Sunday, July 23, 2006

It's Gender Ambiguous Liturgy Dude!

We have welcomed a new brother, Chris Tessone, to the ministry today, and we wish him all good blessings and joy in his priesthood.

John Plummer alerted me to photos of the occasion on Flickr, and I hope he meant it when he said that all comments were welcome, because this is just too adorable not to share with all of you:

liturgy dude

I'm not sure what's going on with the chasuble on the far left: is that a SHEEP applique on the front?
But look to the far right. It's Gender Ambiguous Liturgy Dude! We've got the jeans and the sweat shirt, we've got the do'-rag and the long hair, we've got the sandals and the kind of tilted, super casual/endearingly goofy stance, we've got the STOLE to formalize it all. If Gender Ambiguous Liturgical Dude was an action figure (John, that's not you, is it?), I would so want one for Christmas.

PeaceBang does not necessarily disapprove. She understands that Gender Ambiguous Liturgy Dude is the future of the church, and if anything, just wishes that s/he had worn a darker denim and been given a stole that was more in scale to his/her size. As it is, it looks more like a pair of suspenders than a liturgical vestment.

Did this service take place on the Feast Day of the Great Pumpkin? That is some FABULOUS orange!!

Now here's something I've never seen,

home pageant
and forgive my ignorance, but when I saw it I immediately thought, "Hello, I'm Father Stuart ... and my home pageant is held in Dayton, Ohio!"

Gifts! We Get Gifts!

A secret reader of this blog sent me a hilarious cartoon magnet featuring two women standing at a bar behind a pony-tailed guy who is chatting up some babes. The woman behind the dude is holding a pair of scissors at the ready to snip his ponytail and is saying to her friend, "It's for his own good. He'll thank us later!"


Thank you so much, dear reader! And YES, of course I remember you and the day we spend hanging around Berkeley. I remember where you went after that and that we talked on the phone about it, and that you won a wonderful sermon award and that you sent me a beautiful photo of Lena Horne that I still have. You're too sweet and I send you big hugs and a big thanks.

xxoo PB

Will She Inspire You, Or Nurse You At Her Breast, Wipe Your Nose, and Feed You Mac And Cheese?

Clergywomen, when I talk in dire tones about jumpers, this is what I'm talking about.

This woman isn't a minister, but you and I both know that plenty of our colleagues (and professional religious educators) have sported this Earth Mama look.

This jumper screams Romper Room circa 1975, and it's just plain not an appropriate look for today's religious leader. No, not even if it's in corduroy. Not at all. Period. Not even if it's in gold lamé.

Demons of your wardrobe begone!! Frumpy jumpers, by the power of Christ, I call you OUT of those closets!

Seen Leaving Church, Sunday Morning, Boston

Now, if this church-going lady can look this gorgeous on a hot, muggy day AND manage crutches at the same time, we can certainly make more of an effort, n'est ce-pas?*


LOVE the suit.

*however you spell it

Overheard In Boston

Scene: Gorgeous blonde standing near lamppost, wearing unbelievable Frederick of Hollywood 6" black hooker heels with wrap-up gladiator straps all the way up her calves. PeaceBang walking down the sidewalk approaching her, male tourist doing a double-take as he passes by her going the other way, and woman with straggly blonde ponytail, baseball cap and enormous denim shorts approaching her:

Scraggly Ponytail Woman to Blonde Babe:
Jesus is coming back and He loves you.

PeaceBang (to self): And He totally wants to borrow those heels!!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ministry Of Silly Hats

Alternating between cackling wickedly and screaming outright:

After you look at the hats, click on "Return to menu" on the left and read every single one of these take-no-prisoners critiques of bad models and bad vestments from various clergy garb catalogs. You'll be wiping yer eyes in no time.

I don't get all of the British Isles humor and references, but thanks to Scott (BoyInTheBands) for the merriment.

Word of the Day


Also known as "eye lift."
Also known as PeaceBang's birthday present in about five years, because serious eye droopage runs in the family.

Exhibit A:
young betty


Hmmmm. Has Betty had work done even though she swore she never would? Her famously Slavic eyes look great here!

Well, believe you me, the other members of the family (not public domain, so I can't publish their photos) haven't fared nearly as well in the eyelid droopage department.

Mascara No-No's

PeaceBang would NEVER apply mascara in the car:,

but she does keep a tweezer in the little slot next to her left hand for chin touch-ups at stoplights. The light is SO GOOD in the car, you can catch all those nasty little witchy-poo whiskers that might inadvertently frighten one of your parishioners.

PeaceBang read just the other day in "In Touch" magazine (she was poolside, and had just finished a very serious religious book and was treating herself, I swear) that Miss Lindsay Lohan just won't leave the house without eyelash extensions. They're all the rage, and PeaceBang has been longing to try them, but she happens to think that spending $250 on big doe eyes is a bit ridiculous, even for her. Especially when the same effect can be had for $8 falsies from Sephora, for heaven's sake.

Let's not have any of you poking your eyes out in the car, now.

By the way, what are your favorite mascaras? I've been with CoverGirl's Remarkable Washable Waterproof brand (in black noir) for at least ten years now, and I adore it. Always, always with the curled lash beforehand, and Maybelline makes a perfectly good curler for tiny amounts of money. Sonya Kashuk is also good, but apparently Shu Uemura makes the mother of all eyelash curlers. I've never tried it but it would make a good CHRISTMAS PRESENT, hint hint.


A Fedora For Philocrites

PeaceBang knows that she can't single-handedly stem the tide of baseball cap-wearing Americans, but she's going to try.

Baseball caps are inelegant. They are boyish. They are a symbol of the American determination to make every occasion, however special, into a subset of "casual Friday." They are sporty in the obnoxious extreme. They are everything that has gone wrong in American style since mid-century. They are loutish.

That said, certain men look very cute in a well-fitting, old-fashioned cotton baseball cap. They know how to carry themselves, they are otherwise wearing something jaunty and fun, and they wear their hats with a sense of Maurice Chevalier flair.

Those men are very rare, and for that reason, religious leaders should be aware that for most of you, a baseball cap just makes you look unfinished, under-dressed, doofish, and sweaty-haired (because you're going to take the bloody thing off eventually, aren't you? AREN'T YOU?).

PeaceBang's father used to look so handsome as he left home every morning in a fedora and an overcoat to commute into Manhattan for work. At the end of a long day, he still maintained his dignity and elegance in his fedora, even if it was raining or snowing and he felt downright bedraggled.

Please remember that PeaceBang is the granddaughter of a well-loved milliner (if you're from Southern Connecticut, ask grandma about Minette Hats in Norwalk) and she takes hats very seriously.

For this reason, she would rather see this on your heads, gentlemen,
philocrites fedora

than a stinky old baseball cap.

