In advance of the Massachusetts Council of Churches Annual Meeting on Saturday April 28 at the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church we’re highlighting our fabulous panelists and workshop leaders. You can register “Christian Unity in the Digital Age” here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2934937477
Today, we’re featuring the Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein, otherwise known as PeaceBang. Victoria will be on our panel with Domenico Bettinelli, Jr.,Creative Director of the Pilot New Media Group for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and the Rev. Keith Anderson, Pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Woburn.
I confess that I first came into contact with Victoria’s ministry on www.beautytipsforministers.com as a young woman straight out of seminary trying to figure out what on earth I should wear for my first professional ministry job. My boss and mentor was about 35 years older than I and somehow Talbots didn’t seem like the right answer for me. I turned to Beauty Tips for Ministers for support, counsel and best of all “Theological Reflections on your Fabulousness.” Peacebang, whoever she was, wrote of a holy affirmation of the bodies God had given us and redeemed and the real, pragmatic necessity to present ourselves well as ministers. She says, with love, depth and a fair amount of sass,
…the pastor who thinks that concerns about appearance are shallow and vain is saying that the body doesn’t matter, that it is somehow inferior to the soul. While this seems theologically astute, it not only calls into question — or denigrates — the whole incarnational miracle we received through Christ, it assumes that one can minister to people’s souls without their bodies coming along. Stupid. Also shallow. Also outmoded, fuddy-duddy and sexist.
If adornment didn’t matter, the Pope would wear jeans and a baseball cap during public appearances.
At the Massachusetts Council of Churches, I had just finished a major project tracking how the Boston Globe covered religious communities. I was on the phone with then Boston Globe religion reporter Michael Paulson (now, religion and politics editor for the metro section NYT) and he asked what was interesting going on in the Church right now. I prattled about some things, and then mentioned “Beauty Tips.” You can read about the early days of PeaceBang’s ministry here: http://www.boston.com/yourlife/fashion/articles/2007/02/18/preaching_fashion/
The self-proclaimed “stage mother to the American clergy,” PeaceBang has drawn national media attention to her important ministry. I, and clergywomen around the country, are grateful.
I am thrilled that we have Victoria on the panel with Domenico and Keith. Through her blogs, Facebook posts and Tweets, she ministers to us inside the Church and one to those on the edge of the Church looking in. I admire her love of the whole Church and her dedication to ecumenism. Join us on Saturday 4/28 to hear Victoria speak and teach. Register here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2934937477
The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein
Workshop Title: “Tweeting Jesus: Creating Religious Community Through Social Media”
Short Bio: The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein is the minister of First Parish Unitarian Church in Norwell. She is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and earned her Doctor of Divinity degree from Andover-Newton Theological School, writing her dissertation on “Covenanting: Ancient Promise and New Life For the Contemporary Church.” Vicki is a social media pioneer in the field of clergy image who started blogging eight years ago as “PeaceBang,” and subsequently launched a second blog www.beautytipsforministers.com, earning national media attention and a readership in ten countries. She is a popular speaker and consultant on social media, church and clergy image and congregational covenant process.