Why Communion

It’s out now that at this year’s triennial Council, the seven presbyteries of the CREC voted to become the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches, leaving behind the word Confederation in the denomination title. Although many were not, and are not, entirely satisfied with the Communion, it was by far the lesser of two evil. “Confederation” is a good word, stemming from “con” (with) and “federation” which comes from the Latin word foedus, which means covenant. In this respect, our group of churches remains very much covenanted. But for churches in the American south, “Confederation” connoted neo-confederate, something we want nothing to do with.

For those very much not satisfied with Communion, consider it comes from the Greek koinonia, the word often translated fellowship in English, said of the early Christians who devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and fellowship (Acts 2:42). It’s also not a word without ecclesiastical precedence. We speak of the Anglican Communion. Among the options on the table, this was my preference. Options regarding a new name entirely (not conforming to the CREC acronym) were not on the table. If you ideas for that, well, speak up!

3 Comments Why Communion

  1. peterb

    Could this be an area where the world does things more biblically than the Church? We have at least two express affirmations in Scripture for how important naming is. Proverbs “a good name is to be chosen rather than riches” and the fact that one of Adam’s first tasks was to name all the animals. I don’t have any specific suggestions here as to name (though Reformed and Evangelical are certainly our two most meaningful descriptors within the context of the broader church), but I do think we should change the process next time we approach the subject. Hopefully we approach the subject again.

    Other bodies (businesses, non-profits, etc.) take naming seriously. They have established processes, guidelines, and principles that are spelled out specifically and followed rigorously. They spend money on naming. Books (good books!) are written on the subject and people study the topic. I’m not suggesting the CREC hire a consultant, but we should think more about the process of naming. It’s important! :)

  2. jwowen

    Agreed, muy importante. But lots of sweat did go into it, though I wasn’t privy to all of it. You would like to know the Presiding Minister of Council is in charge of getting new logo designs. Should I pass your name along?

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