The following is a “press release” to our church family to circulate the proposal and garner feedback. The entire document is posted online Proposal-DBA-LosAltosGraceChurchandSchool [PDF].
Proposal for new “Doing Business As” name for Los Altos Grace Brethren Church and Los Altos Brethren Schools
April 5, 2018
For better than a decade, the church has primarily been referred to as Los Altos Grace in our colloquial communications. The Community of Elders and the School Administrators would like to propose that we use Los Altos Grace Church and Schools as our “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. Nothing would be changing in our state or federal documents other than we would register “Los Altos Grace Church” and “Los Altos Grace Schools” as names we can operate with. We believe that this change retains integrity with our rich heritage and gives us clarity for going into the future!
Names are important. When you hear Microsoft or Panera or Kobe Bryant or Kaiser Permanente or American Red Cross or Mount Baldy or the United States of America, something pops into your head to identify the name with a person, place, group or organization. In 1953, we were originally named Los Altos Brethren Church as a daughter church of the First Brethren Church of Long Beach (now Long Beach Grace Brethren Church). Our school started in 1972 and took on the name Los Altos Brethren School. In 1994, the church officially added the word Grace to our name as a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. This was to identify with the larger Grace Brethren group as Los Altos Grace Brethren Church. We have continued to operate with that name even though our current registered name in our federal and state documents is still Los Altos Brethren Church.
Let us be clear about a few things: First, this doesn’t represent a shift away from the historic Grace Brethren family or doctrine or practices. Our group has always been progressive, and we are seeing this change as being more relevant for the future. Our national fellowship of churches rebranded from Grace Brethren to “Charis Fellowship” as it’s DBA in November of 2017. Our regional Grace Brethren Churches also rebranded in 2016 to be called the “Grace Churches Network.” Brethren isn’t a bad word, it is just not as helpful as it used to be, and it is unknown / confusing to those outside of the church. In the same way that our national and regional fellowships are seeking to be progressive by their name/DBA changes, it also makes sense for us make a change at this time.
Secondly, we want to keep going forward with “Grace” as the center for all of our ministry! It is “by grace that we’ve been saved” (Ephesians 2:8-9) and may we “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). As the Apostle Paul wrote, “By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect” (1 Corinthians 15:10). May the same be true of all of our ministry as individuals and as a spiritual family!
Thirdly, we understand this is a more dramatic change for our school(s). The church is still the umbrella that the school operates under per our Constitution and corporate documents. This name change may help people recognize the integration of the church and school more easily. We envision the Los Altos Grace Elementary School and Los Altos Grace Preschool as being the particular names of our schools. The collective name would be Los Altos Grace Schools. Also, for future logo design we want to have a unified look between the church and school and a unified name helps that.
Finally, we are humbly submitting this proposal to our church body as our best suggestion at this time. We are open to other proposals. Our leadership considered a more dramatic change to our church and school names (i.e., a whole new name like Los Altos Charis Fellowship or Stearns Street Church) yet didn’t feel that it was worth the effort or confusion or possible distraction from disciple-making. The leadership wanted to make a proposal in continuity with the current trajectory of our ministries. This doesn’t mean that the proposal is already decided. We envision that the DBA proposal will be voted on by the congregation at our May 19, 2018 Family Meeting.
The Community of Elders and School Administration wanted this brief explanation to communicate the rationale for this proposal. We want to invite feedback from our church and school families on this proposal! We would be glad to hear your opinions and ideas – whether you love it, hate it, are marginally supportive or have a fantastic different idea!
Feedback can be shared online in the following form: https://lagbc.breezechms.com/form/dba
We would love to have your name and contact info if you want to have a further conversation about your feedback, but you can also be anonymous.
We request feedback on this proposal from now through May 1, 2018. Please share your feedback with us by then! Thanks so much for considering this and we look forward to hearing from you!
In Christ Alone,
The Community of Elders
P.S. We will also post this information on the following webpage: https://LosAltosGrace.org/dba
The entire document is posted online Proposal-DBA-LosAltosGraceChurchandSchool [PDF].