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Say your church has decided that everyone in attendance should wear a name tag.

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6 minutes ago, WendyAndMilo said:

The bolded indicates the misunderstanding you are having.  I haven't said anything about not caring or bothering with people.  And sometimes, it's not just a matter of introversion/extroversion.

So people can have and know your name on your terms.  But not otherwise, without violating a boundary you have? And you‘re not wanting to socialize with people you don’t already know and who already know you unless it is anonymous... is that a correct assessment? Help me, what am I missing?

Edited by Arctic Mama

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I'm with Wendy and Milo on this, I wouldn't like it. I get why some would, but for me, if you want to know me, then reach out. Part of creating fellowship is learning how to be conversant and part of that is asking names. I come from this by the business training of how to tactfully ask for names if you don't remember. We're not going to remember everyone's name, that's mostly a human quality, so I wouldn't expect everyone to remember. I also don't want everyone to know my name either. 

I also worked retail for years where you had to have a name tag, so it could be a holdover from that mentality. 

I'm a huge introvert and very private, I prefer to moderate what people know about me, even the name. 

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5 minutes ago, elegantlion said:

I'm with Wendy and Milo on this, I wouldn't like it. I get why some would, but for me, if you want to know me, then reach out. Part of creating fellowship is learning how to be conversant and part of that is asking names. I come from this by the business training of how to tactfully ask for names if you don't remember. We're not going to remember everyone's name, that's mostly a human quality, so I wouldn't expect everyone to remember. I also don't want everyone to know my name either. 

I also worked retail for years where you had to have a name tag, so it could be a holdover from that mentality. 

I'm a huge introvert and very private, I prefer to moderate what people know about me, even the name. 

I agree people should be reaching out, actively.  But controlling access to one’s name when you’re in the same room as them and worshipping together is such a completely alien concept to me I feel like I’m missing something big.  Like, the ultimate intimacy is professing Christ together.  We are literally actually closer than blood family, being of the same spiritual family and heritage in Christ.

I figure conversation and involvement with one another without reserve is part of that and there is a wealth of scriptural evidence that is a model to follow in spirit and practice.  The controlling aspect of something as basic as a name seems incredibly selfish and self focused, but I am trying to get the arguments otherwise.  I totally get privacy and information ambiguity out in the public sphere in general, but church isn’t that...? I feel like someone just told me the sky is green 🤔😆
 

Now I think I’m going to put a poll up on our church page and see if I’m just missing this sentiment in our church because I am assuming everyone feels the same impulse to intimacy with one another as I do. It would be a good discussion for our table talk group, too!

Edited by Arctic Mama
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2 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

I know plenty of Catholics and a handful of Russian and Greek Orthodox believers who would have almost the identical take as me on this (and their congregations have fellowship meals and activities and time throughout the week and on their meeting days too) so I don’t think this is monolithic to Protestants here and globally. But yeah, our church is actually very light on love compared to some of those I know and interact with in places like Brazil, Croatia, and South Africa. Which makes me think it’s cultural or comfortable to some people, but not specifically Protestant or American.

There's a big difference between appropriate behavior at mass and appropriate behavior during a Knights of Columbus fish fry. Mass is not an opportunity for fellowship, it's a communal prayer in which all of a believer's attention should be focused on the mass itself: the readings during the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic prayers during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. You shouldn't talk during mass. You shouldn't be looking around and waving at people. You don't need to know anybody's name. You're supposed to be completely immersed in Jesus' sacrifice. (Even my thoroughly unreligious current self would not dream of not following along with the parts of the mass attentively. It's just not acceptable.)

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3 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

There's a big difference between appropriate behavior at mass and appropriate behavior during a Knights of Columbus fish fry. Mass is not an opportunity for fellowship, it's a communal prayer in which all of a believer's attention should be focused on the mass itself: the readings during the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic prayers during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. You shouldn't talk during mass. You shouldn't be looking around and waving at people. You don't need to know anybody's name. You're supposed to be completely immersed in Jesus' sacrifice. (Even my thoroughly unreligious current self would not dream of not following along with the parts of the mass attentively. It's just not acceptable.)

Well sheesh, I wouldn’t wave at anyone during pastoral prayer and teaching or the Lord’s table either, let alone talk to them.  It’s the time before, after, and around other church activities.  Which is where someone would be looking at a name tag or asking me anything.

