The collar and the Orange hat

You may be wondering just what the heck I’m talking about when I call my blog the collar and the orange hat. Well, let me attempt to enlighten you.

As a Lutheran seminary student, I’d like to think that the collar would be pretty obvious. Traditional outfits for pastors tend to have the white collar. Although that being said, I’ve got to admit that I was surprised when I actually started exploring the collar.

I’m currently wrapping up my middler year at Luther seminary. In laymen’s terms, my second year of class. Next up is my internship year and once that’s done I’ll head on back to seminary for my final year of class. As an intern, it’s common to begin wearing the collar, although admittedly some will start wearing the collar sooner.

I bought my first three pastor shirts within about the last month. What surprised me was just what you find when you start poking around at the collar itself. Its just a little white plastic piece about an inch and a half wide and about 5 inches long. It slips under the collar of the shirt leaving the little white square visible. Just this past weekend I was providing pulpit supply at my old church back home. I wore the collar for the first time.

I have to admit it, I was fully decked out. Black shirt, black suit. I heard one joke that I was ready for a funeral, but that’s alright. The really exciting part was that my parents were there so they got to see me the first time I wore the collar in an official manner.

Now, all that being said, back to the orange hat.

That’s it. Honestly, it all began as a joke. I’ve had this stocking hat for years. Honestly, I don’t even know where I got it. Way back when in January of 2009, I was getting ready for my first time on campus of Luther Seminary. I began my education in a distance program called Distributed Learning.

Now, January in Minnesota is cold. In fact we averaged about 20 below zero for the two weeks I was on campus. I knew I needed a stocking hat and this was the one I grabbed. By the end of the two weeks, it became something of a gimmick. I became known as “the man in the orange hat.” Over the course of 3 years and several intensives, its been my thing.

So there you go. Just a brief introduction to explain the blog name. Keep your eyes peeled. I’ll be blogging here for awhile. Admittedly, its for a class. Media in Parish Education, which is my second Education class at Luther.

Side note…the first time on campus, when I first had the orange hat…I was taking Education 1.

Side note #2…I also write a blog from the student perspective for Luther…I’m one of 6 bloggers at the site, though admittedly it’s winding down for the summer. Feel free to check it out here.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Scott,

    In December ’09, Christmas, I was back in California and preached Christmas Eve in front of my home congregation. This was the first time I wore a collar and I too was dressed in full pastor black regalia. I was feeling sick and thought it was nerves and feeling uncomfortable in front of my folks and home congregation. 45 days later I learned I had cancer, which accounted for the feelings back in Cali. I never shared that story and this is what I like about this class. I think stories that give a little insight about us helps our work in ministry. Now when I see the orange hat I’ll have a deeper perspective than I had before. Looking forward to learning more. See you in class.



  2. So I guess we all have first collar moments… I shared my moment with 1000’s of readers in a devotional publication coming out this fall:

    Ephesians 1:13 (New International Version, ©2010)
    “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit…”

    I put my clergy collar on for one of the first times recently. I found myself a bit self conscious as I walked the halls of the hospital. I’ve been providing pastoral call for over 10 years, but somehow putting on “the collar” shed a different perspective on the task at hand. On my way home after visiting with the distraught family, I was cut off by another driver. Admittedly, a little road rage welled up in me – or more like a “Hey that’s not fair! You can’t do that!” kind-of knee jerk response. I found myself going a little faster to catch up with the driver, when all of a sudden, my foot slipped off the pedal as I realized, “I’m wearing a collar! I can’t do that!” If only the cross on my forehead demanded the same response!

    Challenge: Live your life today assuming that everyone can see the baptismal cross on your forehead.

    Prayer: Help me, dear Jesus to live this day marked and sealed with the Holy Spirit!

    Peace brother! Libbie


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