I knit this as a bit of free knitting on BE1. As I listened to the remendously honest, sometimes raw sharing that went on, amazed at the freedom I was feeling in the room, I knit the stories and tears into this. Now it hangs on the back of my chair at work, reminding me that my RevGals have my back. The colors in the original are ever so much brighter and lusher than what I am able to capture here. Imagine the Caribbean Sea and sky...
Running a little late with this meditation: I was travelling on the actual birthday and have been trying to get back into the swing of things since then.
"Meanwhile, please use the comments to share a favorite memory or thought from the past five years, or leave a link if you blog about it..." said Songbird on Monday.
As some others have written, I was in on that first conversation at St. Cass's place about t-shirts...at the very, very, very end. I'd actually been lurking on the conversation for a few weeks (?), having got there via ReverendMommy. I think I'd Googled "women in ministry" and that's how I found her and a few other folks, and watched the start of the conversation.
Now, why was I googling "women in ministry"? I work at a (public) university and always have! I guess because it's been an abiding interest of mine. I'm a woman in lay ministry, descended from generations of laity who "ran their churches." I happen to believe, from those early examples, that the minister/priest/pastor does NOT run a congregation, and that indeed without the conviction and leadership of the lay person, the church is nothing.
Funny, that, because I DO come from a tradition in which the priest must consecrate the elements for Eucharist. Also there are sacraments which include a priest (but take place between God and the person: baptizee; couple marrying, etc.)
BUT, despite what I saw at the altar (always men BTW), I was the little girl playing Communion when I had sleepovers, and I was always the officiant. Not that I wanted to be the priest...I've never wanted that...but somehow I had a feeling that I wanted to be close to God in that way, and that God was just fine with it.
So. I digress. Finding RevGals and watching the energy of the community as it developed, and the joy that the members took in connecting with one another...the sense that we all desired deeper communication about what it means to be God's person within a church structure, and particularly as women...that just clicked for me.
I've never felt less than fully included, and I am grateful for that. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve a group that supports women in ministry...a passion of mine all my life...and mostly I am grateful to have made these amazing friends.
I think for someone just coming in, it may seem daunting: we have history, we have jokes, we've had our troubles and shared tragedies and joys. But we welcome you. We want to hear about your life and your process and your questions. Commenting on the group blog posts, and also commenting on other members' blogs, are the way to get to know people. It's a bit like going into a new church setting...you just have to show up until you are known. I think and hope this group is good at being welcoming...as we all hope our churches are! :)
Being a RevGalBlogPal has meant the world to me. I am grateful!!