It began for me in 2009. I was awarded a sabbatical scholarship and began to write a blog as a way of sharing the fruits of my study. I had enjoyed reading other blogs – and found a community of women clergy (and their friends) from around the world who were also publishing their words on the web. I found company in their writing: challenge and friendship and words of hope and grace. And when I moved to China where there weren’t many English-speaking, liturgical ordained women, the virtual friendships became even more important.
Now there’s a book. And it’s a great book. And I’m not just saying that because it includes a story about the community I was a pastor with when I lived in China. I’m saying that because in it you will experience challenge and friendship and words of hope and grace. It is full of women writing with warmth and wit and wisdom about what it is like to be a woman in the pulpit, and a woman in the home, the hospital, the baptistry, the paddock, the graveyard and all the other places our ministries take us.
When you enter ministry you don’t really know what it will be like. You cobble together some impressions and you get some education and you take careful notes at the field education seminars. Then they let you loose* to preside at communion and to baptise; to sit with the dying and to show up for the bereaved; to be invited into the moments of joy and vulnerability and ordinariness that comprise people’s lives. What a life! (*in my tradition they less let you loose and more ordain and license you but it still feels a bit wild sometimes!)
If you would like to catch glimpses of this life, ‘There’s a Woman in the Pulpit’ is a great book to read. If you need company in your ministry, this is a great book to read. If someone you know is in ministry and you’d like to understand a bit more about what their life is like, this is a great book to read. If you are interested in the diversity of women’s experiences, this is a great book to read. If you like funny books, this is a great book to read. If you like books that challenge and provoke, this is a great book to read. If you want to get up close and personal with life and death and hope and love and grace and mercy; with water, word, wine or wool; with women in ministry from 5 countries and 14 denominations… with any or all of that I highly recommend this book.
All the ordering information is at the RevGals site.
You can also order it from Good Books and support Oxfam at the same time. The price includes shipping worldwide: