In late spring 2017, Dunbar Ryerson United Church embarked on a process to choose a permanent name. The name Dunbar Ryerson was a temporary selection, meant to answer the question of what the new congregation should be called when the two legacy churches became one on January 1, 2017.
As a first step in deciding on a permanent name, Council appointed Chris Ball, Chris Epting, Catherine Evans, and Jacqueline Kelly to a special “Naming Committee.” The committee’s job is not to choose a name – that’s up to the congregation – but to make recommendations about the process for choosing the permanent name.
To get the discussion going, the committee organized a workshop called “What’s in a Name.” It was held after church on Sunday, May 28th and attended by about 80 people. The small group discussion format enabled many lively discussions to take place about how people and things get their names and what those names can signify. After the workshop and for the three weeks following, all congregation members were invited to submit name suggestions, anonymously if they wished. Some suggestions were sent in by email, but most were dropped into a suggestion box in the lobby of the Memorial Centre.
On June 18th, all the names that had been suggested up to that time were posted and congregation members were given the opportunity to place up to 10 stickers beside one or more of the approximately 50 names. This was repeated on June 25th for anyone who had missed the 18th. The stickers were meant to show in an open and transparent manner which names the congregation would like members to keep on considering and which could be dropped.
This Fall, the names that are still in consideration (plus any new names placed in the suggestion box over the summer) will again be posted and a second round of “stickering” will take place.
Staff will research the availability of URL website addresses for the top suggestions, as well as any similarly named churches in the vicinity to help make the short-listing and final selection processes as informed as possible. As the process moves along, updates will be included in the weekly Reminder as well as posted to the website.