However, you can't just stick a fedora on over anything. There has to be a bit of an outfit under it. If you insist on wearing t-shirts and jeans to work, go ahead and wear a baseball cap or a bandana or whatever else your sloppy little heart desires, and the devil take you. You will have broken PeaceBang's devoted heart!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Let me make this very simple. Even though I love the UU Enforcer with all my heart, and even though I love his fashion sense and even though I acknowledge that he himself looks really cute in baseball caps, you are NOT TO OBTAIN ONE OF THOSE UU BASEBALL CAPS, DO YOU HEAR ME??
Dear God No

No! No! No!!!

Damnit, no!!

Don't get one for your minister, for the love of all that's decent and good!

As soon as I calm down a little bit and stop spitting and hissing, I'll tell you about walking into a little boutique in Evanston, IL this summer and seeing little rubber "Livestrong" style bracelets for sale that said things like "Apathy," "Death" and "Anxiety." I couldn't help it: I laughed. Couldn't we have seen those coming?


Loehmann's Is Kind Of The Holy Land

Darling dears,

An alert reader just informed me of the fact that there is a LOEHMANN'S in Massachusetts! Just an hour away!!
(Warning: it's a very irritating website)

If you're a bargain hunter who's after classic looks and gorgeous designer options cheap, cheap, cheap, hie thee to Loehmann's. You will have such fun shopping there, and you'll come away with fabulous bargains.

When PeaceBang was a little girl, her aunts and uncles would come visit, drop their bags in the guest room, stop in the kitchen for a short chit-chat and a bit of nosh, and head straight to Loehmann's for armloads of cashmere sweaters and designer deals.

PeaceBang's family had plenty of money, believe me, but why just throw it away when you can get such steals at Loehmann's?
(Can you hear the New York Jewish accent creeping in as I say that? I can't help it! I come by it honestly!)

PeaceBang is especially thrilled because for the past three weeks or so, she's been hearing SisterBang just gush on and on about the fabulous bargains she's picked up at Loehmann's (the old store in CT where I was born), and honestly, PB was getting to the point of wanting to stuff a cashmere sweater in her dear sister's mouth. Now when SisterBang starts in on the absolutely darling items she got at Loehmann's, PeaceBang can say, "I KNOW! I got something EVEN BETTER for even LESS just TODAY!"

Hear that, Miss SisterBang? Prepare yourself to be bored by MY tales of Loehmann's bargains! HA! Now pass the chicken liver. I want to have a little nosh before I head out.

Beautiful Coach Bag For Sale

Friends, this is the Coach armpit warmer that my friend L'il Flava received for graduation. It retails at $170 and she'd like to get about $100 for it:

armpit warmer

If you buy it, PeaceBang will throw in her signature lipstick (CoverGirl Outlast All Day Lipstick in Nude) and a personal hand-written note of thanks.

You know you want it!
Leave a comment if you're interested.

Older and Better

William H. Macy is a funny-looking guy. But here's the thing, and you're not imagining it: he's getting downright hot lately.

His hair is cute. His face is adorable. He looks happy. He dresses beautifully. He's talented. He seems like a good guy. He's been married to the same (wonderfully talented) woman for a long time.


It can happen, funny-looking guys. Hard work, talent, a ready smile, talent, intelligence and loyalty are damned attractive traits. That, a good stylist and getting out the iron once in awhile.

Some of us do get better- way better- with age.

Bill and Bai

Please don't hold the fact that William H. Macy is touching Bai Ling in this photo against him. He is in show business, which sometimes requires that you be photographed with bizarre life forms like Bai Ling.

Thanks to Heather at Go Fug Yourself for the second photo, and for making me laugh really, really hard in her analysis of it at

Summer Survival Tips

It's bloody hot out, isn't it?

So PeaceBang changes her skincare and haircare regime a bit, and her make-up, and encourages you to do the same.

Skin gets exfoliated more often -- gently -- to slough off dead skin baked by the sun. I use the Stone Crop Masque for sensitive skin by Eminence, which is organic, expensive and delicious:

We do not go out of doors without SPF 30 on the face, and I've switched to a water-resistant brand that even protected my face while I was lolling for hours in mom's pool:

As for make-up, I brush some brightening powder on my lids, slick a thin line of black eyeliner on the top lid, curl lashes and apply water-resistant mascara (not on the bottom lashes if its too humid and I'll be sweating there), and apply some ravishing sexy red lipstick (Dragon by Chanel) that I could NEVER get away with in the paler months. But since my skin is darker, it just looks rich and lovely and shiny.

If I have nowhere in particular to go, it's just mascara and sheer lipgloss.

If you color your hair (and who doesn't?), make sure to protect it with a hat whenever possible, and deep-condition it regularly. I like a $5 conditioner from Fructis that comes in a little green plastic container. It smells good, you slop it on and cover your noggin with a plastic shower cap, take your shower, and rinse it off in three minutes. It makes your hair limp and shiny, but don't fret: go with the flat. Tie a scarf around it or put in some mature, elegant barrettes. Your hair needs a break from the hairdryer and all the volume-building products.

MotherBang, who is retired but still has a glamorous life as a chanteuse, protects her colored hair from the sun with this Redken product:

If you're seeing more breakouts on your forehead lately, try wearing your hair off your face with a scarf or headband (but nothing too Alice-In-Wonderlandy, please, ladies). Fellas, your products could be causing breakouts on the forehead or around the edge of the face. Lay off the pomade for a few days and make sure to follow your face washing with a nice toner of something like Witch Hazel if you don't feel like springing for the expensive stuff.

If you have oily skin and feel slick by 2:00 in the afternoon, for heaven's sake wash your face again. Especially if you're going to be out and about visiting. When people see themselves in their pastor's face, it should in the metaphorical sense only.

PeaceBang and MotherBang recommend:

Eminence StoneCrop Masque
Murad Pomegranate Face and Body Sunblock SPF 30
Garnier Fructis Deep Conditioner
Redken UV Rescue Daily Sun Milk Leave-In
Witch Hazel (used sparingly around the periphery of the face to combat summer break-outs)

Judy Inspires Me

Judy, who is a very beautiful woman who owns a ring that I have coveted for years, wrote me a little mash note that reminded me of this IDEAR that I have

(please don't say "IDEAR" -- or is that a regional dialect issue about which I should be more tolerant?)

Anyway, this IDEAR is that some of you might write to me with a photo or two and get an on-line consultation that everyone could learn from.

THAT's fun, isn't it?

If you want to participate -- and you shall remain nameless -- send me a photo and some stats (where you live, what kind of ministry or religious leadership you are engaged in, anything else you think I should know) to lunadiva@msn.con. We'll do one or two at a time.

Also, precious darlings, if you have a specific question for PeaceBang, would you be so kind as to send me an e-mail if you'd like to see a post about it? Because it's awfully hard to find all of those questions embedded in the comments sections.

