One down, one more to go…

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.



  1. Which is the one left “to go?” Mars Hill in Grand Rapids?

  2. No- MH Seattle only sent the letter to the church in Sacramento as far as I know. What I meant was that the first step was to remove the issue from court, and the second step would be to remove copyrights and trademarks from churches entirely. I realize the second one is far more idealistic and would require some power divestment, but one can always hope! :)

  3. Yes, this is good news. Although the Catholics are just as bad with “Theology on Tap.” I blogged about starting a group like that and they promptly replied w/comments and an email that I most certainly would NOT be calling it Theology on Tap unless I paid them for that.

    That’s lame.

  4. Adam, that is unbelievable. And yes, lame. I think one of the reasons this went viral is because it’s happening all over the place. I talked with some of my Journey people about it over the past few days and we really think there might be the need for a forum on how we can respectfully share generative ideas while giving credit when credit is due. This is stuff the church should be modeling, and instead we’re showing loads of examples on how to be territorial and in some cases plain greedy.

  5. Oh, I get you! I like your idealism! That’s an essential part of seeking the Kingdom!

    BTW I’m struck by the strange similarity of logos…and also the seemingly random selection of MH-Sacramento, when there are other Mars Hill institutions (why not call Grand Rapids to cease and desist?). And on top of that, the apparent tone-deaf approach — as if it’s not obvious that it’s weird for churches to act like dog-eat-dog corporations.

    I could go on and on about the weirdness. So glad you’re speaking to this in a clarifying way.

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