Name Change

At the written request of 114 Colonial Church members, a Special Church Meeting will be held on May 23rd at 11:00am in the Meetinghouse with a virtual alternative available via Zoom. 

The purpose of the meeting is to vote on the following resolution:

Resolved, the Colonial Church Council is hereby authorized and directed to establish a task force, subject to Council oversight, that is charged with leading a process that has its goal to recommend a new name for Colonial Church. In fulfilling the intent of this resolution, the Council will: determine the number of task force members; select the chair and other task force members that, collectively, is demographically diverse; receive and approve an implementation plan from the task force within a reasonable period of time after the task force is formed; and, assure that the congregation will receive two interim reports from the task force and have at least two opportunities for congregation input in public meetings prior to the task force making its final recommendation. In addition, the task force shall be asked to recommend ways to permanently record and honor the history and legacy of our Church over the last 75 years.” 

web only -- q&a session

Q&A Session

Sunday, May 16th at 11:00am @ Meetinghouse and via Zoom

Join us as representatives of the petition host a Q&A to offer clarity to any questions you have regarding the resolution, its accompanying letter, and the vote on the resolution taking place on May 23rd.

Past Name Change Updates

Name Change Introduction (July 26, 2020)

This church, this community of faith, this body of Christ has been responding from our very beginning to the Great Commandment—to love God, and to love our neighbors.

Yet it's become more clear in recent years — now more than ever in light of George Floyd's killing — that the name "Colonial" bears a legacy that's painful for neighbors we're seeking to know, love, and partner alongside.

When we originally chose this name, we were moved by the best parts of the first Pilgrims: a deep love for Jesus, unrelenting belief that God speaks through Scripture, and loving commitment to the good of our neighbors.

But now, we're acknowledging that the word "Colonial" doesn't mean to our neighbors what it did to our original community. Because the word also evokes the worst parts of our history as Americans, our history of colonialism, the domination, exploitation, and destruction primarily of Native American and African people and their cultures.

This isn't Jesus, who became human to reconcile us to God in one body, creating peace in response to hostility (Ephesians 2:14-16). This isn't what we're about as Jesus' followers, either.

As a result, the Church Council, in conversation with lay leadership, approved a motion in June to recommend changing our congregation's name.

Beginning on Sunday, July 26th, we'd like to start a conversation as a community about our name. In the coming days, we'll be doing the same thing we've always done for the last 75 years: sharing, listening, praying, and discerning the Spirit of God's next invitation to us.

We're praying that engaging in this process will help us embrace the best parts of our Congregational heritage while moving us closer to our Core Values, creating a community where we can welcome all our neighbors as God's beloved and courageously wrestling with tensions in God's world.
Update from the Moderators (July 31, 2020)

After introducing the process for considering changing our name, our Moderators gave an update to clarify a few things.

To read more about that update, click here.
Summer Courtyard Conversations (August - September)

This name change process takes lots of conversation, sharing our stories, and discerning where God’s Spirit is leading us next.⁠

That's why we made space for all those things in our first round of Courtyard Conversations. For more on what and why behind our summer Courtyard Conversations, click here.
Discernment Process (Fall 2020)
Throughout Fall 2020, we engaged in a comprehensive process to understand the reasons behind changing and not changing our name from Colonial Church. Across multiple mediums, our congregation brought their whole selves into discerning where Jesus is inviting us next as we look toward our Congregational Vote in January 2021, where members will decide whether to affirm or reject the motion to change our name from Colonial Church.

For more on all that took place during that season, click here.
Voting Period (December 18, 2020 - January 15, 2021)
Since we initiated the process to discern whether we ought to change our name from Colonial Church, we are deeply grateful for how you’ve engaged in the journey alongside us.
You’ve read a position paper outlining the reasons to consider the change. You’ve attended four Town Hall Meetings and thirteen Courtyard Conversations. You’ve weighed over a dozen community commentaries from both sides, not to mention all the countless times and places where you sought to discern God’s Spirit in prayer or conversation with a friend. The Congregational Way is alive and shining, and you all bear witness to it.

In December 2020 and January 2021, members cast their vote to affirm or reject changing the name from Colonial Church. Our Moderators sent out a letter via USPS detailing how members would cast their vote affirming or rejecting the decision to change our name from Colonial Church. Click here to read that letter.
Name Change Results Announced (January 22, 2021)
611 members voted to affirm or reject Council's recommendation to change our name. With 375 "Yes" votes and 236 "No" votes, this vote does not meet the two-thirds majority passing requirements to change our name.

For more on the results and responses from Leadership, click here.
Leadership Update (January 27, 2021)
Following the results of the vote, the Church Council and Pastoral Team shared an update regarding the next season of our life together. Click here to read it.