We live in a pluralistic age our forebears could not foresee. First Church is constantly learning from and working with people of others faiths and people of no faith to make the world a more caring, more understanding, more just place!
Explore our Interfaith Partnerships
Since 2006, First Church has been a member and leading congregation in the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), a broad-based, non-partisan, interfaith, multiracial power organization rooted in Greater Boston’s neighborhoods and congregations. Made up of 62 dues-paying member institutions representing more than 50,000 people, GBIO is dedicated to making our city a better place for all of us to live and thrive. We share GBIO’s mission which is “to build power by developing local leaders so we can act together on issues that matter to our communities.” For more than 20 years, GBIO has worked to improve housing and healthcare, reform our criminal justice system, address racial disparities in our city, and rebuild schools and neighborhoods, among other issues.
At our annual meeting in January 2017, First Church in Cambridge voted to join a coalition of local congregations and organizations committed to walking the journey with undocumented people seeking sanctuary in the face of unjust laws, resisting an immigration system that is designed to exploit and marginalize immigrant communities, rendering them disposable. For five years since, united in moral conviction and grounded in our diverse communities of faith and conscience, CISC walked with a sanctuary guest, their family, and other valued members of our communities who were placed in danger because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or immigration status.
About two dozen First Church members were active CISC volunteers during this time. They were trained to accompany and support our guests in sanctuary, following the lead of immigrants who personally experience our nation’s unjust systems, including the threat of deportation. In March of 2022, the group marked a culmination of this powerful collaboration and celebrated the good news that our guests have now transitioned to safe and permanent housing. CISC is now in a period of discernment about next steps for this remarkable collective journey.
October 2022 Update
CISC is taking a pause to evaluate what could be next for the organization, but we are delighted to share an opportunity to continue financially supporting our former sanctuary guests. A few months ago, CISC went through the meticulous process of evaluating how to best support Diana in this new time in her family’s life. You can support her directly by donating to her GoFundMe page, a safe and secure way for Diana to receive funds from this community. All of the money goes directly to her, allowing Diana to have independence and control over any donated funds.
Founded in 1966, Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries(CMM) is the Boston area’s oldest interfaith social justice network, with a mission of mobilizing congregations and communities across economic, religious, racial and ethnic lines to build partnerships that work for a just society. Among CMM’s many learning and opportunities and projects, one in particular that First Church has embraced is Clergy and Laity for Affordable Housing(CLAH). Through CLAH, First Church and CMM are creating Black wealth equity through home rehabilitation. CMM has taken applications to rehab homes in Dorchester and adjacent areas. Using volunteers from faith communities, universities, and leadership programs, we have successfully completed work on dozens of homes. Working primarily on weekends and holidays, volunteers help to clean out, repair, and paint homes. Anyone who is physically capable of helping is welcome.
What about the COVID-19 threat? We are strictly social-distancing, doing only outside work, and taking all precautions. When conditions change, we will resume inside work.