Thursday, January 15, 2009

Episcopal church holds Goth services

[Thousand Oaks] 15 Jan 2009--If there's a stereotype of a clergy person who initiates a Goth service, the Rev. Lou Divis defies it. At nearly 60, Divis, the mother of four and stepmother of four, with her first grandchild on the way, is one of the softest-spoken, sweetest-looking people you could hope to meet. Her "day job" is in early childhood education.

But unlikely or not, Divis has introduced Goth services at St. George's Episcopal Church, where she serves on weekends as a deacon-in-charge in tiny Nanticoke, Pa., population 10,000, where the average age is 43.

Goths—usually people in their teens and 20s—are associated with a world outlook as dark as their eyeliner and a fashion sense that mixes body piercing with black period dress from earlier English eras. The meaning of their frequently worn crosses and other religious jewelry ranges from satire to a sincere expression of faith.

Divis first learned about Goth services while studying at General Theological Seminary, and further research taught her that such services are not uncommon in England, even at such venerable institutions as Coventry Cathedral and St. Edward King and Martyr, Cambridge.

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