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

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First Church’s GBIO Campaign Update

June 4, 2021

This spring, First Church has been listening closely to the stories carried by our congregation. Along with the other members of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, we’ve taken the season of renewal to find out what is on the hearts and minds of our neighbors. We do this now because GBIO has never been as powerful as it is now, with 62 member organizations. First Church is part of that power, and together we may actually be able to affect some changes.

What came up at the Listening Sessions? Across GBIO we now know that strong areas of interest exist around Climate Change, Housing, and Health Care. Specifically, many GBIO members have dealt directly with racism in policing, with racism in the health care system, with finding good housing anywhere near their workplace, and with the struggle of substance addiction.

At First Church, we’ve learned that we as a Congregation care deeply about racial inequities, whether we’ve dealt directly with hatred sent our way, or discovered the extent to which public schools in Cambridge do not teach the full history of racial oppression in this country and in this city. We heard passionate appeals for our homeless neighbors and uncovered a common thread of isolation in the pandemic. More than one congregant shared immediate struggles with covering child care costs. All together, over 60 congregants came to a Listening Session.

So what’s next? Now that we know some of our stories, it’s time to look for shared passion, and opportunities to act. We hope that you’ll come to one the GBIO Regional Caucuses to share where you see the themes we’ve uncovered surfacing around you. You can register for your hometown caucus here, and see all the Regional Caucuses here.

It goes without saying that the sessions so far wouldn’t have happened without the First Church core team: Phil Jones, Will Erickson, Chris Reynolds, Jim Greaney, Casey Marsh, Bappu Antony, Deb Cunningham, Jenny Stuart, Sarah Higginbotham, Kate Layzer,  Robb Morgan, Claire Hunt, and Peggy Stevens.

Care to join? We meet on the first Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m.

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