At the beginning of September All Saints Parish will be launching Name Badge Weekend across all three churches in the Parish.

From 1st/2nd September onwards, when you arrive at our churches in Dawlish, Shaldon or Teignmouth on the first Saturday or Sunday of each month, you will be greeted by our welcoming teams who will offer you a name badge. You can, of course, opt out of this experience … but our hope is that the majority of parishioners at our Masses will decide to receive and complete a name badge then bring them back on the first Saturday or Sunday of each month for the rest of the next year.

We have decided to offer this experience because we think it’s important to know eachother’s names! In John 10:3, Jesus describes the Good Shepherd as one who“…calls his own sheep by name…” That’s not a random fact … names are important for identifying the story of how God is at work in your life. How can we minister to people if we don’t know their names? We think it’s critically important that we help our people with this first step of getting to know each other.

People want to be known. We know that there is a school of thought that says that people want to be totally anonymous when they arrive at church. The dangerous application of this belief is that we go out of our way to make it hard for people to connect. We want to give people space to control their experience with our church but we want to meet them when they are ready to connect. The first step to getting connected is by allowing a nice member of our team to help you make up a name badge.

It’s an Invitation to Talk. Implicated in the wearing of the name badge is an invitation to talk with other people. Our hope is that when people come to church that they connect with the community … the goal is to get people talking to each other! People love to hear their own name … it’s perhaps the sweetest word they hear all day. By offering name badges we are multiplying out lots of great conversations in church. What a positive emotion to associate with our parish!

Helpful for Our Team  Let’s be honest … you can remember maybe 200 people’s names when you see their faces but you can probably remember stuff about 1,500 people when given their face and name. (Think about Facebook … the fact that you see people’s names and faces boosts your recall about the details of other people’s lives big time!) The name tag helps our team remember a little bit more about our parishioners by just giving them a little bit of information about them.

It’s Not About You … Name badges by definition are about the other people around us not ourselves. It’s a declaration that I’m not the centre of this universe … that I acknowledge that everyone doesn’t know me … that I’m not that big of a deal. When we put on a name badge we are serving other people who might feel uncomfortable coming up to us.

We look forward to calling you by your name.