I thought a huge red flag that the Marie Claire article is bullshit should have come when Lee says Miller says “This means that nearly every Sunday, at the First United Methodist Church in Huntsville, Alabama, you’ll find me mounting the pulpit in a collar and cassock, my black ankle-length robe.” Because I know no, zero, zilch, Methodist ministers who wear a cassock. Sure, you sometimes find Methodist ministers in collars, especially in heavily-Catholic areas or when they need to get in and out of Catholic hospitals without bother or when they’re trying to pass themselves off as Lutheran so as to get in on the better potlucks (ha, just kidding. Methodist potlucks are the best.).
But a cassock? We’re not Episcopalians.
Ha ha ha.
But then I’m like “Well, I don’t know as many ministers as my dad does,” so I call him up to ask him about this cassock ridiculousness. And he’s all “Of course they do, Betsy. Look at the Cokesbury catalog. The denomination you grew up in has ridiculous elements.” And then I have to hear this rant about the Order of St. Luke and how they play dress-up and call each other “Brother” (though, in the Order of St. Luke’s defense–and please keep in mind, I know nothing about them. They could eat puppies for all I know.–I wouldn’t call this get-up a cassock).
But I’m flipping through the Cokesbury catalog and I encounter something I feel we should talk about as a group.
Please turn to page 13. The “Lilith.” Every other women’s robe is named after a woman who appears in the Bible. And then there’s the “Lilith.” On page 13.
So here are my questions. Do we believe that there’s someone over at Cokesbury who knows the legend of Adam’s first wife? If so, is calling a robe for a woman pastor “Lilith” a joking nod to women’s equality in the church and the trouble it causes or a sly insult? And then, can it be coincidence that it is the “Lilith,” the name associated with demons and night and magic (though I’m glad to see the Wikipedia article goes to some length to question those associations) is on page 13? But does that mean another Cokesbury employee with a sense of mischief?
Two? Who didn’t get caught?
And why have I not met them?
I mean, aside from being in exile from the church and in the middle of writing a book about being a Methodist minister’s kid in which an illicit menage a trois with Satan is not any worse than what goes on in the church? Aside from that…
Ha ha ha.
I amuse me.