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

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Our Response to the Violence in Washington, D.C.

January 7, 2021

This pastoral note was sent via email on January 6, 2021. If you would like to receive all-church emails from First Church please sign up here.

Dear Friends,

On this Epiphany day, as we celebrate the revealing of the Light of Christ and God’s love for the world, we watch with horror the news and headlines of events unfolding this afternoon at the United States Capitol Building.

The shadows of human fear, hatred, denial, and violence are being revealed in stunning and disgraceful display. We decry violence and bloodshed in all forms, and we fervently pray that the chaos and protests that threaten our cherished democratic institutions will dissipate.

At 6:00 p.m. tonight, we will gather for our planned Epiphany Candlelit Prayer Walk around the Cambridge Common. We will pray for peace in D.C. and throughout our nation. We will pray for a peaceful transition of power in the coming days. For those unable to gather with us, we will do our best to record our spoken prayers and share them with you via our Facebook page.

We offer once again these words from Psalm 46, and we invite you to find in them solace, comfort, and hope in the midst of this historic and deeply tragic day.

Yours in faith,


Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
God utters God’s voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the Lord;
see what desolations God has brought on the earth.
God makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
God breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
God burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.