Nellie wrote a comment that had me muttering obscenities and also laughing really hard. She’s very talented that way. Here, you read it yourself. I didn’t want anyone to miss it:
I am a lay person with long exposure to both the Unitarian and Anglican communions – 74 years now. I am quite sure you, Peacebang, will be able to pull it off. But I am very worried about the rest of your colleagues. Our rector (female) performed a funeral in the summer for an important person in our community – full church – wearing Madras shorts, t-shirt, birkenstocks and a stole. The men in the congregation , all rural, were wearing the Canadian uniform of blazer and shirt and tie. The women had linen or cotton summer shirts. It was not good.
I find myself very distracted by the Unitarian ministers, male and female, who wear strange stoles with cabalistic designs over an assortment of street attire. Most of the street attire is idiosyncratic leading to musings about the age, the background, the self image of said clergy person. Hard to concentrate on anything they are saying.
The wisdom of a Geneva gown is that a congregant can then focus on content – can worship – isn’t tempted to see the clergy person as the current god.
The stoles – other than the Episcopal variety that were a single colour based on the liturgical season are a distraction. I don’t care that a worthy person in your last congregation quilted a skyline of the city along with symbols for all the world religions onto your stole.
I don’t want to spend 1/2 hour trying to figure out the symbolism of your “cute” stole with magic dragons on it.
Curmudgeonly yours, nellie
First of all, I want to find out who the offending minister was who disgraced the proceedings in such disgustingly inappropriate attire. There is no excuse of any kind for this kind of disrespect. This clergyperson should be confronted.
Second, what Nellie says about “magical dragon” stole is something I have never written about, but she is spot on. Save the special stoles with the “cabalistic designs” for the church setting. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!! Thank you, Nellie. Thank you for your curmudgeonly insights that are most helpful and most welcome. Love, PB