In short, the name just works on so many levels. Echoes exist in the natural world. They are reverberations, reflections of sound waves, which can be heard and felt. Having a name that connects us to nature is important.
Paying attention to reverberations is also a vital aspect to the name. The Bible begins with God speaking the universe into existence, and Jesus is called the Word of God. Still present, still communicating, God is active in this world. Rather than being quick to speak for God, at Echoes we’re more inclined to listen. How can we best listen to and feel the reverberations of God? And, what difference does this make for our lives as individuals and as a community?
It doesn’t end with listening to God: what can we hear and feel from Bellingham itself? Echoes desires to be more of a listening community than one that speaks too much. Not that there aren’t important things to say (for instance, on behalf of marginalized persons), but we have a lot to learn from God, and we have a lot to learn from our city.
In the first centuries after Jesus, a catechumen was a person who was learning the tenets of the new upside-down faith of Christ-followers in order to enter their community. “Echo” is the root word for catechumen. In essence, we’re all learners, and “echoes” reflects this reality.
If, in our listening, our learning, and in our actions, we can effect positive reverberations in Bellingham, then we’ll dance the dance of gratitude. On second thought, we’ll dance that dance anyway.