A new name for “Breakfast Club”

The Building Bridges ministry at Living Springs has a lot of good materials, programs, and events. But I think “Breakfast Club” is my favorite.

Getting personal

It’s a program that pairs two people of different cultures and equips them to meet monthly for at least one year to share a meal and meaningful conversation. What I like about it is the fact that it recognizes that true bridge-building happens on a personal level, when people are willing to share with each other, learn from each other, forgive each other, and grow. The conversations are guided by a monthly list of discussion questions that focus on matters of faith, race, family traditions, and personal life journeys.

We first learned about the program from Earl James, the Coordinator of Multiracial Initiatives and Social Justice for the Reformed Church in America. He put us in touch with CURE (Chicago Urban Reconciliation Enterprise). “Breakfast Club” is their program, and they helped us get it started at Living Springs.

Growth and change

But over the past two years that we’ve been using the program, we’ve made some changes and enhancements. So now we think it’s time to give our version of the program its own name.

We had some fun discussing a few ideas at the Breakfast Club gathering we had this past Saturday. Here are some of the possible names we came up with:

  • Living Bridges
  • Connection Club
  • Culture Club
  • Living Rainbows
  • Living Connections
  • Grow Group
  • Koinonia Club

The important thing to remember about choosing a new name is this: Nothing will sound “right” the first time you hear it. “Breakfast Club” sounded a little confusing at first, but we got used to it, and now it sounds normal. The same thing will happen with whatever new name we choose.

I hope you’ll leave a comment explaining which name you prefer, and why. Even if you’ve never been involved in Breakfast Club, you are welcome to express an opinion. We’re looking for as many perspectives as possible!

Update: We did narrow things down to two options—neither of which was in the list above! Visit “We’re Getting Close!” to find out more! 

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{ 27 comments… add one }

  • Melanie Jongsma April 19, 2010, 9:13 pm

    This is a tough choice! I haven’t voted yet myself, because I’m undecided. Here’s what I like about some of the choices:
    ~Koinonia Club: I think using a Greek word hints at multi-culturalism, and I think real community or communion is what the program (and the church) is all about.
    ~Living Bridges: I like the tie-in to Living Springs Church and the Building Bridges ministry, and I like the suggestion that people who join the club are living what they believe; they ARE the bridges across cultures.
    ~Gracism Group: I’m not sure I like the word “group” in there, but I love the word Gracism. It’s a new, unexpected word, but it immediately captures what the program is about. Is there anything else we could do with “Gracism” in the name to improve this option?

  • KR April 19, 2010, 8:33 pm

    If you use this definition of brotherhood — the belief that all people should act with warmth and equality toward one another, regardless of differences in race, creed, nationality, etc. — you could call yourselves the Brotherhood of Believers . . . BOBs for short!

    • Melanie Jongsma April 19, 2010, 9:04 pm

      I like where you’re going with this, KR. My only concern would be whether “brotherhood” is an inclusive enough term. Does it sound too much like a men’s fraternity?

  • Carolyn Hundt April 20, 2010, 3:39 am

    Love the name Living Bridges because of the connection to Living Springs Church and the Building Bridges Ministry. It just says exactly what we are trying to do …..build bridges to each other by getting to know more about each other and our cultural differences and appreciate those differences, therefore creating a better understanding of each other.

    • Melanie Jongsma April 20, 2010, 11:46 am

      Yeah, Living Bridges is starting to grow on me too. Although I still like Koinonia Club too. One of the advantages of Koinonia Club is that it’s a religious word, which might help people identify this as a Christian program. Is that important?

  • Patti Jongsma April 20, 2010, 9:31 am

    Actually, I like “Breakfast Club” and don’t see why it needs to be changed. But my second choice is “Bridge Club” because that’s what we’re trying to do – bridge a gap between cultures.

    • Melanie Jongsma April 20, 2010, 11:40 am

      Mom, first of all, let me thank you for reading the blog and commenting on it—I know you don’t like all this social media nonsense, so I appreciate the sacrifice you’ve made just because I begged you to!

      Second, let me just say, as gently as possible, that the name “Breakfast Club” is in fact going away. Keeping it is not an option. We just have to let it go. So thanks for having a second choice in mind. “Bridge Club” has a lot of potential!

      Thanks again, Mom. Nice job!

  • Nancy Rejholec April 20, 2010, 11:13 am

    My friend and Icould not meet often but when we did out time together was very informative and inspiring

    • Melanie Jongsma April 20, 2010, 11:44 am

      Nancy, I’m so glad you signed up for the program, and I’m glad you and your partner have been able to make it work for you. You are not the only ones who have had trouble getting together—that is a common problem! But one of the things we reminded ourselves of on Saturday is that relationships are hard work, and they take time. Keep at it!

