Author Topic: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names  (Read 21269 times)

DCharlton

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #45 on: January 15, 2020, 10:28:26 PM »
I think it interesting that the new edgy names I see appear most often in white-suburban congregations. Does this custom of names that describe action or experience or affinity with condo complex nomenclature appear also in urban centers?

Condo complexes, shopping malls, coffee shops, take your pick.
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Dave Benke

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2020, 08:24:59 AM »
We've done this before, initiated by Roger Martim http://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=4298.msg251196#msg251196 ("What's in a Name?") and an earlier sub-topic started by me on "Why Zion?"

The most surprising Lutheran church name I've seen is St. Martin de Porres Lutheran Church, Allentown PA. There's gotta be a story behind that one.

Peace,
Michael

A question, Michael - what's the process for naming a Roman Catholic church?  Is it done by the bishop or head of the order?  Is there input from the potential congregants?  I think the Lutheran modus is pretty much democratic, with a list that emanates locally from either the missionary pastor and or congregants.

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Dave Benke

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #47 on: January 16, 2020, 08:35:57 AM »
One Southeastern District church name that always elicits a comment or two (and an occasional snicker) is Martini Lutheran Church in Baltimore.  Apparently it's not the only US congregation so named.

There's a St. Martini on the south side of Milwaukee.   In the really old but somehow really good days of yore, there were 32 teams in Walther League boys softball inside the Milwaukee city limits.  There were probably half that many girls in their Walther League citywide.  Anyway, the northside dominators came from the aforementioned Christ Memorial.  The southside was usually led by St. Martini.  My only memory of those games was that in one championship match, we led off with back to back to back to back to back home runs.  5.  So much for St. Martini. 

Thus there is a church in which the martini has reached the level of sainthood.  There's a great article in the New Yorker on gin by Anthony Lane that focuses the martini:   https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/12/09/the-intoxicating-history-of-gin.  Here's a theological comment on the dryness of the martini - The dryness increases in inverse proportion to the amount of vermouth. Luis Buñuel suggested holding the bottle of vermouth in a shaft of sunlight, so that it would irradiate the gin without touching it: a wicked twist on the doctrine of the Incarnation.

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Michael Slusser

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #48 on: January 16, 2020, 12:26:41 PM »
We've done this before, initiated by Roger Martim http://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=4298.msg251196#msg251196 ("What's in a Name?") and an earlier sub-topic started by me on "Why Zion?"

The most surprising Lutheran church name I've seen is St. Martin de Porres Lutheran Church, Allentown PA. There's gotta be a story behind that one.

A question, Michael - what's the process for naming a Roman Catholic church?  Is it done by the bishop or head of the order?  Is there input from the potential congregants?  I think the Lutheran modus is pretty much democratic, with a list that emanates locally from either the missionary pastor and or congregants.

Dave Benke
Generally the bishop has the authoritative say. The involvement of others in the choice depends on the times, the bishop's attitude, and--for all I know--funding sources. Lately, the naming issue has more frequently involved merging parishes, where attempts (sometimes successful) have been made to avoid seeming to to give "ownership" of the new parish to one or the other of the merging congregations. (Sometimes the result is that neither feels ownership.)

A classmate of mine was the founding pastor of Pax Christi parish in Eden Prairie. The founding members tried to express their social consciousness (see https://paxchristiusa.org/) while reassuring with their use of Latin those who might think them too liberal.

Peace,
Michael
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Dave Benke

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #49 on: January 16, 2020, 12:39:55 PM »
We've done this before, initiated by Roger Martim http://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=4298.msg251196#msg251196 ("What's in a Name?") and an earlier sub-topic started by me on "Why Zion?"

The most surprising Lutheran church name I've seen is St. Martin de Porres Lutheran Church, Allentown PA. There's gotta be a story behind that one.

A question, Michael - what's the process for naming a Roman Catholic church?  Is it done by the bishop or head of the order?  Is there input from the potential congregants?  I think the Lutheran modus is pretty much democratic, with a list that emanates locally from either the missionary pastor and or congregants.

Dave Benke
Generally the bishop has the authoritative say. The involvement of others in the choice depends on the times, the bishop's attitude, and--for all I know--funding sources. Lately, the naming issue has more frequently involved merging parishes, where attempts (sometimes successful) have been made to avoid seeming to to give "ownership" of the new parish to one or the other of the merging congregations. (Sometimes the result is that neither feels ownership.)

A classmate of mine was the founding pastor of Pax Christi parish in Eden Prairie. The founding members tried to express their social consciousness (see https://paxchristiusa.org/) while reassuring with their use of Latin those who might think them too liberal.

Peace,
Michael

Thanks - that's helpful.  I think the Lutheran "difference" is that there are those who don't want the word "Lutheran" in any part of the title, whereas leaving out Roman Catholic is no doubt not an option.  Plus, if I were to say to a forming congregation, "The Bishop has decided that you will be St. Athanasius Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession", (not a bad name, all things considered), I would be ushered to the exit expeditiously.   

