Pastor's new vestments prove Bible is not boring
SHAMOKIN - The Rev. David M. Byerly, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Shamokin, surprised his congregation recently by wearing some unusual vestments to launch into the fall season.
His "high priest" vestments were designed and made by the adult Sunday school class. The class, led by Bruce Romanic, studied the book of Exodus and decided to do some research into the garments worn by the high priest during the time of Moses. The project resulted in Byerly wearing the ancient vestment.
The first garment, a seamless blue robe, was trimmed at the hem with pomegranates made of blue, purple and crimson yarn. These symbolize fertility and eternal life. Small gold bells were also placed at the helm. The sound of the bells as the priest entered reminded the people to bow their heads as worship was about to begin.
Over the blue robe is the ephod, a sleeveless outer vest in a tapestry material and edged in gold at the hem. The blue sash was used to hold the back and front of both garments together.
A "breastplate" or chest piece completed the priest vestments. The piece covers his heart and was adorned with 12 precious stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel.
A spokesman for the class said members wanted to show the congregation and friends that the Bible is not boring, but can be interesting and fun when you discover how things were centuries before the life of Christ.