Rock star hair must be more fun to style than preacher hair, because I usually walk out cracking myself up with the image of trying to do a wedding with the exaggerated spikes and dramatic bangs falling across my eyes. Fortunately, my hair is easily calmed into a style more acceptable for my “real job,” and I haven’t had pink or blue hair for a couple of years, after I learned how hard it is to get out quickly when you need to do a funeral.
My hair is still a little weird for a pastor, particularly in how often it changes, but it’s part of the personna I’ve cultivated in the creative realm of my life. All of us have to find ways to balance our ministry with the other aspects of our lives, and I’ve found that it’s easier and more authentic for me to tone down the rock diva a bit, so that she is a little less jarring in a pulpit, than to sling on my guitar and step into the spotlight with pastor hair.
I don’t know any other young clergy women who are in rock bands, although I hope there are some. It’s not an easy gig, though (pun intended). Rock music tends to be critical of the establishment, including the religious establishment. My band plays some music that I know some ministers would find uncomfortable (although if you ever want a great song for a discussion about theodicy, try “God is a Bullet” by Concrete Blonde). People from church come to hear us play occasionally, and I always wonder how they’ll react, not only to the lyrics, but to one of their ministers wailing, screaming, growling, and occasionally cursing through three sets of songs considerably edgier than one might hear in a worship service. Read more