Good news awaits us this morning from the pastor of Mars Hill Sacramento. Over the weekend they spoke with pastors of Mars Hill Seattle and are in the process of working things out. You can read all the details on Pastor Scott Hagan’s blog. The short recap is this: MH Sacramento received the cease and desist letter with 2 weeks to change their name and logo and website. They responded with a letter to the lawyer (by request that communication go there rather than the church), in which they suggested a church-to-church conversation. They did not hear from MH Seattle. A pastor friend blogged about the situation, it went viral, and MH Seattle called over the weekend. MH Sacramento is going to keep their name, and they are now in the process of creating a new logo, etc. All matters have been settled out of court, and both parties seem to be reconciled.
This is the reason we are called to work conflict out together rather than in court. The purpose of the legal system is to exact punishment, while the purpose of the Kingdom is to bring about reconciliation. The process of reconciliation requires truth-telling from all sides. It requires us to call one another to the carpet in a plea to our better selves. However MH Seattle got to the reconciliation table, I’m glad for it. How good and pleasant it is when we live together in unity…especially after a spat. So that’s one for the win column.
NOW, if we could only get all of the copyrighting/trademarking churches to divest themselves of the desire to be known and use that time, energy and advertising money to pursue the Kingdom instead, that would really be something. It will take more than a few phone calls over a weekend and a rather large amount of courage, but I will throw a PARADE of joy through downtown Dallas if any religious corporation decides to return to being a church.