David Shumway moved to Newton with his wife in 1966. As members of the United Church of Christ faith community, they joined the church around the corner, Central Congregational Church in Newtonville. Shumway and his wife became very active in the church until its closure, serving as the church’s treasurer for eight years in the 70’s and 80’s.
He recalls, “On a fluke, my wife decided to volunteer us to take someone’s place at the MACUCC Annual Meeting. I didn’t know about the Conference, and probably like a lot of people I felt like we didn’t need the Conference for anything; we were doing fine on our own. But because she had committed us, I went. And when I went, it was mind-boggling…the services, the meetings, the programs. All of a sudden, I became a backer of the Massachusetts Conference, and I started to get interested in what they were doing.”
Shumway went on to serve as MACUCC Treasurer for many years. His role as Treasurer gave him another opportunity to see the programs of the MACUCC up close – and it was clear to him that the Pastoral Excellence Program was perhaps the most precious star in the MACUCC’s programmatic constellation.
“When I get in a job, I get immersed in it, and I just can’t stay on the sidelines,” he said.
Shumway helped to oversee the dissolution of his church as membership fell, and then worked with other officers of the church to make sure that the church’s funds went to benefit programs that would embody the mission and values of the United Church of Christ. A portion of the Central Congregational funds went to a grant to support the Pastoral Excellence Program. In addition, the church’s funds also helped to renovate Edwards House at the Conference Center.
Sadly, during this time, Shumway’s wife passed away, a victim of breast cancer. Grateful for the support he had received from the MACUCC and from his faith community, Shumway wanted to give back. Although Shumway’s church is now gone, he felt the call to make a personal gift to the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Endowment Campaign. He is an unabashed fan of the program.
“The minister is extremely important to the church. And this person has to have the values and knowledge that are being taught and talked about in meetings and trainings,” he said. And, from David Shumway’s perspective, “It appears that the MACUCC is on the forefront in helping ministers perfect their skills. The future of a church lies not only in the conversation in the church, but in the pastoral leader. That person must bring the congregation in the right direction, guide them – and what the Pastoral Excellence Program is doing is just great.” Shumway was moved to make a $25,000 stock donation to the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Endowment Campaign – a tangible symbol of his steadfast faith and commitment.
“The Pastoral Excellence Program could help in all areas of the church, and I think it is going to keep on doing good things – just as it is now,” he said.
You can join other lay leaders, pastors and congregations by making a pledge of support, payable over three to five years, or taking a special offering for this Campaign over the next five years.
Find out more about this program visit: SPEEC
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