Church drops 'country club' from name due to implications of rac - KCTV5

Church drops 'country club' from name due to implications of racism, exclusion

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The Country Club Congregational United Church of Christ is dropping “country club” from its name, saying the words are too strongly connected with racism and exclusion. And that’s not what they’re about. (Natalie Davis/KCTV5 News) The Country Club Congregational United Church of Christ is dropping “country club” from its name, saying the words are too strongly connected with racism and exclusion. And that’s not what they’re about. (Natalie Davis/KCTV5 News)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The Country Club Congregational United Church of Christ is dropping “country club” from its name, saying the words are too strongly connected with racism and exclusion. And that’s not what they’re about.

The church has long found for social justice and inclusion, particularly when it comes to the LGBTQ community.

“We are a church that models the diversity of what Christianity should look like, and we’re trying to live that out with our name,” said Rev. Chase Peeples, lead minister for the church.

They’ve decided their name doesn’t reflect who they are. They brought in a specialized facilitator to look at the pros and cons of keeping or changing the name.

“There were many more positive implications about changing our name, and many more negative implications of keeping the name,” said Curtis Filer, President of the church’s general counsel.

First, “country club” comes with a certain expectation.

“People who hear ‘country club’ – whether they know the history or not – they immediately think ‘exclusive’,” said Rev. Bethany Meier.

And you can’t ignore the history of exclusion here in Kansas City dating back to the early 1900s.

“The Country Club district was racially segregated and restricted in its deeds. African Americans could not get homes in this part of KC,” said Peeples.

Their church is open to all and they don’t want the name to confuse that.

“The Jesus that I know is about love and inclusion and social justice and not about marking off who’s allowed in the doors and who isn’t,” said Meier.

The church will adopt an entirely new name; they’re not simply dropping “Country Club” from the current one. Their church will vote on the new name on Jan. 7 and announce it afterward.

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