Welcome PeaceBang readers: here's the stuff.
You can see what I look like in gown, collar and bands (for preaching) in this 2005 photo; this is what I mean by a medium-height neckband collar.
Since the Washington, D.C. Capitol Pride parade and
county fair festival was this past weekend, let me add a few observations I gathered then and in past years:
- I don't see the appeal, my ministering sisters, to wearing anything sleeveless as street clothes in the first place. Sleeveless clericals make me shudder. And no shorts, even walking length.
- Again, clergy shirts and jeans don't match, even if you're trying to look more casual and blend in. (Well, perhaps in Texas, but that's a whole other world.) You will never blend in with clericals. If you're clergy at some kind of festival and want to mix, wear something "civilian" with a discrete piece of religious jewelry, a polo shirt with denominational embroidery or a fun screened t-shirt.
- Take your nipple rings out first unless you want people to think you're a member of a "naughty vicar" club. (The Thorn Birds?) No? Well, then wear a jacket, please.
A serious word now: There are enough people who think or assume that under any clergymember is a sexual monster waiting to come out; the real predators are bad enough. Sexualized clergy tap into hidden fears. Don't mix physical appearance metaphors unless you intend to confuse people, and if you intend to confuse people, what's your goal? Does it harm the ministry, the church or disturb the faithful?