We do have a church called "The Life," by the way, but it is linked to its mother congregation, "Resurrection," so Resurrection and The Life." 

Dave Benke

Michael Slusser

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #50 on: January 16, 2020, 01:14:02 PM »
A question, Michael - what's the process for naming a Roman Catholic church?  Is it done by the bishop or head of the order?  Is there input from the potential congregants?  I think the Lutheran modus is pretty much democratic, with a list that emanates locally from either the missionary pastor and or congregants.

Dave Benke
Generally the bishop has the authoritative say. The involvement of others in the choice depends on the times, the bishop's attitude, and--for all I know--funding sources. Lately, the naming issue has more frequently involved merging parishes, where attempts (sometimes successful) have been made to avoid seeming to to give "ownership" of the new parish to one or the other of the merging congregations. (Sometimes the result is that neither feels ownership.)

A classmate of mine was the founding pastor of Pax Christi parish in Eden Prairie. The founding members tried to express their social consciousness (see https://paxchristiusa.org/) while reassuring with their use of Latin those who might think them too liberal.

Thanks - that's helpful.  I think the Lutheran "difference" is that there are those who don't want the word "Lutheran" in any part of the title, whereas leaving out Roman Catholic is no doubt not an option.  Plus, if I were to say to a forming congregation, "The Bishop has decided that you will be St. Athanasius Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession", (not a bad name, all things considered), I would be ushered to the exit expeditiously.   

We do have a church called "The Life," by the way, but it is linked to its mother congregation, "Resurrection," so Resurrection and The Life." 

Dave Benke
I think it is uncommon for parishes to have both words "Roman Catholic" in their public or their legal names. "Catholic" alone, however, is common.

Peace,
Michael
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #51 on: January 16, 2020, 01:14:44 PM »
We've done this before, initiated by Roger Martim http://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=4298.msg251196#msg251196 ("What's in a Name?") and an earlier sub-topic started by me on "Why Zion?"

The most surprising Lutheran church name I've seen is St. Martin de Porres Lutheran Church, Allentown PA. There's gotta be a story behind that one.

A question, Michael - what's the process for naming a Roman Catholic church?  Is it done by the bishop or head of the order?  Is there input from the potential congregants?  I think the Lutheran modus is pretty much democratic, with a list that emanates locally from either the missionary pastor and or congregants.

Dave Benke
Generally the bishop has the authoritative say. The involvement of others in the choice depends on the times, the bishop's attitude, and--for all I know--funding sources. Lately, the naming issue has more frequently involved merging parishes, where attempts (sometimes successful) have been made to avoid seeming to to give "ownership" of the new parish to one or the other of the merging congregations. (Sometimes the result is that neither feels ownership.)

A classmate of mine was the founding pastor of Pax Christi parish in Eden Prairie. The founding members tried to express their social consciousness (see https://paxchristiusa.org/) while reassuring with their use of Latin those who might think them too liberal.


In a town where I had served, there had been two Roman Catholic Parishes: Our Lady of Sorrows (OLS) and Sts. Cyril and Methodius (SCM). Each had their own buildings. The bishop decided that they would merge. The new parish is Holy Spirit Catholic Parish. He also wanted them to build a new building to replace the ones they had. One of the complaints is that the Spanish-language mass is getting more people - and many more children and has more excitement than the anglo services.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #52 on: January 16, 2020, 01:17:20 PM »
I think it is uncommon for parishes to have both words "Roman Catholic" in their public or their legal names. "Catholic" alone, however, is common.


I've thought of "Martinized Catholic Church" as a Lutheran name.


Along the same line, I suggested to a member of the Commission for a New Lutheran Church: "Catholic Church - Martinized" as a possible name. I don't know if he brought it to the attention of the whole group.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Dave Benke

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #53 on: January 16, 2020, 01:21:13 PM »
I think it is uncommon for parishes to have both words "Roman Catholic" in their public or their legal names. "Catholic" alone, however, is common.


I've thought of "Martinized Catholic Church" as a Lutheran name.


Along the same line, I suggested to a member of the Commission for a New Lutheran Church: "Catholic Church - Martinized" as a possible name. I don't know if he brought it to the attention of the whole group.

Martinizing is a dry cleaning process, no?  That would fit in with the cleansing and purifying nature of orthodoxy; it could be a bit put-offish to those who haven't yet understood that they need martinizing.

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Rev Mathew Andersen

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #54 on: January 17, 2020, 10:21:02 AM »
For what its worth, I would tend to avoid a church with an edgy name.  Having listened to a lot of sermons, I find those with edgy names, far from actually being edgy, tend to be entertaining but agonizingly safe in what they talk about and how they address it.  It tends to be much like the time I went to see Twilight expecting a vampire movie and got a Halmark special with a vampire veneer instead.  Only movie i ever walked out of before the end.  Tullian's new church "The Sanctuary" is a prime example.  Listen to one sermon of his lately and you have heard them all.  Nothing exceptional and exciting and I think he is pretty much existing on his reputation more than his message.  I've gotten to the point I don't expect much that is either edgy or authentic from edgy churches.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 10:23:21 AM by Matt Andersen »

Richard Johnson

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #55 on: January 17, 2020, 11:42:58 AM »


Quote

A pastor trained at a Lutheran seminary?

