These Totes Are Totes Appropriate For Ministry

MINISTERSES, there is absolutely no reason for you to be chugging along your day carrying a raggedy-ass tote bag. Save those stained, wrinkled, silly, juvenile (you know, farting unicorn decals or whatever) totes for the farmer’s market or the used book store. When you’re at work, have some dignity about your bag!

Here are two snappy revs I saw at General Assembly last year in Kansas City. The Rev. Dr. Kelly Murphy Mason and the Rev. Alison Miller, both of the metro NYC area, were rocking tailored, lovely totes and I asked if I could BTFM them and they said “sure!”

Please click on the images to enlarge.

Alison’s tote has a metallic interior, which is SNAZZ.

Really, nice totes are all over the place. Get one and use it and retire that beat-up ole thing with the faded tree goddess decal.

Checking In, July 2017

A few things happened.
I celebrated twenty years in the parish ministry! I will be writing a lot about that this summer, sharing my wisdom and whatnot.

I went on two short trips. I married a cousin to her beloved. I saw Bette Midler in “Hello, Dolly!” and Andy Karl in “Groundhog Day.” I shook Leontyne Price’s hand!!!!!!!


I kept up with the news and cried a lot. My heart hurts all the time. My heart hurts so much I am going back into therapy with someone who has a clinical and theological orientation. I can’t be in therapy without talking about God, and I can’t do spiritual direction with someone who isn’t educated in the clinical manifestations of moral despair and pain.
So there’s that.

Our church has been hugely busy and I am very excited and grateful for all of it but somewhat creatively tapped out. After our big Pride weekend beach service and final decision on a new Music Director I can slow way down for a couple of weeks. I am taking August off, off, offety off!

I am gardening. Are you gardening? I am not a “gardener” but I like messing around with plants. I like cool tones so my front plot is all lavender and other blue, purple, hot pink, and … WHEN DID I PUT IN THOSE YELLOW DAISIES?
I love the surprise of perennials. “Holy cow, now where did that hibiscus come from?”
I put a lot of little magical things in my front garden because kids walk by a lot and it’s fun for them. I have front porch envy. Eventually I’ll have to put on a little tiny porch so I can sit out front and be officially nosy instead of covertly nosy.

Everything seems to be a bit snug so I guess I got fatter and I’ll have to get less fat this summer. No goals, just general awareness.

I will not be at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly because I cannot even. I am selfishly saving my passion and energy for my own local congregation. I have no desire to spend a week in New Orleans agitating. What I did do was write three companion blog pieces about our current maelstrom, although I did not mention all the senior staff resignations and subsequent dumbass decisions about sending those who resigned out with golden parachutes. How dare the UUA come to us for more money when they spend it in such an unaccountable fashion?

Here are my pieces: On how UUs are really not a covenantal people even though we love to throw the word around. On how UUs misinterpret our first principle in egotistical and individualistic ways. On selective intellectualism and the resistance to the perfectly easy to understand term, “white supremacy.”

The best thing about not going to General Assembly is not having to pack for late June in New Orleans. Good luck, y’all!

Beauty Tips!

Darlings, just a quick thing to say that I HAVE no beauty tips currently because I have been completely schnozzled by large platoons of pollen and germs that took up residence in my upper respiratory system and well nigh SUFFOCATED ME.

I am on the mend, sort of, and visiting MotherBang at the moment.

We have summer conferences coming up, and CPE, and all manner of opportunities to not be an incarnation of jarring visual hypocrisy: “We are doing important work in the world!/We couldn’t be bothered to brush our hair or wear any clothes with proper fastenings!”

Stuffily yours in the spirit of St. Zyrtec and St. Flonase,

Tweedly Bang And Skin Care Shout-Outs

I am not sure if I look like Tweedly Dum or Tweedly Dee in this striped shirt that I bought to wear UNDER navy blazers for a cute nautical look and am just wearing alone over jeans today for brunch with a friend, but probably it’s their unknown sister, Tweedly Bang.

I’ve been here in Portland for like a hundred days and I have a life that consists of getting lost on the way to hotels and convention centers and asking nice strangers for directions and then getting more lost. I live in a hotel room that is strewn with conference effluvia and toiletries and despite all my best efforts, I have a blister on the side of my ankle from my awesome new shoes that are actually very walkable as long as you don’t traipse around on pavement in 100 degree weather for 45 minutes looking for the hotel where your youth group is meeting you for dinner. [Run-On Sentence Warning!] Had I remembered to put my anti-chafe gel in my bag yesterday, even that mishap wouldn’t have resulted in blisters. Fie, blisters, fie on thee!

I am seeing wonderful people and being fed spiritually but there is the matter of WHAT DAY IS IT? WHERE AM I?

I went to Powell’s City of Books last night and got a vintage guide for altar guilds (so fun!), some of Hildegard von Bingen’s meditations and a work of Meister Eckhart, and a book on dance and liturgy and performance. I bought that new novel called Station Eleven. I got some used cookbooks from a wonderful London restaurant that I’m really excited about. I love that Powell’s ships!

I am grateful for Algenist for making excellent sunblock.
I am grateful to Josie Maran for making amazing Argan Infinity Intensive Creamy Oil that has kept my feet and elbows soft.

And now I get to rejoice in time spent with beloved Harvard Div School friend the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Scheper Hughes whose work inspires and fascinates me and her adorable and dear hubby, Santos Roman.

Have a fantastic and faithful day, pigeons.
Love, Tweedly Bang

Photo on 6-27-15 at 12.57 PM

General Assembly Edition: Baseline “Nice”

Okay, doll babies,
We’re getting ready for summer conferences! WOOT!
The Unitarian Universalists have General Assembly in two weeks, I will be doing a PeaceBang “Ministry With a Bang” Event next weekend in Portland, OR, and we all have a full calendar of denominational gatherings, leadership summits and fancy get-togethers.

I’m going to take a little bow here and say that honestly, things have gotten so much better with the Unitarian Universalists over the past five to ten years. I’m going to take a little bit of credit for that if I may, since I don’t see anyone else having openly discussed clergy image and public ministry and the importance of not succumbing to lazy instincts and nonsense messages like, “It’s the inside that rullee counts, so I can wear my long, scraggly Halloween witch hair and communicate to the public that I represent a proud religious tradition that affirms the inherent worth and dignity of all people!”


Meanwhile, PeaceBang ages and grows more lined in the face, puffier of eyelid, and fatter as she functions like the portrait of Dorian Grey to her denomination. The struggle is REAL.

Rather than put up a list of suggestions or tips right now, I thought I would open the floor for your specific questions about what to pack. Comment away! Let’s consult!

My two big tips are:

1. Wear comfortable shoes but not hideous shoes.

2. If you’re not presenting, look polished and nice, but be comfortable. By now, if you have been attentive to the Gospel of PeaceBang, your baseline sense of “nice” is clothes that fit, clothes that probably require zippers and buttons to fasten (as opposed to entire outfits you can pull over your head or pull up over your bottom half with elastic), structured garments, careful grooming, and foundational undergarments that fit your bits.

3. If you are presenting, be on your game. Suits are a good bet, depending on your panel or occasion. Far better to overdress than underdress. You’ve been honored by the invitation: show it.

Now, let’s hear from you!