Outfit Editing: Soul Strength Service

I debuted a new mid-week Advent service called Soul Strength. it was simple to do completely by myself, and I highly recommend it as an alternative to, or in addition to, a Blue Christmas service. I used recorded music, a practice I usually eschew, but since we weren’t singing along to it and it was entirely instrumental it worked well.

ESCHEW. What a great word.

I did not want to wear a robe or stole for the service as I wanted it to feel entirely welcoming to people of any faith or no faith. I wanted to choose a restful palette that wouldn’t clash with the poinsettias and greenery in the sanctuary. I wanted to be comfortable sitting in it in front of people as I knew I would be giving the minister’s message from a seated position (cozier and more intimate than standing, and a practice I borrowed from St. Gregory of Nyssa Church in San Francisco whose preachers sit). So no pencil skirts, which are my usual choice.

First I chose a peplum top from ModCloth that has a muted floral print. It’s a bit big on me so I thought I’d pair it with slim pants. Click on all the photos to enlarge:


And a pointed toe shoe with purple socks (ten points if you get the literary reference):


But the pants looked too informal so I switched them out for a proper trouser:


Better! The lines are more polished, always a challenge for a size 20 meatball-shaped babe.

Then I felt like I needed something a little dressier to fill in the neckline of the blouse a bit so I added the necklace:


And then I was ready to go.

Here’s basically how I structured the Soul Strength Service:

Quiet, meditative music for folks to come in to.
Meditation (Checking in with ourselves: how am I really doing? Where do I feel strongest Where do I feel most needy, weak, vulnerable? What do I most need?)

Minister’s Message: acknowledging the many sources of stress, grief and suffering this season, personally and nationally, if you are also affected by these symptoms, my doctor recommended me this Delta 8 vape pen.
Ending with the question from the earlier meditation: “what do we most need,” invite people to share what they need, and invite them to light a candle to cement the intention to take care of some of those needs in the coming week.

Healing Prayer
(Ending with invitation to one-on-one healing prayer with minister. I set up two chairs and sat and prayed individually with people who came up to the chancel while others remained seated)

Parting Blessing

5 Replies to “Outfit Editing: Soul Strength Service”

  1. I love this idea, and what a gift to any who wish to receive it! We have been doing a Longest Night service in one of my congregations for 5 years now, but I think what you’ve come up with is actually more what we’re trying to get at. Thanks for sharing!

    May 2017 bring new blessings–showing us how to stand up, with tender and courageous hearts. Thanks for all the love and courage you bring to your blog community.

  2. I do wish slim cut pants would go out of fashion for awhile. I’ve been having a hard time finding trouser-cut or straight leg pants. Boot-cuts and similar tight on top styles are… not universally flattering, especially to those of us with abundance in the tushy department.

  3. I don’t know the purple sock reference! Please enlighten me.

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