First Church Statement of Openness and Affirmation

WHEREAS, In Christ Jesus we are all children of God, through faith. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female; for we are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26, 28); and

WHEREAS, we believe that our value as human beings is given to us by God, and that God calls us to relate to each other as whole persons, with love, responsibility, accountability, trust, and mutual nurture; and to work for justice and wholeness in the world; and

WHEREAS, we recognize that our individual and collective fears or prejudices about other people are dispelled by the grace of God and the commandment to love our neighbors; and

WHEREAS, our Covenant Testimony calls us to foster community across every barrier and division;


1 We declare that First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, U.C.C. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an open and affirming congregation which does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, race, gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, economic class, marital status, or physical/psychological differences; that we welcome all who would participate with us in Christ’s mission; and

2 We commit ourselves to the struggle against homophobia, racism, and all individual and systemic attitudes and acts of injustice, discrimination, violence, and hatred that work against peace and wholeness.

Let There Be Life in This House©

(From the First Church hymnal, words by Kate Layzer, music by Peter Sykes; in celebration of the 10th anniversary of First Church’s declaring itself an Open & Affirming congregation)

Let there be life in this house,

poured from the riches of God!

Treasure in so many vessels of clay,

given for sharing, not hiding away:

Let there be life in this house!


Let there be life in this house,

tender and truthful and real,

life of belonging, respected and free,

honored for all God declares us to be:

Let there be life in this house!


Let there be life in this house,

life of the Spirit and fire:

sisters and brothers, new-born from above,

daring to love because we have been loved:

Let there be life in this house!


Let there be life in this house,

life of the Body divine:

kindly and passionate, earthy and odd,

we are the church, beloved of God:

Let there be life in this house!