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Betsy Porter
Art and Iconography
FASHIONS OF SAINT GREGORY'S
THE JEREMY FASHION BLOG

The particular inspiration for this page, and our unquestioned style star, is Jeremy
Carroll
, an intellectual Brit who calls himself a “queer heterosexual” – unusual even in
this city of myriad gender identities.  Every week, he outdoes himself with ever more
astonishing outfits, mostly pink.  Although thrift-shop women’s clothing is required for
his favored fashion effects, they greatly transcend mere cross-dressing.  He does not
try to look like a woman or dress in a feminine manner, he just wears the clothes he
likes.  His clever and inventive fashion statements are the envy of us women, who
wish we had his self-confidence.

Every now and then he even wears some men's clothes, just so as not to feel overly
dependent on a single image.

Even in this famously liberal city, Jeremy pays a harsh price for his imaginative and
unique style.  At times he is subjected to rude remarks, catcalls, and worse.
There are lots of other stylish men at Saint Gregory's; like Fred Merritt and Elliott.  Right; Brendan Curran
HOW TO VEST, DRESS, OR DRESS UP
FOR CHURCH IN SAN FRANCISCO!

Saint Gregory of Nyssa Church is a hotbed of creative arts.  Our congregation of
about 200 includes many musicians, composers, visual artists, makers of clothing and
jewelry, writers, poets, theater people, and do-it-yourselfers.  These talents benefit all of
us.  Many of the hymns we sing were written by members of the congregation.  Our
most beautiful vestments were designed and crafted by church members.

The congregation is a strong and generous community, full of friendships, full of
stories.  We serve one another in prayer, compassion, and practical help; and we
serve the larger community with a weekly food pantry and numerous charitable
activities.

But we love to celebrate!  Our Rotunda hosts parties, concerts, drama, and dancing as
well as worship; and these activities become integrated into our praise of God.

Part of the aesthetic pleasure of attending Saint Gregory’s comes from seeing others
in their “Sunday Best.”  Although most of us dress casually, those who enjoy dressing
up do so, sometimes quite inventively and even spectacularly - another way to use our
imaginations in praise.  After much discussion on one of our list serves, the time has
come to document our fashion triumphs and extravaganzas!
VESTMENTS

Saint Gregory’s is full of beautiful textiles collected from all over the world.  
Some serve as furniture covering; others are to wear.  For services, not
only clergy but also our music director and lay deacons wear vestments.

Most of our many vestments are cotton (former restaurant tablecloths),
exquisitely tie dyed in West Africa, where they serve as everyday clothing.  
But our very best have been designed and crafted of silk, mostly by
Mary
Grove
.

Many people, both vested and un-vested, wear neck crosses strung with
ethnic beads.
Lay deacon John Stansbury
wears a reversible hand-dyed
silk vestment which I made for
the ordination of the Rev.
Lynn Baird.  (The same
vestment is shown on the
More Art page.)
Lay deacon Zach Finley in a
West African tie-dyed cotton
vestment.  His silver cross is
strung with carved jade.
An exhibit of silk vestments by Mary Grove,
June 2007.
 In addition to the three displayed on
the floor, two more are hung on the wall.  Mary
selects extraordinary fabrics, many of them from
Japan, and trims them with braid and antique
ribbon.  Lizzie Calogero assisted.
MORE OUTFITS - PLUS HEADGEAR, FOOTWEAR, AND JEWELRY
Left; jewelry designer and silversmith
Jennifer Cross Gans, collects silver
jewelry from many cultures.  Here she
wears her prized Tuareg ensemble.

Lower left; an even more amazing
Tuareg pendant (or breastplate?) and
Jennifer's Zuni pendant of silver inlaid
with gemstones.

Right; on the Sunday after Easter
("Bright Sunday"), many of us wear
hats - preferably funny hats.  Here are
Judith Tucker and Jessica Anderson
in their after-Easter bonnets.

Lower right; writer and photographer
Lynn Park wears her flowery turban.

Kathleen Hamill wears a necklace of
jade and silver.
When we're not at church, of course, we dress in tastefully neutral
Business Casual.

Photograph by Richard Anderson
Jeremy Carroll writes:  
Further reflections on “Sunday best”

I got home after church, and changed into something more appropriate
for a hike up around St Bruno, which emphasized that I had dressed for
church.

On my walk I reflected a bit on Sunday Best - for St Gregory's I usually
just throw on some clothes from my wardrobe, without much care or
attention - this morning was much more reminiscent of my time in London
(2004 - 2006) when I would dress for church, religiously.  About a third of
the congregation would also wear Sunday Best (although with a more
traditional interpretation); there was a particularly Afro-Caribbean lady
who brooked no competition.

Prior to that period, I really hadn't understood Sunday Best at all.  It had
seemed to me to be disingenuous, deceitful even.  “Just as I am, Sweet
Jesus.”  But then clothes became more important to me, and when
practical constraints meant that during the rest of the week, I couldn't be
at my best - then when would be a better time to dress for Heaven than
on a Sunday morning.  (Heaven is a famous nightclub in London).  And it
just started seeming to be commonsense, of course you should look your
best for church.


At left; Anna Maria Stone and Jeremy Carroll
We have photographed
and catalogued all our
vestments
- this required
several Saturday mornings.
Below; Jessica Anderson wears cool stuff, often acquired
during her international travels.  This green lacy jacket and
black embroidered sash came from Bali - where it is
customary to wear a sash when going to temple.  Her inlaid
silver cross came from the Holy Land.  The gold brocade
jacket came from China.
Actress Lizzie Calogero has gorgeous red boots
& amazing fishnet tights. Her stylish mom is
Judy
Robinson
.  Below, Lizzie's high heels.
Above; Marci Mills and her friend Lynn, a
Lutheran pastor visiting from out of state.

Left; a
Mother's Day Gift Pin made of
buttons glued to the lid of a baby-food jar.
Above Left; Rev. Philip Wickeri, a professor at San
Francisco Theological Seminary and the Graduate
Theological Union (GTU) served as thesis advisor to new
GTU grad
Marina True.  

Above Center;
Rev. Paul Fromberg wears a vestment of
textured golden silk from Japan - a piece designed and
made by
Mary Grove.  The same vestment is shown above
in the photo of Mary's exhibit.  

Above Right;
Rev. Daniel Simons and Nicholas
Dolce.
             Center and right photos by Lynn Park

Lower left; Music Director Sanford Dole designs and sews
many of his vestments - this one is trimmed with buttons.

Lower right;
Rev. Will Hocker in warm-weather vestments.
Above; Margaret Simpson
enjoys combining brilliant colors.
Her husband's discarded tie
makes a perfect finishing touch!

Right;
Frank and Shauna
Poong
wear coordinating colors
and patterns - they said it was
just an accident.
Left; Rev. Richard (Rick)
Fabian
wears a Tuareg
silver-and-ebony neckpiece;
and architect
Matthew
Priest
wears a collectible
Gay Pride necklace strung
with color anodized
aluminum rings.
Above; Bob Ruhfel, Bruce Goodchild,
and
Michael Moran celebrate
Independence Day weekend.
Right:  I love
those pants
and especially
love those
shoes!
At left; singer Rita
Haronian
in
rose-covered tights.

Near right;
Tom Benson
displays his newest
"Faerie" jewelry and
shawl.

Far right;
Dotty Schenk
makes Native American
style seed bead jewelry,
as well as playing the
organ and harp.