Thanks for the perspective. Now I’m kind of wondering what you think the church service I attend actually looks like? 🤣

Edited by Arctic Mama
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2 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

There's a big difference between appropriate behavior at mass and appropriate behavior during a Knights of Columbus fish fry. Mass is not an opportunity for fellowship, it's a communal prayer in which all of a believer's attention should be focused on the mass itself: the readings during the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic prayers during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. You shouldn't talk during mass. You shouldn't be looking around and waving at people. You don't need to know anybody's name. You're supposed to be completely immersed in Jesus' sacrifice. (Even my thoroughly unreligious current self would not dream of not following along with the parts of the mass attentively. It's just not acceptable.)

This exactly. I can't stand when I'm stuck in the lobby with a grumpy kid and someone i knows thinks it is ok to talk to me. I have politely asked them to wait until after Mass to do so. If everyone knew my name, that would really open up the number of possible distractions when my kids are distractions enough. Not everyone would do it off course but the number of people who don't understand how inappropriate it is to come up to me during Mass is incredible.

During a Church run activity I would likely wear a name tag depending on the activity. But in just as likely more inclined not to and just to introduce myself to people.

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22 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

That's a very protestant take on things. The reason Catholics have an obligation to go to mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation is to be present at the Eucharist. In fact, priests can say mass with just one other person present.

Yes, this. I don’t think you ought to be looking at other people or chitchatting with them in Mass at all. Mass is holy. Chitchat and meet n greet is for coffee hour. I would wear a name tag for coffee hour, but not for Mass. 

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Just now, Arctic Mama said:

I agree people should be reaching out, actively.  But controlling access to one’s name when you’re in the same room as them and worshipping together is such a completely alien concept to me I feel like I’m missing something big.  Like, the ultimate intimacy is professing Christ together.  We are literally actually closer than blood family, being of the same spiritual family and heritage in Christ.

I figure conversation and involvement with one another without reserve is part of that.  The controlling aspect of something as basic as a name seems incredibly selfish and self focused, but I am trying to get the arguments otherwise.  I totally get privacy and information ambiguity out in the public sphere in general, but church isn’t that.  
 

Now I feel like I’m going to put a poll up on our church page and see if I’m just missing this sentiment in our church because I am assuming everyone feels the same impulse to intimacy with one another as I do. It would be a good discussion for our table talk group, too!

Intimacy is private thing to me, even group worship has a personal intimacy to it. I've also been in churches were that level of privacy was violated by both a member and, sadly, church leaders. What ones sees as public information, another may deem something more private, even something so simple as a name. If I am at church worshiping Christ, then he knows I'm there. I may trust God with my intimacy, but I've been burned too many time by trusting man(mankind) with things that should have been kept private (both in a church setting and outside of it). Controlling who knows my name is part of my own boundary. God does not call us to trust everyone, otherwise the book Boundaries wouldn't have to exist. 

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24 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

So people can have and know your name on your terms.  But not otherwise, without violating a boundary you have? And you‘re not wanting to socialize with people you don’t already know and who already know you unless it is anonymous... is that a correct assessment? Help me, what am I missing?

You are reading a whole lot into my post about disliking name tags.  I have not once said anything about not wanting to socialize or wanting to be anonymous.  Apparently, I also have issues with my theology. 🙄

This seems to be something that you are passionate about, and we do definitely have different theological POVs which is probably where you will never quite understand what I mean.  So, here is one last go at it 🙂

1. Name tags, especially for those who have significant trauma in their past, are once again allowing people to overstep boundaries.  Whether you agree that the boundary is reasonable or theologically acceptable, the world is fallen and it is what it is.  Not only would I not wear one, if I went to a church as a visitor and saw everyone wearing nametags, I would automatically cross that church off as a place where I would not be accepted and achieve healing at my own pace.  Because I just couldn't handle it.

2. My church "socializes" after the service (not before or during) while we have our meal together.  Believe it or not, you can actually talk to people and share a meal with someone while creating a safe place for everyone.  And name tags are not needed.  We have a few church activities, every couple of months, but other "socializing" is done on your own time.  Church =/= socializing. 

Edited by WendyAndMilo
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3 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Well sheesh, I wouldn’t wave at anyone during pastoral prayer and teaching or the Lord’s table either, let alone talk to them.  It’s the time before, after, and around other church activities.  Which is where someone would be looking at a name tag or asking me anything.

