Sudbury Clergy Association

Semester: 2015 Spring

Students: Jiayun Ho and Seanan Fong

The Sudbury Clergy Association (SCA) is a longstanding interfaith and ecumenical group of lay and ordained religious professionals serving most of the various houses of worship in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

The SCA’s mission is to address the spiritual well-being of the town by designing and offering the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, supporting the school superintendents and principals, staying abreast of issues of concern to the town government, police and fire departments, seniors, empty-nesters, and families with school age children, helping to facilitate dialogue in the midst of disagreement, and serving as on-call chaplains in the event of local, regional, state, or national emergencies.

The town of Sudbury has experienced increasingly hostile exchanges between and among stakeholders in a variety of settings. The Sudbury Clergy Association is enlisting the help of HNMCP to develop a kinder, gentler protocol for doing business at Town Meetings, in town government, and in the schools; the kind of civil discourse that assumes all Sudbury residents have the community’s best interests at heart and that everyone is trying to do the right thing even if parties disagree on what that is and how to get there.

Activities and Deliverables:

  • HNMCP students will assist the Sudbury Clergy Association to communicate the planned work to the various constituencies;
  • Research the history of civil discourse in the town;
  • Engage in a listening campaign with a representative cross-section of town employees, uncompensated elected officials, and town residents;
  • Identify critical areas of disagreement and what underlies that disagreement;
  • Propose next steps.
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