CREDO BagbyPearls for the Journey: Correct Your Mistakes
By Rev. Michele Bagby Allan*

Some time ago, I received an invitation to participate in the Pension Boards-United Church of Christ CREDO (PBUCC CREDO) pilot program. The timing was perfect. I had served a wonderful church for 10 years and was trying to discern my vocational future. I hoped to discern whether it was time to consider another call, and to think on my life in a more holistic way.

I found the pre-seminar life assessment work to be very helpful. I was surprised to find that it was not just vocational discernment that was most important to me, but rather the financial wellness component would become an important reflection. Because of the insights I gained at PBUCC CREDO around finances, I have become more involved in my family's finances, and together we have made significant strides in goals for getting out of the debt cycle and saving for our future dreams.

While at PBUCC CREDO, I became aware of a significant mistake that my faith community and I had made around clergy taxes. My cohort will remember the shock and overwhelmed feeling that I experienced in that workshop. But, with the help of one of the financial faculty members, I made a plan and put my finances and other things in order. The faculty person stayed with me longer than our appointed time so that we could address all my concerns. This helped me return home with a clear plan for rectifying the error.

While it was difficult to do, both personally and for the local church, I was encouraged and strengthened to make changes, seek help, and move forward. I am happy to say that all our plans made a significant difference in my family. I recall the faculty saying that he could understand me feeling overwhelmed at that moment. But, how much better to learn of the error now than 10 years from now!

Today, my spouse and I are much more united in our financial communications and planning. I truly do not think that would have happened if it were not for my PBUCC CREDO experience and my CREDO Covenant.


PBUCC CREDO is a holistic wellness benefit that offers clergy space and resources to examine significant areas of their lives and discern prayerfully the future direction of their vocation as they respond to God’s call in a lifelong process of practice and transformation.

The CREDO experience is anchored in a week-long Seminar and includes a pre-Seminar assessment and post-Seminar resources so that participants can deepen their commitment to lifelong wellness. Learn more about this program here

*The Rev. Michele Bagby Allan is Pastor of First Congregational Church in Norwood, MA.