Wednesday, April 27, 2005

"Minister shoes"

I was talking about church with my daughter on Sunday morning. We go to a lay led fellowship and she think of whoever leads the service as a minister. (This comes from a great kid's book she loves called Welcoming Babies. The diversity references are very subtle in the book, aside from the basic premise of exploring all the ways that babies are welcomed around the world. A careful reading reveals an interracial Quaker couple in one of the pictures (the baby is being welcomed by being passed from person to person in the meeting and one of the children is very excited about her turn to hold the baby) and a same sex parenting couple in another (they are planting a tree to welcome their second baby). Another baby is baptized by Reverend Lawson (sn African American woman). Luna was convinced at first that Rverend Lawson must be the baby's grandmother, but we discussed it and she learned the word minister to understand who Reverend Lawson was and what I am studying at seminary.

My kids are used to a lay led fellowship and when we visit other congregations they are usually in RE or nursery. The last time Luna went to a housed church with a settled minister, she tried to put away the chairs after the service was done.

So to make a short story long, Luna was asking if I was leading the service. Later that day we were unpacking some clothes from a trip and Luna found a pair of wing tips that I only wear with my suit. She said "Daddy, I see your minister shoes."

I was reminded of the fairly heated exchange at Boy in the Bands about Unitarian Universalist ministerial vesture. I'll admit that I am very low church in my outlook and my family tradition is particularly against special garments for ministers, but there has to be some alternative to my Blues Brothers bible salesman black suit.

Im sure I will never go as far as Scott (despite all my best efforts to the contrary, I'm too much of a nerd and a hippie to really pull it off) but do I have to look like Johnny Cash every time a give a sermon in church? I try to balance between giving a greater sense of liturgy or even sacraemnt with a conscious effort to not "play minister" as a seminarian in a lay led fellowship. In our fellowship, the custom is a suit for men who lead a service. One member who is a retired minister wears a stole with his suit (as does a visiting minister who leads service regularly).

Maybe I just need a nicer suit.


At 7:11 PM, Blogger Chalicechick said...

I've only given one lay-lead sermon, but I wore a blue suit.

Church is serious business for CC.



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