Thanks ever. Kiss, kiss.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Tragedy Of The Two Bags

I was sitting just now eating chicken wings in the kitchen with L'il Flava, (
who is living with me after having escaped the mean streets of NYC. She is my Fresh Air Child this summer. We were discussing the issue of bags, of course, and she told me a story that made me weep.

Once upon a time, L'il Flava (a 4'10" urban goddess of Filipina descent) received a lovely, thoughtful gift from loving family members. The gift was a classic, businesswoman-style bag she describes as "gorgeous, gorgeous." Except, there was a problem. A serious problem. A problem she first tried to overcome with wishful thinking and with positive thoughts.

The purse was navy.

She thought, "Well, perhaps people will think it's black. Like on those dark winter mornings when you accidentally pull out one navy and one black sock -- you won't be able to tell the difference."
There was such hope in her heart.

But darling readers, you know that once navy, always navy. And L'il Flava is a banging fashion academic religious leader and she knows that we just can't overcome the naviness of navy.

The bag sat unused in her closet for six months. In the end, she just had to give it away to a very good cause (Dress for Success).

Let us all cry together. So, sad very sad. Yet such a boon for some woman who needed a beautiful bag.

As if that wasn't enough bag tragedy, L'il Flava was once again gifted with a smashing, fabulous purse for her graduation from Union Theological Seminary (she's DOCTAH L'il Flava now, people). This time, a Coach bag! COACH!


Who doesn't want a Coach bag!!???
EVERY girl wants a COACH bag!!

Except... you're going to have to sit down... the bag was one of those little armpit warmers,* and it was in a light tan hue that is just SO not L'il Flava.

That bag, representing the dashed hopes and dreams of bag-addicts everywhere, is sitting unused in storage at L'il Flava's sister's house.* Since it wasn't given with a gift receipt, it can't even be exchanged at a Coach store. She has listed it on craig's list with no takers yet. As we know, the girls who carry armpit warmers are leggy lasses no more than 100 lbs., and all they need to carry in their purses are a Bonne Bell lipgloss and a cell phone that mommy and daddy gave them for their Sweet 16. They are not hard-working theologians and professors who have Important Religious Works In Progress to cart around with them.

L'il Flava and I are very depressed now, and must go eat more dark chocolate-covered espresso beans. We do want to remind all the readers of this blog that it's a good idea to take a file folder with you when you shop for bags, to assure that they'll fit comfortably without bunching up.

Dream of Coach tonight, my darlings. And lovely Italian leather purses in any color but navy.

* The expression "armpit warmer" must be credited to Rebecca, L'il Flava's l'il sister.
* That would be Rebecca.

The classic Coach armpitwarmer can be seen at:

Archives R Us!

While I'm off on a little vacation, enjoy the archives. I'm partial to May, myself.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Since You Mentioned It

Quotidian Grace said awhile back in the comments,
"Dear boyinthebands,There's no hat for the Moderator of the PCUSA, because the Presbyterian church is all about NO BISHOPS. That includes no Bishop-fripperies such as hats, croziers, slippers, incense, etc. The Moderator gets a pastoral stole and an academic gown. Not exactly ecclesiastical stylin', but it's the Presbyterian way. Think John Knox (or don't, because his style was really scary)."

Hey, what's not hot about this look?

Ladies and Gentlemen, John Knox:

john knoxjohn knox 2

What Not To Carry

A Woman Of the Cloth writes in to ask PeaceBang to comment on the mysteries of the Bag, and the issue of purses and briefcases.

PeaceBang feels quite certain that if "Woman" googles this blog, there are some existing posts on purses and bags she might enjoy (PB is quite technophobic and has no idea how to create a blog with categories, although would love to for BTFM). However, since it's come up again, and it is shopping season for next fall, let's gather 'round the PeaceBang campfire and talk about bags, boys and girls!

What Not To Carry:
1. Freebie bags with the names of Good Causes on them.
2. Dirty canvass totes with the adult equivalent of Rainbow Brite or My Pretty Pony graphics on them (e.g. Celtic Knot Logo, Reading Woman With Cat, Save the Whales, Powdermilk Biscuits).
3. Anything straw: too beachy. Unless you're at the beach.
4. Purses and bags made of cheap, shiny fake leather or pleatherette.
5. Anything floral, unless it's very chic and you're wearing an entirely tailored outfit, and even then, I'd be careful. PeaceBang has a fabulous floral bag she bought at the Gap this spring, but it's brown and turquoise and has a braided leather handle, so it's more rock-and-roll than preppy princess.
6. Overstuffed purses that don't zipper because you've jammed them too full. Nothing makes a pastor look more scattered and disorganized than plopping an over-stuffed, gaping purse on the floor at a meeting.
7. An egregiously boring business briefcase.

A few tips:

Shop, shop, shop! Go to T. J. Maxx or Macy's or somewhere else they sell a huge variety of bags and try them on to assure they're a good size and color for you. NEVER buy a bag on looks alone; it should be the right scale for your body and if it's going to function as a briefcase equivalent, it has to be strong, sturdy AND look good on you.

PeaceBang's bags almost all have enough of a strap that she can use them as a shoulder bag, as she hates not having her hands free to greet people, to open doors, or to grab a cup of coffee on the run. Since she has chunky upper arms that are rendered even chunkier by the presence of a coat or jacket, all her purses and bags need to have generous straps. She tries all of her bags on first and carries them around in the store before purchasing. She is very serious about this and can be seen tramping about Marshall's or T.J's two or three times a year with as many as seven bags flung about her person, grimly heading for the mirrors to do the work of discernment. When she dies she will undoubtedly haunt people in this Jacob Marleyesqe* spector, banging purses about herself instead of chains.

Scale is important! If you're chunky, don't carry a petite purse with a tiny strap. It will make you look larger. If you're tiny, don't dwarf yourself behind one of those mega-hobo bags. Leave that look to Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen or Kate Moss.

Hobo bags, since we're talking about them, are all the rage but not really the best choice for a minister. Ministers want something with a cleaner line than a mushy bag with a drawstring opening, but not something so tailored that it's dullsville. PeaceBang would like to put every navy leather purse into a huge pile and have a bonfire for that very reason. NO MORE NAVY! Get something in rich, poppy orange or -- very big this season -- a classy metallic! Gads, how many brown... leather... purses.... oh, excuse me, just thinking about brown leather purses put me to sleep.

PeaceBang has her suspicions about dull brown, but she truly loathes navy purses. There is never any reason to carry a navy leather purse. Have you ever seen a navy cow? You can forgive your grandmother for her navy purses, as she didn't have as many options as you have. Navy is DOWDY. If you wear a lot of navy, carry a taupe bag, or a black bag. Carry a silver bag, or a red bag. Carry an orange bag, or a screaming acid green faux croc bag, or a Carry a Hello Kitty bag, for the love of Jairus' daughter. Let your bags have some whimsy and life to them. And no darling, your bag does not have to match your shoes.

