Thoughts on the Upcoming Clergy Appreciation Sunday
Yesterday after the church service, a member of the congregation made an announcement that clergy appreciation Sunday is coming up very quickly—traditionally the 2nd Sunday in October. This announcement made me start thinking about a gift for our local pastor. And of course I immediately thought of the lovely stole kits that we sell at Ecclesiastical Sewing online store.
1Roberts, Carrie. Ely Crown Brocade Red Stole Kit. July 20th, 2016. Personal Collection, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Minnesota.
Today, as I ponder this further, I am contemplating what a pastor or priest needs. Sure they have a particular style of dress that they wear. And here at Ecclesiastical Sewing, we specialize in those liturgical vestments as well as the liturgical vestures of the church. Lately in this blog we have been looking at these various liturgical vestments and garments worn by clergy; their histories and usages. As we think about pastoral or priestly care, the next time you see your pastor or priest in ecclesiastical vestments, take a good note of what condition the liturgical vestments are in. Are there stains that just will not come out? Has the garment seen a few years and many blessed church services? Was it a liturgical vestment piece that has been worn ever since the days of seminary were completed and ordination took place?
What I am trying to tactfully ask is: are your minister’s ecclesiastical vestments in need of replacing? Care of these liturgical vestments is a form of care for our ministers. This is a noble duty, especially for the women—whether as part of a guild, league, or even deaconesses. To freshen the ministers’ wardrobes is a great way to show our love and appreciation for all that they do for us.
2Roberts, Carrie. Glastonbury Red Stole Kit. July 20th, 2016. Personal Collection, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Minnesota.
3Roberts, Carrie. Winchester Red Stole Kit. July 20th, 2016. Personal Collection, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Minnesota.
While providing for our clergy’s physical needs is an important task, we often forget that the pastor or priest is also a human being. Every Sunday, these special people serve their congregations. And during the week, they have other church related tasks that call their attention. Yet when their work is done, as good and faithful servants, shouldn’t they also be entitled to fun and relaxation as well? We people of the laity spend our evenings enjoying sports, recreation, fine dining, or other events. We often, since we are social creatures, make plans to share these activities with friends and loved ones. Does the member of your clergy ever make that favorites list of people you contact?
Even though they are figures of authority, members of the clergy are also humans in need of friendship and Christian fellowship. This can most definitely take place outside of the church. Today I stumbled across a few internet message forums where clergy members who were struggling with issues could anonymously post. These people were seeking comfort and support for various reasons, but one reason in particular stood out: loneliness. While gathering a group of friends to go on a hike or spending a beautiful Saturday afternoon trying to catch a fresh trout for supper, why not consider including your minister? Of course, do not be offended if tweezing a swallowed lure from a sunfish’s belly is not their thing. Try to find something fun that you have in common with them.
It is very nice to have a grocery store baked cake the 2nd Sunday of October for your minister. It is even better to give them a thoughtful gift—a new piece of ecclesiastical vestment or a particular book they may need for their library, for instance. But the nicest thing you can do for your clergy is to include them, offer them friendship, and be there as a human being in Christian fellowship. And do not just do these things every October; make time throughout the year to care for your clergy. So ponder what you can do, share this article with others, and thank you for reading!
~Nihil Sine Deo~
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