When to wear clericals

Back from Peter Boullata’s ordination, which went well, with a sermon from UUA President Bill Sinkford, a charge from Weston First Parish’s senior minister, Tom Wintle; the imposition of hands, led by WFP’s associate minister, Sue Spencer; and a wonderful choir. May Peter’s years of pastoral ministry be long and prosperous.

A small ecclesiastic matter.
When I returned home, I discovered an email where
a colleague asked others “wither the clerical collar?” OK, that’s my take on it.
The discussion is confidential, but here’s my reply.

As many of you know, I am a collar-wearer, and this is where I wear it:

1. Any place I exercise pastoral ministry, including worship and meetings of the communion of the churches, like UUMA

[Unitarian
Universalist Ministers Association, or here, the local chapter
] and GA.

[General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association] (Sometimes I’ll skip it for a lunch meeting, though.)

— example, I wear it when I preach at someone else’s church, but not if I go on a Sunday off as a congregant.

2. When I travel, as a public ministry to worried travellers. (That might be more of a Washington post-9/11 thing.)

But when I wear it, I’m “on.” So when I wear it, I informally plan how to get out of it.

Author: Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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