Massachusetts Church Votes to Change Name

Post a Comment » Written on April 2nd, 2007     
Filed under: News
INDIAN ORCHARD, MA (April 2, 2007) – The pastor of Orchard Covenant Church says the church changed its name from Evangelical Covenant Church of Indian Orchard in order to reflect its commitment to the gospel while avoiding the negative stereotype that some people hold of the word “evangelical.”

“We are still good news people,” says pastor Nancy Ebner. “We are dedicated to evangelization because that is what’s in our hearts.” To learn more about the church and its ministries, see Orchard Covenant.

Ebner says the congregation was concerned that the term evangelical had become too associated with politics and might be a hindrance to evangelism. The church wanted to retain the word Covenant because members are committed to the denomination and its shared mission, she adds.

The church, which has stood at the same corner since 1885, held an open house on Saturday to celebrate its name change and the reaffirmation of its vision to minister in the community. Starting the Lion’s Den, a Christian-based organization that focuses on helping teenagers, is one example of the congregation’s commitment to the area.

During Saturday’s celebration, a church member gave two concerts on an antique pipe organ dating to 1860, residents toured the historic building, and children participated in games and an Easter egg hunt.

The church has changed its name before. Local residents founded the church in 1848 as the First Congregational Church of Indian Orchard.

Orchard Covenant began the process of changing its name more than a year and a half ago, Ebner says. In January 2006, the church voted on the concept of changing the name. Members had many conversations in the meantime, she says.

In the past, “There was some disagreement,” Ebner says. “Change is always hard. Now that we’ve voted, the response has been positive.”

About 100 people attend the church, Ebner says. “We’re a small church that keeps plugging away.”

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