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How do you identify your ECO church?
Some ECO congregations have had to change signs and website banners because the old denominational seal was part of their “look.” At St. Giles we didn’t face that problem, but we figured with a new season it was time to rethink what we usually take for granted – our “look” in the public eye.
Businesses do not take this for granted. In fact, big businesses spend big money to get it right. We didn’t spend big money, but we knew we needed help. So we engaged a public relations firm to guide us in this process. We’re who we’ve always been, but we’re not. We have the same mission we’ve always had, but we don’t.
So how could we communicate such things in a logo and slogan?
They had a lot of questions for us.
The process with the P.R. firm was helpful in itself. They wanted to portray us well, so they had to understand who we are. Thus they had lots of questions, which challenged us to articulate our identity with greater clarity than we ever had before.
As I’ve discovered along with others, they were particularly puzzled by our ECO name. It does take some explaining especially now since it’s no longer an acronym for our name. But once explained most people seem to appreciate our plan to create a denomination that works like an ecosystem for its churches.
The P.R. firm provided us with several options, but we soon settled on this one.
It’s simple and it’s central to who we are: a cross. But it’s a cross with a connection by color and leaf adaptation to the ECO logo. There’s life in the cross!
And the three words do as well to summarize our life together as any three words could:
- Worship is primary
- Growth comes as we live together in Christ
- Service is the leading edge of how we live for Christ in the world
The words we let go.
You may have noticed that we left off the words “Church” and “Presbyterian.” You can be sure we talked at length about this. Everyone who knows us in Richmond simply calls us “St. Giles.” For the sign outside we don’t really need the word “Church,” for the building is obviously a church, complete with a steeple.
As for “Presbyterian” – that was a more complicated discussion. We’ve always had “Presbyterian” as part of our logo, but we decided to leave it off for three reasons.
- First, a practical reason – its length makes it hard to fit in a visually appealing logo.
- Second, as new church developers have taught us, most people don’t care that it’s Presbyterian. They just want a vibrant congregation.
- And third, with four flavors of “Presbyterian” in our city, it’s no longer a word that clarifies.
We will use “Presbyterian” and “Church” on our website and brochures, where we have more space to be clear about what we mean.
Speaking of which, now we’ve got to get on with updating our outdated website and brochures, incorporating the new logo, slogan, colors, etc. Identifying your church is no small task! But the logo and slogan were the starting place for us.
How about for your congregation? How are you identifying yourself?