The stone facade First Church in Cambridge

Staff & Lay Leaders

Rev. Kate Layzer

Minister of Street Outreach

email hidden; JavaScript is required

Kate Layzer is the founder and Director of the Friday Café, helping foster community connections between housed and unhoused neighbors. A native of Northern California, Kate moved to the Boston area to pursue a degree in English in 1980, and soon began putting down lasting roots. She has been a member of First Church since 1984, and a member of staff since 2015.


Kate is a writer, editor, and the co-author (along with Peter Sykes) of several First Church hymns, including “Come All You Thirsty” and “Let There Be Life In This House.” She attended Andover Newton Theological School as a mid-career student while raising her two children, and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2006. After several years away serving other area congregations, Kate found her way home to Cambridge, and to a new ministry with unhoused and economically disadvantaged neighbors. She is married to First Church member Don Johnson.