Of course for ladies there is the issue of carrying the laptop and the papers AND the girlie items. PeaceBang is very partial to Nine West, which tends to offer inexpensive bags like in fashionable styles that can function as purse and briefcase. She has a favorite mock-croc bag in cordovan with nice sturdy straps within which she can carry her computer, her bag of cosmetics, her wallet, a book or two, file folders, her cell phone, her i-Pod and a bottle of water. Yes, it gets a little overstuffed. If that's the case, she pops one of her little rock-and-roll purses over her arm for the wallet and make-up and phone and carries the bigger bag in her hand. At times, if the big bag can fit it, she pops the little purse into THAT so she can leave the big bag in the car for quick runs to the store or into people's homes, or out on a date, if she should ever have occasion to go on a date again in her lifetime, but I digress...

PeaceBang does a lot of bag switching, which she understands is not everyone's choice, and she sympathizes. You do not need to switch bags constantly, but you do need at least one classy, strong, clean, presentable briefcase-equivalent and one lovely, classy, interesting, suitable, fashionable purse. Tiny formal clutches stay in season decade after decade, but purses do not. If your purse dates back to 1987, update it. If it's a classic Coach or some other brand with timeless gorgeousness, check the straps to make sure they're not frayed, and clean and oil the leather and the clasps once in awhile to keep it prime as it ages.

For all the reasons mentioned above, PeaceBang does not recommend shopping for bags online. You've got to see how they work on your body, and bags have a nasty habit of looking rich and delicious on line and showing up in the mail looking like the on-line bag's scrawnier, tackier first cousin.
You DO have time to shop for bags, and you SHOULD. It's fun, it's therapeutic, you can try on thousands of them and never take your clothes off, and it's a great way to clear your mind between draining pastoral visits.

Let me know how you do! And give those navy bags to the church fair already!

* you should know that the original post said, "Bob Marley." Alert reader Zorra corrected me, and gave me one of the only genuine laughs of the day, bless her heart. - P.B.

Have You Seen It Yet?

PeaceBang is just DYING to see "The Devil Wears Prada," and devoured this article with a great deal of anticipatory joy:

If you want to see how fashionistas really dress, you'd do better to stick with the casual expensive boho looks in Lucky magazine than with the over-the-top ensembles put together by the smashing Patricia Fields (she who worked such glorious, unrealistic magic with the three gals from "Sex And the City") or those featured in upscale glossies like Vogue or W.

Zits Happen

If you never get zits, carry on with whatever you were doing with my blessings.

PeaceBang has been a little extra hormonal apparently, from the appearance of three or four big spots on her chin (also due to extra summer time oil production, probably exacerbated by her bad habit of resting her chin in her little paws, which she does wash rather compulsively).

PeaceBang has conducted a little experiment for you and can tell you a thing or two about zit treatments:

1. Salacylic acid renews your skin, and gets rid of pimples by sloughing them off in some strange way.
2. Benzoyl peroxide is a kind of massive disinfectant and kills the bacteria that causes zits.
3. A combination therapy of the two works pretty well, but PeaceBang has learned the hard way that even 2% benzoyl peroxide is some serious stuff, man, and can just burn the skin right off your face. PB at this very writing has two serious dry patches on her chin to prove that point. And they itch.
4. DON'T, for the love of the gods, use undiluted tea tree oil on your face!
5. And don't squeeze. Don't you remember anything from Teen magazine?
6. If you have a clogged sweat gland, your facialist can't even help you. You have to see the dermatologist and have it blasted off with some kind of nuclear device.

Conclusion: Just ignore the stupid spots.* They'll go away in a few days on their own. And keep your hands away from your punim.

* If you have a big public gig coming up, apply ice and Visine (no kidding, it shrinks the swelling), and use a BRUSH to carefully apply some cover-up that matches your skin. Set with a bit of loose powder and you're good to go. Eucerin makes a nice green wand correction stick that counteracts red very nicely. You can try that, too, under the cover-up.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Shout-Out To My Gnostic Posse

It has come to my attention that a cadre of Gnostics are readers of this blog, and occasionally contribute fabulous comments.

PeaceBang would like to extend a special hello to the Gnostic babes out there while admitting to them that she is woefully untutored on the basics of their beliefs, and begs their forgiveness in advance if she accidentally reveals her ignorance in future posts.

In the meantime, she will try to visit some of their sites and wrap her mind around their philosophy, but isn't promising to understand very much.

That's all, and good night Gnostics and everyone else.

Beauty Tips For Moderators

The Rev. Ms. Joan Gray has been elected the Moderator of the PCUSA, and we wish her a hearty congratulations on it and godspeed in her important venture.

Joan Gray

She looks lovely and almost beatific in a recent photo in the Christian Century -- well-lit, looking skyward, smiling beautifully, and wearing great lipstick and blush.

PeaceBang's only recommendation to Madame Moderator might be to grow out her bangs a bit, and go with a sideswept style. We believe it would enhance her natural beauty, give a bit of balance to her lovely heart-shaped face, and be a little more sophisticated than her current blunt bangs.

Good luck with all that "Presbyterian compromise" business, Joan! Sounds like you're in for some late nights, too!

Beauty Tips For Bishops

PeaceBang extends her warmest and most sincere blessings to the Rev. Ms. Katharine Jefferts Schori on her election as Bishop of the Episcopal Church in America, and would like to publicly offer to buy Bishop-Elect Jefferts Schori a drink if fate should ever place them in the same approximate location.

katharine jefferts schori

PeaceBang just gets sicker every day about the way the Anglican communion keeps fighting about gay people as though they're somehow upsetting to Jesus, who never said a word about them, when he did say plenty of things about DIVORCED people and PeaceBang notices that DIVORCED people, who, Scripturally speaking, definitely possess a "MANNER OF LIFE WHICH PRESENTS A CHALLENGE TO THE WIDER CHURCH" get to serve as bishops and priests with NO PROBLEM. But of course when we think of divorced heterosexuals, we don't immediately think about their private lady and gentlemen bits the way some people do whenever there's a gay person in the room, so it's easier to overlook the fact that Jesus apparently had BIG problems with divorce and didn't seem to think the gay issue was worth mentioning. Although, of course, if you go by Hebrew Scriptures, it's a very serious problem to be gay and all. And of course Jesus did nothing with his career but deconstruct and reform OT laws, so it makes SO MUCH SENSE that JC would have been down with dissing the gay folk. Way to go, Christian people!

PeaceBang has to catch her breath and wipe the froth from her mouth now.

PeaceBang would like to say to Bishop-Elect Jefferts Schori, Honey, good luck with that Anglican communion thing and we're rooting for you, but just remember you're going to be attending lots of very upsetting meetings and flying on airplanes a lot and PeaceBang doesn't want you to get all haggard looking so that those homophobic fools in your communion have occasion to say, "Yes, the Lord is not sustaining this bishop in her work. She is clearly becoming haggard and losing faith."

