More news this week concerning the details of our partnership with Summit Springs Community Church. I will try to make this concise, but much is happening!
As of Wednesday, September 30, 2015, Summit Springs Community Church will no longer exist. Accounts are being closed, the leased facility has been emptied, items have been moved to our site at 1800 NE Independence Avenue, and the remaining lease has been negotiated and is being paid. More on that last part to follow. Tithes and offerings should now be made out to New Summit Church. When the name of the congregation changes, we'll let everyone know the date on which donations can be received by the new entity.
We need immediate financial help with the lease. The lease with Summit Springs extended to the end of 2016. Monthly payments would have cost a total of approximately $45,000. Negotiations with the landlord reduced that amount to $15,350. $3400 remaining in the checking account of Summit Springs Community Church reduced that amount to $11,600. An individual donor has offered to pay $8450 of that amount! We need to raise $3500 in the next two weeks, and we can be done with the lease! Make donations to New Summit Church as soon as you're able.
On October 4 following the worship service, both congregations will meet together to vote on a new name for the new congregation! At a meeting of leaders on September 22, the following names were chosen to present to you as options:
New Springs Community...
Meadow Lane Community Church.
Here are some details of the process, and the results thus far. Over the last several weeks we've asked for you to make suggestions. Some have suggested names, but we've also asked for connections with the area, with biblical stories, or with other characteristics that might be expressive of our identity. Thank you to everyone who responded! We received suggestions ranging from edgy and contemporary to theological and reflective. It was difficult to reduce the list!
New Springs Community has a couple of strengths that we liked. It acknowledges the history of the previous congregations, and it reminds us of several biblical stories concerning the springs of life or salvation, for instance Isaiah 12 in the New American Standard Version,
Then you will say on that day, "I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for although you were angry with me, your anger is turned away, and you comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid: for the Lord God is my strength and song, and he has become my salvation." Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation. (Isaiah 12:1-3, NASB. Other versions reference "wells.")
Note that we are not including the word "church" in the name. We are a community of faith, for the community around us. Our formal name, appearing on the deeds and bylaws, will be "New Springs Community Presbyterian Church." In some of the marketing, we will say "New Springs Community: a congregation of the PC(U.S.A.)." Our guess is that we'll most often say we are a part of "New Springs."
Meadow Lane Community Church also has some strengths that we like. For those who don't know the area it is a generic name with reference to the openness of Lee's Summit and at the same time the development and journey on which we find ourselves: meadow and lane. For those who know the area, it is a direct reference to the elementary school down the street with which we are Partners in Education. In that way the name of the church doubles down on our missional commitment to be present for those around us, even as we equip one another to discover God's mission in the places where we live, work, etc.
As with New Springs Community, the formal name would be "Meadow Lane Community Presbyterian Church." Our guess is that we'll most often say we are a part of "Meadow Lane."
As a group of leaders, the Session of New Summit meeting together with Pastor Corey, we are recommending that we change the name of our new church to New Springs Community. But we trust in the process, and look forward to the conversation following worship on October 4.
Changing the name of the church is only the beginning of changing the name of the church! Once the congregations make a decision, a number of things will start happening. Graphics and logos will be developed. The web page will be re-designed. We will be in contact with the denomination and with the state of Missouri concerning any required process to make the name change official. Bank accounts will eventually be changed, but for now, we'll all continue to donate to New Summit Church.
So much is happening right now! Honestly, there will be some moments of anxiety and tension. Decisions will be made that may or may not resonate with each of us. We will need to listen to and love one another well. At the same time, there is so much promise in our future together. We have spent these several months getting acquainted, talking and praying, dreaming and hoping. We've been guided to make some key decisions. Now comes the time to bring it all together. We have neighbors, friends, family, and co-workers that need the kind of church God is leading us to be. We have a grand opening to plan. We have work to do, and a mission to fulfill.
I'm grateful to everyone for the journey we've shared thus far, and excited about the journey ahead. Let me know if you have questions about these next steps, or about any other part of the process.