“Why wasn’t she robed?”
Some wondered, when I recently preached, without wearing the traditional attire – a white robe, known as an alb. Instead I wore black and white, symbolic of being a sinner and a saint at the same time…
The short answer: “I’m trying to figure out who I am as Vicar – eventually Pastor – and what builds relationship.”
So, I hope you’ll join me in this process. “What?! You want my fashion advice?!”
Absolutely. Because as a Beloved Child of God, I deeply desire for all others to know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, they are also Beloved Children of God.
And, I want to know…
How does an African American feel when they see me in a white robe (particularly if it has a hood) in Church? Does that bring up painful thoughts or agonizing memories?
How do people of Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and other faiths feel when they see me in a black shirt with a white clerical collar? Do they view me as immediately un-relatable and disconnected from them?
How do Christian people feel when they see me wearing a black shirt with a white clerical collar? Do they become more guarded, potentially stop swearing, and instead censor their conversation to be more polite and socially appropriate?
How do people feel when they see me in a black shirt and white clerical collar if they have been injured by the Church – whether that is individuals who have been emotionally and spiritually wounded – or a marginalized group which has been historically discriminated against, like someone who is LGBTQIA+? (People who range in sexual orientation and/or range in gender orientation). Do they automatically assume I’m probably judging them and I probably don’t love them?
Maybe nobody cares what I wear… maybe this is a trivial detail…
However, as a society, we often do express ourselves by how we dress for a variety of occasions.
So, as a symbol of someone who represents God in some way, shape or form to others, I want to know what expresses a loving, relational God to you?
Vicar at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church