Katharine, you need to stay healthy for all of us, and you've got to shine.
Take huge bottles of water and packets of Emergen-C with you on flights. Bring moisturizer and use it. Revlon Skinlights makes a great liquid illuminator for your face. Ice on the eyes to de-puff. A spritz of some nice, internationally acceptable fragrance (an orange note base would probably work). Visine, comfortable shoes, dental floss in your bag. Soothing tunes on the i-Pod. Be fabulous. You are truly laboring in the vineyards.

So Katharine, just for you, PeaceBang recommends:

A good colorist, because it will just brighten you up, and I see from your latest photo in the Christian Century that you're going grayer all the time.
A good stylist who won't cut your curls too short and make you look all poodleish, which simply doesn't become such a handsome and accomplished woman.
A bit of creme blush and a nice neutral lip liner to fill in your lips before covering them with a shinier lipstick that will look nicer on camera (but not too gooey or glossy, of course).
Eyebrow pencil, because yours are wonderfully shaped but faded out.
Your skin is beautiful, congratulations and keep it up with the sunblock.

Can we talk about the bright fuschia clerical shirt you've been wearing? I think you might be echoing the fabulous pink blouse-under-black-suit look worn so successfully by Hilary Clinton during her run for the Senate, but it's just not really a good look for you. You're a scientist. You're a bishop. Let's go with black and see what we can do in terms of some more shape to your jackets. And when you get your hair done, that will really make it all pop.

Call me. Love you. Kiss, kiss.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Church Staff

I haven't had to think about this for many years, but I remembered recently that a Church Administrator for one congregation I served dressed kind of inappropriately for the office. I don't remember the details, but it wasn't anything terribly egregious -- just skirts that were a bit too mini and jumpers that weren't very professional. I wasn't her supervisor and although I thought she could use some fashion pointers, I also knew what we were paying her. As I recall, cranky parishioners occasionally admonished her to dress more appropriately for the office, but I don't remember if there was any improvement. The senior pastor, her direct supervisor, didn't get involved.
I thought she was a wonderfully fun, warm and smart gal and was sorry to hear that she was fired soon after I left.

How spiffily dressed are your church staffers? Does your (male) sexton mow the lawn shirtless, and if so, do you care? Have you ever had to speak to someone on your staff about how to dress for church? What did you say? How did they take it?

Bring on the stories! Bring on the advice! Let the sharing begin!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Poor, Afflicted Nail Filing Sister

Lookie here, what Brent wrote today:

"You would be so proud... maybe. Today in church the woman behind me started filing her nails (actually quite loudly... it must have been a piece of sandpaper she was using) during the sermon. The man next to her cleared his throat and gave her a glance. Then I cleared my throat and looked back. Another woman did the same. And she kept doing it, although more loudly the more attention she got. Finally, I turned and politely whispered, "Could you please not do that during the sermon?" She shot daggers out of her eyes. After the service I mentioned it to someone sitting nearby, who said, "Oh, but what if she were a visitor?" "I think she was," I replied."Then she might not come back!" "I hope she does," I said, "and has learned to behave herself by then."Perhaps I shouldn't have said something... but at the same time it's so incredibly disrespectful to the preacher and everyone else who's trying to worship. There are things one does in the privacy of one's bathroom, and there are things we do in worship. That's my story and I'm sticking with it."

Brent, PeaceBang IS proud of you. She knows that it's hard to set some boundaries with people who are so soul-sickened by our narcissistic culture that they actually think it's acceptable to perform personal hygiene while in church.
She knows how hard it is to minister to someone with Tough Love, but she believes that, in fact, if we are to build strong churches, we will not build them upon foundations of Wild Permissiveness, but of gracious hospitality and love.

Yes, love is patient, love is kind. Love does not rejoice in wrong-doing. And love, I'm sure St. Paul would agree, also does not sit and tolerate the scritch-scritch-scritch of an emory board while the preacher is trying to give the Good Word and the people are trying to receive it.

That poor, poor lamb who felt her nails merited as much attention as the preacher. Shall we all pray for her?

Let us pray:

Dear Lord,
We have welcomed into our worshiping community today one who has not been blessed by the spirit of Sabbath reverence, and who is plagued with such anxiety about the state of her earthly dwelling place as to commit acts of personal hygiene during the giving of the sermon.

Lord, send a ministering angel to this afflicted woman, and heal her of the demons Vanity and Pride. Help those in her presence to keep a civil tongue and a calm demeanor as they take on the burden of chastisement and admonishment, which is never easy work, Lord.

"Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me."
Nail files, however, do not comfort us.
We rest in this confidence, O Sovereign and Uniting Spirit, as our hearts rest in Thee.

Amen and Amen.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Booty Floods

Let's talk about a pants situation PeaceBang has observed among her colleagues of late. It's called Booty Floods. Booty Floods is an unfortunate sartorial situation that arises when men and women with abundant posterior regions hike their pants up to mid-torso, belt them there (or just rely on large mid-sections to keep them there) and then forget that they're cheating their ankles of appropriate coverage.

Ladies and gentlemen, and particularly gentlemen, when you shop for pants, do check the fit. I don't mean pull them up and shuck them off as soon as you manage to zip the zipper. Put them on, zip the zipper and check the seat. Sit down in them. Lean forward in them. If you find yourself hiking them up mid-belly, get the salesman (or better yet, the tailor) in there pronto and make sure you've got the right size on.

Women's trousers come in such a bewildering array of lengths and styles -- capris, gauchos, flares, bootcut, palazzo, etc. -- we can wear almost any length of pants and get away with it. I'm not saying look good in them, I'm saying get away with it. Sorry fellas, but you can't. We shouldn't be able to see 2" of your socks as you walk down the hall. We especially shouldn't see your WHITE GYM socks under your nice trousers, because what are you doing wearing WHITE GYM SOCKS?

Baby, if you got back (or front), make sure your pants are long enough in the leg to compensate.

Ladies of extravagant size, please look at yourself in the mirror in your pants. Sit. Do they grab at chubby inner thighs? Do they pull at the crotch and at the lower abdomen? When you walk, do you hear strains of the "Shaft" theme song chucka-chucking in rhythm with your visibly vibrating thighs? Consider SPANX or other gently (or not so gently) slimming undergarments (control top pantyhose will do in a pinch). Go up a size and have your pants hemmed if you need to. Better yet, boycott buying slacks at all in protest of the fugly styles they inflict on us. Stick with beautifully tailored, flattering skirts. When and if you find a style of trousers that fits you well and looks good on you, get two or three pairs. I am NOT KIDDING.

