The Shower Stoles Project The National LGBTQ Task Force

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So Great a Cloud of Witnesses

Shower of Stoles Project

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Donate a Stole


The Shower of Stoles is NOT limited to those who have been ordained, or those who have lost their ordinations! ANY gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person who is active in the life and leadership of their faith community - in ANY capacity - is eligible to have a stole in this collection.

There are three different ways that you can offer a stole to the Shower of Stoles:

  • Many of the stoles in this collection are not from clergy, but from elders, deacons, lay ministers, church musicians, Christian educators and seminarians. However, we know that many GLBT persons have been barred from sharing their gifts and calls with their church. If you are (or have been) active in your faith community, regardless of your "status" in the church, your story is important to us!
  • You or your congregation may honor a GLBT friend, partner, family member, or person in your faith community with a stole. However, do not use the person's name on the stole unless you have their expressed permission to do so! (See below for information about donating a stole anonymously.)
  • Generally, we do not accept individual stoles from heterosexual persons. We encourage the participation of heterosexuals through "Straight Ally stoles." These are stoles that are covered with the signatures of straight allies, to make them visually distinct from the individual stoles of GLBT persons. Congregations, conferences, districts, presbyteries or other groups can pass these around to collect the signatures of individuals who support us in our struggle for justice.


If you wish to make a stole, we have very few "rules." Generally, it should be about 6 to 8 feet long, and about 4 to 6 inches wide. One simple way to do this is to make a single-seam "tube," turn it right side out, and slip-stitch the ends.

Be sure that the stole is made and/or decorated securely enough to withstand constant shipping and handling! Use only permanent markers, such as laundry markers, and PLEASE avoid glitter, puff-paint, or iron-on appliqués that are likely to soften or peel off in extreme heat (such as the back of FedEx trucks!) or with repeated handling. If you are adding anything to the stole, such as an AIDS or rainbow ribbon, sew it on securely rather than pinning or gluing it to the stole.

MOST IMPORTANT: Include your story with the stole. A brief, clear statement from you on a simple stole is far more important to this project than the finest quilting or artwork! Limit your story to about 200 words; longer messages will be edited to fit. Be sure to include your name (unless you wish to remain anonymous), your denomination, where you are from, and your service to the church. Send us this information on a separate piece of paper (not attached to the stole). Do not laminate it! We will transfer it to a stole-sized computer template and sew it on with commercial vinyl. Your message can also be sent to us on a CD using any Microsoft-compatible format. If you send it this way, please include a printed copy of your message as well.

You are solely responsible for the written information that is included on your stole. If you wish to remain anonymous, be careful not to include any information that may indirectly reveal your identity.


We go to great lengths to protect the anonymity of those who have stoles in this collection.

You can submit a stole for yourself or someone else anonymously. However, if at all possible, we do ask that you identify the stole in some way, and note where you are from (e.g. "Lesbian deacon, Kentucky").

In some cases, a congregation has sent an individual stole with only the church's name on it, to protect the anonymity of one or more of its gay members. A couple of congregations have submitted stoles that have been signed with anonymous "codes," such as four-digit numbers, rather than names.


Send stoles to the address at the bottom of this page. We strongly recommend that you ship your stole via FedEx or UPS, rather than the Postal Service. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you wish to be informed that your stole has arrived. Stoles submitted to the collection become the permanent property of the Shower of Stoles Project and cannot be returned.


You can buy an inexpensive stole or make one yourself. If you would prefer to buy a stole, we recommend purchasing one from:

  • C&M Designs
    Makers of creative and finely crafted liturgical vestments, seeking to support the ministries of affirming faith communities.

  • Global Connections
    Global Connections is a place to purchase inexpensive stoles for the Shower of Stoles Project from a fair trade company serving cottage industries in developing countries.

  • SERRV International
    SERRV has stoles for under $40, and all the proceeds from SERRV are returned directly to the Third World crafts persons that make these stoles. You can reach SERRV at 1-800-422-5915, or at the Greater Gift web site.


Contact The Shower of Stoles Project at the address or number listed below.

1325 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20005.
(202) 460-4420

Visit the
Shower of Stoles Project
Online Exhibition!

Organizational Partners

Affirm United/S'affirmer Ensemble The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists Brethren-Mennonite Council for LGBT Concerns Open and Affirming Ministries of the Gay, Lesbian & Affirming Disciples (GLAD) Integrity Reconciling Works
More Light Presbyterians Open and Affirming Program of the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns (ONA) Reconciling Ministries Network Room for All - Reformed Church in America Welcoming Community Network - Community of Christ