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New name is still in the works
at the Worldwide Church of God
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Grace International Communion is out
but new name is still in the works at WCG

PASADENA, Calif.--The Worldwide Church of God will soon have a new name, but it won't be the one many people are expecting.

Church headquarters had tentatively decided on Grace International Communion, or GIC, as the new moniker, but that name is out, and it's not yet clear what name is in.

Still, "the name change is not on hold and the process for finding a new name continues," according to a writer for the church's personal-correspondence department.

"What has happened is that based on the feedback from members and pastors, the name that had been proposed, Grace International Communion, will not be selected," wrote WCG employee Paul Kroll in response to a query about the name change.

Mr. Kroll continued: "We appreciate your interest in this important step that the church is taking. Please continue to pray for God's guidance and direction on the process of finding and selecting a new name for our denomination."

A few weeks earlier, while "Grace International Communion" was still in the running, WCG Today, the member newsletter, noted in an unbylined article that WCG members "have been discussing the possibility of changing the name of the denomination" since "the beginning of the doctrinal transformation of the Worldwide Church of God in 1994."

The article noted that last year Pastor General Joseph Tkach Jr. had announced at nine U.S. regional conferences and at the national pastors' conference that he sensed a consensus in the church that the time had come to change the name to something other than Worldwide Church of God.

Mr. Tkach asked for recommendations as to what new names should be considered, and he and other church officials decided on GIC.

Based on the reasons given for the new name, "Grace" will probably still be a part of it, because, according to the article, "grace lies at the heart of our values and mission as a transformed church . . . If we must choose one word to best describe our fellowship in terms of our spiritual journey and our ongoing mission and goals, it would have to be the word grace."

In the opinion of various non-WCG people The Journal has talked with about the name, the consensus is that discarding the name Grace International Communion is a good idea because of its acronym, GIC.

"I assume GIC would come to be pronounced 'gick,'" said a Journal staffer. "Therefore it's probably a wise decision not to use that name. Gick is not a good name for a church."

Other odd acronyms in the Churches of God include BRP for the United Church of God's Bible Reading Program. "What word comes to mind when you read 'BRP'?" asked the same staffer.

Among the all-time worst acronyms has to be one from the Toyota company. Some of its vehicles display a logo that reads "TRD," which stands for Toyota Racing Development.

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