This was the question that was posed to me by my favourite waiter at Cora’s. I eat breakfast there most Wednesday morning, Derek knows my order without asking and supplies me with endless refills on coffee while I do some reading and writing without interruptions and distractions. While the staff there know I am religious, partly because of the rainbow cross I often wear, and partly because of reading material I have with me, and so I have had a few conversations with them that are spiritual in nature. As this question was voiced on my way out, I have been wondering how I will be greeted the next Wednesday.
A month ago, I started wearing my clergy collar every working day, you can read about why here. It’s been an interesting month, my congregation has stopped doing a double take when they come to a meeting or to my study. People who come into our busy church building can easily identify me and I am a bit surprised how quickly being ‘in uniform’ has become second nature. This is in part due to the comfort of the ‘janie’ I wear, made from bamboo by Ureshii Design it’s comfortable, fits well under my own clothes, and being knit, it doesn’t bind around my neck.
That second nature and comfort can also work against me… for instance, when I was almost run down in the crosswalk outside the local grocery store… I had to temper my initial reaction! I am more aware that with my collar on, no matter where I am, I am the face of the church, for good or for evil and that people will respond to it based on their own experience/preconceptions/media.
On to the second month!