An Exercise in Body-Building, Part 1

I had an epiphany the other day–a piece of wisdom struck me with great force–and I decided to make a change in my life.

The epiphany: it is more important to me to attract new people to our community of faith gathered in the name of Jesus Christ than that I wear long, dangly earrings.

Wearing these ear decorations represents a choice I made years ago about how to be myself in the world. And were I not a pastor of a church that seeks to grow and become all God calls us to be, I would probably still be wearing then.

But it is clear to me that my personal style proves to be too high a hurdle for many visitors to get over when deciding whether to become part of the community in faith known as MCC Richmond. It’s hard enough for some folks just to walk in the door without immediately asking them to deal with the pastor’s uncommon appearance.

So, I have chosen to stop wearing earrings at church or on other occasions when I am representing the church.

Same pastor, different look

No one asked me to do this. And not everyone agrees (I certainly appreciate the personal support, and also recognize that some fear we may become too homogenized).

The apostle Paul wrote,  “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are beneficial. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.” (1 Corinthians 10)

I am here to build up the Body of Christ. For me, as pastor, fashion statements, even personal identity statements, pale in comparison.

Published by

Robin Hawley Gorsline

Robin is a poet (claiming this later in life) and Queer Theologian--reflecting a soul of hope and faith and joy and justice/shalom. He is happily married to Dr. Jonathan Lebolt (20 years and counting), the proud parent of three glorious daughters (and grateful to two wonderful sons-in- law and a new one soon!), and the very proud "Papa" to Juna (6) and Annie (3).

3 thoughts on “An Exercise in Body-Building, Part 1”

  1. I just want to say how totally impressed I was when you addressed this and came to resolution. It is always a difficult task to do a self-inventory and make changes for the good of the cause. You did it with style and grace and I am proud, with or without earrings, to call you Pastor.

    1. Thank you, Ginny. That means a lot to me, coming from you (because I know you have done some soul-searching over the years and made changes, too).

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