I have received some correspondence recently from the national Episcopal Church and other church sources in which I am addressed as ... Mother Clark. Or Mother Connie.
The truth is, I am nobody's mama. And never will be. Oh, except the mother of my dogs, and late lamented cats. And then only in a manner of speaking.
I have, on the other hand, often been called "Mom" or "Mama" by psychiatric hospital patients who need a nurturing, kind mother figure. This is not something I've encouraged. Sometimes I've actively discouraged it. Sometimes I let it be. Always I accept it as a compliment.
Though I lived in a "Father/Mother" parish for 12 years, I just don't know if I can be Mother Connie. Less still, Mother Clark -- a name some family members called my paternal grandmother, a lady with whom I would not like to be identified for the rest of my life. Yes, there's a story there.
"What shall we call you?"
How about .... Connie?
Or, and I know this doesn't sound very Episcopalian, I do love the title "Pastor."