What’s in a Name?

One of my predecessors in a certain Charge, preferred to be addressed (on the phone, at least) as “Reverend Sir”.

I always asked folk (including KS members) to call me “Sandy”. As Moderator of Lothian Presbytery, I invited those who wished to speak by their Christian name. There is a time and a place for formality and vice versa. Perhaps we are getting too chummy and familiar in ministry –  should there be a “professional” space between minister and church member?

As a Healthcare Chaplain, I got the word (abbreviation) “Rev” removed from my ID badge and always introduced myself to a patient as “I’m Sandy, the hospital chaplain” but always addressed the patient as “Mr/Mrs/Miss/ Ms” unless they asked me to use their first name.

I once conducted a particular wedding service in an hotel, and before the ceremony began, I was chatting to some of the guests, one of whom asked me what my first name is.

I replied, “Sandy”  (Scots diminutive – and I am a diminutive Scot! – for Alexander, my Christian name; it’s from the “xand” part of the full name)

To which he replied “you don’t have sandy hair – more like mouse coloured; shouldn’t you be called ‘Mickey'”

Nonplussed, I asked him what his name was.  

He answered “Dick”

Reply: “What? even though you don’t have one!”

Silence….. then his friends laughed and he joined in.  Thank the good Lord; he must have been 6′ 3″

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