Organ pipes in the Sanctuary of First Church in Cambridge. A wrought iron chandelier hangs in the foreground.

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view of sanctuary from Narthex

A Congregational Survey on Reopening in the Fall

May 4, 2021

Thank you to everyone who completed our congregational survey! Over 90 people provided their input and feedback, and church staff and leaders are working through a time of processing and planning for our new ways of being together. Stay tuned for new in-person opportunities for fellowship and worship coming soon. 


As we joyfully look ahead to reopening, we are wondering and imagining how to welcome everyone safely back to the sanctuary (and maybe the balcony, too!). Our current thinking is that we will re-open to all on Regathering Sunday, September 12, 2021, with opportunities for smaller group gatherings over the summer. By that time, everyone who is eligible should have the opportunity to receive a vaccine.

To help in our preparation, we are reaching out to hear how the congregation feels about returning to in-person gatherings. As you consider your responses to this brief survey, please know that whatever we choose to do will be in full compliance with CDC, state, and local Cambridge guidelines (often more stringent than the state), including case count based phasing, occupancy limits, masking, and social-distancing. Also, know that our Sunday Morning Worship services will continue to be livestreamed after we reopen.

Out of concern and love for each other and because of our belief in science, vaccination is strongly encouraged, but will not be required to attend in-person gatherings. Data shows that our region has one of the lowest hesitancy rates in the country. We anticipate that the vast majority of people returning to First Church events will be vaccinated by this summer, with the exception of children under 12.

This will be an iterative process. We will be in touch again, as our process and plans unfold, with a clearer picture of what you can expect. For now, we thank you for your time and prayerful consideration as you complete the survey.

You can find the survey HERE. It should take you about 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

The deadline for survey completion is next Tuesday, May 11. 

Yours in faith,
First Church Staff, Executive Council, and Deacons