I was able to hold it in for about five seconds into the staff meeting before I looked at Deb and asked, “How’s it going Debbie?” Deb, or Debbie, whichever you know her by looked at me, laughed and then said something like, “Everybody use to call me Debbie.” At the staff meeting we went around the table and sure enough most of us use to have a “y” or an “ie” at the end of how most people know us now. Rick was Ricky. Don was Donnie. Dan was Danny. The exception was Judey, who is a Judey and not a Judith, just so you know.
I’ve asked permission to tell this little bit of EPUMC office staff trivia. But for my part I’d like to remind you that the only people who still call me “Danny,” are those who knew me before I went away to college and changed my name on the first day. I will say that hearing someone call me Danny once in a while brings something back that is often buried deep within me. Yes, it’s a bit nostalgic and fun, but it is also helpful. It’s helpful to remember where you’ve come from, what parts of you are still down there somewhere even if they are not called out as much as they use to be.
The other day a couple of folks were cleaning out the history cabinet in the back of the Fellowship Hall. They uncovered a few things we needed including our “Articles of Incorporation” which among other things, like a birth certificate, tells us what our name is as a congregation. Our church has had a few names. We were named after the first Methodist pastor to come here and started out as Macomber Methodist Episcopal Church of Eden Prairie. Officially, we’ve been Eden Prairie Methodist Episcopal, North, Eden Prairie Methodist and now Eden Prairie United Methodist.
For a lot of years beginning in the mid 1980’s we had something like a nickname and called ourselves “Prairie Church.” That nickname stuck for a long while and worked very well as a way for us to see ourselves. That by the way is the reason all of our rooms are named after prairie flowers. “Prairie” is now also used by a lot of other churches in our community; there is Prairie Lutheran, Prairie Community to name a couple so we’ve kinda let the nickname slide even though our web address is still prairiechurch.org.
If you look at our new logo you will see that “Eden Prairie” is a lot bigger than “United Methodist” in our name. I learned today that there was method behind the madness of this design. It speaks to place an emphasis in our identity. If you ask me that identity is not so much that most of us live in EP or even that if you want to find us that you should go to 15050 Scenic Height in EP…… But if you are looking for us, you will find us out in this community; active, engaged and involved with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Keep the Faith!