I am a Fat Accepting American, and I do not wish to demonize any of us chubby folks out there. However, despite the natural beauty of our nekkid selves before God, there is something inherently unpolished about allowing all our wiggly bits to wobble about unconstrained. I'm sorry about it, too. Believe me, as one who has both inherited and eaten her way to a beautifully rotund figure full of wobbly bits, PeaceBang is VERY sorry about this, and intends to retire to a remote island in Mexico where she will never have to wear constraining undergarments ever again. Until that blessed day, however, she does not want any aspects of her physique to upstage her smile or to distract from her religious leadership. She therefore owns an entire arsenal of Helpful Underthings and is an obsessive booty and wobbly bits checker when shopping for pants.

Pants are PeaceBang's sore distress in life. She simply does the best she can and tries very hard not to hike her trousers to just under her bosom. They go around the waist, you know. If you can't find your waist, it may be time to rejoin the health club. And not just so you'll look cuter in your trousers. So that you'll be around to enjoy that retirement on a remote island in Mexico.

More On Your Tootsies

Keeping up with callouses is a big job for a summer girl in ministry. Walking around barefoot is fun and relaxing but leave big, dirty, ugly pads on our paws.

Someone asks about Beauty Shop products. I like them fine, although I avoid the store in general because it's so heavily scented it makes PeaceBang feel as though she's swimming through some kind of mango-lavender-dewberry nightmare. I like their Hemp hair products for frizzled locks (although it smells rather earthen and patchouli-ish, and I don't like that), and I love their body butters. I plug my nose, run in real fast, and snap some of those up, along with their delicious lavender bath milk.

As for your tootsies, foot scrubs alone won't do it. You've got to get yourself something like this:

foot file

and use it on damp feet. Wet the pumice a tiny bit and rub away. If you're like PeaceBang, you'll find a sick fascinating watching all that dead skin come off.

PeaceBang prefers the pumice file on white plastic, as she can manhandle it even more severely, but the one shown in the photo should do. And I believe they carry both at Body Shop.

Friday, July 07, 2006

You've Got To Scrub

It's got to be said, Beautiful People. It's got to be said because I stood in line next to a priest at the deli today and he smelled like sweaty scalp.
Smelling like sweaty scalp is adorable if you're my two-year old nephew and have just awakened from a nap. For anyone over the age of ten, it's just yeeshy.

Summer air is gross. It is humid and makes us all look a little slick and dirty, like we've just had a hard work-out even if we've exerted no more effort that day than editing a few sermons (I just edited my Ash Wednesday sermon and have to say, it was a Jim Dandy!).

If your idea of bathing is to do a 30-second lather, you may need to bring out the bigger guns for the summer.

It just doesn't do to be greasy and filmy, people of God. Shampoo. Lather, rinse and repeat if you have oily hair. Get out that washcloth and really scrub. Better yet, take a bath first to soak off all the dead skin (you must soak for at least ten minutes before you scrub if you really want to loosen the dead skin) followed by a tepid shower. Scrub your feet with a brush! Get rid of callouses if you're a sandal-wearer. Moisturize at night with cotton socks over a nice foot balm. Aquaphor is absolutely marvelous, even if it is mostly just petrolatum. Burt's Bees makes a wonderful, natural coconut foot balm, too, and then there's the very swanky, lovely foot balm given me as a gift by Perigrinato -- what was it, James? Something scented with cardamom that makes the cat all romantic and foot-licky. Nicest stuff I ever used.

Back to summer:
Keep that clean hankie in your pocket to mop delicatly at a perspiring face, and keep up with your skin care! Exfoliate! Moisturize (yes, even in the summer -- try a serum if regular moisturizers feel too heavy)! Keep drinking water!

Be a cool glass of water on a hot day. Be the living waters to your parched people. Be nice to be near.
(But don't use baby powder near your delicate parts, ladies. Stick with corn starch, not talc, products).

Lapses in personal hygiene that may be overlooked in the winter are not as easily forgiven in the summer. And that goes for your crusty elbows, too. Remember, you're in short-sleeved shirts now.

PeaceBang recommends:

Sunshine Spa Herbal Salt Rub in Lavender or Rosemary/Mint for your feet and elbows:
Available at, Target and Trader Joe's.

St. Ives Apricot Scrub (not for the face!! Body only!)

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme, available at

Davies Gate Cardamom Foot Butter (absolutely hedonistic and scrumptious!):

Johnson & Johnson Pure Cornstarch Baby Powder.

A good, old-fashioned wash cloth and soap. PeaceBang's favorite is Luxo Banho Creme:

What Is Sephora?

What is Sephora?

What is Sephora, you ask?

Oh, my turtledoves, what pleasures await you:

It is an emporium of cosmetics and fragrances. It is Mecca for product addicts. You can easily spend hours there, and it is usually PeaceBang's very first stop in Times Square when she hits the Big Apple.

Don't go alone the first time or you might be so overwhelmed you'll faint dead away.


PeaceBang has heard rumors that she is being PAID to promote certain products on this blog.

Darling readers, PeaceBang earns not one penny for this labor of love. She only recommends products or beauty sites that she or her loved ones have personally tried and enjoyed. Until she is discovered by talent scouts for Allure magazine or the Estee Lauder empire, she will continue to spend her own hard-earned paycheck on products that she can recommend or spurn to you, because she loves you that much.

She may, at some point, make it possible for you to contribute to a PeaceBang Beauty Bank via PayPal to help fund her product habit, but until then, rest assured that every Official PeaceBang Recommendation comes untainted by any exchange of filthy lucre.

PeaceBang's last Sephora bill was $92, so this could happen sooner rather than later.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

You Can Smell So Spaishul

SisterBang, also known as The Vanilla Bomb, is all in a girlie tither about this site:

Seems she ordered some delish perfume from them -- by the description alone she knew she wanted it, which I wouldn't recommend for everyone, because you've got to let a scent mingle with your own body chemistry to really know if it's going to work -- but Monyette Paris worked sight-unseen (or unsmelled) for SisterBang. She is known for smelling heavenly and for having men follow her down the street, so you might want to pick up a bottle.

She's all delirious over the fact that she got FIVE free samples with her order that she was able to select herself (as opposed to having five loser scents dumped on her) and that her package arrived all done up in chiffon and lace and butterflies and pretty ponies and god-only-knows-what-all-else.

She says, "It's like getting a little present for yourself!"

And who doesn't deserve a little present!?
Have fun. There's some perfumer named Fifi on the site, so how could you go wrong, really?

Even Cooler Than Hello Kitty

PeaceBang is rather a fan of Poketo items:

Hip and edgy, no?

I have one or Luke Chueh's Series 4 wallets, now out of print:

It's really super cute and fits in the back pocket.


PeaceBang Productions is thrilled to present a new magazine for male clergy.....

COLLAR AKIMBO : Beautifying God's Church
One Minister At a Time
A quarterly for the gentleman cleric


A million thanks to Philocrites for the photo and the title.
Our model is Hank, who doesn't even drink in real life.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More On Toenails

In the most imperious Endora manner I can muster, I stand firmly against bright toenails under vestments at High Church events. I believe they are an inappropriate distraction, and that they look downright tacky in that setting, unless you're the preacher and are willing to make that statement and to risk the judgment of parishioners who find your statement excessive and disrespectful (as women of my grandmother's ilk would, and they're often the most loyal supporters and attenders of our churches).

