Our worship committee met the other night to discuss the calendar coming up and the various worship services (and very special ones) that are coming. In the midst of our conversation, someone asked if we were going to be OK with people dressing more “casually” during the summer months. This conversation comes up at every church I’ve ever served. It can get a little tricky—sort of similar to whether or not it’s ok to clap in church or not.
For some, coming to church/worship will always be a “dress-up” event. I think they do because they see it as a sign of respect. I appreciate them for that. Worship deserves our utmost respect.
On the other hand, if respect is measured by the clothing we wear, then my taste in clothing suddenly becomes the criteria for whether I respect worship or not. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that, either.
For me, it mostly comes down to whether or not a “dress code” for Sunday morning becomes the primary reason that one either attends worship that day or not. Here are the possible scenarios: summertime is for being outdoors with hiking and picnics and such. If the family is planning a picnic and don’t really have enough time to dress up, go home, get re-dressed, and then make it to a destination, I’m guessing they will use that as a reason NOT to come to worship that day. Or if we have golfers who have a tee time and want to make it out to the course right after church, if they feel they must go back home to change out, they will also likely stay away from church that day. (I’ve been around long enough to KNOW this is true for golfers).
So I think I tend to lean in the direction of personal choice for the summer months. Come dressed well if you choose. Or if you have multiple destinations that day and only so much time to do it, come casually. I’m trusting all of us to know what is “appropriate” for casual. One warning—I’m guessing most of you don’t want to see me in my bathing suit so I’m asking you not to let me see you in yours ☺
Therefore, I hereby decree (sounds like Game of Thrones, doesn’t it? Except no one has “anointed me the king of ANYTHING!) that beginning Sunday, May 28, (Memorial Day weekend) through Sunday, September 3 (Labor Day weekend) that we will authorize “CASUAL SUNDAYS”.
In all seriousness, I have had any number of people in my past ask “permission” to dress casually for the warm, summer months. So consider this article as my giving permission. Please don’t look for reasons or excuses not to attend worship for the summer. You can have your picnic, boating, golf, etc, AND attend to your spiritual needs as well.