Special Church Meeting
Sunday, December 5th at 11:00am
In response to the Name Change Task Force’s recommendation, the Colonial Church Council has called for a Special Church Meeting for members to vote on the following:
ARTICLE I-NAME of the By-laws is hereby amended to read as follows: The name of this Church shall be Meetinghouse Church.
Note: We encourage all members to attend in-person, but electronic registration is available at the button below. It will walk you through the process and guidelines as we implement the option of electronic participation at our congregational meetings, so please read all the way through if you plan to attend via Zoom.
The Task Force recommends Meetinghouse Church as the next name for our congregation.
Seeking Christ and our neighbors' good with you,
The Name Change Task Force
Marissa Stark (Chair)
Mary Fisher (Council Liaison)
Andrew Zhao (Staff Liaison)
Looking for more context?
This conversation to consider changing our name goes back to Summer 2020. For more on the background and initial reasons for considering the change, click here.
Past Name Change Updates
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.
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.
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.
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.