Shimmery neutral purples (NOT Goth dark shades) and nudes are much prettier and don't cause everyone watching the procession to the altar to immediately zero in on your Bandolinos, to wonder how much they cost, to wonder how many inches high they are and whether or not you'll trip, to muse about whether or not you've shaved your legs, and what bistro you'll be dining at after the service.


Someone CLIPPED THEIR NAILS At Worship!!!

We've just been chatting a bit here

And I left a lengthy comment about signature scents, clipping nails in public, and Day-Glo White Old Lady Legs.

Whoever it was who CLIPPED YOUR NAILS IN PUBLIC, just know that when PeaceBang read of your vile behavior -- inexcusably rude to both the spirit of worship and to the standards of basic human dignity -- she had to close her eyes and breathe through her nose so as to keep from being overcome by dreadfully unkind thoughts.

Shame on you.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Peter Pan Collar

What does this blouse say to you?


It says to me, "You're right, I haven't had sex in years. I've been too busy serving the Lord. Now, may we start our meeting? I see by my watch that it's 7:01."

Avoid Peter Pan collars. They're neat and feminine in the worst possible way, as in, "Honey, could you get me some coffee?"

The male equivalent might be the polo shirt all buttoned up to the neck, which clearly communicates to me, "Yes, I'd be happy if you verbally abused me at tonight's board meeting."

Shirts Speak, Part II

And you know what this shirt says, especially if paired with a big religious symbol bolo tie or pendant?


"I'm way more spiritual than you."


"I just went on sabbatical to a mystical Asian location and now I'm even more spiritual than you than I was before" or possibly,

"I am so extremely spiritual that I'm never going to wear a coat and tie like you poor, sin-sick corporate slaves again. Let's sing 'Kumbya.'"

P.S. If you're Chinese, this shirt says, "Hi, I'm wearing a nice shirt."

The Last Of The Red Hot Mamas

Now bear with me.

I'm not suggesting that you go around dressed like a vaudeville star of the early 1900's and wear feather boas and things. Although could you DIE for that cloche hat?

sophie tucker

I'm just saying that this is the one and only Miss Sophie Tucker, and it couldn't hurt for all of us to take a wee bit of this kind of confidence and sass into our ministerial personas. If it fits you, I mean. You Red Hot Mamas know who you are, boys and girls.

As some of you may recall, I played Miss Hannigan in a production of "Annie" a couple of winters ago, and I had a bunch of beautiful stockings with seams up the back left over from the show. I wore them to church one Sunday with a very sedate skirt and a pair of black ankle-strap pumps. Also a very tailored blazer.

I wasn't sure anyone even noticed when one of our very eldest ladies pulled me over at coffee hour. She almost had tears in her eyes. "Bless your heart, I haven't seen those since the war. Aren't they the most marvelously feminine things?"

And then we got to talk about the challenge of keeping the seams straight, and it was a grand old time. I learned about the WWII years, when silk stockings were an absolute luxury, and I got to hear a great story about someone's Aunt Helen's red underwear.

Be fabulous. Fabulous can be a bonding experience. But you've got to preach a hell of a sermon or else you'll just upstage yourself, and you can't have that.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

For Our Pasty-Legged Southern Friend With the Weak Ankles

This appeared in the comments a few days ago, responding to the flagrant displaying of one's pasty legs and bare feet in a public denominational gathering:

Let me speak directly to Anonymous by way of a cautionary tale:

Several years ago, I attended a district gathering of lay and ordained religious leaders. One woman who stayed in my dorm room along with several others seemed very invested in letting us all know that she was diabetic. We appreciated having the information in the event that she had a reaction or diabetic shock.
However, the subject of this woman's diabetes had a strange way of making it into conversations where much contortion was required to fit it in there.

At dinner time, the diabetic woman took out some syringes, and with great theatrical enthusiasm, administered her insulin shot right there at the dinner table. And I mean she threw her arm practically in the middle of the table and put the needle right on in there so no one could miss it. PeaceBang, who has a thing about needles, almost fainted. Several people turned ghostly and stopped eating. Certainly no one could think of anything to say.

PeaceBang has never forgotten this woman and her apparent commitment to be remembered as The Woman Who Has Diabetes.

PeaceBang, who was raised with a strong sense of personal boundaries, believes that things such as adjustments to one's crotch, bosom or pantyhose, energetic nose-blowing, and taking of medication in any form but by pill should be done somewhere else but at the dinner table. She is of the firm opinion that the focus of dinner should be food and conversation, and that the egregious and entirely avoidable sharing of bodily functions are not conducive to the enjoyment of either food or conversation.

There is no shame in being diabetic. There is shame in inflicting an injection on everyone at the dinner table. I count this breach in etiquette right up there with climbing into a crowded car for a long ride heavily dosed with Clinique Aromatics Elixir, a fragrance so pungent that PeaceBang's watering eyes and itching nose can spot it across a crowded Bloomingdale's (Aromatics used to be PeaceBang's signature scent, so she does have an appreciation for it, in extreme moderation).

So, Anonymous, when it comes to you and your ankles and feet and legs, I trust that elevation and comfort can be obtained in a less ostentatious way than our friend in the photograph, and without such a big sense of production as our diabetic friend with the syringes had at the dinner table.

As for your day-glo white legs, have you tried any of the shimmery lotions with a touch of self-tanner? PeaceBang recommends the Dove line, or better yet, the Du-Wop Revolution self-tanner. You use it sparingly, rub it in real well, and let it set for a few minutes before getting dressed.
Your legs will be such a delicious golden color you'll want to elevate them all over the place. But you shouldn't.

A long peasant skirt would also be a nice way to keep yourself modestly clad while elevating your ankle, if need be, which I trust you would do in a thoughtful location of any public gathering, and not throw your leg way up in the air so that all the boys and girls have reason to say "I see London, I see France, I see Anonymous' underpants."

PeaceBang recommends:

DuWop Revolution Self-Tanner

PeaceBang does not recommend:

Clinique Aromatics Elixir

PeaceBang Is Watching You, Flip-Floppers!

PeaceBang is gasping! One of you li'l scalliwags has skipped over to another blogger's site and rebelled against my NO FLIP-FLOPS decree!!

I am just MOMENTS from throwing a "Mommie Dearest" fit! "ELIZABEEEEEETHHHHHHHHH!!!! NO MORE FLIP-FLOPS!!! EVER!!"

My analogy about jeans, which wasn't well-made on Froggie's Blog, was that for an entire generation of church-goers, jeans are DUNGAREES. They are for working in the garden, not for wearing to church.

