One of the things Holy Trinity and Trendlewood do differently to any church I've ever been to is to wear badges. I'm not fully conversant with the system but it seems as if every regular member of the church goes to a badge case and takes out their own badge, returning it after the service.
As I told folks at my first Trendlewood service yesterday, I'm not too sure how I feel about it yet.
On the plus side, you can easily check out the name of someone you feel you ought to know by now, which in my case is everyone. There is none of the embarrassment of forgetting names, although I manage to conjure up enough embarrassment letting my eyes wander across people's chests trying to find out their names, especially when their chests are ... well you get me. Sorry madam; do you have a badge in there somewhere?
On the negative side, a friend of mine visiting the church recently (I sent spies) was greeted not with 'Hello, I don't recognise you, are you a visitor?' but 'Have you got a badge?' It also brings back memories (showing my age now) of the old Scripture Union soundstrip, The Stranger, where Jesus rides into a western town and tells people to take their badges off. Includes the immortal line something like, 'My wife's a D6; that's pretty good for a woman.' Anyway they lynch him. 'There's nothing like a good lynching to get people together again.'
I used to enjoy the occasional amnesty times we had at St Paul's when St Paul's night collided with Alpha and so we had everyone badged up for one night only. Not sure about all the time though. I used to wander into town with my badge still accidentally on regularly enough to look like an escapee from somewhere secure.
How do you feel dear readers? Would you like to go to a church where badges are worn at all times?
I'm trying to talk the idea of everything we do, everything, being accessible to a newcomer or outsider. Remember, where there are no pole vault pits, there will be no pole vaulters.