First Church History, continued

During that first 145 years, we fulfilled a position of dynamic Christian leadership in our community and continued to place strong emphasis on giving and serving in support of social justice issues such as poverty, discrimination, and the environment.

We supported that mission during those first years by co-founding Casa de Redwood in 1971. Casa is a much-needed low-income senior housing facility in downtown Redwood City. It is still a thriving community with which we maintain a strong connection. And, in 1979, when Temple Beth Jacob was severely damaged by fire as a result of a hate crime, we shared our church building with them through their recovery.

In 2007, our congregation was faced with a difficult decision. Our membership had been small for several years, and it was becoming increasingly challenging to meet the financial obligations of owning and maintaining such a large property. Two realities become clear: First, we could not afford the property we were currently in without major infusions of capital, and second, our call as a community was to share what resources we had with others in God’s name. After much struggle, the congregation voted to sell the property and use the funds to the betterment of Redwood City and our greater community. So, we moved to leased space and began to revitalize worship and community relationships.

One of the blessings that came out of this difficult decision is the understanding that we were still a church with vibrant worship and a commitment to the Redwood City community. Our relationships with one another and with God, our work in ministry, and our hope for the future was not tied to (or tied down by) a physical building.

When COVID-19 appeared so dramatically in March of 2020, we closed down our leased space and moved most everything to storage. We established a work-from-home model for our staff and learned how to Zoom for weekly Worship, study, and meetings. And in 2023, we merged with the Congregational Church of Belmont to form the Congregational Church of the Peninsula.