Thanks for the perspective. Now I’m kind of wondering what you think the church service I attend actually looks like? 🤣

But I don't go to Mass in order to talk to people before and after it. Before it, I'm preparing myself mentally to be an active listening in Mass. And after Mass, unless there is an activity, I'm ready to leave and enjoy my day with my extended family who I see weekly. A name tag would open up conversations with people at a time I'm not looking for conversation. During other church events some that may happen right after Mass is a different circumstance. But even then I'd rather the conversations be formed organically and asking a person's name is the easiest way to start a conversation

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In the Catholic and Episcopal churches I've been a part of name tags would seem out of place. There isn't really talking before or during. Most come in and prepare themselves for Mass and so it is quiet because many are kneeling and praying. Then, there is Mass, so no conversing. There is usually a fellowship time after with coffee and donuts so I guess I could see wearing name tags then but they would be truly unnecessary in the ones I've been in. 

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Well Boundaries isn’t scripture 😉 It definitely has merit.  I don’t disagree with a lot of what you say, there are still line and more or less intimate relationships within the body, we can’t invest equally in all people.  It’s the willingness and the heart attitude about others and what God has called us to in how we think about and interact with them that is more where I see a line.  And gossip is WRONG.  Private and privately shared things must stay that way and Matthew 18 and church discipline is called for where that has been broken, I think.  
 

I’m sorry you’ve been burned before 😞.  I have too, and it’s a terrible thing.  The people who did it to me still had my love and prayers, but never my trust or friendship in any active way again.  It broke the relationships in a way that never healed even though I forgave them.  Their sin didn’t change my duty to the body, but it did affect what I shared with them specifically.

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4 minutes ago, hjffkj said:

But I don't go to Mass in order to talk to people before and after it. Before it, I'm preparing myself mentally to be an active listening in Mass. And after Mass, unless there is an activity, I'm ready to leave and enjoy my day with my extended family who I see weekly. A name tag would open up conversations with people at a time I'm not looking for conversation. During other church events some that may happen right after Mass is a different circumstance. But even then I'd rather the conversations be formed organically and asking a person's name is the easiest way to start a conversation

Huh, so there are really clear lines there in your congregation? That may be the difference.  Until we sit and enter into prayer and worship, the time is specifically for coming together and being with one another communally, before and after. That could be some of the disconnect.

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Our church encourages name tags, but we don't participate because it would be just one more thing more than we can reasonably do. We either have to schlep our kids and ourselves into the crush of the name tag area before and after the service or keep up with these at home and wear them into church. Neither of those seems really feasible at the moment, so we'll keep being unknown for a few more years until we don't have to rush to get kids from the nursery and such.

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1 minute ago, Arctic Mama said:

Huh, so there are really clear lines there in your congregation? That may be the difference.  Until we sit and enter into prayer and worship, the time is specifically for coming together and being with one another communally, before and after. That could be some of the disconnect.

In a Catholic church, parishioners arrive quietly, dip their fingers in holy water and make the sign of the cross. Once you've done that, you should be in "worship mode". You should kneel and pray (often with a rosary) or sit and quietly contemplate until the Introit starts. 

In my local parish, masses are back to back at 7:30, 9, 11, 1 and 5 on Sundays. There is no time for coffee hour. 700 cars need to leave the parking lot before another 700 cars arrive.

Social activities take place in a different building than the church at separate times from Mass and name tags would be totally appropriate. Fish frys, Teams of Our Lady, the Rosary Guild, parish carnival, bible studies, adult catechism, etc. could all use name tags. But those events are held on different days at a different place. 

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2 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Huh, so there are really clear lines there in your congregation? That may be the difference.  Until we sit and enter into prayer and worship, the time is specifically for coming together and being with one another communally, before and after. That could be some of the disconnect.

I'm Orthodox.  Orthros/Matins (the first service of the morning) is quiet and mournful almost.  The lights are off.  Since every Sunday is celebrated as a mini-Easter, this time represents our death.  There is no break between orthros and the liturgy but you know the liturgy has started when the lights are turned on.  We are now celebrating our resurrection in Christ.  Almost the entire service is sung and is a prayer.  So we are joined together with everyone else when we pray together, say Amen together, recite the Creed out loud together, say the pre-communion prayers together out loud, receive the Eucharist together, etc. I do not have to know the name of the person standing next to me to be joined with them in Christ.  I do not have to know them personally to exclaim with them "Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!" when we greet each other.  What happens on Sundays extends far beyond would we would get from pieces of paper.  And I know that this exact service is happening in every other Orthodox church around the world.  So when I greet the person next to me and we announce our common faith out loud when we recite the Creed, I am reciting it with every other person in attendance around the world who I will NEVER get to know the names of.   I just simply don't get why name tags would add anything to this. 

