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Your church’s signatures

Your church’s signatures

This thought-provoking reflection by the Rev. Canon Frank Logue caught our attention, “What are your church’s two signatures?”

Your Church’s Two Signatures

In Frank Logue’s “Loose Canon” blog

What do people in your community know about your congregation? I’m not asking about those who have attended the church or know someone who is a member. What about your neighbors who go to another church? Or the neighbors who do not attend any church? We want to be known for Word and Sacrament-our meaningful liturgy and thought-provoking preaching. But those who do not attend will know us in other ways. This includes those members that they know personally whose lives can be the greatest attractor (or detractor) for those who know them. Yet, there are two other ways you can become known. The first is through signature events, which I will write about this week. Then I will follow up with the second, and probably most important signature next week.

Signature Events

There should be community events in which your church take part that are not your event. For Trinity, Statesboro, amd other congregations in the Diocese of Georgia, this includes taking part in Relay for Life. The church’s participation is visible, but this is a Cancer Society event. Taking part is a great idea, but this is not what I mean. For Trinity, the concerts offered in the church are more significant. They are announced on Georgia Public Radio frequently and so keep the congregation’s name on the public ear (lapsed Methodists who listen to NPR are known easy targets for an Episcopal Church).

Your Church’s Second Signature

Last week, I wrote about the importance of having a signature event for which your congregation is known by those who do not attend the church (see below for previous column). These are the events circled on the calendar of some folk who never attend your church. This week, I want to move to the second signature for which your church is known-a signature ministry.

Signature Ministry

There should be ministries with which your congregation is involved that are not a ministry of the church itself. For a number of our congregations, this includes Habitat for Humanity. Our churches have sponsored whole houses, or sponsored a house with other churches. This also is typically through a community-wide effort.

Read it all HERE

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Lois Keen

I realized, reading these two posts at "Loose Canon" itself, that while the church I serve have signatures, only we know about them, therefore, they are not signatures at all.

Our involvement with HfH, for instance, could become a signature if we invited the non-church-going community around us to join us, not for us, but for the sake of the build. And our annual "community-wide" fundraiser for a school in Waterloo, Sierra Leone, 1) is not advertised community-wide, and 2) does not benefit the local community.

So, whether we should have only two signature events or more is irrelevant for me. What is more relevant is that this post has reframed what we are doing, and how we might do it better, for the sake of the gospel as well as for the community in which we live and serve.

Thank you, Frank Logue!

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Josh Thomas

Is there an implication here that we should have only two signature events?

I think St. John's, Lafayette, Indiana has three or four: the St. John's Food Pantry, a strawberry festival at the Round the Fountain Art Fair, lunchtime concerts with food afterwards, and an Evensong series that raises funds for local charities. For art lovers, music isn't denominational.

(I'd love to get me some gumbo in Thibodaux, Grandmère!)

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GrandmèreMimi

The two signature events at my church, St John's Episcopal Church in Thibodaux, Louisiana, are the chicken gumbo lunch each Monday in Lent. We work together with the congregation at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Co-Cathedral, which serves a seafood gumbo on Fridays. Most of the proceeds go to the local food bank.

Our other signature event is a popular English tea in the early spring.

June Butler

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