Ah, the greetings after church, when (if one is lucky and the service went well and people are not being cross)!
Hello! Hi! and then "Hi Mather Harris" and later "Hello, Mather Mark." All because of a typo at the end of the service leaflet. What should have read, "a friend of Father Mark Harris" got printed, "a friend of Mather Mark Harris."
After the usual snickers about typos, I got to rolling the word around in my head. With all the past muttering about what to call priest people, male and female, "Mather" sounded just fine. Of course as a last name it has some heavy duty users - Cotton Mather, Increase Mather, etc.
But as a word it was a comfortable fit - kind of an androgynous combination of Father and Mother. "M" from Mother "a" from Father, "ther" from both. And, given Jesus' reserve about calling anyone Father, and his image of being like a mother hen, "Mather" has the ring of skating near the one and the other both.
So, here I am, Mather Mark. Let the typo be.
Meanwhile, in reality I dislike the use of titles at all - Father, Mother, certainly "Reverend," Canon, Doctor. If there has to be a title reference, I like the Romanian "Priest", as in "Priest Harris," which parallels "Lawyer" Harris or "Engineer" Harris, forms used in Latin America with some regularity.
Even then it goes far from what ought to be the norm (at least in my mind.) My name is Mark. Few people in the Church family at St. Peter's in Lewes, and few people in the various church settings I find myself, would not know that I am a priest, and for them the information would come forward as they got to know me, or saw me working in that capacity. Just call me Mark, and when doing priest things, Mark the priest.
Call me Mark, but be sure to call me for supper.