Building the Beloved Community* has been a growing effort at First Church since 2008. A timeline of key learning events, book and film discussions, speakers, and activities are listed here.
In addition to these specific events, a large part of this effort has included regular, often in-depth discussions by church leaders and committees as well as formal and informal efforts that are not easily listed in a clear chronology. Consideration of the style and breadth of our various worship offerings (including Jazz services and Night Song) and intentional efforts towards increasing diversity of our lay leadership and staff, have resulted in these once ‘sacred conversations’ shared between a gathered few taking on a more “center stage” role throughout the church, including the Executive Council and Deacons meetings.
In addition, BBC team members have been proactive in promoting discussions and brainstorming sessions in small group settings, countless individual meetings and conversations, and by working with people from other faiths and cultures in the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, Cambridge Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition, Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, and Mass Coalition Against Gun Violence. No longer a sidebar or an isolated interest of a small group, First Church as a whole has come to “own” the value of this effort even as we recognize we still and will always have more work to do in manifesting God’s beloved community.