For a number of months since the fire in September of 2016, the First Church community has discussed the possibility of building an affordable housing project on the church property. In order to discern next steps, the Blue Sky Team, with the support of church leadership, has created a survey to “take the temperature” of the congregation’s desire to continue this conversation.
The Blue Sky Committee has created a document recapping the affordable housing conversation to date including the pros and cons of the project. It is a pdf document in a slideshow format which can be downloaded here. The committee recommends reviewing that information and considering your response in prayer before completing the survey. Paper copies will also be made available in the Hall of Entrance after church.
This survey is non-binding. It is not an official vote of the congregation. Anyone who is currently involved in the congregational life of First Church (church attendance and/or financial support) may take part in the survey, whether or not you have officially joined the church.
The survey may be completed online, and a paper version will also be available in the Hall of Entrance after church on two Sundays, February 25 and March 4. The online survey will close on Tuesday, March 6 at the end of the day.
The Church Council will be charged with considering the results of the survey and discerning the next steps in the process.
The survey includes three options:
Stop. I don’t think this is the right use of our property, even if I think the issue is important.
Pause. There is too much going on. Let’s come back to this question in 18 months, once Pilgrim is under construction.
Continue. This is an exciting idea. Let’s continue exploring, without committing to a specific plan. I am in favor of the Church Council discerning the next steps which could include getting more specific information from developers, determining the actual impact on parking and gathering complete revenue information so that the congregation can make a fully informed decision.
A section for comments is also provided. Please share your thoughts about your choice if you are willing.
In order to encourage wide participation in this survey, the link to the poll will be shared in a number of ways. This includes the Carillon which also goes to folks who aren’t directly involved in church life. In order to keep track of who is responding and to check for technical errors in the process, you will be asked to put your name on the survey. The connection between names and responses will be closely and confidentially held. First Church Clerk Janet MacDonald will have primary responsibility for tabulating results. Anonymous responses will be included in reports of the survey and will be identified as such (e.g., “95 people chose ‘pause’ and 6 of those were anonymous votes.”)