What’s in a name…….?

quite a lot actually!

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name,

you are mine.

……………..

You are precious in my sight,

and honoured and

I love you.

(Isaiah 43)

Tomorrow, I am making a pilgrimage up to Salisbury cathedral along with 60 other NSM and OLMs in the diocese to have our names changed.  From Saturday we will called associate priests rather than assistant curates. 

On Sunday I am baptising two adults who have really passed through the fire and rivers in their lives.  I long for them to be touched by God and for them to hear God call them by name. “You are my beloved child and I am pleased with you”

So there is a lot in a name.

For a long time I have disliked the title NON-Stipendiary minister.  It is not good to be called by something you are not as if you are a second class priest, not the real thing.  Sometimes the church can get so hierarchical when it talks about different ministries and some older male clergy are the worst.  Most of the NSMs in our diocese are women, most of them are working in the church full-time and are not in secular employment.  There are less and less who work in the week and then give a few hours of their time on Sunday.  It just isn’t like that any more.  Fortunately attitudes are changing.

I don’t need a stipend to do what I do (thanks to the incredibly tolerant doctor).  In fact I would be embarrassed to have one. It is the secular world that values someone by how much they are paid to do something.

I have had well meaning people tell me that I am an amateur and do all this as a hobby as if I am a bored housewife.  If I stuff up running a parish at least there is an incumbent to pick up the pieces…….etc.

Actually, I quite like being an amateur.  Amateurs don’t have to do what they take up.  They do it for the sheer joy of doing it.  They do it for love.

I love this job! 

He has called me by my name.  I am His.  It will be great to give thanks for the  ministries of those who are not paid tomorrow in the cathedral in the context of a eucharist and on Sunday when J and G are baptised.

Please pray for them

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