Last June the congregation voted in an informal poll by a significant margin to explore the development of affordable housing on the Durant House site. Since October the Blue Sky Committee has hosted a series of informational sessions to carry out the exploration through congregational discussion.
The last of these sessions, The Economics of Affordable Housing, will take place on Sunday, January 28 (note the change of date). The presentation will explore the financial side of affordable housing development, including possible compensation to First Church for use of part of its property.
In February, the Blue Sky Committee will share a published document summarizing the information contained in the presentations. The congregation will have the opportunity to participate in a short non-binding survey (to be conducted online, with a paper version also available) to choose between three options:
1. continue with the exploration
2. table the exploration until after plans for Pilgrim Hall are clearer
3. stop the exploration entirely
The Church Council, in consultation with the Blue Sky Team, would be charged with interpreting the results of the poll. Although a specific threshold for this informal vote has not been established, discussion among church leadership indicates that the level of consensus would need to be high.
A decision to move forward either now or later on would not commit the church to a particular course of action. Formal congregational votes would still need to take place in the future.