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A Protestant non/denominational perspective:  part of church is “not forsaking gathering together” in order to “encourage one another “ and to “bear each other’s burdens “. To me, this requires getting to know people.  (Another big part is worship and learning the Word of God but I don’t see these as mutually exclusive.). But of course name tags are just a tool. I have no strong feelings about name tags themselves. 

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14 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

In a Catholic church, parishioners arrive quietly, dip their fingers in holy water and make the sign of the cross. Once you've done that, you should be in "worship mode". You should kneel and pray (often with a rosary) or sit and quietly contemplate until the Introit starts. 

In my local parish, masses are back to back at 7:30, 9, 11, 1 and 5 on Sundays. There is no time for coffee hour. 700 cars need to leave the parking lot before another 700 cars arrive.

Social activities take place in a different building than the church at separate times from Mass and name tags would be totally appropriate. Fish frys, Teams of Our Lady, the Rosary Guild, parish carnival, bible studies, adult catechism, etc. could all use name tags. But those events are held on different days at a different place. 

Ah, that is different, much more segmented and broken up than the only parish I have any extensive experience with, and that one could definitely have been an outlier.  
 

I think the analogous comparison would be name tags at all those other events.  At our church, which leans more liturgical and formal, there would be no interaction during the actual vertical worship portions of service aside from the time of public thanksgiving.  Name tags aren’t going to be used during the preaching or communion.  But weekly worship involves way more than that so the name tags would be donned first thing and remain on through those portions, because there is more happening before and after.

(and hilariously we don’t use name tags, but I’m not thinking anyone would object to it, it’s just not something they’ve instituted)

Edited by Arctic Mama

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2 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

A Protestant non/denominational perspective:  part of church is “not forsaking gathering together” in order to “encourage one another “ and to “bear each other’s burdens “. To me, this requires getting to know people.  (Another big part is worship and learning the Word of God but I don’t see these as mutually exclusive.). But of course name tags are just a tool. I have no strong feelings about name tags themselves. 

That’s exactly where I’m coming from too.  I hadn’t realized the catholic ladies didn’t have that in similar form, my only parish experience has been with a lot more going on around it.  That helps with understanding where the breakdown is, though.

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Ohh, I would love that!!  I need to visually see a name with a face multiple times to be comfortable that I am calling someone their correct name.  

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6 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

A Protestant non/denominational perspective:  part of church is “not forsaking gathering together” in order to “encourage one another “ and to “bear each other’s burdens “. To me, this requires getting to know people.  (Another big part is worship and learning the Word of God but I don’t see these as mutually exclusive.). But of course name tags are just a tool. I have no strong feelings about name tags themselves. 

But "not forsaking gathering together" and "encouraging one another" and "bearing each other's burdens" are not exclusive to church or church activities.  They should predominantly be found outside of church in our daily lives.

(Just using your post as a jumping off point; not talking to you directly 🙂

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19 minutes ago, WendyAndMilo said:

I'm Orthodox.  Orthros/Matins (the first service of the morning) is quiet and mournful almost.  The lights are off.  Since every Sunday is celebrated as a mini-Easter, this time represents our death.  There is no break between orthros and the liturgy but you know the liturgy has started when the lights are turned on.  We are now celebrating our resurrection in Christ.  Almost the entire service is sung and is a prayer.  So we are joined together with everyone else when we pray together, say Amen together, recite the Creed out loud together, say the pre-communion prayers together out loud, receive the Eucharist together, etc. I do not have to know the name of the person standing next to me to be joined with them in Christ.  I do not have to know them personally to exclaim with them "Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!" when we greet each other.  What happens on Sundays extends far beyond would we would get from pieces of paper.  And I know that this exact service is happening in every other Orthodox church around the world.  So when I greet the person next to me and we announce our common faith out loud when we recite the Creed, I am reciting it with every other person in attendance around the world who I will NEVER get to know the names of.   I just simply don't get why name tags would add anything to this. 

