Naming a new church - to include or omit UC designation?

Carolla

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Hmmm - vote is upcoming soon on new name for our amalgamated church. People have submitted suggestions; table group discussions after church one week to further winnow down the possibilities - now there are three to vote on.

In the e-mail today - this was presented -
Recent trends in naming of churches have been not to include the denomination as part of the official name. This will allow for creativity and flexibility in branding. The United Church of Canada will be used in our signage, and where applicable in print and digital material.
There was some discussion of this nature at my table group. Personally, I think there are advantages to including United Church in the name. Possibly those looking for a more inclusive church/spiritual option - recognized as a general UC trait - would seek this designation. I see it as a positive thing.

I'm not sure where the 'recent trends' info comes from - but I will ask. I am left wondering about the 'creativity & flexibility' piece, and the 'where applicable' piece. I get it that some people think 'church' will put others off. But really - we ARE a church (or I should say community of faith now I suppose) - what happens when we sidestep that or 'soft-sell' ?

Within your experience, what is the wisdom?
 

Mendalla

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Depends on how tightly you want to tie your branding to the denomination's. After all, the UCCan is pretty loosey-goosey in a lot of ways and calling yourself a United Church may not really say much about you to a lot of people. Or it may say the wrong things if a person has Gretta Vosper or some other more visible manifestation of the denomination in mind.

That said, I've tended to see the removal of the "United Church" brand more on conservative congregations distancing themselves from certain church decisions that they do not support (such as ordaining LGBT or allowing congregations to perform same-sex weddings). The mainstream and liberal churches around here are all still "XX United Church" as far as I've seen.

We had a naming fight in the UU fellowship and part of it revolved around the humanists reaction to the proposal to call it a "congregation" instead of "fellowship". Apparently that was too Christian, even though fellowship is widely used in more conservative Christian circles. There were also objections to adding "Universalist" (it's called Unitarian Fellowship of London because it predates the merger) which I never quite grokked.
 

Pinga

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@Carolla - I can see it where the church is also used for non-church events, such as mission / service items.

For example, AA meets at ____________, as compared to ____________ United Church.
As the AA group is part of the service provided, but, is not part of the worship, I think that having the name without the UCCan reference in it makes sense.
 

Carolla

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Sure - so in that case the group may decide to just not use the full 'official' name of the church - which is fine. That seems a bit different to me than the church name not legally or officially including the United Church designation.

I have seen some United churches use "XYZ Community Church" as their name - and I wondered if they were in fact UCCan affiliated - or were they some other denomination, or none at all as various churches are now. If we were to call ourselves "Living Spirit Church" for example ... it's pretty ambiguous. Perhaps that okay? But why disassociate becomes the question for me. Not a battle I would fight long or hard over - but I am curious to know the thinking behind it.
 

Tabitha

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We choose to keep United in our name. We are the "other" UC in town. Many just say The United Church meaning the downtown one.
 

GiancarloZ

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Winnipeg's main United Chuch congregation acknowledges they are UCCan but don't have it on their name. I don't see them as conservative, but they are very traditional. I don't know what motivated them to drop "United".
"Community Church", for me, sounds conservative and contemporary-style worship. Definitely a mark of an Evangelical-zest congregation.
 

Jae

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For a time now, a trend in evangelical church plants has been to not include the denominations in the church names. This has led to plenty of churches with names like "The Bridge," "The Rock," "The Connection," etc. Personally, if a church is part of a denomination, I appreciate seeing that reflected in the church name. That said, I believe a church's name - like every aspect of a church - should be determined by mission.
 

ChemGal

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Include it. One of the united churches by me sorta changed their name. They use the same initials. I was confused when I was looking at it, I wasn't sure what it really was (and I still don't really get what the name change was about). It really through me off when I was looking for services, although I didn't really care if it was United or not, but I was unsure about the website until I looked through it more.
 

Carolla

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Winnipeg's main United Chuch congregation acknowledges they are UCCan but don't have it on their name. I don't see them as conservative, but they are very traditional. I don't know what motivated them to drop "United".
"Community Church", for me, sounds conservative and contemporary-style worship. Definitely a mark of an Evangelical-zest congregation.
Yes - in my area the "Community Church" is a Baptist congregation. They have lots of good community spirit and outreach, but also those restrictive (at least to me) gender based practices. If I was a person 'church shopping' I would want to know this ahead of taking time to check them out in person.

The church adjoining my original church does not have a congregational designation in its name. It took quite a lot of searching to discover they are United Brethren in Christ. So if the denomination is not in the name, I think it is fair/transparent to make sure it is easily accessible information on the website. A person should not have to spend a bunch of time & effort to make such discoveries - as ChemGal also notes in her experience above.
 

Mendalla

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You do get the odd UU church that doesn't have either word in the name but they will usually have a "banner" along the lines of, "A Unitarian Universalist Congregation" or similar on signs, promotional literature, and such.
 

Luce NDs

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Does dissonant relate to the deconstruction ... and connected to the archaic word Eris ... and up she comes!

These may form eddies and edifices on the horizon ... these may pass or not as landmarks!

Some Kirks take off ...
 

paradox3

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There is an XYZ Community Church in this city. I only realized a few years ago it was a United Church.

What is the rationale for taking United out of the name? I am hard pressed to see any advantages to this plan of action.

I don't think it makes any difference to outside groups meeting in your church. In my last job we had some mental health outreach programs located in a nearby church. A few (very few) of our clients refused to go there because they did not want to step inside a church. For these folks it would not matter what the church was called.

The article shared upthread was interesting. Who are you hoping to attract to your church? It sounds like a question that needs to be asked.
 

Luce NDs

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Disjointing as the bones of the story were removed? Cajones ...
 

Mendalla

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My submission:

NTKO Church

"Not That Kind Of"
You could start a denomination, the NTKO Church of Canada (NCC for short, though in Ottawa that could suggest that the National Capital Commission was a church rather than a bunch of incompetent boobs government agency:rolleyes:).
 

KayTheCurler

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Thus far in my life all the congregations I've encountered dubbed Community or Bible church have been very literalistic and judgemental.
 
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