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

Latest News

A Survey on Feeling Connected and Sunday Schedule Preferences

July 18, 2022

As we approach a new program year, we are seeking your input into our plans for how we envision our various opportunities for ministry, formation, fellowship, and connection at First Church.

This survey is designed to help us understand how you are connecting and what ideas you may have for the coming year.

Complete Survey Now

Please take 5-10 minutes and complete this survey by Tuesday, August 2.

Connection to first church

Here’s what we know from the data gathered over the 2021-22 program year:

  • Our attendance has been up since pre-Covid times! From January to June of 2022, we’ve been averaging roughly 600 unique livestream views per month (about 125 people per Sunday), along with roughly 70 in-person attendees each Sunday. That’s almost 200 people in worship each week.
  • About 25 children and youth have regularly joined our in-person Church School classes/ workshops, in-person OWL classes, and in-person Youth Group sessions.
  • Throughout the program year, at least 30 people participated weekly in our various small group offerings via Zoom. During Faith & Life group seasons, there were more than 50 members and friends joining weekly small groups online.

We celebrate these signs of life and vitality! And, we still have many questions:

  • Just who is tuning into worship online? We know the numbers but we don’t know the names!
  • Where are young families? Why hasn’t in-person Church School attendance returned to pre-pandemic levels?
  • How connected are people feeling?
  • What are the most important challenges and opportunities of living into our hybrid, or “mixed presence,” church community for the long term?

Complete the Survey by august 2

proposed sunday schedule

Covid has changed how we do things on Sundays; our usual Sunday schedule has been in limbo since the beginning of the pandemic.

A few examples of the changes:

  • We are recognizing the need for more spaciousness on Sundays to allow us time to connect with one another and with God.
  • We are wondering about not returning to our pre-pandemic “hyper-programmed” Sunday schedule with activities from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and later, most every Sunday.
  • We now have a weekly pre-worship “tech run-through” in the sanctuary to ensure that sound levels, slides, pre-recorded bits, and camera angles are programmed correctly. This has required a shift in the Choir rehearsal schedule and location.
  • We have shifted from our traditional 10:00 a.m. Adult Formation offerings to occasional Hybrid Adult Formation at 9:30 a.m., allowing the Choir to join before rehearsal and for travel time for those joining from home.

Below is a proposal for a New Revised Sunday Schedule we are considering for the coming year:

9:30 a.m.      Hybrid Adult Formation*,  2 Sundays/month
10:15 a.m.   Choir Rehearsal OR Coffee/Conversation in Hastings Common
11:00 a.m.   Hybrid Morning Worship
11:20 a.m.   In-Person Church School: classes or all-ages workshop
12:15 p.m.   Zoom Coffee Hour & In-Person Coffee Hour
12:15 p.m.   All-Church Luncheon, 1 Sunday/month (e.g. Regathering,  Annual Mtg)
OR     All-Church Hybrid Program in Harter Room, 1 Sunday/month**
OR     Affinity Group meetings (Young Adults, Bell Choir, Newcomers, etc.)
1:30 p.m.     Youth Programs (OWL, Confirmation & Youth Group)

*    in Harter Room and via Zoom
** the 12:15 Hybrid programming would happen on a Sunday when there is no 9:30 Formation

Complete the Survey by august 2

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on our life together!