Eh, not exact.  The Greek Orthodox church my BIL and SIL attend has a whole lot more fellowship going on before and after it, too, as did the Russian Orthodox bodies.  Now they were small and homogenous, no name tags really needed, but they were rather gregarious outside of the bounds of the service 🙂

Agree to disagree on the rest, I’d say.  Thanks for explaining the more compartmentalized nature of how you’re experiencing this!

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Just now, Arctic Mama said:

Eh, not exact.  The Greek Orthodox church my BIL and SIL attend has a whole lot more fellowship going on before and after it, too, as did the Russian Orthodox bodies.  Now they were small and homogenous, no name tags really needed, but they were rather gregarious outside of the bounds of the service 🙂

Agree to disagree on the rest, I’d say.  Thanks for explaining the more compartmentalized nature of how you’re experiencing this!

Again, I didn't say anything about before or after the services.  Just the services itself - which, IMO, addressed the issue of being with one another communally.  Whether it happens or doesn't, "socializing" before or after services doesn't need to happen because of how we are brought together during the services. 

 

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ArcticMom,

I have to jump in here and let you know that I do get what you are saying.  We are to be the body of Christ, and to love one another.  I think that we were created as social beings, and “love one another” extends into relationship.  If I’m lonely, I most certainly won’t feel loved!

So, yes!  Add me to the count as one who would love name tags.  I want to welcome and love on my brothers and sisters in Christ, but I am MISERABLE at remembering names, and move frequently.  This is a horrible combination...

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Add "people in church knowing my name" to the list of things that I had no idea would be bothersome to people before reading this forum. It wouldn't ever occur to me that knowing/asking someone's first name would be considered intrusive.

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8 minutes ago, WendyAndMilo said:

Again, I didn't say anything about before or after the services.  Just the services itself - which, IMO, addressed the issue of being with one another communally.  Whether it happens or doesn't, "socializing" before or after services doesn't need to happen because of how we are brought together during the services. 

 

That’s where we differ.  I’d contend the model set about in the New Testament church for the life of believers together involves a much higher degree of sharing, bearing with one another, fellowship and intimacy as part of coming together.  Sitting in a room together and singing or listening (especially when those acts are supposed to primarily be about direct worship of the Lord and not one-anothering with the body) doesn’t fit the bill as fulfilling that.  You keep saying socializing, but it’s not that - it’s fellowship.  Socializing may happen, where we chat around this or that, but actual involvement with one another in prayer and encouragement and discipleship is where I’m focusing.  Getting to know someone to know how best to pray for them or work in their lives and them in yours. Where I am seeing us differ is the when of that, and that was a very helpful thing to explain, thank you!

I reject that as mere socializing, which is why I don’t let my introverted tendencies have a say in how I personally do it.  That’s where I see obedience to scripture and heart attitude at critical and where I’ve had to personally make adjustments, because I used to be a lot less charitable in my involvement with loving others during church, and let myself make excuses for why I couldn’t manage it or shouldn’t be bothered.  That is one of the reasons I’m rather sensitive on this topic - not even being willing to be named among the body equals not wanting to be known as a believer, or be known BY other believers, and where I draw the line.

Now you’re saying I’m totally misunderstanding your perspective on this because your congregation worships in a more compartmentalized and different format.  That makes total sense and I think is where the misunderstanding was on my end.  I don’t agree, but I appreciate the detail so I can hear and walk through your experiences and reasons.  Thank you for elucidating them for me, that was very interesting and helpful.

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I am seeing both sides of this (what a good Anglican I am! hahaha). 

I see "going to church" as more than attending the service. It is also participating in parish life, and some of that happens right before and right after the actual service/liturgy. 

I see people saying several things in this conversation.  The Catholic/Orthodox seem to be very focused on the vertical dimension of the faith, and the more Protestant seem to be focusing on the horizontal dimension of faith, though both expressions of faith include both horizontal and vertical.  In this thread, the Catholic view appears to be that the worship is that of individuals in the same room as others, but remaining separate in a sense. But,  there is no need to know a name, the ultimate sign of individuality, because you all know the Name Above All Names. That Name binds you together, and in a sense, the individual disappears. On the other hand, the Protestant individuals are recognizing the reality of the horizonal element and are finding Christ in each other, and names allow that intimacy as you share your worship; you are being individuals BECAUSE you share names, but that intimacy binds you together in worship. 

