Seminary Honors Rev. Joseph Motz with Meck Award

September 28, 2020

Award for Excellence in Pastoral Ministry

Lancaster Theological Seminary presented the Reverend Joseph A. Motz with the 2020 Allan S. Meck Award for Excellence in Pastoral Ministry during Alumni Day held online Sept. 21.

Rev. Motz, a 2005 graduate of Lancaster Seminary, now serves as Associate Pastor of Church of the Apostles United Church of Christ in Lancaster. When he was pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Birdsboro, Penn., Rev. Motz developed “Mission Trip Birdsboro,” an ongoing ministry in which the congregation leads the community in a week of mission and other service projects in the Birdsboro area.

Mission Trip Birdsboro began in 2013 when the congregation painted playground equipment near the church. The program grew into an annual one-week event in which the congregation partners with other churches, local government, and the nonprofit and business communities to perform needed repairs in local homes, an elementary school, and local parks. The project now has an ecumenical leadership team from six participating congregations, over 100 annual volunteers, and financial support from over 50 businesses and nonprofits.

Mission Trip Birdsboro is more than just physical repairs. In 2019, the nearly 50 homeowners who received assistance also received a personal visit from someone called a “Listener” who is attentive to their spiritual, social, and emotional needs. Participants have said that the event also has transformed their personal lives. Rev. Motz has been singled out for his “excellent, wise, and nurturing pastoral leadership” of the program.

Lancaster Theological Seminary honors Rev. Motz with its highest alumni award for pastoral ministry for his faithful congregational ministry, pastoral leadership, and his innovative initiative in leading local congregations to make a difference in their community.

The Meck Award honors the memory of Allan S. Meck, Class of 1911, president of the Seminary from 1947-57. It is presented to a graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary by the Alumni Association in recognition of distinguished service in the practice of pastoral ministry.