I'm delighted to be part of the blog tour for RevGalBlogPals's book There's a Woman in the Pulpit. You can read other entries on our webpage.
There’s a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments & the Healing Power of Humor, ed. by Rev. Martha Spong, Skylight Paths Publishing, Woodstock, VT, 2015, 215 pp. Purchase from Skylight Paths (the publisher) for maximum return to the nonprofit group. Also available from Amazon and many vendors.
As a lay member of the group and a Board member and an officer, this project of RevGalBlogPals is near and dear to my heart. My writing is not in it, though, because I'm a woman NOT in the pulpit.
I'm the woman standing next to the women in the pulpit.
And, as such, I declare that this is a book for every person (man or woman) who attends a church, or who knows a pastor or minister or chaplain. For any person who cares about women and their spirituality. And for anyone who might want to understand what it’s like on the other side of the pulpit.
This book addresses the core of what these women experience each day, funny and marvelous and terrible and sad, and will help those of us whose priesthood is the priesthood of all believers (and not an ordained one) to exercise it better, and to better support our clergy, male and female.
I’ve heard several comments from clergywomen on the book’s blog tour and in other places saying, “I wish I had read this book in seminary!” Being a member of the RevGals community for ten years, and reading so many posts that were precursors to this book, is what convinced me NOT to go to seminary. I did years of discernment accompanied by the writing and with the friendship of these wonderful folks. While that may sound like a discouraging word, I believe it to be a tremendous gift. Not only have I determined the true direction in which I believe that God is calling me; I did not spend time and money and encounter heartbreak by heading down a path that was not mine to take.
My call, in the church, is to support my clergy: especially women. To proclaim the good news of their voices and their gifts.
There’s a Woman in the Pulpit is the illustration I’ve wished for all these years. To the people I know in my “other lives” – international educators, parking lot stripers, motorcycle riders – who wonder what it is I am doing with the “lady ministers,” I can now say, “Here’s a book for when you have some time” and know, no matter their beliefs, that they will find something interesting, funny, poignant and true.
(Here I am, standing beside a woman who stands in the pulpit: Rev. Amy Peden Haynie)