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

Latest News

Welcome Corps Team Update

March 5, 2024

Formed almost one year ago, the First Church and Friends Welcome Corps Team has been preparing and waiting for our matched Welcome Corps refugees, Nuro and Idle, to arrive. The team recently learned that they are delayed indefinitely for unknown reasons. While we have little insight into the continued stalled status of Nuro and Idle, the context here in Massachusetts has greatly changed since we first started this effort, and even more so since we started waiting for a match in September.

As you know, the Commonwealth is experiencing an extreme migrant crisis, and the Governor has not only declared a State of Emergency, but has recently called on churches to aid in the resettling of migrants. There has been extensive coverage by local news of the role of area churches, and we would like to join that effort. We do not feel comfortable simply sitting on the sidelines with a wealth of financial and volunteer resources that can be mobilized now to help struggling migrants already here.

Our Welcome Corps Team has decided to put our match status “on hold” so that we can explore how First Church can use its resources in a relevant and engaged way to support migrants already in our community. We are actively researching connections in this sphere, with some ideas including:

  • Joining other area churches who are currently supporting newly-arrived migrant families living in shelters;
  • Working with the Somali Development Center (with which we had already connected);
  • Partnering with MIRA, IFSI, or other local refugee agencies;
  • Exploring how we could support the emergency shelter opened in the old East Cambridge Registry of Deeds building that needs assistance to remain open more hours.

We greatly welcome connections, ideas, or resources that any of you may have in this sphere. We also want to reassure everyone that Nuro and Idle will not be held up due to our change, but will likely be reassigned to a local refugee agency who is already slated to resettle another family member.

We know this is a big change for all of us, but we are looking forward with enthusiasm to helping with the migrant crisis currently unfolding here at home.