Very interesting. (I don't know if that is clear or makes sense.)

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@Chris in VA that’s what I’m seeing too.  And it seems like both sides think the other is minimizing some aspect of the Christian life, when in actuality I think we are mostly talking past one another a bit because of different formats of our worship more than what the content should be, with maybe 20% of the problem being actual different accepted theology on this 🙂

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When we left our church, they were moving toward this and now do it. The leaving was unrelated. They also do this at the co-op where I teach. I do not like it. I think it's a great practice that totally makes a ton of sense for all the reasons people are saying. But also, it chafes me in some weird way that I cannot name.

The church I grew up in, which was also a very large church, also had the little mailboxes. They were family based. I remember going to check it when I was a kid. And there was a church face book. Remember directories with everyone's photo? They put one out every five years or so and had a professional photographer in and it was just like school pictures. They used it to make the book with a photo for each family and then you could buy them if you liked them. Very useful service and useful to have the little book so you could figure out who everyone was.

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54 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Huh, so there are really clear lines there in your congregation? That may be the difference.  Until we sit and enter into prayer and worship, the time is specifically for coming together and being with one another communally, before and after. That could be some of the disconnect.

 

Socializing is a huge difference between Catholic and most Protestant services. The first time I went to a Mass, I loved that no one talked to me. The first time I took my ex husband to a Protestant service, I warned him that people would be talking to him, shaking his hand, asking him questions, and possibly even hugging him. 

I've been to a lot of churches, and I've never been to one that has name tags. Name tags, especially on a lanyard, would honestly make me feel as though I'm at work, and I'd likely go elsewhere.

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26 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

That’s exactly where I’m coming from too.  I hadn’t realized the catholic ladies didn’t have that in similar form, my only parish experience has been with a lot more going on around it.  That helps with understanding where the breakdown is, though.

Catholic ladies don't have what? Bearing each other's burdens, gathering together? Of course we have that. And yes, there is getting to know one another going on before and after Mass to a greater or lesser degree depending on the day and the person. Name tags would be untenable at my parish. We are large and there would be no way to get name tags to people in any kind of orderly fashion. We have 7 Masses on a weekend. Mass is communal worship. We also have small groups, scripture studies, ministries to the poor, sick, elderly, etc. all kinds of places where people get to know each other more intimately and from there comes the sharing of burdens, etc. Yes, there are Name Tags there, but Mass is different. 

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I’m still chewing on this...My Protestant church shares in communion weekly.  It is why we come together.

I’m thinking about Jesus’ last supper with His disciples.  He was sharing a meal with His followers.  It was fellowship.  He was also still trying to make clear to them who He was, and what was His plan.  In that sense, they would have been led to worship Him.  I think this very much should be reflected in our own time together as a Christian body.  Gathering together is for worship AND fellowship with one another...

I’m fascinated that this topic is viewed so differently by different denominations of Christians!  I hope we all remember what unites us as believers is more important than the preferences of individual congregations.  It’s just so very interesting...

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11 minutes ago, scholastica said:

Catholic ladies don't have what? Bearing each other's burdens, gathering together? Of course we have that. And yes, there is getting to know one another going on before and after Mass to a greater or lesser degree depending on the day and the person. Name tags would be untenable at my parish. We are large and there would be no way to get name tags to people in any kind of orderly fashion. We have 7 Masses on a weekend. Mass is communal worship. We also have small groups, scripture studies, ministries to the poor, sick, elderly, etc. all kinds of places where people get to know each other more intimately and from there comes the sharing of burdens, etc. Yes, there are Name Tags there, but Mass is different. 

Exactly.  Even in Acts, the "bearing of each other burdens" happened daily, not just after the official meetings at the synagogues/homes.  The fellowship that some people have mentioned should be happening during the week, not just for an hour or so once a week.  I don't understand what is so special about Sunday vs. daily, organic relationships.  (I would also say that you don't actually have to know someone personally in order to pray for them/encourage them, but I suppose that's off topic).

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I hate name tags - only one place to put 'em - on your chest - and wow, like I want people looking at my chest to see who I am. 

If I'm wearing a uniform with a collar, and it's a permanent badge that is small and pins on to the collar, OK.

But otherwise, no pressure to stick stickers on my dress, please!

