Stoles are Teaching Tools

My young adulthood found me teaching art in Houston, Texas. That's me in the picture on a field trip with students to the contemporary art museum. If you can get past the kelly green shirt (oh, the 80's!) and the permed hair (why did I waste all of that money?) you'll see the smile on my face showing that I was really enjoying the teaching! I took pleasure in finding teachable moments in everything I did. Today at Carrot Top Studio I see a lot of similarities with ministry and have always thought of clergy stoles not just as a representation of leadership but also as a teaching tool. The colors and symbols on a stole, if they connect with worship, reinforce the Word and the moment.

I babble on like this to introduce a new concept for a stole. This summer one of our clients had an idea for an Advent stole that would engage the children (and adults) of her congregation during the children's moment because it would have interchangeable images that would help tell the story of the long awaited Messiah.

This project was a challenge and a good bit of time was spent figuring out the logistics of trying to make a stole that involved Velcro parts that maintained a level of integrity. We feel that this concept has great possibilities! The stole starts with four symbols of Old Testament prophecy: the snake (Genesis 3:15), the crown (Psalm 2:6), the tree (Isaiah 11:1) and the stone (Psalm 118:22). Each week during Advent a symbol is removed to reveal candles set in evergreens to represent Christ coming as the light of the world and God's everlasting love for us (the evergreens.) The star cross on the chest of this stole references the Christmas celebration we are preparing for. The inside of the stole has pockets for the symbols when they are not in use...this is not a time of year to be disorganized!See the entire stole here. If you have time we'd love to hear what you us!