Mainline markers

How churches identify themselves
When delegates want to speak at a gathering of my denomination, it’s customary for them to stand up and give their name, next give the name of their church, and then say whatever it is they got up to say.

At one of these meetings, delegates began to vie with one another in prefacing the name of their church with various slogans that indicated positions taken or programs organized on one social issue or another. A delegate might preface the name of the church with as many as five or six modifiers or identifiers, including, for example, “multicultural/ multiracial,” “accessible-to-all” or “creation-care.” Being able to get it all in without pausing to take a breath was rewarded with an outburst of laughter and applause from the delegates.


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