Friday, March 23, 2007

Good God, Water Bottles In the Pulpit???!??

Busy Bee

Hello dear readers,

Be back soon!

Meanwhile, Boston-area PeaceBangers, don't forget to watch me on WBZ (CBS) this coming Sunday morning on the "Sunday Mornings With Liz Walker Show."

But go to church first!

xoxo PB

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Black Tie And Vouz

Happy, Happy Official Springtime, bunnies and chicks!

It's 33 degrees here just south of Boston but we're not complaining because the sun is shining at 4:30 in the afternoon, which would be high tea time if we were British but we're not, so instead of having a nice pot of Earl Tea and some biscuits, we're just typing away all parched and kind of tired.
It's time to call on our Imaginary Housekeeper, Mrs. Frubbles, who makes all our tea, takes out all our recycling, does all our laundry and tidies up!

Here she comes with a lovely cup of decaf chai. We just love Mrs. F. She's the maiden sister-in-law of our much-loved and notoriously creative Unitarian foremother, Lavonia Crittendon-Smythe, who used to preach in nothing but leotards and a crown of peonies. It was a daring era, darlings. Mrs. F. loves to regale me with stories, but just now she's picking up the dry-cleaning and getting dinner started. We're having something that you have to set on fire on the way to the table; it should be just divine. Then I'll get to work on Sunday's sermon which should be an easy one, really, because what else can you say about "Thou shalt not kill" except, "Yes, please don't?"

Well, now that we're back in reality, let us address a fascinating question we got last week; the kind of question that makes you think, "Gee, ministers and priests really DO have swellegant, glamorous lives!"

The inquiry came from an Episcopal priest of the female variety who was invited to a BLACK TIE EVENT.

Black tie, everyone! Isn't this amazing? When was the last time you were invited to a black tie event? PeaceBang has only been to one or two in her life and certainly not since she was ordained. No one does black tie weddings anymore, so that is one brand of fiesta that PeaceBang has most definitely not had to worry about dressing for. Sheesh, what a relief!

Our priest wrote in to say that not only did she have to attend a black tie event, she had to wear her clericals, which certainly presents a challenge. PeaceBang is pretty sure that evening gowns and clerical collars don't go very well together, so she had to put on her little thinking cap very tight and come up with this response to Inquiring Priest:

"There is no way to do clericals and black tie, really. I mean, we can't very well wear a collar and an evening gown or a tux. It just isn't done. But yet you want to look drop-dead elegant and appropriate.

I would say get an absolutely classic black suit with impeccable trousers and wear them with a pair of gorgeous sling-back pumps. That will be your only concession to feminine party dress. Keep everything starkly elegant, make sure your hair and make-up are one step away from GLAM (if you send me a photo I can advise), and wear an amazing, jewelry-like wristwatch. Simple diamonds [or "diamonds"] or something similarly perfect in your ears, and a very, very simple clutch bag. Manicured nails, neutral color (OPI Bubble Bath is great -- or if you want to do short and glam, Essie "Wicked" -- an elegant dark, dark wine color). In fact, the more I think about it, I sort of love the idea of killer chic nail polish as almost the only ornament.

The idea here is not trying to compete with the fapitzed ladies and not to be a guy: be a drop-dead elegant priest who just slightly intimidates* all the tuxes and evening gowns.

What do you think?"

* Maybe "intimidate" isn't the best word for what I mean. What I mean here is, Priests don't have to do black tie. Priests represent a spiritual teacher who reminded us not to store up treasures on earth, and who appreciated his wealthy disciples but who did not try to be as they were.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Long-Haired Minister Guys

Hola, amigos! Did you have wonderful church? I hope so. I did. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

Got this letter just a few days ago,

"Hello Peace Bang
Question for a future post - Advice for Male Ministers with Long Hair, particularly for General Assembly.
-A (prayerfully) new UU Minister"

Don't you love how he writes? Kind of cryptic with all those capitals, very German poet, very Rilke, "Mein Leben hat das gleiche Kleid und Haar."

So, Joseph, are you the long-haired romantic type? In which case your gorgeous flowing locks are probably well-groomed and lovely, and don't do a thing with them. When you ask about GA, are you perhaps walking in the Service of the Living Tradition? If so, just a good brushing should do.

If your hair is long and you feel a slight intuition that it might be a wee bit scraggly or unkempt, just go to a good stylist and say, "I would like to have long hair and be handsome and fabulous in a way that communicates the vitality and relevancy of the contemporary church. Could you arrange that, please?"

And they will.

It's a good idea to find a long-haired male mentor, someone whose look you admire, and take a photo of that person (anonymous model, Benjamin Franklin, etc.) with you to the salon.

Joseph, do not fear the Salon Visit. You need only go once or twice to get your look together, and after that you'll do fine at the regular old inexpensive chop shop.

Oh, and Joseph... please don't choose Keith Urban as your long-haired man mentor. His look doesn't so much communicate beauty, vitality and charisma as Serious Commitment To Bleach and Foils.

One last thing, Joseph, if you wear a ponytail, can you make sure to still brush your hair? Even if it's pulled back, it should still look neat and clean.

P.S. If you occasionally spray your hair into place I will never, ever tell anyone. And it's okay.

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Stay Hydrated!

Good Sabbath, my silver-voiced bringers of the good news!

Did you know that talking dehydrates you?
Not that you would want to be pulling over a big ole bottle of water and chugging on it during counseling sessions or preaching, but do keep some water handy so you can take a good draught afterwards. And do intentionally drink more water than you think you need to throughout the day. Experts tell us that by the time you actually feel thirsty, you're dehydrated.

PeaceBang has a little tip she would like to share with you that has helped her drink plenty of water: I fiill a big sports bottle with filtered water and throw an herbal tea bag in there, a shot of stevia for sweetening, and voila! Lightly flavored water with no calories, no chemicals and very low cost. Since it tastes so good, I drink more.

I really like Celestial Seasonings herbal tea in blueberry, strawberry and country peach. Oh, I'm sorry: Country Peach PASSION. Very sexy, that herbal tea. Catch me, I swoon!
Anyway, my very favorite herbal teas come from Canadian company La Cour Tisane and come in flavors like ginger pear, mango, starfruit and blackberry, but although I stock up every summer, I always run out mid-winter when the heat is going strong and I'm parched. If my summer plans include Montreal again, don't think that that tea isn't a big draw. I love, love, love it.

country peach passion*

Plenty of H2O is a necessity, my dears. Go ye and be quenched. As much as we love coffee, it's a diuretic, not a hydrator.

(* But as for their new flavor, Acai Mango... it was so icky that I actually returned it to the store!)