Dear People’s people,

You might think that a community of about 450 people (roughly 250 church members, 150 kids, and 50 adults who have not signed the Bond of Union to become members), is too small to contain separate dialects. You would be wrong.

Over the past few weeks, staff, lay leaders, and I have become armchair anthropologists, pondering all the many names we have for the email that Chris, our office administrator, sends out every Friday that lists upcoming church events and other useful information. Subgroups within the church call it ‘The Friday Flash,’ ‘The Friday Blast,’ ‘The Friday Email,’ The Weekly Email,’ and more. Your leaders and I have realized that having so many names for the same thing causes problems. People who receive what they call ‘The Weekly Email’ thought they were missing out when another People’s person talked about getting ‘The Friday Flash.’ In fact, they were using different words to describe the same email they both received. Chris even showed some people a recent edition of this email to help them understand that they are using different words for the same thing. (Could this be a theological metaphor? Perhaps.)

We realized that to cut down on all this confusion, we should have a name for the email that the church sends every week. After a few brainstorming sessions at recent staff meetings, which went on some truly entertaining tangents (my favorite ridiculous idea was ‘People of Love, People of Hope, People of Email’), we agreed on a straightforward and descriptive name – the ‘This Week at People’s Church Email.’ We like that it communicates clearly what it is. Not including ‘Friday’ in the name gives us flexibility for the times that something unexpected arises and the email is sent on a different day than usual.

Going forward, ‘This Week at People’s Church’ will be the subject line for our weekly email. I am working to change my dialect to call the email by its new name and I invite you to join me in this tiny culture-shifting project.

And, if in reading this column, you realize you’d like to receive the re-named ‘This Week at People’s Church Email,’ you can contact Chris in our church office (, 269-375-3262) to be added to the list of recipients.


See you in church,

Rev. Rachel

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