This week I’ve been lamenting how a local newspaper described me in an article. The following Letter to the Editor made it into The Rivereast News Bulletin. I only had 300 words to use and decided to mostly speak from personal experience. My grandfather wrote to politicians, the Army, and Letters to the Editor all the time regarding issues concerning Veterans. And he would often say to me as a child that if something’s not right we can’t be silent and expect others to speak out. WE have to speak out. Here’s what I had to say.
“Bubbly and Blonde”?
To the Editor:
I was recently interviewed by The Rivereast News Bulletin as I am a Pastor in Colchester and moved to town in May. The article referred to me as “the bubbly, blonde-haired 33 year-old Rev. Lauren Lorincz.” I wonder if that description would be used to describe male Clergy? Would a reporter comment on his personality and use “bubbly”? Would a reporter comment on his physical appearance?
I work in a male-dominated profession. My faith ancestors in the United Church of Christ were the first to ordain a woman in America—Rev. Antoinette Brown in 1853. Perhaps this present reality and proud history make me sensitive to issues of women and ministerial authority. I worked hard and excelled in high school, college, and seminary to be where I am today.
In the future, I would hope to be described as “welcoming” and “kind”, true to my Ohio roots. That I have a passion for social justice, extending a particular welcome to communities who have been historically marginalized. Over all, I would hope to be described using my character and ministry as opposed to “the bubbly, blonde-haired 33 year-old.”
What keeps me going when facing moments like this in ministry is that our congregation at Colchester Federated Church experiences me leading worship and preaching the Gospel every Sunday. Who I am as an energetic, passionate woman in her 30s (who happens to be of Midwestern German heritage and has blonde hair) is not odd—that’s just Pastor Lauren! My hope is that our society evolves when it comes to issues of sexism. So that instead of referring to women in general as “bubbly” and “blonde-haired” we could use adjectives like “kind,” “intelligent,” and “compassionate.” I’ll be here in Colchester working to make it so.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Lauren Lorincz, Pastor
Colchester Federated Church