Originally posted at http://lotsagoodnews.com/memorial-congregational-church/

MCCaward1Memorial Congregational Church, United Church of Christ of Sudbury (MCC) has been recognized as a congregation taking bold steps forward.

The church has spent the last year imagining what’s possible, building on a solid foundation of tradition and innovation.  The initiative took off last summer when the congregation began an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) process with the Rev. Dr. Dirkje Legerstee while MCC’s Pastor and Teacher, the Rev. Tom O’Brien was on sabbatical.  The AI interviews yielded responses from almost half of the active membership and showed that the congregation highly valued the music and youth ministries of the church and also wanted the church to be fiscally sound.

After Tom’s return, parallel conversations began about making the position of Christian Education Director ordainable, creating a Narrative Budget, and planning for the spring pledge drive. Initial planning for each initiative began in committees then included the congregation through open conversations. In March, a Special Meeting unanimously made the CE position ordainable allowing for the option of having an individual who a professionally trained and educated pastor. The Narrative Budget presented a picture and story of the income and spending plan of the church. A straight-talk Stewardship campaign which honestly spoke of the needs and resources of the church led to a successful pledge drive which raised over $60,000 more than in previous years.  The increased funds will allow MCC to continue growing successful music and youth programs including children’s choirs and intergenerational opportunities.  At the May Annual Meeting, the congregation called Sandra Summers — who was influential in growing the youth ministry — as Pastor of Youth and Families.

Rev. O’Brien accepted the award on behalf of the congregation at during the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ.

MCC, located across from the Goodnow Library, is open to and accepting of all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, gender expression and identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, marital status or financial situation.  All areas of the building are universally accessible including the Church School wing, which accessible by portable ramps which are present in the building.  For more information, please go to MCCsudbury.org or call 978-443-3885.