Flip-flops are flip-flops. You can put them on a 3" wedge, dress them up with glitter and leather straps and add bells and golden monkey charms to them, but they're flip-flops. They display the foot in an immodest way. They are beachy. If they are flat, they are most unflattering to the ankle and the calf, and NO ONE CAN WALK ELEGANTLY IN THEM. That in itself is the worst of the worst, and reason enough for you to avoid them in church.

I have a lot of damn hip, creative, progressive nonagenarians in my congregation. They are with it, funny, and very supportive of change and innovation. One of the women ran a shipyard back in the 1940's, during the war. She is one tough, tiny bird. Until she and her descendants are gone to the Eternal, I shan't disgrace her memory by wearing DUNGAREES or FLIP-FLOPS to church. That's just how I feel about it.

For the record, I own five pairs of thong sandals and wear them constantly. Just not to church. To the MALL. Or to the BEACH. Or to the BACKYARD. Or out for ICE CREAM. See how many fun places you can wear your flip-flops? And your DUNGAREES?

I'm not a fan of the mule-style sandals either. You know why? Very few of us have the daintiness factor to walk well in them, either. Who wants to walk around with a cartoon bubble next to you going, *flap, flap, flap* or *clop, clop, clop* or *thwack, thwack, thwack* ??

We are not circus ponies. Nor are we members of a harem, with bejeweled little slippers that display the delicacy of our tiny toes and which inhibit us from running too fast. If I see you in those bling-encrusted flip-flops I'm going to pour ketchup on them and then run real fast away. And you won't be able to catch me, because nyah, nyah, I'm the Gingerbread Man.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Only the LORD Can Get Between You And Your Calvins

Precious ones,
let's not wear jeans to church on the Sabbath, okay?

Even if they're stylish, and even if we're scheduled to spend the morning with the squirts down in Sunday School.

See my response to Judy, for which you'll have to scroll down a bit:

Calvin is fine.
Calvins are not.

Professors of Walking

I am a big fan of walking, although I don't do much of it in my real life. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that he and his daughter Ellen were "professors of walking," and I have this romantic vision of myself sauntering all over my parish by foot and making pastoral visits with a walking cane in hand, but who am I kidding? I drive everywhere.
I drive everywhere because when I try to walk anywhere, I invariably wind up making a spastic leap into the nearest ditch when aggressive drivers get too close. Which they always do.

That said, Hafhida Sofia commented recently (in the post about Crocs, those fugly new additions to the Comfortable Shoe Market) that she used to walk 4-5 miles a day to work and now she doesn't, because she can't find appropriate shoes that will work for both the walk and for the workday.

We can't have this!

Hafhida, my dove, take a look at this page and see if anything excites you:

Granted, most of the offerings are a bit on the frumpy side, but those Keen Mary Janes could be very cute on you, and there are some clogs that might work as well. They have support, they're cute ENOUGH, and you can wear them with skirts.

PeaceBang would like to say that although she is a deep and abiding believer in the power of Cute Shoes, she is an even more deeply abiding believer in the power of good health, which walking does promote even more than Cute Shoes.

That is, unless you have to scramble for the nearest ditch every thirty seconds as some caffeine-poisoned suburbanite screams by in her SUV.

I Did Not Make This Up

Do you see this?

chickenbag (2)


Do you see my colleague defensively cuddling his CHICKEN BAG? Do you see the accusing finger pointing at his CHICKEN BAG?
That finger doesn't even belong to me. It belongs to one of my flying monkeys whose job it is to spy for me, and to report back on things like CHICKEN BAGS.

Don't go telling me that this minister is young and cute and hip and he can get away with it. That isn't the POINT!!

It's a BAG shaped like a CHICKEN! He had things IN IT and was WEARING IT over his SHOULDER in PUBLIC!

I REALIZE that I was once seen on the crosstown bus in Washington, DC with Boy In The Bands wearing a stuffed monkey around my neck that screeched when you pressed its tummy, but that was on MY DAY OFF.

Croc-Free Zone

NO, you may not wear Crocs:


Not unless your title is Minister of Landscaping or Lead Pastor For Volleyball.

Repeat after me: "Shoes are not all about my personal comfort. Shoes are not all about my personal comfort. Shoes are not all about my personal comfort."

And as I've said before, just because Jesus wore sandals everywhere doesn't mean they're appropriate for ministers. You aren't Jesus.
Now get out there and get some proper footwear, dammit.

Dress For the Highest Moments Of Your Calling

I used to admire this couple back when they were in the same district as I, and were always dressed to the nines.

Don't Mess With Texas

Remember when I said that beauty had regional implications? This is a perfect example: they're serving a large congregation in Texas now and look how fabulous he is in his ten-gallon hat. I am certain that he wouldn't be sporting that look if he was serving a historic New England church. Here's a guy who gets it. Don't mess with Texas. He didn't arrive and insist on maintaining his East Coast look; he got to his new settlement and adapted to the culture. Let that be a lesson for all of us. It's just plain smart, and it seems not only politic to me, but also affectionate, as in "your people shall be my people and your God my God."

I hear a lot of you chickens out there pecking and fussing about how dressed up you should get doing the work of the LORD. Some of you cluck about not wanting to outdress your parishioners. Listen, chickens: Big Mother Hen here says quit worrying about that! Quit yer fussing already! Hardly any of us are in any danger of looking more fashionable than our parishioners in the first place and you know what else? It's okay to dress a step up from your people. In fact, you should. Not in a flaunt-y, "I make so much money I'm wearing out my shoe leather in Lord & Taylor's" kind of way, but in a "This work I'm doing is so fine, and the church is such a fine place to be, I'm going to dress in my finest."

Look at Mark and Becky (they've got their nametags on clear as day, so it's not like I'm outing them as attractive, fashionable people). They look like leaders. They look like people who got up in the morning and had some FUN getting dressed and becoming a well-matched clergy couple who are ready not only to comfort the afflicted and speak truth to power, but are ready to speak to a reporter or to show up on the evening news talking about, for instance, immigration issues.

If your daily wardrobe was chosen for the most scrubby aspect of your work -- say, setting up for the church fair or scrambling around on the floor with the children in Sunday School, be honest with yourself. How often are you really setting up tables for meetings? How often are you really playing with puzzles on the floor? Not very often. On the other hand, how often are you walking through town unconsciously representing your office and your congregation to every one who sees and knows you? How often are you interacting with an office and program staff who needs to rely on your leadership and team-building? How often are you striding through the halls of power in order to testify on behalf of "the least of these" or appearing in the door of the hospital waiting room ready to help a family make one of the most harrowing decisions of their lives?

Dress for the highest moments of your calling, not for the scrubbiest.

You can always take that linen suit to the dry cleaner or have it mended if it gets dirty or torn. What you cannot do, however, is repair your image if you represent your congregation, your movement, the Church and your God in a sloppy and unpolished manner.

Ya hear, now?