A lot, and not very much, at the same time.
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet". What you call a thing, doesn't change its essence, it character.
On the other hand, people throughout history have elected to change their name as a way of signifying a major event in their life. God changed Abram's name to Abraham; Sarai to Sarah. In Christ's time Simon became Peter, and later Saul became Paul.
It seems that when major milestones occur, there is a desire to mark that occasion with a new name.
In the spring and summer of 2016, when the merger committee was meeting, and developing the merger document, the committee recommended to the Sessions of both Benson Presbyterian Church, and Presbyterian Church of the Master, that we first adopt the name Presbyterian Church of the Master—for now; but, that we also commit to considering a new name.
On paper, Benson Presbyterian Church and the "original" Presbyterian Church of the Master ceased to be, starting January 1, 2017, when the merger became effective.
We are a new congregation in the eyes of the denomination—we have a new congregation ID number in the PC(USA) system.
We are a melding of two congregations, two histories that came together in January. We're developing a new identity, a new personality, new mission emphases, new elements of worship, and undertaking an exciting remodeling of our facilities.
It's time to join the ranks of Abram, Sarai, Simon, and Saul, and consider a new name for our congregation. A new name that we can all claim together, as a newly unified community. A name that marks us for who we are, and the Lord that we worship together.
What's In A Name?
This morning a woman came by asking about a visitation. Since I obviously didn't know anything, she showed me the information on her phone. It said the visitation is at Lutheran Church of the Master, so I told her where that is.
This happens more often than you can imagine. I meet someone new, who asks me where I work. When I say, "Presbyterian Church of the Master" they say, "That's at 114th and Center, right?" Or occasionally we're confused with Presbyterian Church of the Cross. For me, of course, the theological and spiritual issues are more important, but we should probably keep questions of marketing in mind, too.