Why some churchgoers decided to ‘Forget the Frock’ on Easter Sunday

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(RNS) There were plenty of frilly dresses, bonnets, suits and pastel bow ties at Easter Sunday services.

But if you saw a T-shirt or two, you can thank Forget the Frock.

The grass-roots movement asked Christians to forgo fancy new Easter clothes and instead buy a shirt from a nonprofit organization that will use the proceeds to support charities such as Feeding the Orphans, Eyes that See and Pink Door.

Participants made #ForgetTheFrock a trending topic on Facebook Monday (March 28) as they posted photos of their families and congregations wearing T-shirts to church on social media. Others weighed in on the appropriateness of casual attire on the church’s holiest day.

The movement got its start five years ago when co-founder Emily Fox’s best friend decided to adopt an orphan from Ethiopia. Fox’s eyes were opened to the needs of orphans worldwide, according to Forget the Frock’s website. That year, she dressed her family in T-shirts from Feeding The Orphans. The money from that purchase helps care for orphans and families in West Africa.

Since then, Forget the Frock has helped raise nearly $500,000 for orphan care, the website said.

(Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS)