“Blue Missouri” (by Pr. Charles Henrickson, the wag tailoring the doggerel)

April 3rd, 2012 Post by

The Missouri Synod is rebranding! The familiar LCMS cross is changing colors. Out goes the burgundy, in comes the blue! You can read about it here at the LCMS Brand and Logo Center:

“A new emphasis and a new look for the church.” “In marketing terminology, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is refreshing its brand.” “Probably the most notable change in our refreshed branding is the change in the color of the church’s tripartite cross logo, which has changed to blue from burgundy.” “The new blue palette for the LCMS cross logo was chosen for several reasons after numerous meetings over several months. The new color palette was viewed positively by the pastors, seminary professors, donors, laity and others participating in the rebranding effort. Royal blue is a classic, conservative color that will stand the test of time. It sets a friendly and inviting tone.” “. . . the burgundy color, which has been in use for almost 30 years . . . was viewed by some as outdated.”

I don’t know what to make of all this. This raises many questions:

Was this the work of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Branding the Mission with a Blue Logo (BRTFBMBL)?

Will we now refer to the Purple Palace as the Blue Bureaucropolis?

What will happen to all of our sangria-colored books–our hymnals and catechisms and the like? Personally, I think they should have just changed the burgundy to sangria. A subtle difference, I know, but we’ve been thoroughly sangriafied in recent years.

Blue puts one in mind of the 1982 hymnal and of Democrats. As a sharp-eyed, well-informed, flaming Purple Palace Palette User, it sure looks strange to me.

Anyhow, this new rebranding calls for a song to celebrate! Here goes. Click the music link and sing along!

BLUE MISSOURI
Tune: “Blue Hawaii”

Bright and new
It’s blue Missouri
The sight is heavenly
And so refreshing to see

Lovely hue
It’s blue Missouri
With our new emphasis
We should rebrand

Come and see
We’re removin’ burgundy
Our palette’s young
And so are we, so are we

Brands come new
In blue Missouri
Can you believe it’s true?
This breathless news–we’re turning blue!

Come and see
We’re removin’ burgundy
Our palette’s young
And so are we, so are we

Brands come new
In blue Missouri
Can you believe it’s true?
This breathless news–we’re turning blue!






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  1. April 3rd, 2012 at 18:26 | #1

    Please tell me the LCMS is not endorsing the Cubs :)

  2. April 3rd, 2012 at 19:24 | #2

    I have no problem with making the logo blue. But I wish they would change the depiction of the cross. It’s knife-edged. No one could be crucified on it.

  3. April 3rd, 2012 at 19:44 | #3

    Gene Veith : I have no problem with making the logo blue. But I wish they would change the depiction of the cross.

    I have to use two hands, three fingers each, to make the sign of the cross the LCMS way.

  4. April 3rd, 2012 at 19:44 | #4

    My little mission congregation paid a thousand dollars for their sign. I wonder if the synodocrats who went and changed it to blue will help us pay for the change…
    http://www.lutheransonline.com/servlet/lo_ProcServ/dbpage=page&mode=display&gid=20090473608905521001111555

  5. Carl Vehse
    April 3rd, 2012 at 19:46 | #5

    The LCMS claims, “The new color palette was viewed positively by the pastors, seminary professors, donors, laity and others participating in the rebranding effort.”

    The “others” who viewed the new color palette positively may have been identified as slightly biased.

  6. helen
    April 3rd, 2012 at 20:01 | #6

    @Ted Crandall #4
    My little mission congregation paid a thousand dollars for their sign.

    Friend, you are not alone.
    The one I’m talking to would have appreciated a little warning, too. [Like six months?]
    The new “old” signs went up last week.

    Thanks, IC!
    We hoped you’d stopped wasting our money!

  7. Rev James Kusko
    April 3rd, 2012 at 20:18 | #7

    If the’re working with a list of priorities, this has to be pretty close to the bottom. Perhaps they need to re-sort the list in ascending order.

  8. helen
    April 3rd, 2012 at 20:23 | #8

    I really think that the IC should be shut down during Holy Week, so they can refrain from making mischief to distract the faithful from their prayers!

    [Does nobody in that place think at all?}
    I suppose that the alternative is to remind ourselves to pray for the bureaucrats! Though, if this is all they have to do, they could wear out their own kneebones!

  9. Carl Vehse
    April 3rd, 2012 at 20:25 | #9

    Along with a description of new blue logo the LCMS Brand Manual states in the Gallery section:

    “The photo gallery is provided to establish the tone of the brand. The emotional impact of the images will help communicate the appropriate message to the audiences served. The brand personality is expressed through these images and others created in the future.

    But go to page 53, and check out the middle left picture. To me it looks like a woman behind a free-standing altar (with an altar candle seen to her right), a brass altar bookstand in front of her, a robed church choir in the background… and what is that round whitish object she is lifting up with her left hand while she appears to be saying something?!?

  10. Daniel L. Gard
    April 3rd, 2012 at 20:41 | #10

    Ordain Smurfs Now!!!!!

  11. April 3rd, 2012 at 21:02 | #11

    @Charles Henrickson #3
    Charlie – I would definitely “like” if I could… better get Norm working. Your benediction must look like some ninja move – isn’t there a Lutheran who talks a lot about ninjas?

  12. Jesse
    April 3rd, 2012 at 21:06 | #12

    @Carl Vehse #9

    I never knew that using Goudy Old Style as a font provided a calm and reflective tone to one’s communications (page 47).

  13. Josh Schroeder
    April 3rd, 2012 at 21:26 | #13

    Folks. The old logo has not been retired. You don’t have to replace your signs or throw away your current stationary. Go to http://www.lcms.org/brand and see for yourself. It’s a rolling transition (that’s why you don’t necessarily need a heads up – because your new “old” sign isn’t old, it’s still current).

    But when the time comes to buy a new sign or order new stationary, you can make the switch to blue at that point. And for 99.9% of people in the United States, if your church sign is the only LCMS logo they see, they’ll have no idea that it’s not the “current” logo.

  14. April 3rd, 2012 at 21:28 | #14

    Jesse:
    I never knew that using Goudy Old Style as a font provided a calm and reflective tone to one’s communications.

    I’ve always found that Heileman’s Old Style provides a calm and reflective tone to my communications.

  15. Carl Vehse
    April 3rd, 2012 at 21:54 | #15

    @Jesse #12 : “I never knew that using Goudy Old Style as a font provided a calm and reflective tone to one’s communications (page 47).”

    Perhaps the writers of the LCMS Brand Manual were thinking about a different Old Style font and a different Old Style calm and reflective tone.

  16. April 3rd, 2012 at 21:55 | #16

    @Charles Henrickson #14
    Old Style is not quite Premium Grain Belt.

  17. Doug
    April 3rd, 2012 at 22:07 | #17

    Don’t worry about the Cubs! The LCMS is endorsing the Blues!! :)

  18. Rev. Roger D. Sterle
    April 3rd, 2012 at 22:18 | #18

    @Carl Vehse #5
    You are a hoot!!! :-)

  19. Timmy
    April 3rd, 2012 at 22:43 | #19

    Pastor Joshua Scheer :
    @Charles Henrickson #14
    Old Style is not quite Premium Grain Belt.

    But Budweiser comes from St. Louis…… draw your own conclusions.

  20. April 3rd, 2012 at 22:46 | #20

    @Timmy #19
    Can anything good come from St. Louis?

  21. Chris Schelp
    April 3rd, 2012 at 22:49 | #21

    @Pastor Joshua Scheer #20

    David Freese invites you to come and see.

  22. April 3rd, 2012 at 22:57 | #22

    Think of the multimedia possibilities!

    TV . . .

    Rebranded. Jason ConCord has his 1980s logo pin ripped from his lapel and is booted out of the Fort.

    Movies . . .

    Aqua Brand: The Logo of Non-Burgundy. “Stay classy, St. Louis!”

  23. April 3rd, 2012 at 23:01 | #23

    @Chris Schelp #21
    I actually had to google “David Freese”. Feeling very disconnected from culture…

  24. LW
    April 3rd, 2012 at 23:07 | #24

    Pastor Joshua Scheer :
    @Timmy #19
    Can anything good come from St. Louis?

    Ted Drewes Frozen Custard.

    Very good…but I don’t think it’s ever been rebranded.

  25. April 4th, 2012 at 00:05 | #25

    At least Old Style is fully kreusened, whatever that means.

    Great post Charlie!

    P.S. As to the substance of the post, I’m not getting the whole “rolling rebranding” thing. I’m with Veith. Short of throwing out the old plastic, knife edged cross, I don’t get why we are spending time on this.

    I do like “In Christ, to the Church and the World.” Is that new? Although I would probably change the “world” part. Matthew says go to the nations/people (ethne) and not the world. I am really tired of all the money we spend on world disasters. That money should be going to word and sacrament ministry. Leading with mercy money is wrong-headed and counter productive often to Gospel ministry.

  26. R.D.
    April 4th, 2012 at 06:24 | #26

    @Ted Crandall #4

    I saw a cool new church sign on a confessional lutheran church. Both the pastor’s name and the synod logo were removable. Awesome, that way if either screws up bad enough (i.e. Scriptural removal), you don’t have to replace the whole sign when they’re thrown out.

  27. Tamara
    April 4th, 2012 at 07:23 | #27

    Quite an imagination you have there. She’s obviously leading the choir. There is nothing white in her hand – it’s just her hand is in front of something white on the back wall. It doesn’t look like an altar. It looks like a half-wall in front of a choir. She’s obviously not “saying” anything but singing like the rest of the choir behind her.

    @Carl Vehse #9

  28. helen
    April 4th, 2012 at 08:17 | #28

    @Josh Schroeder #13
    But when the time comes to buy a new sign or order new stationary, you can make the switch to blue at that point.

    Or maybe in 30 years, when we need a new sign, they’ll switch back to burgundy… the week after our sign is installed. :(

    a href=”#comment-313754″>@Pastor Joshua Scheer #20
    Can anything good come from St. Louis?

    Not during Holy Week, apparently.

  29. April 4th, 2012 at 08:40 | #29

    This Blue Cross has been in use for some time in the LCC and was helpful in distinguishing LCC from the handful of LCMS churches left north of the border.

    In the post mention was made of the color of Democrats, how quickly we forget. For Reagan’s victories the map was a sea of BLUE with Clinton the map was RED. Now the GOP is RED? No doubt it is a strategy of the Left to take Red-baiting etc. off the table. Internationally BLUE is the color of the RIGHT and RED of the LEFT. Staggering that this color-shift hasn’t been commented on save the article linked below “How to turn Red states Blue”:

    http://www.wnd.com/2008/12/82973/

  30. john hooss
    April 4th, 2012 at 09:04 | #30

    @Tamara #27

    Tamara,
    I can’t answer what she is doing, but it has a familiar pose.

    If she is directing the choir wouldn’t she be facing her music stand behind her and the choir?

    I’m not sure what she is holding but it ain’t a pitch pipe, a reflection off a bald guys head, or wall.
    Just a different observation than yours.

    John

  31. Rev. Dustin Beck
    April 4th, 2012 at 09:09 | #31

    I thought the blue cross that doesn’t was an April Fool’s joke. Turns out, joke’s on me.

  32. Tamara
    April 4th, 2012 at 09:23 | #32

    How big did you make the picture? I think I got it up to about 400%, and I think it’s clear that there is nothing in her hand. And, if you were directing both the choir and congregation in singing, you would most likely face the congregation. @john hooss #30

  33. Rev. McCall
    April 4th, 2012 at 09:35 | #33

    @Tamara #32
    A half wall with candles and some sort of Bible or lectionary on it? I’m not so sure about that. Looks an awful lot more so like an altar to me. And I know of no church that has a choir directly behind the altar like that (not that it couldn’t exist though). Plus no matter who is singing you would likely face the choir since most congregational members would have no idea what your hand gestures meant. I have never seen a joint choir/congregation song where the choir director faced the congregation rather than the choir. Bottom line is that this picture is confusing at best, so why even pick it and put it up on our site?

  34. April 4th, 2012 at 09:49 | #34
  35. Former Anglican
    April 4th, 2012 at 10:02 | #35

    “Will we now refer to the Purple Palace as the Blue Bureaucropolis?”

    Doesn’t Blue Bastille roll off the tongue nicely?

  36. MissionMobilizer
    April 4th, 2012 at 10:15 | #36

    I heard Cobalt Castle as an option…

    Seriously, my main critique is the timing of this announcement. I actually thought it was an April Fool’s joke on a Synod-wide scale! I mean, who times something like this during Holy Week and around April Fool’s?

    Other than that…whatever. Branding changes happen. We’ll like some and we won’t like others. At least they stuck with one for thirty years! In the age of Facebook where major change happens every few months, we’re doing pretty good!

  37. Lumpenkönig
    April 4th, 2012 at 11:07 | #37

    Perhaps the LCMS logo change was meant to match the blue in this logo:

    http://www.lcms.org/page.aspx?pid=649

  38. helen
    April 4th, 2012 at 11:16 | #38

    This covers everything:
    color,
    “Grandfather’s Church” (the 20′s),
    and the recent Congressional hearing.

    I think we’ve got it! :)

    Valee Rudy – My Blue Heaven Lyrics

    Artist: Valee Rudy

    Album: Hi Ho Everybody

    Valee, Rudy

    My Blue Heaven
    When Whippoorwills call,
    And evening is nigh
    I hurry to My Blue Heaven.
    A turn to the right,
    A little white light
    Will lead you to My Blue Heaven.
    You’ll see a smiling face,
    A fire place, a little room,
    A little nest
    That’s nestled where the roses bloom.
    Just Mollie and me, and Baby makes three,
    We’re happy in My Blue Heaven.

    words: George Whiting
    music: Walter Donaldson
    copyright: 1927 Loe Feist Inc. New York
    sources: Viva Record (London Records) V.6005
    Readers’ Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs
    transcribed: Dilly

    Note: I believe there are two verses on CD “Nipper’s Greatest
    Hits of the 20′s” by BMG or RCA #2258-2-R

  39. Carl Vehse
    April 4th, 2012 at 11:37 | #39

    Does anyone have a picture or link to the old LCMS logo before the maroon tri-cross logo was adopted in 1984?

    BTW, according to the May 27, 2010, Reporter, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs approved the use of the trademarked logo cross of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod on government headstones and markers at graves of U.S. veterans. It’s number 38 in the Available Emblems of Belief. No. 1 is the Christian cross; No. 6 is the Lutheran cross.

    The Reporter article notes: “We rejoice with LCMS veterans and their families that this option to give testimony to their faith for generations to come is now available.”

    Or at least until the LCMS decides to have a new refreshed branding logo.

  40. April 4th, 2012 at 12:09 | #40

    @Rev. McCall #33

    You’re right. I think that pic is what it looks like: A woman standing at the altar, facing the congregation with something white and round in her hand. She’s saying something.

    Now, what common Sunday morning action would fit that description?

    She could be the choir director facing the wrong way, behind the altar for some reason, asking the congregation if anyone would like a cookie.

    But I think it’s more likely that she’s administering the Lord’s Supper.

    TW

  41. April 4th, 2012 at 12:11 | #41

    And, it appears its a church where the choir vests, but the clergy don’t; and the choir is behind the altar. My guess is Methodist.

    A pic right at home in the LCMS “brand” manual.

  42. Rev. McCall
    April 4th, 2012 at 13:41 | #42

    @Todd Wilken #41
    That was my first guess as well. From what little glimpse I can get from the photo it looks exactly like the Methodist church some of my family members used to attend.

  43. April 4th, 2012 at 14:12 | #44

    @Pastor Tim Rossow #25
    I know a couple good places to get a pint of Old Style for 50 cents :)

  44. Rev. Steve Bagnall
    April 4th, 2012 at 14:24 | #45

    @Andrew #43
    Schlafly’s certainly makes good beer — better than Bud, by far. But the Schell’s brewery in New Ulm, MN (WELS country) is better.

    BTW, I’m not joining the WELS, though I am willing to be in beer fellowship with them.

  45. April 4th, 2012 at 14:28 | #46

    Correction: After some further inquiry and information. The woman in the pic IS a Lutheran choir director at a Lutheran Church. What she is holding, or doing standing at the altar remains a mystery. TW

  46. Kimberly
    April 4th, 2012 at 14:39 | #47

    @33:
    Just FYI, but I have, and it’s incredibly annoying to be “directed” on a familiar hymn.

  47. April 4th, 2012 at 14:42 | #48

    Obviously, the St. Louis Blues hockey team has won the day. We are all April Fools — hopefully fools for Christ!

  48. April 4th, 2012 at 16:34 | #49

    You can blame a little-known, all-powerful cabal called the International Color Council. In order to keep us constantly buying new things that otherwise are not outdated or defective, this pan-industry group produces an ever-changing, unified, worldwide color palette across the spectrum of manufactured goods. In the 70′s they gave us harvest gold and avocado appliances, bathroom fixtures, flooring, etc.–and then made them passé, so they’d all have to be replaced.

    In the 80′s when this logo was designed and the “Purple Palace” built the International Color Council gave us shades of burgundy as the “in” color scheme. The “Purple Palace” never really was purple per se, but I toured it shortly after it was dedicated and the 80′s burgundy theme was absolutely relentless. Since then over the years the decor of the IC has gradually been updated, but the burgundy logo remained.

    All this explains the comment about the “burgundy color, which has been in use for almost 30 years and was viewed by some as outdated.” But why switch to blue? Whether they realize it or not, that is explained by the fact that, “According to the International Color Council, blue is the color of the 21st Millennium” [sic] (http://www.color-wheel-artist.com/meanings-of-blue.html).

    The irony is that these colors always come full circle. I know it’s hard to conceive, but even harvest gold and avocado will make a comeback someday. (For instance there is currently a “mid-century” retro fad; check out Atomic Ranch magazine http://www.atomic-ranch.com.) It wouldn’t surprise me if after 30 years we’re on the verge of going “back to the future,” and the International Color Council will probably drop blue and go back to 80′s burgundy as the latest “in” color about the time we’ve all finished making the switch! :)

  49. Pastor Roepke
    April 4th, 2012 at 16:38 | #50

    Well if memory is correct, Was not LC-MS headquarters at one time located in Chicago? So the new blue means the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series this year.

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