This chapter discusses in more detail the extent to which the congregational culture at Downtown Church is predicated on a sense of fashion and connects with those who are comfortable with cultural consumption. The core of Downtown Church is a “matrix of authenticity” triangulated by middle-class consumption of city spaces, urban nightlife and entertainment, and the visible presence of racial and ethnic minorities thought to characterize the diversity that marks a city. The emphasis on a particular type of congregant, and the image of what makes a church authentically urban, combine to form a “designer church.” The gendered nature of many of these expectations is clear and appears in several church-sponsored events. Another example of this aspect of the congregation’s culture is a dress code for those involved in being a public presence for the church (such as the greeters); the code itself is not focused on modesty or more conservative notions of propriety, but rather emphasizes contemporary fashion.
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