1Why should Colonial change its name?
It's become clear in recent years — now more than ever in light of George Floyd's killing — that the name "Colonial" bears a legacy which is problematic at best and violent at worst. It refers in particular to the occupation, exploitation, and domination of other cultures. This ultimately ends in destruction of cultures, which in America centers on Native American and African people and cultures. Among our Core Values is "Welcome, Beloved." This means we believe that every person is a beloved child of God, and we embrace every person like that. We believe that, for many, our name exists in conflict with that Core Value. So we want to clear up who we are to our neighbors and remove the barrier so we can know, love, and partner alongside them for the next 75 years of our life together.
2How did we get here?
Changing our name has been talked about for several years in some circles. It's been a barrier for a long time between us and our neighbors, and our mission partners have raised it as an issue on multiple occasions. Then George Floyd was killed. And as everybody reflects on how to be a part of racial healing and justice, the topic of changing our name has resurfaced.
3What does this NOT mean?
This doesn't mean that we live in a bad country. And it doesn't mean that our church is a bad church, either. It's our identity as a Congregational church, in fact, that gives us full permission to follow Jesus wherever he leads, even when the path ahead feels messy, risky, and full of unknowns. It also doesn't mean that we're erasing the last 75 years of our history. Our church has always been more than our name. It's our people. It's our stories. And perhaps more than anything, it's our history of God's faithfulness among us. That never changes.
4Is this a done deal?
No. Our church is named in the bylaws, and the bylaws can only be changed by vote of the congregation. The Council voted to recommend that the congregation change the church’s name, and doesn’t have the authority to make such a change itself.
5What are the next steps?
The Church Council has already unanimously approved a motion to recommend changing our congregation's name. The Church Council has created a task force that is creating a process so members feel informed, understand the "why," and have lots of space to wrestle with this idea lovingly and honestly. Down the line, the notion of this name change will come to a congregational vote.
6What’s the timeline?
That depends partly on our congregation. The name of our church is an early bylaw, and changing an early bylaw requires a 2-month notice. So while the timeline is fluid, we are at least 2 months away at this time.
7How can I express my opinion or ask questions?
You can send an email to email@example.com or by calling the Church Office at 952.925.2711.