Blessed are the skinny jeans.
An Oregon church is apologizing for banning overweight and obese people from its worship team.
Guidelines from the New Creation Church, a non-denominational Christian organization in the Portland suburb of Hillsboro, banned members with “excessive weight” from the team.
“Weight is something that many people have to deal with,” the guidelines said, according to The Christian Times. “Make sure that you are taking care of your temple, exercising and eating properly.”
The church later apologized, writing on its website:
“There has been some media circulating about our Worship Team Guidelines. Forgive us if we offended anyone. That certainly was not our intention. These guidelines have never been used to discriminate against anyone and have never been enforced.”
New Creation Church Pastor Rebecca Sundholm told the Oregonian she was “dumbfounded” by the controversy as the guidelines were written years ago and had not been enforced.
“What’s funny is this has nothing to do with anybody else but our church,” she was quoted as saying. “If anybody looked at our worship team, they would see they aren’t all skinny.”
It’s not yet clear if the guidelines have been updated, as they were removed from the church’s website after going viral late last month. However, they were still online in a number of places, including here.
The guidelines also offered some very detailed expectations for both appearance and personal hygiene. For example, chewing gum was forbidden, but members of the worship team were urged to use breath mints. They were expected to use “effective deodorant” but not “excessive colognes or perfumes.” There were also rules forbidding visible tattoos, excessive piercings, tight shirts, sneakers and shoes with white soles.
“You must be in 100% agreement for you to flow with our team and in order for the anointing to flow through you,” the guidelines stated.
Sundholm told the Oregonian that the requirements were taken out of context.
“We have standards just like anybody would have standards in a business,” she said.
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