What’s In A Name?

“As we begin the next century, does the name Mayflower Community Congregational United Church of Christ continue to reflect our identity, mission and vision as a church?”

Coming up: Join us in the next step of this discernment process at the Annual Congregational Meeting on Wednesday, May 15, starting at 7:00 pm

The Commission

The What’s In A Name? (WIAN) Committee is commissioned by the Mayflower Council to convene for a two-year period of spiritual discernment to answer this question and make recommendations to the Council and Congregation.

After one year of this work, the following proposal will be brought to the Annual Congregational Meeting on May 15:

The WIAN Committee should continue its work by considering names for the church; this includes the current name Mayflower as well as exploring new names.

The Process: What’s In A Name? 2.0 Core Questions

Since March 2023, eight listening sessions have been held with nearly 200 individuals in attendance to discuss core questions:

  • What are some reasons to change or not the name of the church?
  • What could be some positive or negative results if we change our name (and its manifestations)?
  • What should the church name say about who we are?
  • What should be the next steps in the process?

What’s In A Name? Archive

In addition to the WIAN? 2.0 listening sessions, the committee worked tirelessly to provide multiple opportunities for the congregation to share, learn about, and listen to the various stories and perspectives of our members. Please see the list below to review these important documents that highlight this work:

Feedback Timeline

The committee established a regular check in process with Council and the Congregation:

  • Oct 7, 2023: Council Update
  • Oct 8, 2023: Congregation Listen & Feedback on Aggregated results to date, Discernment Process
  • Nov 5, 2023: Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting
  • Mar 5, 2024: Council Update
  • Apr 2024: Spring Discernment Circles
  • May 15, 2024: Annual Congregational Meeting – Proposal from Council for Congregation to consider
  • June 16, 2024: Sacred Sites Tour with Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs

Related Work

Learn More

Committee Members

Kate Andrews Van Horne
Jim Bush
Sarah Campbell
Lisa Cargill-Romsaas (on leave)
Gloria Englund
John Fredell
Chuck Gross
Beth Kittleson
Stan Kusunoki
Kathy Lafayette
Susan Lampe
Maureen Lunde
Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb
Jeff Richards

2 replies
  1. Jim Boler
    Jim Boler says:

    I was part of Mayflower Congregational from 1949-1968. My Mom, Dorothy Boler, worshipped there until her death in 2015. As a child I attended Sunday School in the old building across the street and then the high school class in the basement of the old parsonage where the current building now stands. Mayflower is where I was Confirmed and later Ordained in the United Church of Christ. It is time to find a new name for the faith community I love, the place where my faith was formed, and the congregation I am proud to call my “home church.”

  2. Barbara Gilbertson
    Barbara Gilbertson says:


    Like Jim Boler, my history with Mayflower began long ago. My aunt was church secretary during Sy Meckel’s pastorate. My parents, my brother (Garry Nims) and I became part of Mayflower Congregational church in about 1947. My parents were lifelong members. And it’s Garry’s wish to follow suit. For me, life intervened. I re-joined Mayflower in April 2022. I’m now an active member of the MIT.

    Frankly, it never occurred to me to ponder Mayflower’s name until this re-joining of the church. Since then, I’ve given the matter some thought.

    I respect Mayflower’s history and tradition. I’m actually part of that! And while I was growing up, Mayflower did, too. I’ve been so impressed with its progressive path–the Jesus path, actually—included but not limited to its open arms, its outreach, and the focus on peace and justice. The very-adult-me is impressed and proud to be part of this.

    And so, to the name. What does it say about us? Some might argue that it needn’t “say” anything. I get that. But I feel as though a refreshing of our name after lo! these many years would serve as a signal of positive change and an invitation to people who are searching for a church home. Early in life. In mid-life. In the latter part of life. You know the songs: “They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love!” and “All Are Welcome Here!” I believe that a focused, new name could speak to that as our core. Our history matters, but so does everything that has shaped it since its beginning.

    Blessings on your naming work.

    Barbara Nims Gilbertson

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