Hello, hello, hello!
Pigeons, how are you? It’s been awhile. PeaceBang has been in the Land of Summer, reading her little head off, thinking (or as she likes to say it, “THANKING”), swimming in the great Atlantic ocean and spending tons and tons of time with friends. That last thing is the best, isn’t it? When the church year gets really hopping I just don’t see my buds enough, and when it freezes and starts blizzarding I don’t see them at ALL! I love this time of year for long, relaxed dinners, nights at the movies or the theatre, concocting something fun in the blender and digging toes in the sand.
But ’tis indeed mid-August and ones thoughts turn to the fall and that wonderful back to school feeling. I have been thinking a lot about how weird and intimidating church feels to many unchurched folks and really auditing how and where in our congregational life we can be more accessible, easy, non-mysterious and welcoming. In this era where so many people seek spiritual community to strengthen and equip them to cope with the nihilistic ravages of our modern world, the last thing I want to do is seem like some arcane figure all Dumbledore’d out in my long robes and pointy hat with stars on it. And a wand. Don’t forget the magic wand!
But you know what I mean. I mean, that’s what vestments really feel like to a lot of people, I think, and I want to explore the possibilities of leading worship in street clothes with a stole. Or maybe no stole. I am not sure. As I said, I want to try some different things and see how it feels for me and for my worshiping congregation. I’ll ask them for feedback. Maybe I’ll miss wearing a robe – the specialness of it and the convenience — but maybe my wearing a suit or some other outfit will help newcomers (both online and in person) see me as a more accessible person.
I have thought about this a lot, of course, and have determined a few things:
1. I want to wear solid colored suits, but not traditional business suit cuts. Therefore, I need to find suits that have a slightly more creative cut to them. Separates will not do: I need the color and fabric of top and bottom to match exactly.
2. I want to have one black suit and one blue or green version, and possibly one ivory. I will have a Sunday uniform, then, which will not be any different than men who wear the same sports jacket and trousers or suits every Sunday. It’s just that, as a woman, and as a creative woman, I will be less able to have fun wearing a variety of outfits. This might be a great relief!
3. Skirts or pants? I will try both. A woman of my short, round stature (or lack thereof) tends to look better in elongating skirts, but I will check options and see how I feel about them. Skirt lengths will always be well below the knee for worship presiding, while my skirts are knee-length for regular ministry work. Longer is less flattering but more appropriate for Sundays. I don’t want to have to worry too much about my skirt hiking up when I sit down.
I found some garments on Jessica London catalogue that interest me.
This peplum jacket is 28″ long, which is the perfect length for me. That matters a LOT, as many jackets hit me too low or are too cropped. 28″ is my magic length. The color is decent and would look nice in our sanctuary, I think. Sorry the photo is so tiny. I would get this with a skirt, as teal pants and top would make me look like a big lollipop who’s running for public office.
If I got the suit in black I might do pants instead of a skirt. Where to put the mic pac is a real question:
This belted blazer really excited me, although I wouldn’t do purple. I would get black or charcoal with a matching bi-stretch skirt. Again, this is 28″ and I can clip my mic pac on the belt. I LOVE belted blazers. They’re so much more feminine and flattering to me than traditional 3-button styles.
These skirts (this is the knee-length but they have a calf-length as well) look serviceable and easy to tailor.
So, talk to me. Are any of you switching up your pulpit attire? Why? What’s your vision? What are you hoping for? How much are you willing to spend to try the new look? Remember, darlings, always budget for tailoring! Nothing is too detailed when it comes to outfitting yourself for worship. Nothing. Stand up in the garment. Sit in it. Bend over in it. Reach up. Does it fit the waist, the sleeves, the legs? If it’s a blazer, can you see a half inch of shirt cuff peaking past the sleeve? You should be able to; what do you think cufflinks are for? Can the garment stand candle wax? Multiple launderings or cleanings? Is it lined? Does it fall nicely? Have you seen yourself from the rear in it?
Wherever you are in your ministry, darlings, PeaceBang wishes you well with a big kiss of peace.