Websites and Twitter and all social media
Staffing and praying and projects so needy
Reading and writing and budgeting too
Things are some things that all ministers do.
When the phone rings, when the text bings
When I don’t know which way is up
I call to my RevGals for help and advice
And without fail, they fill up my cup.
Sometime in the last two years, I stumbled across the RevGals Facebook page and it quickly became one of my ‘go to’ resources. Then I realized there was a website and if I subscribed I never missed ANY of the resources that were available. Those resources are vast and varied. From the fun Friday Five to Ask the Matriarch and the VITAL Sunday prayer that is linked to the lectionary, I can’t imagine sermon prep and ministry without RevGals.
The Facebook discussions range from the ‘you can’t make this stuff up!’ variety (I laughed), the heartbreaking prayer requests (I cried), to requests for advice on a particular issue or situtation, (it became a part of me*). The book causes me to have the same reactions. As I read through the first dozen or so essays, I found myself moved to tears and laughter and a profound sense of the sacred that moves through all our emotions.
When my father died last year, I posted a request for prayers, and they flowed in like a healing stream. While we might at times decry how community is breaking down because of our obsession with social media, RevGals is a place where community is created. None of the women who offered prayers of comfort in those days knew me beyond my facebook profile and yet, they were a powerful source of God’s presence for me. The way in which community is created is thanks in no small part to our Director, Martha Spong and the other moderators, who ensure that differences are respected and that we pay attention to each other.
My denomination, the United Church of Canada, has been ordaining women since 1936, although not in any large number until the mid 70s. Through this group and through this book, I am reminded once again that for some places and denominations, a woman in the pulpit is an new or unusal phenomena. While I might not be isolated geographically and my presbytery (geographical grouping of churches) is full of strong female leaders, I still run into situations that my male colleagues don’t, just because I am ‘a woman in the pulpit.’ This book reminds me that I am not alone, that I am surrounded by a vast sea of supportive women around the world. I feel very privileged to have contributed an essay and hope one day soon to meet some of the Revgals IRL!
With thanks to the TV series Night Court for the quote