Smiling Faces

Another non-traditional stole — this one celebrating particular ministries:  children and youth on one side (those are the smiling faces) and welcome to GLBTQ folks on the other (rainbows).

This is one of the stoles I am taking to Berkeley for next week’s Earl Lectures.  If you are going to be there, stop and say hello.  If you have west coast clergy friends who might be attending, tell them to look for me!

Tulips in Church

The fabric in this stole doesn’t match any of the traditional colors of the church year.  But these bright tulips — with flecks of gold in them — certainly bring a message of joy and new life.  The stripes on the back might qualify as a purple stole, if you really needed to have one.

The congregation spends a good bit of the service watching the minister.  It is not frivolous to be intentional about what they will be looking at — hopefully something that deepens and enriches the experience of being in worship.

Lent is More than the Color Purple

Purple is the traditional color for the season of Lent, which begins this year on Ash Wednesday, February 13.  But a color alone does not really communicate the sense of the season — especially to newer and younger church members who don’t know the “secret color code” of the church year.

The purple and gray pattern in this fabric shows jagged movement that echos themes of Lent, and the touches of fuchsia and turquoise are harbingers of the Easter to come.  The reverse side is plain purple; even if you never wear the plain side, it will peek out occasionally.

The use of beautiful — and sometimes unconventional — fabrics in church is one way of inviting the “visual word” into our worship.

New Year’s Greeting from Jimmy Dodd

Jimmy Dodd was the adult guy with the Mouseketeers in the original Mickey Mouse Club.  For reasons I cannot explain, the words of this song — which he sang at the end of the show the week or two after Christmas — have stayed with me since the 1950’s.

May the Angel of Happiness circle and hover above you tonight

And there on your rooftop discover a permanent place to alight.

May she save all the best of your wishes for Christmastime joy and for cheer

And place them afresh on your doorstep each day of the forthcoming year.