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31 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Eh, not exact.  The Greek Orthodox church my BIL and SIL attend has a whole lot more fellowship going on before and after it, too, as did the Russian Orthodox bodies.  Now they were small and homogenous, no name tags really needed, but they were rather gregarious outside of the bounds of the service 🙂

Agree to disagree on the rest, I’d say.  Thanks for explaining the more compartmentalized nature of how you’re experiencing this!

Just quoting you to jump in...

Lots of Roman Catholic mass goers smile and nod at each other as they are entering their pews, acknowledging both friends and unfamiliar people. Lots of people are praying and getting in the mindset for Mass, but it is pretty clear who those people are, usually either kneeling or sitting with bowed heads, holding prayer book or rosary. Or looking at crucifix, not making eye contact, etc. Generally, No one is intruding on anyone's spiritual preparation for Mass. But it isn't all complete none interaction between Mass goers, just it is mostly non-verbal. Except on First Communion days, which is a whole different story.

Afterwards, many people socialize, interact, talk, etc. As I've gotten older, more and more talking is happening after Mass in the nave but still there is the idea to stay quiet until you get to the narthex or outside.

This thread reminds me of the *what do you think of greeters at church?* thread with an entire contingent of people saying... "Leave me alone. Don't greet me. Just let me get in to my seat.*

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I understand wearing name tags at something like a conference or seminar but not for something that people would attend weekly in same setting.

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1 hour ago, Arctic Mama said:

 Like, the ultimate intimacy is professing Christ together.  We are literally actually closer than blood family, being of the same spiritual family and heritage in Christ.

 

Well, Catholics would say the ultimate intimacy is receiving Christ, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist. And Mass is the way we have to do that. It is not a time for socializing. I mean, not that people couldn't, if there is a gathering space outside the church. But generally, at Catholic parishes I have been too, people enter and quickly make their way into the church to prepare themselves/pray beforehand. 

Now, after the Mass is a different story. Every parish has a different vibe. Some parishes have basically no socializing afterwards, with all/most heading home immediately. The socializing/helping others comes out in Bible studies, fish fries, etc...Other parishes have active coffee times afterwards. 

1 hour ago, Arctic Mama said:

Huh, so there are really clear lines there in your congregation? That may be the difference.  Until we sit and enter into prayer and worship, the time is specifically for coming together and being with one another communally, before and after. That could be some of the disconnect.


Yes, I'd say most Catholic parishes have clear lines in this sense. Very little socializing happens before Mass, as you wouldn't want to disturb anyone preparing for Mass, and you yourself (general you) would want to be preparing for the most intimate experience (the Eucharist).

Anyway, until this thread I had no idea some churches used nametags. It would seem very out of place at a Catholic Mass, ime. Well, sometimes ushers have nametags that identify they as ushers.

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I loathe name tags on many levels.  As Stella mentioned, sticking something on my chest encouraging people to look there is complete turnoff to me.  I hate the lanyard and/or plastic cases, they poke me, they flop around, face backward, young kids want to grab them and pull them off or worse suck on them.  I wear my winter coat during service because I'm always freezing, I don't want to pole holes in my coat, but if I put it on my clothes, you can't see it anyways.  My hair (waist length) gets caught on it. It has nothing to do with fellowship of connecting to people.  I'm more than capable of connecting with people without ever knowing their name.  I do see value in having ushers/greeters having a name tag because it then it kind of identifies them as someone "in charge" so if there are issues/questions people will know who to talk to. But average attendees have no need for that. So count me as one, if my church REQUIRED it of everyone, I'd be going elsewhere, they are just too much of a pain and don't really serve any useful purpose.  If it was optional, it would be annoying but as long as I could opt out, I'd get over it.

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I have no problem with it. Not like anyone will be thrown out if they don't wear a name tag. This is usually done to help people to get to know each other. Why go to church if you don't want anyone to know your name? Going to church is supposed to be about being in fellowship with others, not coming and wanting to keep to yourself and the people you already know and like (aka, clique).

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1 hour ago, Hadley said:

I’m thinking about Jesus’ last supper with His disciples.  He was sharing a meal with His followers.  It was fellowship.  He was also still trying to make clear to them who He was, and what was His plan.  In that sense, they would have been led to worship Him.  I think this very much should be reflected in our own time together as a Christian body.  Gathering together is for worship AND fellowship with one another...

I think this is the root of the difference. The RCC (and I think the Orthodox church) emphasizes that the Church is the whole community of 1.2 billion people who have been baptized, it's not the particular people who happen to be at any one particular mass. 

