Tuesday, April 21, 2015

You Should Read There's a Woman In The Pulpit

Not too long after I began blogging, I stumbled across a blog ring known as the RevGalBlogPals, a network of blogs written by clergywomen spanning multiple denominations and ministry vocations. The "Pals" in their name allowed for male supporters like me to join in on the fellowship and mutual encouragement. Over the years, I've been glad to call them colleagues both online and in person.

The RevGals have blossomed into a full-fledged non-profit, complete with a national director. They organize continuing education events, host book discussions, and provide support and encouragement for one another in a variety of ways.

Even after so much progress, there remains a "stained glass ceiling" in many places against women serving as clergy. Many female colleagues and friends of mine still encounter attitudes, opinions, and biases in the church that I as a male have never had to deal with. These range from comments on their appearance to questions about balancing motherhood with pastoral work to the ongoing debate surrounding various Biblical passages. These are incredibly talented women whose gifts are obvious and whose calls are genuine, but for whom implicit and unspoken prejudices have made their vocational path needlessly more difficult.

The RevGals have just produced There's a Woman In The Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments, and the Healing Power of Humor, a collection of essays from their members about these struggles, as well as many other adventures in ministry. If you'd like a glimpse of the inner workings of clergy life, particularly from those who at times need to work extra hard to show that they are indeed called to this work, give this book a read. I know many of the contributors to be fantastic writers and even more fantastic pastors. Consider checking it out.