Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!
Monday, July 12, 2010
Formerly Known As
On that note, please read on.
In recent years I have adopted a lifestyle which has helped me to better cope with my role as pastor's wife and this lifestyle involves staying free of any and all denominational mumbo jumbo, discussions, controversies, etc. Believing that God never intended His people to fight about questions such as whether it is better to read our music from a book or off the wall or whether sanctuaries should be surrounded by stained glass or basketball nets, I have chosen instead to just sit back, listen, watch, and observe. I do believe my health thanks me for this stance.
Recently, however, I have heard a lot of talk about something called Brethren in Christ General Conference. It appears as if it has been going on for quite some time, possibly since the first BICers arrived in the New World. I am not sure how I have missed it in the past, but I did.
The most interesting phenomenon about this current conference is talk about changing the name "Brethren in Christ" to something a little more inclusive. Funny, I didn't know that I was previously excluded, but apparently I was. I should say that my cousin did warn me. Back when we first left the MENnonite church to join the BRETHREN in Christ, she asked me if our denomination had issues with inclusive language. I told her that it had never come up. Either I was wrong or they've somehow figured out that there should be a problem. So now it has to be solved.
I wasn't invited to these name-change meetings, and probably wouldn't go even if I was, but I did share some of my ideas with the family at dinner. That was when I was highly encouraged to share them with everyone, so here goes. You'll not only get to see my thoughts but you can also follow the evolution of ideas.
Idea #1 - Brethren and Sisters in Christ. It has a nice sound although Brethren and Sistern in Christ gives it more of a poetic feel (or should I say poema so it sounds more Biblical?). It opens up great possibilities for a logo, including the obvious stick figure male holding hands with a stick figure female, in the tradition of those stick-ons you see on the back of all the mini-vans around town. Or maybe they shouldn't hold hands since brothers and sisters don't really do that a whole lot. Maybe the arms should be around each other's necks in a type of strangle hold. That would probably be more realistic. The biggest down-side to this option, in my opinion, is the difficulty in shortening our name. Mechanicsburg B.S. or Carlisle B.S. doesn't look very nice on letterhead and it'd be embarrassing to invite your neighbors to join you at the local B.S. church on Sunday morning.
Idea #2 - Brethren and Cistern in Christ. Think of it as a play on words. To the untrained ear, it will sound like Idea #1 but without the difficulty in abbreviating. For example, we at Mechancisburg Brethren in Christ (McBIC) could still be McBC (no one will miss the "I" since people eliminate vowels on vanity plates all the time) and no one need be insulted. Males and females, thinking they were hearing about the Brethren and Sisters church, would feel equally included without all that B.S. business. It kind of gives it an Adam and Eve feel, doesn't it? And as for a logo, this one is perfect. With the double meaning of sistern/cistern, we could develop a logo with a stick figure diving into a cistern, thereby incorporating believer's baptism at the same time. This option is also environmentally friendly as we could eliminate our baptismal fonts and just baptize in the local cistern.
I admit, though, that there are still some complications with this idea. So, I came up with a third option.
Idea #3 - It's a little difficult to describe this option so stay with me here. Those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s will remember The Artist Formerly Known as Prince. This concept of changing one's name to something unpronounceable has always intrigued me and I'd like to propose the BIC name-change dilemma as just the right time to replicate this by becoming The Denomination Formerly Known as Brethren in Christ. I admit that it is rather lengthy but just as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince came to be known only by a logo or TAFKAP, we could do the same. The abbreviation would be a breeze as it would be the same as our denomination name: "TDFKABIC". McBIC would become McTDFKABIC. It would fit just fine on a sign, even saving us a couple bucks for all those letters we wouldn't need. We could have a contest to design the logo and another to come up with the generally-accepted pronunciation of TDFKABIC.
(Let me pause here to put in my vote for pronouncing this like "T.D.-fake-a-bic" showing that not only do we accept both males and females, those in the church and those out of the church, but we also love and accept people who like football and people who put on a fake face when in public - if that doesn't include everyone, I don't know what does).
Author's note: For obvious reasons the author of this blog does not want her identity known so she is writing under the pseudonym "TAFKACK". Please submit all correspondence concerning this article to the correct address.