What value is there in a symbol?
Naming City Coast Church and designing our logo felt like we birthed another baby. This new being has entered the world and we are responsible for nurturing it into maturity. [We can’t wait to see who this Church becomes!]
The entire process of naming a church and creating a logo was interesting. There are simple logos (geometric shapes, typographical icons); there are spiritual logos (crosses, steeples, bread & cup); there are natural logos (mountains, trees, sun). We chose an iconographic logo crafted specifically for our church by Micah Vetter Designs. Iconography has a long history in the church, mostly in the Eastern Orthodox streams. Although controversial to some, the basic premise behind Christian icons is that these images serve as a portal. While gazing upon the icon the observer is drawn into a deeper experience of grace. The icon itself isn’t venerated but functions as a visual pathway into visceral reality.
This may sound flippant, but it’s similar to what happens when a criminal in Gotham spots the bat signal in the sky. They don’t literally fear the bat-shaped light shining overhead. They fear what it represents and means for them. A visual experience creates a visceral response. In the case of Gotham’s underworld, the response is negative. With a Christian icon, the response is gracious.
Micah’s design for City Coast Church reminds us of the Spirit-inspired and Spirit-filled work of Bezalel and Oholiab (Exodus 31, 35-36). These skilled craftsmen were entrusted with fashioning the tabernacle in the days of Moses. Designers and craftsmen today may use different mediums, but they continue a long tradition of Christian artistry.
Our logo is primary arch-shaped because we live in the gateway between New York City and the New England Coast. There is one primary stream flowing through the center of the piece because we follow the path marked out by Jesus. Each line is hand-crafted and unique because everyone has their own journey with God. The horizon marks the border between this life and the life to come, the “Utter East” as CS Lewis described in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
One of our primary pursuits at City Coast Church is the pursuit of beauty. Beautiful things speak in a visceral way and tap into our eternal longings. Artists have a unique gift of capturing beauty and inviting us into it. We’re grateful God still inspires and gifts people like Micah to create things that point to Him. We don’t think anyone is going to be saved by looking at our logo, but we do hope they feel something – a curiosity, a longing, an appreciation – a story they’re meant to be part of and a journey they are already on.
See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel…and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab….He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer…or by a weaver – by any sort of workman or skilled designer (Exodus 35.30-35, ESV).