I won’t be able to post every day this month, thanks to some off-the-grid travel, but I’ll participate on either side of the trip in the RevGal NaBloPoMo group.
Here’s today’s prompt: write about what you wear at church (your best clothes, your comfy clothes, robe, stole, etc.). What does the phrase “church clothes” look like in your world?
When I first started doing supply preaching, I wasn’t ordained. I didn’t feel right using a robe (nor did I want to lay out the cash until I knew where I would find myself preaching regularly) so I wore a nice blouse, a suit jacket and pants, and a favorite pair of dress shoes. Before a business trip to Vancouver, I found what would become my go-to preaching shoes: a pair of low boots kind of like this.
I don’t know why, but the shoes helped me find my voice and authority. Maybe it was the timing. Maybe it was more about identifying something that was “me” and not just in the recommended choices. Whatever it was, the shoes helped me feel confident about walking into familiar and new congregations with the words I was meant to preach that day. I still love those shoes. Unfortunately, the heels have become uneven after 3 years of use and need repair.
When I got ordained this summer, my congregation gifted me with a robe. Of course, it was so hot all summer that the choir and I have gone without robes since that wonderful afternoon. Because my ordination also marked the beginning of a pastoral relationship, I wanted to have something aside from the robe to establish that identity for the congregation and the community.
So Sunday morning means putting on a clerical shirt (with a tab collar) with slacks and my new selection of preaching shoes:
I don’t know that I could have started out with the Chucks. But after several months of getting to know one another, my PresbApopkaterians see how these shoes in combination with the traditional garb reflects both my personality and my theology. It speaks to my respect for their past and traditions and my expectation that we will move into the unknown and unexpected future together. And they know that while my Sunday Best might not be exactly what they would choose, I will bring my best to our worship every Sunday.