New Logo - New Website
Early in November 2015, a group of church leaders and interested parties met to discuss the vision and values of Neffsville Mennonite Church. It was out of that meeting that our vision statement was formed: Inviting, engaging, and equipping all generations to be more like Jesus. Since that time you have seen it in the bulletin, Monthly Messenger, weekly email, and probably many other places. For some time after that meeting, I have spent time imagining what it would look like to represent those three action words in a visual format. I had worked through several different ideas and found that it is not always easy to represent words in picture form. One of my first ideas that got beyond the sketching stage was based on the imagery of a seed being sown (Inviting), growing (Engaging), then producing fruit (Equipping). I bounced the idea off some folks and received some very definite feedback, so scratched that idea! I didn't really like it either, so on we went. The second idea was based on the fact that we like to gather and drink coffee, but again I found it hard to truly represent the three words adequately.
After letting the idea simmer on the back burner for an extended period of time, I tried moving in an abstract direction. Consider the UPS logo or the Nike logo. What does a shield have to do with delivering packages or a modified check mark have to do with shoes? I was reinvigorated and again began sketching and thinking. After several iterations, and again gathering the opinions or others, I felt like we had something worthwhile, but the timing didn't feel right. Then the process of rolling out a new website began.
As the congregation changes and expectations and needs change with it, it was increasingly apparent that a new website was needed. In January of this year a Web Site Development Team, comprised of Mary Burgess, Aaron Zimmerman, and myself, was tasked with developing a new communication piece for our congregation. We looked at the content on our site, the content and design of church websites we found attractive, and then began the process of building a new site for Neffsville Mennonite Church. With special thanks to the Strategic Planning Team and Elders for their input, I am quite excited to announce that our new website went live Thursday, August 30, 2018 (check it out at www.neffmc.org). Along with that the timing now seemed right to propose a new logo. That, too, was reviewed and approved by the Strategic Planning Team and Elders. You have begun to see it in the weekly email, letterheads, and on the masthead of this newsletter. See the thought process and explanation for the logo below.
INVITING: Being inviting is always a little risky. There is a tentativeness and uncertainty. Will we like each other? Will we be comfortable? I feel like these two arcs represent a little of that hesitation. However, I have heard from numerous people that NMC is good at making guests feel welcome and comfortable. Well done!
ENGAGING: This is the difficult one, and one where we probably struggle the most. How do we include into our groups those who are newer among us? How do we welcome someone into our Sunday School class, small group, worship service, after church lunch bunch, homes, and hearts?
This is the portion that ultimately became the new church logo because it is a cleaner, more simple design that will translate well in many different applications.
EQUIPPING: The training and sending part of our vision statement is represented here. The lines are closely interwoven, and some fruit is being born, represented by the three little arcs being spun off the end of each whorl. Do you remember an earlier vision statement: To win, train, and send? This is why I like so much that "Equipping" looks similar to a thumbprint. This is part of our DNA. This is who we are. This is our past and part of our future.
Thank you to those who offered input and feedback along the way. One of the more interesting comments made about the logo is that "it has a certain energy about it." I look forward to how these images will help us relate to our ministries. For instance, Wednesday Night Out is a classic "Inviting" event. What new ministries might be created that fit into our stated vision statement: Inviting, engaging, and equipping all generations to be more like Jesus?