I would assume so. I'm not sure someone trained at Hartford Seminary or Denver Seminary or Fuller would fully understand Lutheranism. If the pastor was trained at a non-Lutheran seminary, I would question how long the congregation would remain Lutheran.


Well, Yale Divinity School grad here. I think I kept my parish pretty Lutheran for 29 years.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 11:46:03 AM by Richard Johnson »
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #56 on: January 17, 2020, 11:56:27 AM »
I served Peace Lutheran. Word from one of the then few remaining charter members (whose husband was the first president) is that it was named so because of a sense of relief after a struggle among Lutherans who had been attending the LCMS church in town but the new pastor insisted that they officially join the LCMS In order to commune, so they asked the ALC to form a congregatin. Fortunately, the congregation's organizational Sunday was Easter 2 ("Peace be with you" so I always just went with that.  ;D
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Dave Benke

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #57 on: January 17, 2020, 11:58:16 AM »
For what its worth, I would tend to avoid a church with an edgy name.  Having listened to a lot of sermons, I find those with edgy names, far from actually being edgy, tend to be entertaining but agonizingly safe in what they talk about and how they address it.  It tends to be much like the time I went to see Twilight expecting a vampire movie and got a Halmark special with a vampire veneer instead.  Only movie i ever walked out of before the end.  Tullian's new church "The Sanctuary" is a prime example.  Listen to one sermon of his lately and you have heard them all.  Nothing exceptional and exciting and I think he is pretty much existing on his reputation more than his message.  I've gotten to the point I don't expect much that is either edgy or authentic from edgy churches.

So what would make a church edgy or authentic in your opinion?

My own read is similar to yours in that what is desired in many churches is to maximize marketing toward sales, which is of course the American Business Model.  By sales is meant attendance and offerings.  And the churches that are using names like "New Dawn" (as opposed to Twilight) are marketing "new" and "lovely", something everybody wants to see and be part of as they sit on the beach early in the morning.  The problem is that the other term, "Sunset" or "Twilight" doesn't market well for churches, even though they are lovely and people want to be part of them even more because they don't like to get up early and at sunset they can have an adult beverage in their hand.  I guess Sunset Church would be OK in a retirement community in Arizona, maybe Sun City.  But even there, eventually after Sunset the lights go out.  EndGame Church.  Or you could have a dual parish, Sunset Church and Rising Star Church, maybe one church where the title changes with the time of day = that to me would be something new in the church marketing/sales deal, wouldn't it?  I may have to trademark and sell that right. 

All that being said, there's precious little knowledge out there any more about the Saints, and the Hypostasized Truths churches, Faith/Hope/Love have a lot to live up to, and the Distinctives churches, "Church of the Reformation," "Church of the Lutheran Confession," etc. are holding a very tight marketing line. 

So what makes a church edgy or authentic?  For titles, how about "Fearless Lutheran Church?"  Or "Two-Edged Sword Lutheran?"

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Steven W Bohler

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #58 on: January 17, 2020, 12:21:52 PM »


Quote

A pastor trained at a Lutheran seminary?

I would assume so. I'm not sure someone trained at Hartford Seminary or Denver Seminary or Fuller would fully understand Lutheranism. If the pastor was trained at a non-Lutheran seminary, I would question how long the congregation would remain Lutheran.


Well, Yale Divinity School grad here. I think I kept my parish pretty Lutheran for 29 years.

One of those just nominated to serve as the new president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis -- Dr. Travis Scholl -- has his MDiv from Yale and PhD (in English) from U of Missouri, with no Lutheran college or seminary training listed on the official LCMS Worker Locator page.  He is currently listed as "college or seminary faculty".

Mark Brown

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Re: What's in a Name? Protestant Church Names
« Reply #59 on: January 17, 2020, 12:34:31 PM »
I've always thought that Baptism Lutheran would be an interesting name.  And at least to me it ties back into what I think this discussion really is, which is how do you find/know the church.  At least for me this has been taking a much larger role.  We like to argue about doctrine, and it isn't that this is unimportant, but Luther's 7 marks are: The Word, Baptism, Communion, The Keys, Ministers, Prayer & Worship, the Cross.  There are rubrics and doctrine might guide those, but all of them are relatively simple.  You know if you practice them, or if you don't.  The practices, which include that hour of trial which comes out of the prayer and study of the Word because Satan isn't passive, are definitive.  It's a nice bonus if you have a correct understanding of those practices, but the practices take priority.  They are what define and form.