Sunday, January 07, 2007

His Excellency, Governor Deval Patrick

I just want to say that I stood a few feet from this lovely man the other morning, and in real life he is more stunning. I know that a lot of Massachusetts residents want to know what Deval is going to do for the commonwealth, but I feel very confident about his policies and his vision. What I really want to know is, what kind of skin care regimen does he use? Because he just GLOWS.

flutter, flutter, crush, crush!



Blogger Berrysmom said...

The race for governor of Massachusetts was not one that I followed closely, being deeply involved instead in getting rid of Rick Santorum in my own state. But I do remember reading somewhere that Deval Patrick irons his own shirts, and that alone would have earned my vote if I lived with you, PB.

Keepus posted on this paragon.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PeaceBang, I've been thinking. I'm one of the anonymouses who complained about your blog. But I keep reading it and can't help but enjoy it. But I've still been thinking about the role of personal appearance in my overall ministry.
A current question: I looked around my congregation and noticed that no one in the room would have made the PB fashion cut. We have sweats in worship, jeans, ill-fitting jackets, a tie that barely reaches mid-belly and a Blossom-style hat with a cartoon character in place of the flower. I visited a congregation of my denomination in another state and there too I was very far from PB. In a conversation on another context, a member of the parish commented on how distanced she and other members of this congregation feel from church leaders. I don't want my dress or demeanor to contribute to that distance. At the same time, I don't think slobbishness will make me closer to my parish. Hmm...any wisdom?

2:33 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Dear Anon,
Of course you love PeaceBang. PeaceBang calls to you! PeaceBang is irresistible! PeaceBang steamrolls right over all your cranky objections and seduces you into seriously considering these very important matters, and you love it. So quit fighting it.

But honeycake, you seem to have missed one important point about the ministry of PeaceBang (perhaps I haven't been clear enough about it): the *congregation* isn't expected to "make the cut" in terms of presenting a polished exterior... clergy are.

We must be attentive students of the cultures within which we serve, and take our cues from our social context. For an urban minister working with lots of professional folk, it will be important to meet their level of "put-togetheredness" on Sunday mornings and at other times in the week.
For a suburban pastor, maybe a suit and tie would be too much, but a tie and sweater just right.
For you, perhaps a smart suit and heels would be bizarrely out of place. That doesn't mean you shouldn't pay attention to how you look, to choose separates that fit well, are appropriate for a professional, and flattering to your beautiful self.

What I've been railing against is sloppiness, ill-fitting, frumpy, thoughtless outfits, hair and grooming among the clergy. No matter where you are and how stylin' (or not!) your congregation, I maintain that it is absolutely worth considering the image you are projecting.

That doesn't change no matter where you are, and just because some of your folks come to church in sweats doesn't mean that it's ever acceptable for us to. People come to the hospital in pajamas, but you'd never see the doctor show up looking like that. Are we not healers, doctors of the spirit? Sure we are. We have to look like we're ready to handle big, deep and serious matters. Cutesy sweatshirts with kittie appliques does not communicate "I'm on the scene, and we're going to get through this." It communicates, "I totally want to be your grandma!"

SO, let's consider one more important point that you made: what's up with the people who feel disconnected from church leaders? And do you really think this is a fashion issue?
I'm guessing that it's more an issue of projecting a distancing kind of authority, of not sharing the ministry and empowering the laity, of not enthusiastically helping people find their own voice and their own personal gifts in ministry.

Honey, if you appreciate and empower your people, if you can be their champion and their respectful partner in all that we do on behalf of the kingdom of God, you can wear a gem-encrusted evening gown and Jimmy Choo heels to church and they won't care. They might think you're super-eccentric, but they'll love you and what's more-- THEY WILL FEEL CLOSE TO YOU.
Distance isn't about clothes, it's about attitude.

The winning combination is: look beautiful for them, and invite them to be beautiful for God WITH you.

I suspect that laypeople who have a real sense of pride and ownership in their church mostly don't show up in sweats. I've never seen it in my life, except in the aftermath of Katrina down in Louisiana when everyone in the church was doing serious labor and that's all they had. But damn, they wore those sweats with dignity, and they sure as hell didn't wear them to the service on Sunday.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. I appreciate the input.
The Same Anonymous

4:00 PM  

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