October 14, 2014 is my 24th Anniversary of Ordination to the Ministry of Word & Sacrament. What a privilege to live this life! For the past three years I haven’t been serving a church full time, and so I have a bit of distance from my vocation. More than ever, I love rubbing elbows with other clergywomen. I thought I’d list some of the reasons I’m grateful to be counted among the ranks of clergywomen:
1. Clergywomen laugh at the humor in life. They are intimately involved with people’s lives — and life is funny. If you don’t think so, invite your favorite clergywoman over for a glass of wine and ask her if anything ridiculous happened in the past week.
2. Clergywomen don’t hide their eyes from the pathos in life. When they get the call, they get in the car and drive to the hospital, the nursing home, the morgue. They may cry but they also pray and bring a message of hope.
3. Clergywomen are beautiful in their robes and stoles. Have you seen the light in her eyes when a clergywoman is preaching the gospel and is totally un-self-conscious?
4. Clergywomen are down and dirty in their “I Love My Church” T-shirt. Also while hoisting that Habitat for Humanity paintbrush, or wearing a hairnet while making sandwiches to hand out to homeless people, or dripping in the dunk tank at the local street fair where they raised money for mission.
5. Clergywomen are leaders. They know how to put together an agenda and make decisions and delegate the next steps. (Please include that in the minutes and the church newsletter, thanks.)
6. Clergywomen are servants. Because Jesus.
7. Clergywomen are smart. They graduated from seminary. They earned a Master of Divinity degree. They passed ordination exams.
8. Clergywomen are foolish. They spent all that time and money and effort to get a degree that won’t buy them much earning power. Why? Because they felt called by God.
Clergywomen are a sisterhood and if you are lucky enough to be one, I don’t have to explain a word of this. But please pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine or cup of tea, and tell me what you’d add to my list!