The Rt. Rev. Audrey Scanlan, Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, explains the meanings of the icons in the diocese’s new shield:
Designed by Jason Smith of Fathom, Inc. in Mechanicsburg, the re-freshed look of the diocesan shield and logo include the traditional symbols, colors and motto of the diocese, but in a cleaner and brighter presentation and with a feeling of openness and movement.
The symbols in the logo and shield are significant to the life our our diocese. From top to bottom:
The miter at the top symbolizes the episcopal identity of our church along with keys and a crozier, symbols for the Church and the Bishop.
The circle stands for the “plate” of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, and the crescent is the symbol for John Harris, founder of Harrisburg. In the center, there is a rose. The original symbolism of the rose was intended to represent our Anglican heritage, as it is the Anglican “advent” rose, though sometimes this rose is thought to represent the cities of Lancaster and York (as in the “War of the Roses.”) In the lower section of the shield is a Celtic Cross indicating another tie to our Anglican heritage, and a dove representing the presence of the Holy Spirit. The motto, Spiritu Dum Spiro Spero, means — “In the Spirit, while I breathe I hope.”
Since my arrival in our diocese, I have been talking about a “shifting religious landscape” and my desire for us to listen closely to God’s call to us as we discern how God wants our church to be in the future. This requires good and long listening, the spirit of creativity to imagine new ways of being Church, and a willingness to shift our shape, slightly, in accordance with God’s will. It is an act of faithfulness.
A new “look” for our diocese that preserves the best of what we have had, in years past, and allows for a shifting of shape is an icon all its own, for our movement forward, in faith.
I look forward to the new, uniform look that we can present as a diocese that is smart and fresh — and I look forward even more to continuing our work together as God’s faithful people, shifting, changing and being responsive to the Holy Spirit as we serve God’s mission.