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Story of the Peace Logo

The Story of the Church Logo

The idea of a new logo for Peace Lutheran Church came about in response to one of our new ministry objectives: “We will take advantage of opportunities in the community to practice a ministry of presence.” In order to do that the Pastors and Board of Evangelism thought a new identifiable brand was in order, some image that can be placed on various promotional material such as tracts, brochures, letterhead, mailings, emailing, T-shirts, website, you-name-it! We got the idea to use an internet company called 99designs from the Central District office, who recently got a new logo. A committee was formed of six members of the church from a wide range of demographics, some with expertise in the communication field, and all with interest in the importance of branding.

Information about our congregation and its mission and ministry was sent through the design company to designers all over the internet. We received almost 200 designs over a couple week period. The committee critiqued them, gave feed back to the designers, and narrowed them down in the hope of presenting them to the Voter’s Assembly. It was my idea to change the end of that process and get the whole congregation involved. I was inspired by one of our new ministry objectives, namely, “We will not assume visitors or members know what Church is about, but will be clear in communicating opportunities to grow and to serve.” In other words, this would be a great opportunity to get the whole Church involved rather than just leave the decision up to the Voters. So the committee ranked the top ten and the top four of that ranking were presented to the congregation over the next two Sundays for a vote.

Meanwhile, I went on holidays for a week. (Bad timing No. 1) And even though I look at no emails, nor answer any phone calls while on holidays, I still keep my beloved congregation in my prayers and cannot stop thinking about how I can be a better pastor and how we can do a better job of the mission God has given to us. So, one day while lying on the beach in the sun I was listening to an audio book about rejuvenating the Church. Yep. (Why can’t I just read fiction?) One of the points the author made was the importance for a congregation to not over emphasize one demographic over another. In other words, because our society is changing so quickly, the Church has to be careful that it does not present itself as ministering to only one demographic. The Good News is for ALL people, in all walks of life. Our mission statement reflects that with the words “young and old” (and everyone in between) “hurting and troubled world”. That got me to thinking . . . . As a congregation are we presenting ourselves as a place and a people for all? Children, married without children, single, married with children, single again, widowed, orphaned, etc.? Are we more than a family Church?

When I got back from holidays and looked again at the proposed logos that were being voted on I realized that there may be a problem with one or two of them. This was confirmed after a visit with a dear member the day after the voting, the day after I got back from holidays. She said, the nuclear family depicted in the “tree logo” did not say Peace Lutheran Church ministers to singles, or singles again, or widowed, or orphaned. Immediately, I was reminded of the audio book I had listened to just a few days earlier. “How could I have missed that!” I thought to myself. I’d wait and see the results of the congregational vote before saying anything. The “tree logo” won the vote by a slim margin I found out on Tuesday. I really liked the tree logo. I liked a lot of the logos and could easily see a number of them good for Peace. I had already decided before I left on holidays that I’d be fine with any of the top ten. I shared my concerns about the “nuclear family image” in the tree logo with Pastor Glenn and Chris Anderson. They concurred that though it sends a great message, it could send the wrong message. It was too late to change the design. We talked about different scenarios and what we should do on Sunday. It was my intention to apologize on behalf of the committee for missing “the flaw” and explain my concerns to the congregation that Sunday of the Voter’s Meeting.

I got sick. (bad timing No. 2) So sick that I didn’t have time to talk to Pastor Glenn what was going to happen on Sunday. I was responsible for anything connected with the service that Sunday, including announcements. I was not there to make that announcement. I was not present at the Voter’s Meeting either. I know that I would have helped to clarify what had transpired. Thus this article. (Bad timing No. 3) A little late.

I am so glad a design was chosen. I am so glad that it was explained to the congregation. I hope everyone will be able to embrace the new logo and I hope that it will be able to remind us of our purpose as a congregation and motivate us to that end.

God Bless & Take Care

Pastor Brad Schollenberg

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