Monday, April 26, 2010

St James Bond Church, post-denom, and a confusing steak house

Ever hear of churches with ridiculous-sounding names?
Names often created when two churches merged..this the famous merger of St. James and Bond United that became "St. James-Bond United'....but inevitably no one prounces the dash!!.

I think a church that I previously pastored took the wise choice. St Luke's United Methodist became St. Luke's Community (that story here).
Then (after my time), the church absorbed the former Calvary Presbyterian, and became "St Luke's-Calvary Community Church."
Now they have created a new name and a fresh start with "Palm Avenue Community Church."
It was good to acknowledge former streams...That was the reason for the first two name-changes. But Kudos to to them for avoiding a well-meaning tongue twister with Palm Avenue.

It way beats "Ex-Methodists and Presbyterians Community Church Formerly Known as St. Luke's." And it reminds of the classic joke:

Did you hear about the Methodist and Presbyterian churches that merged?
They got along fine until it came time to recite the Lord's Prayer:
The Methodists traditionally say "Forgive us our tresspasses," and the Presbyterians have always said "Forgive us our debts."
So they called off the merger, and (punchline):

The Methodists went back to their tresspasses,
and the Presbyterians went back to their debts. (:

Phyllis Tickle does an excellent job emphasizing the need to not throw denominational babies (strengths of each tradition) out with bathwater when emergence happens and we become
- post-denominational ...(video below):
-"hyphenated emergents"...(video below):

It is trespass and debt to do otherwise.

Of course, Richard Foster's call (via Renovare) to incorprate the best of five historic streams is helpful, as is Brian McLaren's reminder (in "Generous Orthodoxy" and in "A is For Abductive") that "emergence" implies a helical (helix-like) progression which incorporates the best of former movements (Harold Best suggests helical is not linear (Hello?), and enot circular, but a combination of both)

I sometimes (wrongly) get the credit for the St Luke's-Calvary merger (which was pulled off wonderfully by my successor, Kevin Smith).
I am not sure if Palm Ave's new pastor, Steve Brown, was behind the new name...but whoever is gets extra credit.
I think pastors will be called to navigate these shifts as well as these two brothers.
We need some James Bonds..
It's just part of the Rummage Sale.
Such can keep us from the temptation toward burning down missions unnecessarily, and instead birthing Holy Mashups (how's that for a church name?)

I wondered why "Ruth's Chris Steak House" would choose such a ridiculously confusing name:
Is it Ruth's...or Chris's? I googled the answer:

Ruth's Chris Steak House" is such a tongue-twister that one restaurant critic suggested it be used as a sobriety test: anyone who could say that name three times certainly couldn't be intoxicated...
...{There was} a legal spat with Chris Matulich [previous owner] that led Ruth to append her first name to his, creating the famously tongue-twisting Ruth's Chris Steak House. "Frankly, I've always hated the name," she would later say, "but we've managed to work around it.

"Methdist's Presbyterian Church House?

Phyllis Tickle does an excellent job emphasizing the need to not throw denominational babies out with bathwater when emergence happens (video three here).

Related, in local news:

Joe Levy, one of the family members behind the Gottschalks department store chain, is opening a new retail operation that will be called Gottschalks by Joe Levy, according to a news release issued today. The original Gottschalks dissolved in bankruptcy proceedings last year.

A news conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday to reveal the details of Levy's new retail venture. Levy, 78, was the former Gottschalks chairman and CEO.

Here's a statement from Levy via the news release announcing the news conference:

"The Gottschalk name has always stood for outstanding customer service, value and name brand fashions. We are committed to continuing that tradition," said Levy.

The Fresno-based Gottschalks lasted 105 years before going bankrupt. Gottschalks had operated 58 department stores and three specialty apparel stores in six Western states.

It is unclear so far what kind of operation Levy's plans will bring. But with the economy picking up, it could be a good time to move cautiously back into the retail market. Levy said the new Gottschalks will create hundreds of jobs, according to The Bee's story.


  1. This reminds me of a joke about a Jew who was shipwrecked on a desert island. He was found three years later, and before he left, he showed his rescuers the little town he'd built. "There's the stop light, there's town hall, there's the post office. Here's my synagogue, and down a block is the other synagogue." The rescuers were confused. "The other synagogue? Why build another one?" To which the rescued Jew replied, "That's the synagogue I would never set foot in to save my life!"

  2. LOL. we have the same joke..just substitute "church" for synagogue.. and it was "That's the church I USED TO go to">>


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