Monday, February 02, 2009

for better or worse

(I just need to point out that this image of a woman preaching was the only one tucked into 100's of others showing men, or graphics related to preaching. Are we surprised?)

Since the time I started blogging I had seen references to another blog, for women in or discerning a religious vocation. Revgalblogpals is a home for mostly clergy women representing various traditions and situated in locales around the globe. If memory serves (ha!) I visited there a while ago and felt oddly intimidated by what I read.

A recent reference to the site from another blog I read daily, Elizabeth Kaeton's Telling Secrets, sent me back there last week, and I have become a daily visitor. I think that, at the time I first visited, I was feeling disengaged from the Church, and the topics under discussion simply didn't interest me. Life is different now, my faith is revitalizing, and I have a tentative yearning to jump back in.

There are some staple features at revgal, which include matters related to preaching. On Tuesdays, the lessons for the following Sunday are introduced and some preliminary thoughts are shared. Last week, prompted by the opportunity to read what others were thinking about, I began my own reflections in anticipation of preaching yesterday. On Saturdays the blog is an online coffee klatch of preachers who are writing, stuck, procrastinating, or have completed their sermon preparation for the next day. In other words, there is lots of exchange and more ideas get shared than you can shake a stick at.

Consequently I was better prepared to preach yesterday than usual. This proved to be dangerous. I preach extemporaneously, and I fear that there were so many nuggets tucked into the text of the gospel that I wandered all over that holy land in an effort to share them. My preaching was richer on the one hand, less accessible on the other, at least by my take.

Now as we enter a new week with new lessons on the horizon I feel challenged to make better use of this new tool available to me. It is a wonderful gift, but I will need to discipline myself with how to use it. This abundance of riches can inform me without overhwelming me. In my enthusiasm for sharing the wealth I will need to remember that one message suffices for the week.

I also need to overcome the notion of feeling insignificant in the presence of a lot of other women who share this vocational journey. I have a lifelong issue about feeling invisible that gets its dander up when I am present somewhere and go unrecognized. My friend Jayne, who I met on a message board where I suffered from this self-inflicted malady, knows too well how this plagues me since I often lament these situations to her (here we go again, Jayne!). I will endeavor not to take this personally, because it is not personal and I know that. Still, old wounds and all...

A new week, a new thought, and so many options to explore. I'm a lucky girl.


Jayne said...

I am glad you revisited the Revgals as my bud Songbird is one of the founders and regular posters and she is golden. I am sure there are many issues for women in clergy that others don't have to confront at all.

And, for the record, it's not just you my friend. I recently felt so insignificant among many women that I bowed out of the WV birding trip. But, as Oprah says, that's another show.

Anyhow, you are not alone, and many of us fight those demons with you my friend. XOXOXO

Jules said...

You are hardly invisible are the pastor to the Cabana Girls and that is one awesome responsibility. I also have been the recipient of your loving spirit both in your (now defunct but hopefully resurrected some day) Wed. musings but also of the light of your faith.


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