LGCM's new name for a new vision
As our members will be aware, the trustees and staff have been reflecting carefully for some time on how we best position LGCM to work effectively to meet the current challenges and opportunities facing us across the denominations, and in reaching out to the LGBT communities beyond the churches. Part of that has been thinking about how our name serves us.
Following a board meeting on Saturday 28 January, we are pleased to be able to share with you the new name we believe will best serve LGCM, and some of the thinking behind our proposal. We have been considering a new vision for a new organisation, looking forward into the next 10-20 years, and in the context of incorporating Changing Attitude’s work and aims. We felt we wanted a name which articulated the theology underlying our conviction.
Gay Christian Movement and then LGCM have served us well for over forty years, but we are increasingly aware that the new generation we need to draw into our work – people on the edges of church, people who share our vision but don’t call themselves Christian, people who identify as bi or trans or non-gender conforming – don’t feel they have a place in our movement.
Now more than ever we need to send out a clear message that we need every single person of goodwill as part of our work. So after much discussion and having taken both legal advice and the wisdom of those with experience of helping organisations find new names, we would like to offer you:
If you’re anything like me, the new name feels very unfamiliar, and therefore a bit uncomfortable, so it might be helpful if we share some of the thinking with you.
- OneBodyOneFaith is ecumenical – we include and represent Christians across a range of UK denominations and are open to all who share our vision. And of course, you’ll recognise that our new name is Biblical - 1 Corinthians 12:12 and Ephesians 4:4-6 - and draws on Paul’s vision of the Christian community as a body where everybody’s gift is necessary, welcomed and encouraged to flourish.
- OneBodyOneFaith asserts the need for doctrine to be theology that takes seriously that life is embodied: the incarnation of the Son of God as Christ shows us that the salvation and redemption are achieved through positively embracing human sexuality and gender; it follows that the range of created sexual attraction and gender in creation are God’s gift and purpose.
- Members of OneBodyOneFaith seek to participate fully in a church that is purposeful in its mission to the world; we believe that the Creator’s purpose is fullness of life for all: this requires that Christians embrace the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity present within the body of Christ to enrich that mission to be agents of transformation for all.".
The logo we are developing incorporates a cross and a circle of stones representing everybody’s contribution to the life we share in Christ.
Likewise, we have not included any of the growing list of ‘identity letters’ - L, G, B, T, Q, I, + -because we want a name which will last us well into the future, as the ways in which people identify themselves continue to develop and unfold. We think the ‘OneBody’ element of our new name captures that perfectly.
Some practicalities: in choosing a new name we had to be mindful of the limitations around our status as a charity, and company law – which is why we have taken legal advice. We are only permitted to chose a name which is not already registered by another company or charity; ideally we also wanted one for which we could purchase the appropriate domain name for our website.
The process we’re proposing now is that we seek the feedback of our members by Friday 11 February, and based on that feedback the Board can apply to have LGCM’s working name changed to OneBodyOneFaith. At the AGM later in the summer you will be invited to consider a resolution to change the company’s registered name, and that will in turn enable us to change the name of the charity.
We think this is an incredibly important and exciting development, and now is the time to be making the change. We hope we’ll have your support, and we’re looking forward to receiving your feedback. You can respond by email here.
Thank you again for your continuing support through this period of transition; it’s challenging but extremely exciting and there was a huge amount of energy and commitment around the table on Saturday for the tasks that lie ahead.