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This week’s question is about the advisability of wearing the clergy collar in a particular situation. Wearing the collar always sends some kind of message. The question this week wonders if wearing the collar might send an unintended message of bias to others. And what does the clergy collar say to the Rev who wears it? Read on:
I’ve been asked by my ecclesiastical authority to provide pastoral companionship to a colleague and her congregation as they face and work through an unexpected situation in their church. My role is intended to be 1) pastoral to all, 2) facilitate conversation and help them devise a process that can be utilized to generate a positive solution to the problem they face, 3) diffuse and work through anticipated scapegoating when anger rises and fingers are tempted to point, 4) hold the appropriate parties accountable to the process they determine will work for them to resolve the matter.
Dilemma - Part - Denomination - Collars - Norm
Here’s my potential dilemma: I’m part of a denomination where clerical collars are the norm. I’m wondering about the advisability of wearing my collar when meeting with these parties. My role is to be neutral, though pastoral. If I wear my collar it may be perceived that I am an ally of my clergy colleague, and will not be impartial as I facilitate and help them address the situation they face. The collar is also a symbol of spiritual authority, and ostensibly a voice of spiritual wisdom, which may be a benefit. There are other pros and cons to wearing the collar, and not wearing the collar in this situation. I’m wondering what aspects of this dynamic I might be missing as I weigh this, and would like to hear what the wisdom of the matriarchs have to say on this subject.
Offering exquisite Matriarch wisdom this week...
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