The Cross and Flame emblem is a powerful reminder of who and whose we are as United Methodists. That’s why protecting and preserving its use and integrity are just as important today as when the insignia was created by the General Conference in 1968 and registered with the United States Patent and Trademark office in 1971.
The history and significance of the Cross and Flame emblem are as rich and diverse as the United Methodist Church. The insignia’s birth quickly followed the union of two denominations in 1968: The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church. Following more than two dozen conceptualizations, a traditional symbol—the cross— was linked with a single flame with dual tongues of fire. The resulting insignia is rich in meaning. It relates the United Methodist Church to God through Christ (the cross) and the Holy Spirit (the flame). The flame is a reminder of Pentecost when witnesses were united by the power of the Holy Spirit and saw “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:3).
The elements of the emblem also remind us of a transforming moment in the life of Methodism’s father, John Wesley, when he sensed God’s presence and felt his heart “strangely warmed”. These two tongues of a single flame may also be understood to represent the union of two denominations. Only official United Methodist agencies, including local churches, may use the insignia to identify United Methodist work, programs and materials. Today, more than 40,000 United Methodist congregations can be found worshiping throughout many parts of the world. These congregations represent approximately 12 million members, two-thirds of which are found in the United States alone.
Christ Church is just a few years older than the Cross and Flame emblem. This addition to our church exterior is most appropriate and will be a beacon to all who see it that Christ Church is alive and strong and looking forward to our next fifty years.
**Editor’s Note: The new Cross and Flame emblem on the front of our building was installed on March 4, 2015 and fully operational (backlit at night) on March 5. This Cross and Flame emblem part of our 50 & Forward capital campaign.