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?”

Name Nominations Process

At the Council Meeting on June 4, 2024, it was decided that the What’s In A Name? Committee will facilitate a process to elicit names for the church. To ensure we reach as many people as possible, the process will take multiple formats:

  1. A Google Form survey to be submitted electronically (see responses here)
  2. A paper version of that survey (submitted via a “suggestion box” at the Welcome Desk – (see responses here)
  3. Several in-person brainstorming sessions after church on July 14
  4. At least one Zoom meeting that would mirror the in-person brainstorming session (date TBD).

The name nomination process will be open from June 9–September 8 (Gathering Sunday).

All of the formats ask for the same information (anonymously):

  • What name do you recommend for the church? 
  • Why is this name meaningful for you?

Further Timeline Details

Summer 2024 – Once the name-submitting process has begun, the process will continue to ensure transparency by listing the nominated names on the Narthex bulletin board and also to the WIAN Committee website. We will add to the list periodically and continuously through his phase of the process.

Fall 2024 – After Gathering Sunday in September, the WIAN Committee will engage the congregation in another process of eliciting feedback on the nominated names. This will take the form of a “dot”exercise in which members will have a limited number of chances to reflect their preferences for names. Depending on the number of names submitted, there may need to be multiple rounds of this selection process.

Fall 2024/Winter 2025 – Once the WIAN Committee feels the process has arrived at a place for the congregation to make a final decision, we will present Council with a final proposal, potentially to vote at the November Congregational Meeting or a special meeting scheduled sometime in January.

 If you have question or concerns, please ask any member of Council:

  • Maureen Englehardt (Moderator), Sharon Landavaso (Assoc. Moderator), Gary Adams, Leon Erstad, Connie Ford, Barbara Hummel, Maureen Lunde, Patrick Magistad, Scot Woelber

Or any member of the What’s In A Name? Committee:

  • Kate Andrews Van Horne, Jim Bush, Gloria Englund, John Fredell, Chuck Gross, Beth Kittleson, Stan Kusunoki, Kathy Lafayette, Susan Lampe, Maureen Lunde, Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb, Jeff Richards

The Process to Date

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.

Beginning in March 2023, eight listening sessions were 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:

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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