Our community is driven by THREE values / pictures: Roots, Redemption, Relationships. These describe what we're about. They will likely not be incorporated in the logo itself, but you should know they inform our vision.
Style suggestion: Please don't bother putting together a design that includes clip art of people, religious clip art, or anything that feels "clip art-ish" or "web 2.0." We want simplicity, classiness, timelessness... We're also not interested in shadows, reflections and other cheesy online graphic / gradient looks. Please - Simple. Clean.
We're not ashamed in any way that we're a church or Christian. But we're also not wanting a bunch of cheesy religious imagery. Religious symbols would be ok if they are subtle or classy looking.
Fonts: Generally we have tended toward sans serif fonts. They help us convey "contemporary" in the midst of a more classic / historic identity. We're open to other ideas though.
I've attached our old logo / symbol. What we have is not terrible and we're not looking to go 180 degrees the other direction. We just don't care for the colors and want to incorporate the word "church" into our logo. In case you're wondering, the grain has a subtle connection to our name in that it is grain that becomes the bread of Holy Communion (Eucharist). We have a triple stalk to point to our Trinitarian (3 in 1) understanding of God. This is probably all lost on most people...
We're open to the idea of using negative space - which I've included some examples of.
Theological: This may not matter at all... but if you know anything about the Christian world, it might be helpful for you to know that we're a church that lives at the intersection of three different "streams" - the sacramental (Liturgical & Tradition), the charismatic (Spirit), and the evangelical (Word & Mission).
Thanks for helping us put together a great logo!!! We're very grateful and excited...