Church World Service (CWS) may have a new logo, but its commitment to disaster relief, refugee assistance and development programs in more than 80 countries remains the same. Logos convey ideas and identify organizations to the world. So why did CWS choose now to change its logo?
"Well, CWS has been around for more than 50 years, since World War II, seeing to needs and being in solidarity with people in need all over the world," says Susan Sanders of Wider Church Ministries and a CWS board member. "CWS is an organization that has operated inside of other religious groups and not really had an identity beyond those church affiliations."
Church World Service wanted to be seen as a viable group in its own right, Sanders says, a place for those who would want to serve during times of strife, but may not be connected to a church.
Since the September 11 tragedy, there is a need to for relief organizations to activate and become involved, lending a hand in any way they can, says Sanders.
In order to raise its profile and express its ecumenical mission of human rights, world peace and ending hunger, CWS chose a new logo to present to the wider world. The works of Church World Service are largely unknown outside of religious circles.
The new logo looks like a person, but is actually a composite of three symbols: the cross, a circle to denote a global ministry, and a person with arms outstretched in a welcoming and helping gesture.
Sanders says she didn't like it at first. "Personally, it's taken me a while to warm up to the logo," she says.
"For me, it was important to see the risen Christ in the logo. But looking at it closer, I can see it. Perhaps it wasn't what the logo designers intended, but I can see it. It is there."