2018 Focus: Racial Justice and Remembrance

As part of his sabbatical in the winter and spring of 2018, Rev. Dan Smith received a $15,000 grant from the Louisville Institute. The project, entitled “Remembrance and Reparation at First Church,” dovetails with the ongoing work of the congregation to examine its history of complicity with slavery and to explore the work that others have done to face their histories of racial terror and to repair the destruction left behind.

Senior Pastor Dan Smith's presentations on his learning from his Spring, 2018 sabbatical: Remembrance and Reparation at First Church. 

Part I powerpoint Sabbatical Reflections. from September 16th presentation: FCC 091618 Sabbatical Presentation.pdf

Part 2 powerpoint Remembering Slavery's Living Legacy, from September 23rd presentation: FCC and Slavery 092318 Presentation.pdf

Starting in December 2018, First Church began hosting round table discussions about "Stories Impossible to Tell."  These narratives about enslaved persons were written by James Ramsey, MInisterial Intern at First Church during the Summer of 2018 in consultation with Senior Minister, Rev. Dan Smith.  Click below for links to these narratives:

If you would like to be part of a small group discussing these "Stories Impossible to Tell,"  please contact Dan Smith:  dsmith@firstchurchcambridge.com

Owning our First Church History of  Enslaved Persons

Read "Owning Our History: First Church and Race 1636-1873", a report on research into First Church's complicity with Northern slavery and subsequent silence on abolition in the years before the Civil War.           

Congregation’s statement from 2018 Annual Meeting about race and remembrance

The congregation voted unanimously for First Church to “explore a project of public remembrance related to our history of complicity with Northern slavery.”

As we move forward with this public remembrance project, we will continue to ground our conversation in Scripture and theology, seeking God’s grace.  We hope to name this history boldly and speak frankly about issues of injustice, harm, and even the work of repair.  We have been opening discussions with Isaiah 58.

Learning Opportunies

Additionally, First Church is continuing to engage with the other learning opportunities. 

To address institutional racism, please call your state representative and Senator, and ask for abolishment of mandatory minimums in sentencing. Ask them to contact the Joint Committee dealing with this legislation. For more background on this...