Edited by chiguirre
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I once worked for a church that did this, but not every Sunday. Maybe once a month they had a "name tag Sunday" and asked all parishioners to stop on their way into the sanctuary to pick up a name tag.

I'm pretty introverted, but the idea of wearing one doesn't phase me in the least. I rather like it, because I am not good at walking up to someone and introducing myself. Having learned their name would make me a bit more comfortable in future interactions. I like to add acquaintances on social media and "get to know them" that way too. It makes me feel less shy about talking to them. I know that my sense of knowing them is somewhat skewed, but it still helps break down that barrier for me.

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My church (of around 500) does this a couple times a year.  I hate it.  I don't like putting it on my chest.  I sometimes forget to remove when I stop at the store afterwards, so then there is additional hatred for the name tag.  I am always tempted to stick it on my forehead, because I think then they probably would not do it again.  I do not arrive early or stay late to chat.  We are busy so just want to get home and feed kids when services are done.  I feel like the people who need to know our names do.  Our church does a lot of outreach, which is good, of course, but who knows who will be there and I do not need them to know my name.  And strange characters are always wandering into churches as it is a free, warm place to be.  They do not need to know my name either.

I will wear them when I work in kid's classes but I still do not like it.  Maybe like it less, because then I am Mrs. Name, and people know my last name.

I can be very social, but I am still very private.  I would not exactly call myself an introvert, but I guess in this situation, I am.

I think many people do not like it or are non conpliant which is why it is very infrequently done at our church, usually when there is an activity following a service.

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1 hour ago, chiguirre said:

I think this is the root of the difference. The RCC (and I think the Orthodox church) emphasizes that the Church is the whole community of 1.2 billion people who have been baptized, it's not the particular people who happen to be at any one particular mass. 

I must not have been clear.  Sorry about that!  I most definitely was referring to “The Church” as a collection of all baptized believers, and not only as the people who happen to be in my building (or even denomination, for that matter).  I just would have a hard time attending a church large enough to contain billions of Christians, so I’ll fellowship with those who happen to be in the building on Sunday 😉.

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3 hours ago, chiguirre said:

There's a big difference between appropriate behavior at mass and appropriate behavior during a Knights of Columbus fish fry. Mass is not an opportunity for fellowship, it's a communal prayer in which all of a believer's attention should be focused on the mass itself: the readings during the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic prayers during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. You shouldn't talk during mass. You shouldn't be looking around and waving at people. You don't need to know anybody's name. You're supposed to be completely immersed in Jesus' sacrifice. (Even my thoroughly unreligious current self would not dream of not following along with the parts of the mass attentively. It's just not acceptable.)

 

Peace be with you.

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Well, speaking as someone who attends a very small church, the people who want to know my name already do. If I was good at remembering names, I would know everyone's. My dd#1 & DH could tell you everyone's name except the college kids. They might only know a couple of those.

To me, it isn't about knowing someone's name; it is about requiring something I consider superfluous. Except when it comes to doing something necessary on my kids' behalf, I am a bit of a rebel about requirements/rules that I consider unnecessary. Contrary & difficult just on principle.

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I loathe wearing name tags.  Maybe it's part of being an extreme introvert.  Selfishly, though, it would be great if everyone else wore them since I can't remember names.  😛

I would probably just quietly ignore the rule for myself.  That's what I do when I go to conferences etc.  They give me a name tag, I take it and slip it into my briefcase or whatever.

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9 hours ago, RootAnn said:

I'd comply if it was a one-time or once per year thing. If it was all the time, I'd not wear one. If someone made me, I'd probably make a "M.O.M." nametag.

That's my personality. Reject requirements & then deflect with humor.

 

I had an extremely (extremely!) shy introverted roommate in college and she used to write "Bob" or "Bill" on her nametag at church. She did have a good sense of humor.  😃  

Edited by cintinative
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I would happily wear the name tag. I would not like a lanyard type tag, so if that is what they offered, I would come up with an alternative solution. 

Edited by MissLemon

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If some of you are such introverts, why not ask your church to institute a color code such as used by autistics when meeting up with other autistics in large groups? A name tag can be an assistive device, helping people who have trouble putting names to faces or consistently recognizing people at all. A socializing color code is another assistive device, with or without the name tag bundled in.

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