

Open Table: Covenant and Communion
Imagine a church that really knows how to be together: a church where strangers are guests, guests are friends, friends are family. Imagine a church where you don't have to struggle for a place at the table because there are no barriers to belonging. Imagine a church where people want to know each other, feed each other, journey together, know and share each other's pain and joy, give each other the best they have. Imagine a church with no turf, no territory, no mine and yours, where people are partners in mission, committed collaborators in the one ministry of Christ, all rowing the same boat of hope. Imagine a church with an open table, a place of meeting and feasting, a church of generosity, mutual care and commitment, a church structured for companionship and cooperation: Imagine First Church in Cambridge!

Walk with Us

If you are excited by the vision and/or if you have ideas for a new vision of where God may be leading us next, we invite you to explore them with us. Join us as we learn together what it means to walk together on the Way. We welcome your ideas, your insights, your participation and your presence.

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