The below is an update from our Elder Board co-chair, Lonni Pearce.
Last night’s service and Community Conversation meeting was a wonderful chance for us to imagine together the future of our church. While the Elder Board has a role–helping the church to remain true to its grounding in progressive Christianity, supporting pastors, and trying to wisely allocate church resources, everyone who calls this church “home” participates in its care and nurture.
As you heard in last night’s service, we are embarking on a new adventure – we are changing our church name. To find out why, please watch last night’s service. This is a process we can all participate in. On October 30, we’ll have another Community Conversation after church to talk more about this change, and we’ll have a chance to share together our responses – whether it’s excitement, sadness, or any other feeling–during that meeting.
So where will our new name come from? From all of us! As of now, anyone can submit ideas for our new name through the church’s website: https://www.envisioncommunitychurch.org/namechange.
Let’s get creative! Everyone will be able to submit name ideas through November 13. Then, the Elders and Pastors will gather the list together and do a little research (for the practical things, like website domain availability) and a lot of talking and praying together to determine our new name, which will be announced by Dec 4.
Our current name is great in so many ways: it unifies the county, it’s tied to place and beautiful geographical features, it’s easy to spell and remember, and it nods to our progressive bent. When the church was first named, no one set out to intentionally appropriate the name from the Southern Arapaho people. But to truly live into our identity as a progressive church that lives our ethos, this is a change we need to make. A name, building, or logo does not define a church. It’s the people and values within it. We value loving our neighbor and this is one way we get to show it.
This change is an opportunity for us. Healthy communities do not stay the same; they learn from their mistakes. Spiritual maturity, both individual and collective, means that when we learn to view the world a little more through the lens of God’s inclusive love, we act. The Elders and Pastors understand that you may have questions or may want to talk about this process. and we welcome the chance to talk more about it–please reach out to any Elder or Pastor if you want to hear more or share your thoughts and feelings. And so, let the name-storming (that’s brainstorming for a new name) begin!