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This is Father…

I’m at the hospital.  And given that the person I’m visiting is not a parishioner but  the de-churched friend of a parishioner who grew up in a more formal and liturgical tradition I’m wearing the collar.  I tap on the hospital room door and ask if I can come in.  The patient is sleeping but his brother is sitting at the bedside.  I introduce myself.  We chat for a minute or two.  Another family member enters the room and the brother introduces me.  “This is Father…I mean…Mother…no that can’t be right either.  What do we call you?”  I introduce myself, “Pastor Kathryn or just Kathryn is fine.”  “Yes of course Father.  I mean Mother…”

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