      And thanks for stopping at the blog to post your comment. If you want to subscribe to this blog, go ahead and put your email address in the box at the top right of the page. I post something new each week.

  • Mia April 20, 2010, 1:25 pm

    Of all of the names listed, I like Living Bridges the best.

    I just added Meet.Eat.Speak which I think is modern and progressive. This moniker may speak more to our youth.

    I also added Building Friendships. I thought about what I received from the connection with Pat. I believe it is true friendship for life.

    • Melanie Jongsma April 20, 2010, 9:18 pm

      I’m excited to look at the results and see these new options that you (and possibly others) have added. There’s not a way to add them to the actual survey at this point, so if people want to “vote” for either of your suggestions, they will have to use the “Other” field and write them in, as you did. Then I should be able to tally all those write-ins.

  • Linsette April 20, 2010, 4:41 pm

    I like Living Rainbows, however it may sound a little juvenile. The name may be to close to Reading Rainbows, like the reading show for children, found on the WGN TV child’s show. My next choice would be Koinonia with leaving off the word club. The word club sound too juvenile also. Koinonia is a name that was used back in my Jr. college years. We were a mixed Christian group that met once a week for Bible study and socialization. So just calling ourselves Koinonia would be find with me.

    • Melanie Jongsma April 20, 2010, 9:19 pm

      Those are good points, Linsette, thanks for sharing. I think you’re right: “Koinonia” sounds better than “Koinonia Club.”

  • Jane April 20, 2010, 5:35 pm

    I am voting for Living Bridges – it ties in nicely with LivingSCC and the bridge part is appropriate to what we are endeavoring to do.

    • Melanie Jongsma April 20, 2010, 9:20 pm

      Thanks for voting, Jane. I know you don’t read email much, so I especially appreciate your willingness to participate!

  • Don Goff April 21, 2010, 3:08 pm

    We were on vacation and missed the last meeting, so not sure why we must change the name. I prefer the staus quo. Don Goff

    • Melanie Jongsma April 21, 2010, 7:59 pm

      Now Don, if you really preferred the status quo, you wouldn’t be in Breakfast Club—this is a revolutionary program you’re a part of!

  • Dave Izenbart April 23, 2010, 2:51 pm

    Hey gang – here is a thought. We often find when naming groups that it is good to name something what it actually is – that way you don’t have to explain it – it is self-explanatory. My suggestion might be something along the lines of Multicultural Connection Club – or MC2 (don’t know how to make a squared sign). It is a little long – but it is immediately identifiable of what it is… Just a thought…

    • Melanie Jongsma April 23, 2010, 6:08 pm

      That’s an important point, Dave. On the other hand, I’ve also heard that when you use a name that makes people play a little “mental tennis,” they become more invested in it and it sticks with them longer.

      I don’t know if this exercise will lead us definitively to a new name, but it’s been fun bouncing all the ideas around!

  • Mary Rimdzius April 25, 2010, 7:45 pm

    I like Living Bridges–again, because of the tie-in to Living Springs and the fact that bridges are being built between cultures as people meet. Hmmm, Culture Club sounds good, too. So does Koinonia, although I have trouble spelling and pronouncing it!

    • Melanie Jongsma April 25, 2010, 9:38 pm

      At this point “Living Bridges” is the clear favorite, for the reasons that you mention. I don’t know if we’re quite ready to make it final yet—I guess change is hard, even when it’s a good change!

  • Betsy King April 26, 2010, 5:08 pm

    I am in agreement with liking Living Bridges. It really ties the church in with the name. And I like the “bridge” visual, it brings to mind intentional connection.

    • Melanie Jongsma April 26, 2010, 6:50 pm

      Thanks for voting, Betsy! We might have to post a new blog with a new survey, eliminating the names no one voted for, and adding the new ideas people came up with. Gradually we’ll whittle the choices down to the one, perfect name for this program!

  • Tracey April 27, 2010, 10:31 am

    Even though I suggested “Culture Club”. I voted for Living Bridges. I think it is a great play on words-because we are making living “connections” or bridges”. Also, “Living” stays true to our Living Springs brand.

    • Melanie Jongsma April 27, 2010, 4:53 pm

      Well, Living Bridges seems to be the odds-on favorite so far. We’ve got some time yet before we have to officially decide, so if you have any more ideas, let me know!

  • Esther May 15, 2010, 8:35 pm

    Living Bridges is growing on me out of the list here. A note about Bridge Club…the first thing I thought of when I saw that is people getting together to play Bridge!

    Sorry for the very delayed reply.

    • Melanie Jongsma May 16, 2010, 8:24 am

      You’re not too late! The Building Bridges team is still considering all the possibilities. We’ve definitely ruled out some of the names included in the survey, but we’ve also added a couple possibilities. We’ll keep noodling on it until something becomes clear!


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